MBR: How did the idea of dorji-e ltd. come into being?
dorji-e Ltd.: dorji-e ltd. was born out of a necessity, a demand needed to be fulfilled for many female acquaintances around us back in 2018. Being two male founders, unorthodox as it may seem, the idea of using online platform or “electronic means” for connecting tailors or “dorjis” to bespoke enthusiast users simply took off in a short time and hence the name dorji-e (with a lowercase “d”) This was not a new idea but the market is big enough. But soon we realized that the business model which like all our counterparts had some “gap” and soon after we found a much bigger problem which using many folds of technology and process engineering, we began to unfold the solution.
MBR: What is dorji-e ltd.’s business model and product line?
dorji-e Ltd.: The current model of dorji-e ltd. is an implementation of the technology-based solution that we have envisioned in a much smaller scale to measure the impact in the Ready-Made Garments industry. We started out with on-demand clothing apparel to businesses for their branding and/or any other requirement for as low as 5 (five) pieces as the minimum order quantity. It is a commissioned model where the platform takes a “cut” for each order
processed. We take the responsibility for the production which we have developed as part of the “re-engineering” called the Production Optimization System (POS) which has been tested to increase efficiency to up to 80%. This has received recognition from panel called ‘Garment Sector Dialogue on Sustainability’ hosted by UNDP and HSBC in 2019. The concept of providing on-demand, adaptive MOQ, and POS is the backbone of the business model which is scalable to any product line and in fact to multiple industries in the future
MBR: How the response was in the initial stage and what strategies have you developed to expand the client base?
dorji-e Ltd.: The combination of the aforementioned triad has proven to be a gold mine. Our customers previously would always have to order in huge bulk with unwanted timeline and hiked prices because of too many middle man. dorji-e ltd. has sliced these pain points and connects the production layer with the customers and thus gaining edges on all frontiers, with lower cost of production. Social media like LinkedIn and Facebook is playing a big role for acquisition as we are an online platform, along with our networks we have been exposed to during our participation in Grameenphone Accelerator 2.0 Batch-6 and Startup Dhaka Incubator Batch-1.
MBR: In an age of technological advancement and increasing internet accessibility, how do you intend to make dorji-e ltd. a profitable venture?
dorji-e Ltd.: By utilizing ubiquitous Internet accessibility, we want to connect all the stakeholders of this industry through our platform. Our platform is
being built considering the mindset and technological adaptability of the mass population of our country. Enabling different parties of this industry to communicate with each other and to establish a corelation through easy to use interfaces, auto generated visual designs and in local languages is the key.
Using mobile first approach, an intertwined system loop with push notifications, easy OTP signups, a suit of progressive web apps, flow simulations and a scalable all connected headless backend system we want to mitigate process flaws and maximize production capacity. All of this is crucial to make dorji-e ltd. a profitable venture.
MBR: How many customers does dorji-e ltd. have currently? How do you hope to scale up the business?
dorji-e Ltd.: We have served more than 100+ customers in 3 different countries. But soon after we launched, COVID 19 pandemic has changed the world and we like every other business have embarked on an unprecedented time. Even though for the duration in which we have
acquired the number stated is quite remarkable, the highly scalability of the technology backbone and the business model has been the defender. We are
receiving an exponential number of orders ever since the lockdown period has been relaxed.
MBR: What challenges does dorji-e ltd. face in general?
dorji-e Ltd.: Challenges are always there as we are a startup but majorly the unstructured nature of the RMG industry, age-old methodology and unadaptiveness of newness, and unawareness amongst the factory owners become a challenge to overcome in some cases. Government intervention and other thirdparty players in this sector would play a vital role to align the industry for prosperity.
MBR: Considering the Covid -19 situation, what are the difficulties have you been facing and how do you intend to recover or mitigate those?
dorji-e Ltd.: At first, we got hit pretty bad as our production was on hold for more than 3 months due to COVID-19. But we focused on technological development. During this time, we worked on our internal structure and efficiency. As a result, now we can do more with less.
MBR: What are the future plans for dorji-e ltd.?
dorji-e Ltd.: Our business model is centered around the fundamental reformation of the RMG industry to the extent that the scale of the reach of this platform will have to go international to cater the industry at large.