Here to Serve | Mir Nawbut Ali, Chief Marketing Officer of bKash

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Mir Nawbut Ali, Chief Marketing Officer of bKash reiterates the company’s commitment to remain innovative and offer customer-centric widespread services
Can you share some of the biggest accomplishments of your journey in bKash?

Since my joining in bKash, it has been a wonderful journey which has created many opportunities to learn a lot of new things. Here in bKash, I feel that we are changing the way Bangladeshis use financial services. MFS is a relatively new industry, both globally and locally. bKash, a home-grown company run by a large number of extremely talented and hard-working Bangladeshis, is a pioneer in the MFS industry. It is very enlightening and a fulfilling experience for me to be a part of this organization which eradicates the pain points of the customers, brings innovation in services, adds value to people’s lifestyle and ensures nearly 10 million secure digital transactions every day for 54 million customers. With these, we have become a member of every family which is the biggest accomplishment that I feel. I get the satisfaction of creating while working for this company.

According to you, what has been the biggest challenge you have overcome amid this pandemic?

We have been experiencing quite a lot of challenges during the pandemic. First and foremost is to deliver the services to the customers. Technology plays a major role to run the system, Sales and Distribution ensures availability of cash and e-money at the agent points and customer cares ensure uninterrupted services 24/7. And for these, physical presence at the service points is necessary. bKash employees take significant risk to ensure uninterrupted customer services.

During this pandemic another big challenge is that we were forced to run most of our marketing campaigns through digital means as almost everything is at a standstill due to stringent lockdowns. So, we have successfully shifted our campaigns towards digital media and tried our best to overcome the challenges.

However, as Chief Marketing Officer, always being ready to embrace new things and going through every little detail have always been the professional challenges in bKash. Because, most of the services we offer are newly created and in many cases, previous experience doesn’t help.

The ongoing pandemic is a very crucial time for bKash as well. During this difficult time, it is important to be aligned with the spirit of the company – to be human centric in all dealings. Our marketing strategy had the same mantra. We felt that we can keep people’s lives safe and moving by facilitating contactless and cashless transactions. So, we communicated and educated people about how to use bKash services for making life easier and tried to make sure that they need not leave their homes. We communicated that the services like add money, mobile recharge, send money, make payment, pay bill, etc. can be done remotely. Also, bKash account opening was made simple so that it can be done sitting at home. We needed to make people aware that they can use these safely and stay at home.

bKash is offering 150 Taka bonus for registering an account through bKash App. Has this campaign proved effective in onboarding new account holders? And with rising competition, what is bKash doing to ensure customer retention and how is it staying ahead of the curve?

We want more people to use the app since it is very easy to avail our services through it. We do several activities to onboard customers. One of them is the 150-taka bonus which is very effective. With this campaign we take a customer through a journey where he/she experiences how seamless, user-friendly and robust the app is.

We believe customer loyalty is gained by providing quality services. bKash has earned the trust of customers and become the most loved brand by providing simplest solutions for the essential financial transactions. We continuously try our best to maintain that trust and remain a one-point solution by bringing innovative, customer-centric and offering widespread services. We will continue evolving keeping customers’ needs in focus. Now wherever you go, you can find a bKash agent point within a few minutes even at the remotest corner of the country. And bKash has become a household word as they say “bKash me” instead of “send me money”.

We never launch any new service without being assured of maximum quality. bKash employees dedicate their time to solve a real customer problem and bring simplicity to one’s life. Our obsession to ensure the best customer experience is the key driving factor for bKash to achieve the customer loyalty we have today.

What are some of the emerging trends that are expected to become long-standing industry practices?

In the future, we shall see more and more people using different types of services through MFS. App based service consumption is on the rise and this trend will accelerate in coming days. People will inevitably start to replace cash transactions with digital transactions.

How can innovative marketing be used as a tool to make more people aware about using technology and close the knowledge gap?

As I have already stated that we are shifting towards innovative digital marketing, I think the use of technology in our marketing tools have yielded better results in eradicating the knowledge gap among our customers. In bKash, the marketing strategies are never adopted as a means to promote our services only. Rather, our prime focus is to enlighten our valued customers about the easy and convenient bKash services through effective marketing.

What is your one crucial advice and the one fast and hard rule for aspirants looking to enter the fintech ecosystem?

There is no certain formula to make a business successful as every business is unique. I believe all successful organizations solve customers’ problems and they do it in such a way that customers are hooked to it. Any fintech startup needs to make sure that they are solving a real-life customer problem and simplifying their life. Customers will be loyal once they have trust in the service quality of the organization. At the same time, there is no perfect marketing strategy for startups – it depends on time, situation and the service. They need to be innovative while marketing their product addressing customers’ pain points and needs.

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