Bashundhara Group, a leading conglomerate in Bangladesh, intends to set up a private marketplace. The conglomerate has already formed a separate company, ABG Limited, for the marketplace, with the group’s Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir as the managing director of the new venture.
Bashundhara Group, hoping to establish a global marketplace within six months, has applied to the commerce ministry, seeking approval for its global marketplace named “ABG Marketplace.”
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi has directed officials to verify the application immediately as the ministry is set to give the go-ahead to the marketplace this week. ABG Marketplace will have to comply with the government’s e-commerce guidelines.
Bashundhara applied to the commerce ministry on 16 March for approval. If the marketplace is approved, farmers, producers, middle-income people, and small entrepreneurs will benefit. Bashundhara Group noted that it would provide and manage all kinds of services offered by a general marketplace. For example, it will provide a platform for buyers and sellers to buy and sell goods and services, listing traders, scope for spot sales, buying and selling services or securities, connecting locals and foreigners in foreign investment, warehousing, and relocation. The proposed marketplace will also include agricultural products, cotton, metal, brokering, auctions, derivatives, barter, ticketing, price index, e-job sites, plastic items, ship chartering, garments, raw materials, construction materials, and meat products.
Shahriar Molla, director of ABG Limited and company secretary at Bashundhara Gold Refinery, reported to The Business Standard, “The proposed marketplace will be a platform where an individual will be able to buy a product by investing as little as Tk500 or Tk1,000. Then, later, they will be able to sell it and make a profit when the product’s price goes up,”. He added that the platform will also accommodate local and foreign brands, enabling people to buy and sell domestic and foreign goods and services. “But for this, we will need the regulatory authority’s approval, including the Bangladesh central bank.” Shahriar Molla said.
About its features, Basgundhara Group stated that it will provide and manage all kinds of services offered by a general marketplace. Besides buying and selling goods and services, Bashundhara’s marketplace will include listing traders, a scope for spot sales, connecting locals and foreigners in foreign investment, warehouse and relocation facilities, etc.
AKM Fahim Mashroor, former president of the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services, told TBS that Bashundhara Group’s marketplace wants to set up is not a typical e-commerce platform but much like a commodity exchange.
“This type of investment is new in Bangladesh, but it has huge potential. Many people in the country do not have an alternative to investing their savings. The platform will open a new door for them,” he added.
After acquiring the necessary licenses and government approvals, the company will be ready to run in action within six months. This marketplace will have all types of products and services from the very beginning, including drugs and gold. In addition, foreigners and Bangladeshi expatriates will be able to make investments.
According to The Bashundhara Group, the country’s middle class suffers from a lack of investment opportunities. Despite an eagerness for investment, they have no choice but to depend on monthly salaries only. The proposed marketplace will create a new, fruitful, and ground-breaking sector for the middle-class with low investment capacity. The Bashundhara Group believes this platform will be able to help stabilize the market.