Nidal Nabi Chowdhury, CEO and Founder Katsana Technologies

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A Fine Fleet Formula

In conversation with IBT NIDAL NABI CHOWDHURY, CEO and Founder of Katsana Technologies, a Chittagong-based company that offers GPS tracking and fleet management solutions shares how he grew the company into one of the leading players in the GPS tracking and fleet management solutions space in Chittagong.

What was the motivation behind launching a vehicle tracking company?
I lived in Malaysia for 5 (five) years. During my stay there, I bought a car. One day, I came across an advertisement about the vehicle tracking system. I bought the device and installed it in my car. I have been using it and observed the features that it had. I was very much fascinated by the functions of the device and its features. The thing about me is if I get fascinated by any gadgets or technology, I tend to work on it and dig much deeper into it.

The thought came to my mind about making good use of this technology in Bangladesh. After coming back to Bangladesh I started to work on this vehicle tracking system. After some thorough research, I found out that there are companies here in Bangladesh that provide this technology. However, looking into their devices and functions of it made me realize that I can offer something better for the users. Also, the idea that my vehicle tracking device would be the first one in Chittagong. That excited me on pursuing this idea here.

You have BSC (Hons) in Software Engineering with Multimedia. Did you have a hand in designing the prototype for the technology? How was the technology assembled?
Yes, I did have a couple of hands helping me with this technology. As you very well understand, projects like this cannot be succeeded single-handedly. There are a lot of sectors that need to be given a lot of work, effort, and time. Being an individual, I couldn’t track every sector that is associated with this project. It would have taken a lot of time to get it done in my predicted time frame. Especially when it comes to technology like this with a lot of features and real-time tracking which involves GPS, I needed all the help I could get.

I had the help of 3 of my friends who were taking care of different sectors of this vehicle tracker. One of my friends is an expert in UI design. He was in charge of the user interface and the design of the software. The interface must be as user friendly as possible. Having a simple and user-friendly user interface will automatically increase the number of users. We have made the software very much self-explanatory. Whenever some take a look into it, they will get the hang of it right away without any help.

We are a nation where help is needed in every step. The more we contribute to society, the more chances of us fighting our way towards victory in such a moment of crisis. Katsana has vowed to ensure their support for this nation in any sort of crisis. We believe, “United we Stand, Divided we Fall.”

The second person was helping me with the coding section. It is mandatory to ensure the software functions at its best where the features would respond directly to the code embedded in it. Software is nothing without its code. Every feature, function of the software was tested to ensure its 100% efficiency. A regular checkup is scheduled for any updates and bugs that need to be fixed. At the very early stage of development, a lot of hardship was faced by the entire team to get this system up and running properly. It was weeks of sleepless nights, but our efforts have resulted in the success we set out for.

Another friend of mine had multiple skills and therefore he used his multi-talent to help out the entire team in each sector. His contributions were both in the UI department as well as the coding department. This was a benefit for me to have a multi-talented guy like him on the team.

The assembly part had two different sides to it. One was the hardware, the tracking device itself, and the other part was the software, where the device functioned according to our coded features in our software. For the hardware part, I have imported the device from abroad. The reason for importing the device is because I have seen that Bangladesh is very new to this concept and hasn’t taken a deeper dive into this type of technology. The devices that are available abroad are made by companies with solid years of experience in this particular field. The devices were also very much within my budget as well. So I decided to get a good device at a fair rate.

In terms of the software part, once the device was here, the software was installed in it according to features of my vehicle tracking system. Adjustments and constant updates were made to transform it into my desired tracking device. Once both the hardware and software synced perfectly, test runs were made to check for error. Once the errors were dealt with, the device was ready to go into further production. This is how my device came to life serving everyone’s needs.

Could you please give us an overview of Katsana in terms of the services you offer, how many users you have, the size of your business, etc?
We are a company providing GPS tracking solutions to all clients. We don’t manufacture or assemble any devices as we think some companies are great at manufacturing the GPS Tracking devices. Instead of spending time and money behind manufacturing our device, which a few of our competitors are trying in Dhaka, we are investing the resource in coming up with new technology and features that others are not being able to provide.

We provide GPS tracking solutions for any type of vehicle. We offer fleet management solutions for large and small companies to easily manage their fleet.
We have been in operation for 1 year now. We currently have over 800 plus devices installed in vehicles. And the number is going up constantly. Most of the users are coming through the referral of our other clients. This is a very positive and proud achievement of ours.

