- Tell us something about your firm’s service, Mr. Jobaerul Kaes.
We are a technology startup specializing in WordPress. We provide two types of services. One is the WordPress Tech Support. Basically there are some companies who do not need dedicated WordPress developers but at times they need updates and also some development works on their sites. So they need someone who can spare probably around 5 to 10 hours per month for this work. So we provide a monthly membership service to these companies. The other service we provide is Custom Site and E-Commerce Development. It is just web development and is CMS based. Currently, our firm is comprised of me and another WordPress developer.
- What inspired you to set up Scout Solutions?
I used to work at a firm called Fixed Runner which was an Israeli startup. They also provided similar services as us. I used to lead the Development Team there and from there I learnt a lot to start venturing out on my own.
There are many challenges related to jobs. Repeating some of your own ideas become very tough. The opinions of your superiors are more important. And I think deep down, everybody wants to do something of their own. Something they can be proud of. Something we can walk a long way with. With that in mind, I started Scout Solutions.
3. How was your journey as an entrepreneur so far?
Actually Scout Solution is still in its very basic phase. It is still being set up. But I guess the main challenge is to find a good developer especially someone specialized in WordPress. And our country lacks a proper payment system. There is no PayPal here and the other payment methods have a lot of subscription charges. Moreover, since our service targets the foreign markets. But on the international arena, the valuation of Bangladeshi firms is very less. So that does affect us.
4. How much were you familiar with the concept of coworking when you first started your business?
I have been operating from a coworking space since 2015. Even though I did not go to any other coworking space before coming here, I did know quite a bit about the concept itself. I used to see this term a lot on websites and also came across it on Youtube. There were many videos and articles on the benefits of coworking.
I used to be a freelancer before. So I had to work from home. But my productivity was very low at that time. Moreover, I believe that people are extremely influenced by their surroundings. For example, if you are working from home, you will get distracted. Your family members are probably doing something fun or interesting and you would feel like ‘oh let’s go and hang out with them.’ You will lose the motivation. But in a coworking space, everyone is working together in an official environment. By seeing everyone so engrossed in their work, you would naturally feel like working yourself. You would think that, ‘ you know what, I should keep on working. No time to get distracted.’ the motivation comes from within yourself then.
5. What benefits did you get in the coworking environment?
It’s very difficult to explain this properly. But as I said, it’s hard to progress on your own. But at a coworking space, even if people don’t communicate much at times, the environment itself drives you towards progress.
6.Do you face any problems working in a coworking space?
Well, one main problem of coworking in Bangladesh is that the concept is new. There are hardly 3 or 4 coworking offices in Dhaka. Moreover, these spaces are not open for 24/7. For freelancers and global service providers, this is a hurdle because of the time differences we have with our clients. Maintaining multiple time zones becomes stressful in that case. So ultimately, I do have to work from home a lot of times to manage my clients’ needs.
If you compare with the scenario of other countries, you can see that coworking spaces there are open 24/7. The members there find it easier to manage the time differences. So this is a issue in the coworking arena of Bangladesh.
7.Do you think the coworking community is growing in Bangladesh?
I think that the trend can grow but has not been fully accepted yet. Not everyone are aware about this. If you look at worldwide data, you will see that the number of lone workers and freelancers have increased a lot. The corporations are now outsourcing most of their work. They don’t keep dedicated employees for some work. Instead those work are outsourced to freelancers. The more outsourcing occurs, the more solo workers will increase.
As for solo workers, they will learn gradually. Even if they don’t understand a lot of the work at first, they will eventually learn it after doing it repeatedly. And as they will work, they will realize the importance of an office space.
8.In the future, would you like to continue to cowork with other entrepreneurs/freelancers?
Of course I will try to get an office of my own once my team expands. Everyone wants to increase their development teams after all. But then the growth of the team depends on the marketing, sales, ROI etc. Once these increase, our team will grow and so will the business and our need for office space.