Thursday, August 4 2022

Marred with scams, controversies and uncertainties in recovering thousands of embezzled taka crores, the country’s e-commerce industry has witnessed the emergence of yet another platform run by none other than the Bangladesh cricket poster, Shakib Al Hasan.

With work underway for six months, Monarch Mart launched its website Jan. 21, an official said.

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“Shakib Al Hasan is the director and chairman of the company. He also has investments in this company,” COO Md Zahead Kamal told the Daily Star yesterday.

Regarding Shakib’s investment and shares in the company, he said, “It’s our internal issue. It will be officially announced by Shakib himself.”

“We are bringing a new e-commerce experience to Bangladesh. Providing quality products at the right time to customers is Monarch Mart’s motto…at a fair price,” Kamal said quoting Shakib.

“Right now, there are many negative perceptions among people about e-commerce in Bangladesh. We want to change that. That is our main goal or goal,” Kamal said.

He said the e-commerce market in Bangladesh is very big and many people are now comfortable shopping online. “So we want to grab a piece of that market,” he said.

“We have already received orders for several products. We will begin deliveries from January 23,” said a Monarch Mart official.

The company’s website states that they sell automobiles, electronics, fashion, health and beauty items, groceries, appliances, music, books, pet supplies, playsets, sporting and outdoor goods, toys and games.

Shakib’s Monarch Mart is popping up amid much debate about e-commerce businesses.

Senior executives of several e-commerce companies have been arrested and jailed for breaking promises made to customers.

Shakib has previously invested in restaurants, the stock exchange, power plants, cosmetics, travel agencies, hotels, event management, and Asian crab and swamp eel farms.

However, despite being on the list of shareholders, a proposed people’s bank failed to get approval from Bangladesh Bank to start operations.

The proposed bank was due to open a company and manage the required paid-up capital by December 31 last year, but failed to do so.

At present, there are about 2,500 e-commerce sites and 1,50,000 Facebook-based outlets offering nearly 30,000 products daily, according to the Bangladesh E-Commerce Association.

The e-commerce industry is estimated to have annual sales of Tk 8,000 crore and is growing by around 75% every year.

By 2023, sales are expected to exceed Tk 25,000 crore.

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