We are currently a team of over 20 people including vehicle technicians. In terms of hiring, we mostly hire young graduates and help them learn and grow. Young minds are the most efficient when it comes to generating ideas to take the company to the next level.

We are a profitable company. Our monthly subscription business helps us to generate healthy revenue each month. With that being said, the revenue graph is growing positively at a constant speed. This shows that we are now rapidly moving towards the success we always wanted. We plan to be the leading GPS vehicle tracking company in Bangladesh.

What has been the reception from Katsana’s clients? Can you elaborate on the functionality of a vehicle tracking system in the context of transporting goods?
The reception of Katsana’s clients has been nothing but good and positive reviews. They were really happy to get such a vehicle tracking device with so many never seen before features. This has made our vehicle tracker very much unique from the rest and not to forget the user-friendly software and the long-lasting device itself. At the very beginning, we started our marketing and test phase with our family, relatives, and close ones. This was just a small testing phase to understand how our product would perform for the users. This phase helped us a lot in adding some last-minute changes to once again enhance its performance. Once this phase was a success, we went for some marketing and therefore we started getting users and our devices were being sold at a good rate. In a month or two, the sales graph spiked up showing an increase in sales. We did a small survey on our buyers asking them how they get to know about us. And that was the time we got the most satisfying answer a startup business could get. Most of our buyers came from referrals of existing users. We knew that we have finally entered the race to rise to the top and our competitors are now at a run.

Our tracker would track and show you the real-time location of your vehicle. That means you can see the tracker point move along in your mobile as your vehicle moves. This will help you stay updated on the position of your goods transporting vehicles. Not only that, but there are also many other unique features that our vehicle tracker has that can come of serious use. One of those features is the weight detection feature.

Like any other GPS vehicle tracker, the first common feature that our device has is it tracks the position of the vehicle. However, instead of the classic 10 seconds interval update of normal trackers, our tracker comes with a twist. And that is, our tracker would track and show you the real-time location of your vehicle. That means you can see the tracker point move along in your mobile as your vehicle moves. This will help you stay updated on the position of your goods transporting vehicles. Not only that, but there are also many other unique features that our vehicle tracker has that can come of serious use. One of those features is the weight detection feature. The device will tell you the weight of your vehicle once the goods have been loaded in. and also, once the goods are taken off, the device will record and send the weight to your end. In this way, you can keep full track if any other product has been loaded in your vehicle without your concern along the journey. Our clients that have goods transporting business have very much appreciated and loved this feature of ours.

Can you elaborate on the measure Katsana Technologies has taken to contribute to the relief efforts of the COVID-19 crisis?
COVID-19 crisis has left the entire nation helpless and paralyzed. Even the greatest of Heroes of the nation who has a contribution in day to day life is now keeping themselves quarantined at their houses. With that being said, the vehicle tracker is now at a halt with its tracking since the nation has stopped its movement. However, a positive side for the people who have our technology installed in it can stay free of tension about their vehicle. And why is that? What threat is there that could leave vehicle owners in tension about their vehicle in such a crisis? The answer is pretty simple. With the city being silent as night and roads emptier than the dessert, there are chances of vehicles being stolen from right under the owner’s nose. Bangladesh has a record of vehicles getting stolen. So with our device being installed, the owners can be fully aware of the location and movement of their vehicles. Even if the vehicle goes out for some emergency, you can still track and see if your vehicle is travelling in some routes that it isn’t supposed to.

Another very important solution that we have is that we are not going to sit back and watch the poor suffer more than what they do in everyday life. We have given it a lot of thought and came up with an idea that could at least help the poor survive. We have updated a feature in our app that will connect the donations of the donors to the poor. Our Fund Raising feature in our app has collected funds that are beyond expectation. There are a lot of big-hearted people who are looking to help the poor by donating. As this COVID-19 is a contagious disease, no one is willing to get in direct contact. Thanks to this digital era and our digital platform, we are now able to get funds without anyone having to be in contact. Donors donate through our platform using the Bkash payment method. This fund gets transferred directly to Bidyanondo Foundation, an organization helping to stand beside the poor and helpless. In this way, we are ensuring that Katsana and its Technology is coming in proper use to counteract this crisis. We are still thinking of more ways to come up with to contribute more to this crisis so that maximum help can be given with the minimum risks.

We are a nation where help is needed in every step. The more we contribute to society, the more chances of us fighting our way towards victory in such a moment of crisis. Katsana has vowed to ensure their support for this nation in any sort of crisis. We believe, “United we Stand, Divided we Fall.”

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