Despite the pandemic, Bangladesh till Sep 2020 has clocked a GDP growth rate of 5.2% (ADB, 2020) – one of the highest in Asia – much ahead of South Asia’s average growth rate of -6.8% or compared to India’s -9% or Sri Lanka’s -5.5%. The majority of the population of Bangladesh is young and tech-adaptable, where 62%+ are under 35 years. The Middle class is growing at 10% per annum to reach 34 million by 2025. Increasing adoption of digital services with 110Mn+ internet users (95% on mobile devices), 40Mn+ on smartphones (BTRC & GSMA, 2020).
Digital services in the financial sector are slowly expanding. The Covid-19 pandemic has added momentum to them. Private banks have scaled up their digital services during the pandemic. As part of digitization, each bank has to launch an e-KYC system by December 2020. The first three quarters of 2020 saw U$ 65 Bn+ transactions with 72% of the market dominated by mobile banking. With 96Mn Registered users and U$ 202Mn daily MFS transactions, digital transactions will unlock the digital commerce industry’s potential.
All online-based platforms that mainly retail everyday essentials have experienced remarkable business growth during the pandemic, shooting the eCommerce market (including f-commerce) at a steady pace to U$ 2.1Bn in 2020. The sector has connected 1,200 e-commerce companies, 60,000 SMEs (35,000 individuals; 25,000 enterprises), among which are 2,000 web-based and 50,000 active f-commerce merchants. In the next five years, the country’s e-commerce sector can create around five lakh jobs and holds the potential to be a key driving force of the economy.
The COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably altered consumer buying behavior, wherein traditional retailing has taken a back seat. An exemplar shift towards a more digitized world is evident, with prompted changes in spending habits likely to have long-term ramifications. High-priority sectors poised for growth and digital transformation in the coming decade show early promises, including Pharmaceuticals, Agriculture, ICT/ITES, Logistics, and Digital Financial Services.
1. Bijon Islam, CEO, LightCastle Partners
2. Mehad ul Haque, Senior Business Consultant & Project Manager, LightCastle Partners
3. Silvia Rozario, Senior Business Consultant & Project Manager, LightCastle Partners
|To learn more about the Digital Commerce Landscape of Bangaldesh
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