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New e-marketplace bHive transforming Bangladeshi artisan entrepreneurship

 VB  Desk

VB Desk

Sat, 8 Jun 24

In a quiet yet ambitious move, a new e-marketplace named bHive has embarked on its journey this year. Founded by a group of passionate entrepreneurs, bHive is redefining the online marketplace experience with a unique blend of local charm and innovative solutions.

“We derived our name from two English words,” said Abu Nazam M Tanveer Hossain, co-founder and Managing Director of bHive Limited, says a press release.

Firstly, 'bee-hive', which symbolises our goal to bring together local boutique businesses on our platform. And secondly, 'behavior,' which reflects our aim to influence and enhance the marketing and consumption behavior of both businesses and consumers. The B on our logo also symbolizes Bangladesh and the coin shape hints at our long term fintech ambition,” he said.

According to the release, the bHive is currently hosting a select number of Bangladeshi boutique fashion houses, lifestyle brands, home decor businesses, and edutainment ventures.

"We are carefully onboarding partners who share our values and focus on Bangladeshi-designed or locally-sourced products," said Freeda Khan, Co-Founder and Director of bHive.

She said, "Some of our partners are well-known in the F-Commerce space, or are known designers/artists while others hail from small towns and are relatively unknown. We offer them a platform to market and sell their products and services, saving them time and costs on marketing, sales operations, and customer support."

The platform’s user-centric design is a key feature, as highlighted by Farah Sharmin, co-founder and director of the e-marketplace. “Our primary focus was on simplicity for both our partners and their consumers. Thus, our designs, whether for the merchant backend or the consumer frontend, are intuitive and easy to use. We will continue to keep making it easier,” she said.

In a year marked by economic challenges and the downsizing of many marketplaces, the launch of bHive might seem counterintuitive. However, Tanveer is confident in their unique approach. "While the e-commerce market is highly competitive and many platforms are struggling, we have several unique propositions that will not only help us to survive but also support the small and medium enterprises facing difficulties."

bHive differentiates itself by avoiding price wars and unhealthy subsidizing models. Instead, each partner brand has a dedicated promotional space to communicate their brand values to consumers. Additionally, bHive takes international payments and delivers globally within five to fifteen days. For artists and boutique houses with limited production capacity, the platform offers pre-order and commissioning services, along with photoshoots and assisted store and product creation services.

“We are still in the early stages of rolling out services like tailored offerings, commissioned artwork, gift wrapping, and calligraphic note writing,” shares the youngest Co-Founder and Director Sahir Hossain. “We have made a humble beginning to ensure sustainability. We are learning and adapting every day.”

The bHive was formed in August 2023 by a group of individuals from diverse backgrounds, brought together by Tanveer, a public policy advocate serving in the technology sector for a long period, to create a dynamic business model. "From the outside, we may seem like just another 'old wine in a new bottle' business model but our story is much more profound. We will reveal different chapters as we go along," Tanveer stated.

Although self-funded so far, bHive is not immediately seeking institutional funding. “We believe in our vision and are committed to investing in it ourselves and from like-minded angel investors who must have more than money to offer for bHive,” said Salman Mahmud, co-founder and director. “The greatest reward is witnessing our dream taking shape. We aspire to support Bangladeshi brands beyond borders, which is why we proudly use our hashtag, #withlovefromBangladesh,” he added.

As bHive continues to grow, it promises to be more than just another e-marketplace. It aims to become a hub for not only artisanal products but also care, travel, entertainment, and financial services, making it easier for ever-migrating Bangladeshis within and beyond borders to stay connected with their families back home.

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