After completing his graduation in Mechanical engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), many of his friends were preparing for recruitment tests or trying to go abroad, Mohammad Subril Rahman had thought out of the box.
Subril wanted to be an entrepreneur and do something eco-friendly in the agriculture sector. His friend photographer Kamrul Islam, also a BUET graduate, appreciated his thoughts and supported him.One day two young men went to Yousuf, an employee of a roadside nursery who used to sell plants to them. Kamrul took some photographs of his plants and Subril told him that he wants to sell plants online.
Yousuf accepted the offer though he was not very optimistic about the online sale of plants. But to his utter surprise, he found that number of orders was increasing within a few days.
Later, Yusuf left his job and joined the new venture to sell plants online. Subril launched the 'Chitra-Brikkho Hat' on Facebook and through a website in August last year. Now the page has over 123,000 followers and they have around 90 species of plants.
Subril Rahman said, “Ten employees are working to serve our customers. We are delivering 20-25 plants every day. On average, about Tk 5 lakh worth of trees are ordered every month. In the last 6-7 months, we have received more than 4,000 orders online.”
“We brief our customers about the maintenance of the plants and address their complaints if they face any problem within two weeks of our delivery,” he added.
Subril collects plants from different growers across the country. He also has developed a good relationship with the rural potters who are supplying him with earthen pots of unique designs. Subril’s initial days were tough as he didn’t have much money to invest but his elder brother had full confidence in him and his family members never discouraged him.The young man’s intention was to build Chitra-Brikkho Hat as a solid platform for small-scale retailers of rural areas to sell their saplings online. Now he is thinking of expanding the range of his dream institution making it a collection of technology-based cultivated trees.
Subril believes in modernising agriculture using technology. He has started doing some experiments in this regard.
He dreams to involve himself in agricultural production and provide technical support to urban agricultural practices.
“I am thinking to bring a product so that anyone can cultivate it in their home through vertical gardening. We will decorate plants cultivated in hydroponics method on a big shelf. You just need to bring it home and connect it to the electricity and water lines and the trees will grow automatically,” he said.
“I was a bit confused in the beginning. But the love of people towards trees has changed everything. Customer’s confidence is the key to online business. I hope we can maintain this confidence,” he added.