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How Bangladeshi apps took advantage of the World Cup

  • Published at 11:03 pm July 25th, 2018
The future of business in Bangladesh Bigstock

There are untouched opportunities in events like these

Smartphones have taken our lives to the next level, and are making everything more convenient in our hectic lives. With our schedules packed, we cannot stop relying more and more on smartphone applications to make our lives easier.

From daily groceries to buying a new laptop, there are a handful of apps that can help us to have a more convenient life. In Bangladesh alone, the number of smartphone users has reached 52 million -- a mammoth increase.

Some of the most popular and used apps are Pathao, Uber, Shohoz, and Obhai for transportation services, Hungrynaki for ordering food, Chaldal for groceries, Jovago for traveling, Bikroy.com for general shopping, and MyGP for GrameenPhone telecommunication services.

Recently, the football World Cup 2018 had people in Bangladesh excited throughout the tournament, as they raised the flags of their favourite football nations on their rooftops. With much enthusiasm, we kept our eyes peeled throughout the night to see our favourites win.

Knowing the level of interest for this event, Bangladeshi TV channels like BTV, Maasranga, GaziTV, and Nagorik, and other online channels took the initiative to telecast those matches live so that we could enjoy the matches to their fullest.

However, for those people who could not enjoy the matches because of their work pressures, or some other engagements, they could listen to the radio or check in on certain apps which gave live updates of the matches.

Other than the app, telecommunication companies like Banglalink, Robi, and Airtel were texting live updates of matches to their customers if they subscribed to the service. There were countless initiatives to integrate the World Cup into Bangladesh by different telecommunication platforms and app-based services.  

Were those initiatives beneficial to those companies and the users? They definitely were. The initiative to incorporate the World Cup in such a manner was new for the telecommunications industry. Providing this feature resulted in an increase in the number of users of these apps, especially those who were not regular users.

The number of installations of the MyGP app has crossed one million. Similarly, the Robi MySports app has crossed 500,000.

These apps, including some lesser known internet-based services such as Linkus, all provided these services with much fanfare, and included prizes and competitions to boot, offering significant sums of money and/or fancy gifts to their winners.

Other apps could have gained much from integrating the World Cup into their marketing strategy, one that was no doubt instrumental in boosting sales and app usage overall. By incorporating updates of current events such as these, our e-commerce industry can experience a worthy boost.

The World Cup is now over, but events like these will come back, and hence our growing e-commerce industry can add value by integrating customer service-centric features. We, the customers, welcome these services and are waiting -- maybe we’ll see some in the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Kamal Hossain is a senior lecturer at the Business School of BRAC University. Khaleda Akhter is a research assistant and BBA student at BRAC University.