Founded by Tahmid Huda Labib, Nahid Iqbal, Faiza Farha, and SM Nabil Fahajan, SaveUp offers discounts for online and offline businesses, helping customers find shopping solutions within their budgets. In an exclusive interview with Dhaka Tribune's Zora Mohsin, co-founder Tahmid Huda Labib, explains how the idea came about.
When and how did you come up with this idea?
As international students, we depended on store-bought food over cooking due to a lack of time. As a result, a lot of the funding would be allocated towards food.
Even on a limited budget, we could get a lot, as there are many companies abroad that offer discounts and promotional vouchers for their off-peak hours by focusing on the students. Using such offers, students save up and get more benefits within the same budget.
After graduating in 2018, I came back to Bangladesh. I realized there are plenty of businesses doing the same. However, they are disorganized and hard to track.
I thought of creating a similar platform where discount providers can easily find discount seekers, and vice versa. This will not only benefit the students, but also many of the middle and low-income families who can use such a platform to get more out of their monthly budget. I presented my idea to my fellow university friends and my family. It was easy to convince them, as they themselves know the benefits of such a service.
What kind of research went into this initiative? What was the main motivation behind it?
The research was simple yet hectic, as we talked to several food and clothing shops about the concept. There was no issue from the vendor side. So far, SaveUp has more than 200 registered vendors in 6 different categories.
The motivation that worked for us was having a platform to easily track new types of services with discounts, a platform for students to go out and enjoy more, for small businesses giving them the opportunity to fast track to getting more customers.
How does SaveUp work? Talk us through the process.
SaveUp works via an app. Customers can download our app and avail discounts straight away.
The steps are as follows:
How has the response been since you started? Do you see possibilities for growth in the Bangladeshi market? How has business been affected by the lockdown?
SaveUp initially started as an offline discount platform. According to reports, more than 60% of the population falls below the age of 40 years. They are more tech friendly and more adaptive to change. The growth is more likely to increase, given we advertise and educate the market about the service.
Our major challenge is the current pandemic, due to which the response has been mixed. We had to slow down due to the pandemic. However, we are working towards bringing additional services and preparing ourselves for the post-pandemic era. It is expected that more people will look for discount-based platforms to satisfy their demands from their limited budget.
What are your future plans with SaveUp?
SaveUp has recently raised funding from a local angel investor. With the resources, we will prepare ourselves for the post-pandemic rush. We will include more choices of categories to choose from, create an iOS App, and improve our platform interface for a better customer experience.