Let's, first, name a few successful tech companies: there's Carnival Internet - the fastest growing internet service provider of the country going rural, there's Audra - the first ever DIY internet controller to ensure security for home and small business owners across Asia, there's eCourier, the game-changing logistics and delivery service of Bangladesh, there's Ghoori Learning - the most versatile learning platform, changing the e-learning landscape, there's Carnival Assure - the most innovative insure-tech player taking reliable insurance services to the thousands.
All of these five companies, and several others, are deeply intertwined with the name of a Bangladeshi entity called Dotlines.
The objective of this technology-based group is to make an impact, in its own way, and contribute in building a future Bangladesh; and at the same time, carry the country's flag to all across the world.
Dotlines is a cluster of business ventures, working in 10 verticals in more than 20 impact sectors under different service brand names, which are aptly called "Dotlines initiatives." The sectors may look very diverse, but at the core, they are all part of a connected ecosystem, as described by Shammi Pant in her recent article of The Entrepreneur.com.
From internet connectivity and security, to empowerment, insure-tech, infotainment, learning, lifestyle, logistics, payments, platforms and robotic process automation, Dotlines has achieved a lot, in terms of operations and engagement, in a very short time.
The founder and group chairman Mahbubul Matin put together a diverse team of domain experts from different industries, and subsequently formed a group of entrepreneurs and business leaders composed of those very same experts. The founder's objective is to continue building this thriving organisation, which already employs 1,100 people, who passionately work for a single mission.
Forbes India cited Matin saying, "In the last 10 years, thanks to our current leadership regime, we have registered phenomenal development across all macroeconomic indicators. Most importantly, the tremendous amount of development that happened across the rural sector of the country, makes Bangladesh a case study not only in South Asia, but probably across all developing countries in the world."
Dotlines is expanding its own capacities and at the same time, adding bit by bit, to building a stronger Bangladesh.
Its internet connectivity entity Carnival Internet took on a very unique strategy of outside-in - which is guided by the belief that customer value creation, customer orientation and customer experiences are the keys to success; and invested all its resources to connect the thanas and the villages of the country, offering them authentic broadband over fiber optic connectivity.
It has connected over 135,000 homes across 56 districts in the last six years. Not only that, through a very unique model of distributed wifi hotspots called Carnival Haat, it has reached more than 5,000 Wi-fi Haat Points, where marginal smartphone users in thousands can come, buy a bite-size wifi coupon for a price as low as Tk7, and browse unlimited internet in great speed even in the remotest villages of the country.
Audra, a product of Dotlines, is enterprise-grade firewall with consumer simplicity and it's now being used by home and small business owners alike across Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, India and Bangladesh. This rare, home-grown product is moving towards the Middle East, Europe and the North American markets now. Listed in the Gartner, Audra not only offers internet security and control solutions for homes and small businesses, but also for large enterprises and internet service providers as well.
eCourier is a name very commonly known among ever-expanding e-commerce merchants across the country because of its reliable and quality delivery service. Delivering more than 4.5 million parcels, combined with state-of-the-art technology for ordering, warehousing, tracking and verification, it always takes on new ways of doing business. Now, eCourier focuses on door to door delivery with best-in-class packaging, in-transit insurance and absolute peace-of-mind.
eLearning space in Bangladesh is a rising sector, and there, Ghoori Learning has added new dimensions to its business landscape. Starting with the BBC Janala's prized license, it focused on certain verticals and grew bigger. Through the platform, already, close to a million learners have learnt English and several other languages for a better life, freelancers upskilled themselves for better income and professionals found new career paths with skill enhancements. It also partnered with Udemy to make it accessible for the masses in Bangladesh.
Paper-works, delays, complexities and affordability issues are key barriers to deeper uptake of insurance services in the country. In response to that, Carnival Assure formed a technology platform, where renowned insurance companies can co-create micro solutions for the masses, making the service affordable and easy-to-use for consumers. It explains why Carnival Assure has secured lives of close to 150,000 people with a sum-insured value of more than Tk350 crore, in such a short time.
Being a technology veteran, Matin earned opportunities as a topnotch consultant of working for Fortune 500 companies across APAC; and from his earnings, he incorporated Dotlines both in Singapore and Malaysia, only to make sure the entity can carry the Bangladesh flag to the world.
Dotlines aspires to establish these services, made in Bangladesh, around the world through telecom platforms, last mile digital services (directly and via partners) and internet security.
While it moves to 11 capitals of the world, and will reach more in the near future, Dotlines' platform for migrant services – Sohoj, is another story to tell. With a license from Malaysian authorities, Sohoj - through its network of retailers and agents all across Malaysia - helps blue-collar Bangladeshi, Nepalese and Indonesian individuals to enjoy a better digital life and stay connected to their families back home.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, when income became uncertain, Sohoj extended additional earning sources and indirect employment to more than 10,000 Bangladeshis in foreign lands.
The mission of Dotlines is a noble one, it is not only serving to build a digitally sound country at home, but also making life simpler and better for consumers and businesses all across the world.