Starting a startup is always a risk, especially so during the ongoing pandemic. Travel, tourism and the automobile industry are facing a downturn.

But digital learning, telemedicine and health are providing people considerable support round the clock. Another group of people are now working to make our life easy through home delivery service.

Pathao, a company from Bangladesh, has been serving people not only in Dhaka but also in other parts of the country, including Nepal. Unlike other startups, Pathao is a convenient app for ride-sharing, parcel, courier and food delivery services.

A study done in Bangladesh has shown that 60 per cent of the 250 startups in Bangladesh have been affected by Covid-19.

However, Pathao has been delivering groceries and medicines since May when lockdowns in Bangladesh restricted people’s movement.

This Pathao initiative reminds one of the maxim that necessity is the mother of invention.

Its journey began when M Elius in a Facebook Group asked his friends if they wanted anything to be delivered.

The initial idea was to deliver goods and products to clients across the city fast using motorbikes. Gradually, Pathao also added ridesharing services.

Ridesharing and home delivery were a new thing back in 2015. But at that time people happily accepted their service because Dhaka’s traffic was one of the worst in the world. One of the reasons behind Pathao’s success is that it has cut the commuting time by using bikes.

Besides M Elius, there were two other minds behind Pathao – Fahim Saleh and Shifat Adnan.

Fahim Saleh was a Bangladeshi-American computer programmer and entrepreneur who graduated from Bentley University. Unfortunately, Fahim was brutally murdered in his Manhattan apartment.

Now, Pathao aims to become a platform, ‘one app for all of your needs’. People will be allowed to build on a platform with millions of users, where they don’t have to worry about logistics and payments.

In Bangladesh, e-commerce is booming. There is great demand for delivery of food and clothing. Pathao has been successful not only as a startup but also as a creator of employment opportunities for thousands of youths. Their service has brought relief to the city-dwellers and saved valuable time.

They have influenced startups of Bangladesh through their tech solutions.


A version of this article appears in print on September 25, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.


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