Tale Of Hellotask Founder Mahmudul Hasan Likhon
ellotask is the first on-demand maid service of our country, which focuses on becoming Bangladesh’s female empowerment of those women who are underprivileged. Founding HelloTask was never an easy one. Let’s hear from the Hellotask Founder Mahmudul Hasan Likhon, Ceo of HelloTask.
“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” – Arianna Huffington.
The quote that I have mentioned is a lesson I have learned from my life, especially in my startup journey.
I was born in Saidpur, Nilphamari, but I was raised in Pabna. My father used to be an SME businessman. I belong to a lower-middle-class family, so just like every other family, I also had a childhood with some doleful memories.
I have seen the miseries that my family was once into, which is why I promised myself that one day I would remove all the sufferings of my mother. I never knew I would become an entrepreneur or a full-time businessman like my father.
As I have mentioned earlier, I was born and raised in Pabna. As a child, I was never too introverted. I can claim that I had a very diversified childhood, which means I was engaged in different activities.
Another thing that I would like to mention here is I was very good at my studies. I used to be the third boy in my class, but this doesn’t mean I was only involved in my studies. I was used to engaging in different activities like playing football, singing Rabindra Sangeet, and debating.
I was a good goalkeeper, which I can claim now for sure. I was used to singing so much that my friends didn’t like to sit beside me since they got bored. I was also fascinated by the idea of being a qari( Quran reciter).
I completed both SSC and HSC from the Al-Hera academy. Fortunately, by the grace of almighty, I got GPA-5.00 in both of the exams.
Times passed by I came to university. I can say a brief about my university life. How I got into Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University was my campus life, but I have already shared most of them in another story.
One thing that I would like to share here is that I never enjoyed my studies in university life. I realized that the education system that we had there was outdated. So, unlike my school life, I was ignorant of my studies. I was somewhat interested in debating, providing tuitions, and other activities. I won a lot of trophies at my university.
When I completed my graduation, there was a big question, a real big one, that is what I would do next? As I mentioned earlier, I never thought that I would become an entrepreneur.
So, being an entrepreneur or giving a startup was never my first choice. Then you may think why I am here. I always say that it is because of my little brother Shoron.
Shoron was always interested in business. He also claimed to do business rather than pursuing his studies will be his main objective. At that time he was very young, and my family decided not to let him do the business alone.
He was living in a small room in a building. One day he saw that if anybody needs anything, no matter how small, they have to go out to the store, which is quite a trouble for us.
Seeing the problem, we decided to give our first startup, named RoboDako. At that time, we were not introduced to the term startup. We just called it a business model. RoboDako had two business models. One was an on-demand delivery service, and the other one was a subscription-based model.
We didn’t know what the startup ecosystem is, what scaling is, what funding is. We didn’t know about anything of the startup world until 2018 when we participated in batch 5 of the Gp accelerator.
In that subscription model, one could use our service and bring necessary commodities from the nearest shops. Unfortunately, we noticed that the market was not ready for us. We already invested our family money. We started to lose money since we were not making any profit.
We didn’t know what to do moreover; we were losing money at the same time. Losing money in a business is one of the worst things that can happen to anyone in life. When we were losing money, it was one of the most devastating feelings. It was like all the walls were closing in.
The days went by; at that time, we were living in a bachelor flat. The problem that we were facing at that time was, our maid Rahima Khala was not regular in her duties. One day we became so frustrated and made a post on our Facebook page.
The facebook-post was a common complaint of all the ordinary people where we highlighted the problems of housemaids being irregular. The post went viral over-night. At that time, we got the idea of what’s necessary and what’s needed in the market.
We were not telling what customer needs; in fact, customers were telling us what they needed. After that, most people were eagerly waiting for our service. We got tons of questions about when we were going to make this service available to the customers. We didn’t know where to find maids, whom to hire, how the business model should be, and so on.
At first, we thought of hiring garments workers as maids. We were used to standing in front of garments industries. It looked and felt awkward at the very beginning. We didn’t get responses according to our expectations. Maybe the ego of the garments workers stopped them from becoming an employee of ours.
We saw the advertisement for the Gp accelerator batch 5. Back then we only saw that they were offering 12 lakhs taka with 8 percent equity. As I have mentioned earlier, We didn’t have any money then. We lost almost everything then, and this is how we went to the GP accelerator.
Our first maid we hired from was also an ex garments worker. Our journey with maids has been a different story. At the very first, we were used to hiring maids. We had some full times bikers employed who were used to take them wherever the demand was.
Then one day we decided to teach them how to ride a bicycle. These are the kinds of experiences we had with them and perhaps the reasons we couldn’t scale.
Initially, we could never give service out of Dhanmondi and Mohammedpur. Now we are looking forward to bring the whole of Dhaka city under the coverage of hello task.
The maid industry in our country is one of the most neglected and ignored industry. If you look at the statistics, then you will see the number is vast. We are working to give the maids what they deserve.
Here through our platform, they are receiving training and education. At the same time, they are incoming 3-2 times more than what they were usually paid as an industrial worker.
Not only maids are getting a better payment but also the customers are getting better services since they are receiving better services which were not possible in the traditional maid hiring system.
The whole market was based on the talk of mouth. Now we are introducing them to systems like mobile banking and so on. Now they are the ones who can easily contribute to the national GDP.
The startup ecosystem that we have here is very friendly, but lots of works have to be done. There are lots of things that have to be developed.
Getting funding has become very easy these days. Another problem of the startup’s founders has that they only think that getting funded is the only aim they have. An entrepreneur must always understand what his main goal is and how to make the business model sustainable.
Just because getting funded is becoming easy doesn’t mean entrepreneurs should only focus on their funding.
Secondly, We made lots of mistakes at the very beginning. We took funding from ventures that we feel we shouldn’t have at the early stage. So whenever you are looking for funding, don’t grab the opportunity you get until or unless you are sure about it.
And lastly, I want to say that you must know what you do. Just because entrepreneurship has lots of potential doesn’t mean you also have to become an entrepreneur. Know what you want to do, what kind of job you are looking for, be sure of what you want to do. Always stick to the idea. Whenever we were about to quit, we always bounced back.
So far HelloTask has served a huge number of customers. Our goal is to provide satisfaction to our clients by giving the service they need and also empowering our women at the root level by giving them what they deserve.
As the founder of HelloTask, I have seen so many ups and downs but at the end of the day, I am satisfied with what I am doing. We have launched a new app which is going to revolutionize our maid sector.
App link: https://tinyurl.com/y5br6g9u
Soon, we are going to launch another app for the IOS operating system. I hope all of you would like our new service.
More On FoundersTalk: Khaidai Today CEO Ar Aminul Islam Shagor -Young Man With Whimsical Idea
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