I switched industries as a founder: These are my reasons
Entrepreneurs do funny things. I ran a trucking platform called Loop Freight for Bangladesh with a TAM of $10B and a trucking network of 10,000 trucks. We raised funding with Accelerating Asia and then raised a seed round with Anchorless Bangladesh. Afterwards, I made an exit. So why did I move out and start Adora?
For one, I got an offer to exit. It was an opportunity to start two other businesses that were knocking on my door:
- Loop was a long game, and I wanted a cashflow positive business. So I launched a shipping agency that operated profitably for clients.
- The other was an opportunity to start my current venture, Adora. I got a knock from Mahzabin Sultana, my old friend since university. Coincidentally, she lent me a helping hand at Loop while my co-founders were setting meetings in Canada.
I started solving the trucking woes in Bangladesh because I faced it myself. I was a trader exporting RMG abroad, helping out my family’s business with exports to Western Europe and the US. Trucks would often delay and pricing were always opaque. We launched Loop as a result, built a client base, raised enough capital and set the company up to sustain for the future.
I moved to salons with Adora in December 2020. My co-founder was working in the beauty industry already. The total addressable market is $12B. We started off as a clean beauty retailer. We introduced Millie Bobby Brown’s clean beauty brand in Bangladesh called Florence by Mills. Afterwards we reached out to social media for feedback. This gave us insights into the problem Adora is currently solving: there’s a mismatch between customer expectations and salon and beauty services in Bangladesh.
Salons in Bangladesh are a gated business. Service quality isn’t measured. Customer reviews are word-of-mouth or closed behind social media communities. A lot of trouble customers face in this industry stems from:
- service quality
- scheduling appointments
- customer reviews
Salon and beauty service providers are judged by the service quality they provide. As a result, a haircut that took 20 minutes longer than usual may push the customer to hunt for new salons.
On top of that, matching appointments is a pain. Staff maybe unavailable, customers maybe busy. Adora’s technology is erasing those uncertainties.
Lastly, customers prefer transparent reviews in the services they take. Those transparencies are often found reading reviews on salons. At Adora, we have developed a reviewing system and incentivized customers to participate based on their experiences.