A volatile economy offers just as many opportunities as it takes away. To take advantage of the shifting sands, IPDC Finance, the first private sector non-banking financial institution, thrived because of its strategy to rethink, adjust, and above all, act FAST, instead of waiting it out. From finding the right channels for marketing to creating products that have more social implications, IPDC launched some of the nation’s most innovative initiatives to ignite profitability and take care of its clients and communities. Digital marketing helped them expand their target consumers that have not been reached during offline operations previously. With specific strategies and targets, IPDC reached new potential clients from various circles and regions according to their chosen target.
Keeping in mind the socio-economic challenges and opportunities during the pandemic, IPDC revamped its operations and introduced the most innovative financial services. Essentials, like food for the poor, affordable housing for all families, women empowerment, and employment creation, have been the key strategic pillars for this metamorphosis. Innovative ideas have been put into place by forming collaborations with leading organizations and NGOs to tailor products and services and cater to its focus groups – women, youth, and underserved areas.
Clients [ The lifeblood of the business]
Before starting their pandemic journey, IPDC took the responsibility of assuring its customers first, digitally, of course. They set up a section in their website menu, titled ‘COVID-19’, making sure anyone visiting their website will have a door to enter for assurance from the Managing Director and CEO himself, Mominul Islam, who stated, “We have to keep our customers alive as well since they are the lifeblood of our business.”
Manobota [A ripple created in the vast sea of the social class discrepancy]
IPDC stayed true to its promise of looking after the society and bringing them aid through the launch of their product, IPDC Manobota.
“The main motive behind IPDC Manobota was to combine purpose with compassion. To our pleasant surprise, we discovered many benevolent clients donating their interest amounts as well.” – Ishtiaque Shahriar, Head of Retail Strategy.
Manobota’s intent was simple yet striking. For every lakh taka deposited, IPDC delivered a month’s worth of groceries to distressed families. They were able to cater to the needs of 5000 families through trusted voluntary partners.
“IPDC Manobota can be considered as a ripple created in the vast sea of the social class discrepancy.” – Eve Esrat, Founder, AMAL Foundation.
The Magic of Social Media
The role of social media is straightforward, to attract, and interact. You cannot think of being successful in digital marketing without using social media. It is an instrumental interface that helps understand your customers. It strengthens your marketing strategies while maintaining relations with existing clients. They enjoyed substantial growth and liquidity even when the entire country was shut down, and businesses were in hot water. It was possible thanks to the successful lead generation from the social media platforms, especially their official Facebook page. Most of their content is very engaging, informative, and touches the audience on a more humane level, offering assistance to both clients and businesses, big or small. They were able to interact with people through Facebook queries and understand their needs better, including how much interest they wanted, what their businesses needed, and how they could better obtain financial assistance; IPDC was there to listen and make their aspirations come true.
IPDC also conducted a recent digital campaign for supply chain professionals in need of supply chain financing. They targeted respective industries and ran a lead campaign to attract more clients. This campaign received five times more engagement, impressions, and reach than regular campaigns. The reason for this is simple – suppliers needed help, and IPDC offered its hand to help.
Webinars and Digital Programs
IPDC also launched a webinar series, titled ‘OGROJ,’ to illustrate the monumental life expeditions of crucial personalities in Bangladesh’s economic history. The guests form a strong bond with the viewers while they unfold the intricate events to reach where they are today. IPDC also arranged “Jaago Ucchashe Eid in Anode”, an exclusive Eid program streamed live from the IPDC Facebook page, to help raise funds for the deprived. These digitized programs allowed them to reach and engage with a broader audience and increase their faith in the brand and what it stands for.
Initiative to Help SMEs
Robi, IPDC Finance, and sManager (a Sheba Platform Limited venture) partnered up with Mission Save Bangladesh to support 25,000 small and micro enterprises (SMEs) for business growth by extending working capital support for up to Tk 40 crore. The loan services were made available for mainly Robi and Airtel retailers through establishing an agreed framework to provide working capital support in the form of top-up loans to the retailers. The digitized ecosystem is designed to assist the retailers in getting back on their feet and regaining businesses in a post-COVID-19 world. This program is an extension to IPDC’s own groundbreaking transaction-based digital credit program aiming at the vast network of retailers across the country under the name ‘IPDC-DANA’. IPDC would provide collateral-free loans to the retailers based on the data insights received from Robi.
Supporting the CMSMEs
To support cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises (CMSMEs) sustain their businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic, IPDC provided Stimulus Loans to CMSMEs in collaboration with prominent organizations. IPDC has always given back to the community, even more so now during this socio-economic catastrophe. They worked relentlessly to provide Stimulus Loans to CMSMEs all over Bangladesh, placing its focus, especially on non-metropolitan areas. It was possible because of the robust digital marketing campaign that allowed them to reach CMSMEs in the furthest corners of the country. IPDC made it easier for CMSMEs to find them because of the way this campaign was digitally designed to generate leads through social media and digital advertisements.
Financial Independence for Women
IPDC designed and initiated some of the most innovative financial product line-ups in the industry which features women empowerment as true essence of financial freedom for any woman. There is IPDC-JOYEE, a product to support women entrepreneurs of Bangladesh by giving loans at low-interest rates throughout the year. Then there is IPDC-PRITI, a complete financial solution for women to reach financial independence.
ORJON [South-East Asia’s First Blockchain-based SCF Platform]
IPDC collaborated with IBM and DFID and launched South East Asia’s first blockchain-based supply chain financing platform, ORJON, which enables the lender to process supply chain loan applications within half an hour. Neither the banker nor the client needs to see each other or any third party for verification of hardcopy documents. ORJON is an ecosystem that not only ensures financial inclusion but will also make a secured, transparent, reliable marketplace and creates a collaboration of all the value chains, connecting all the dots required for efficient, optimized, and sustainable economic growth. This digitization of supply chain financing allowed suppliers to receive necessary support even after everything was under lockdown and social distancing was implemented, giving hope and continuation of business to distressed suppliers.
Bangabandhu Grandmaster – A quest for the ‘Lokkho Mujib’
Bangabandhu Grandmaster App is an ardent attempt to exhibit the fascinating life and legacy of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in the form of an engaging quiz. “Bangabandhu Grandmaster is a quiz gaming app which attempts to instil his moral conscience and knowledge into the younger generation. By progressing through each level, players peek into the chapters of his unshakable pursuit that created the history of Bangladesh.”- Mominul Islam, Managing Director, and CEO. By opting for a digital mode of communicating with the youth, IPDC was able to connect and educate them through the development of a software application.
The future of IPDC
Reimagining digital marketing has allowed IPDC to roll out several successful initiatives that proved not only beneficial to the clients and community but also IPDC itself. IPDC used branding and marketing as a tool during the crisis to leap out of it with itself and everyone around it victorious. By creating groundbreaking products partnered with inventive marketing strategies, pivoting to virtual events and digitizing solutions, IPDC successfully grabbed the audience’s hearts. They have been actively engrossed in creating compassionate and timely campaigns, planning for robust days ahead. IPDC considers its humanized communication style as an incredibly important instrument and believes it will resonate with the people even when all this is past us.