We talked to Awlad Hossain, Founder & CTO of Augnitive, about focusing on the real-life problem which needs genuine intervention, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Awlad Hossain: Thanks for asking. I am doing quite well recently & my family is doing great as well. The Covid situation was not that bad in Bangladesh compared to the USA, Italy & France, but the lockdown was not the ideal time like the rest of us. Now things are looking a lot better as vaccines are out & I hope we saw the worst days of this pandemic.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Augnitive.
Awlad Hossain: I am a software engineer with 8 years of experience in delivering tech solutions. I love things simple and elegant and kind of obsessed with detail and quality, and keen to learn new technologies. I started my career working for various IT companies. At the same time, I was also a successful freelancer who a good number of satisfied clients from all over the globe. With those foreign clients, I started the journey of Augnitive in 2018 with a partner.
How does Augnitive innovate?
Awlad Hossain: We always focus on the real-life problem which needs genuine intervention. We always look for any market gap & capitalize on it. During the covid-19 pandemic, we developed Shoroborno, which is a school management system. As you know, like many institutions, educational organizations also came to a standstill. We developed a unique platform where education institutes can manage a whole organization virtually. From taking classes to managing administrative works, all can be done under one roof.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Awlad Hossain: Like every other industry, the web development industry was also affected by the pandemic &, to be honest, I did not fulfil the targets which were set at the start of the year. Many industries were completely shut down & went bankrupt, but we managed to survive thanks to our innovative approach. As many businesses went virtual, that opened new doors & as a web & mobile application development company, we tried our best to make the most of it.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Awlad Hossain: The covid-19 pandemic introduced a new trend which is work from home. We never actually realized that it can be done, but during the lockdown, we had no other options. We are a team of 15 people & we had to stay home & work from there. Frankly, in the beginning, it was hard to manage everything as we never experienced such circumstances. But as the days went by, we got used to it & our operation was going smoothly.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Awlad Hossain: As most of our clients are from abroad, we were always comfortable with virtual communication via skype & zoom. So the customer relationship was not affected to any extent.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Awlad Hossain: The government did not give any grants to the IT sectors as there were more severely affected industries like the RMG sector. The grants were better off with industries which needed more than us.
Your final thoughts?
Awlad Hossain: Well, covid-19 was a terrible experience for all mankind as we never thought we would be afraid of breathing. My condolences are with the people who lost their lives & I also appreciate the efforts of frontline workers who risked their lives to save others. As a startup owner, I am glad that we survived this.
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