The coworking culture is rapidly emerging in Bangladesh; there is no downside in knowing how people are adapting to it. On that note, Syed Mohammad Shamael, the Founder and Chief Account Strategist at PPC Rockers shared his journey on how he leveraged a coworking space.
PPC Rockers provides digital marketing services across Google, Yahoo, and Facebook networks. Their primary focus is the mid-level corporate clients; focusing on United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. They manage multiple online marketing across major ad platforms, such as Google, Yahoo and Facebook; including ad and budget management, creative development, as well as strategizing brands with right audiences across various verticals. Their current focus is to expand DoubleClick clients, which is the largest online Google platform for ad insertions covering over 80% of total online ad reach.
Mr. Shamael started his digital marketing career back in 2008 in an Google Adwords agency, where he used to work as a PPC (pay-per-click) manager. He came across search marketing management through this agency, which was a California-based offshore office in Dhaka, Bangladesh. His responsibility included managing almost 2000 Adwords ad accounts and acted as an escalation point for team to resolve critical customer service issues.
Next, he joined Aarong, a BRAC social enterprise, as senior manager operations; and worked with them to kick off their e-commerce initiative with the vision to reach thriving clients across the world. The project was funded by Melinda Gates Foundation.
Aarong – Bengali for ‘village fair’ – is Bangladesh’s most popular lifestyle retail chain; it has existed since the inception of Bangladesh. “The basic idea of the e-commerce initiative was to boost the sales, which in turn would help more artisans through additional revenue,” said Mr. Shamael.
Amidst the recollection of the moments in his career, I got curious and asked him ‘If he could, would he go back to square one in any moment of his career?’ To which he recalled his prior attempt to develop ERP (enterprise resources planner) for small to mid-sized retailers. The entire system had enough features to solve the problem of this particular niche. “Perhaps what I should have done was to hire more marketing people to promote this product,” he remarked.
Moving on, he started his digital marketing startup at a shared office but soon had to relocate. While looking for other shared offices, Mr. Shamael stumbled into the world of coworking. Prior to his introduction to Hubdhaka (Bangladesh’s first and largest coworking space), Mr. Shamael had no idea that coworking spaces existed in Bangladesh. The following is Mr. Shamael’s perspective on the benefits and challenges associated with a coworking space.
Benefits: He shared, “First of all the biggest benefit here is that we are getting the entire corporate level amenities at a fraction of the price. It is conveniently located, in a commercial space which has business value.” Additionally, he mentions the lack of hassle involved with the daily management of one’s office. Through the space, he was able to interact with like-minded people and exchange knowledge and skills across the members.
In the digital marketing world, technical support is critical. Mr. Shamael has often engaged some members to help him out with some of the tech issues with digital marketing. The kind of work he is involved in is based on strategies; “I share my problems with professionals who are in the same profession as me, they provide me with some fabulous ideas and invaluable suggestions that I can implement in my project,” he mentioned.
Challenges: “Given the fact that, in Bangladesh, the internet penetration has not yet reached the optimum level, there is always room for improvement with internet connectivity,” he pointed out. When it comes to challenges, the first thing that comes to his mind is the speed of the internet, as in ‘more speed, and less downtime.’
Mr. Shamael believes that the number of people getting into startups is increasing, either as a primary career or serving as an opportunity for additional revenue. The infrastructure and government initiatives to enhance the outsourcing work and remote in Bangladesh has encouraged people to venture into a career in this area. He said, “I think there is a great demand for coworking spaces in Bangladesh and of course people will benefit from helping each other and sharing ideas.”
To view the interview session, watch the video below.