Mehedi Reza is solving the first & last-mile transportation problem in the busy urban areas of Bangladesh through their bicycle-sharing startup, Jobike. Mehedi is the founder and CEO of the company, and he has the vision to change the messy last-mile transportation scenario of the country. I recently had the chance to interview him and got to hear his story. So, here is my writeup based on what he had to say.
There were times when I thought everything was over for me. There was no hope. But I got over it because I never gave up
Immediately after I started talking with Mehedi, I realised he is a very passionate, humble and optimistic guy. He is an entrepreneur who wanted to create an impact in his community, and he did. A University student had to spend 80 Taka on average per day in the last mile transportation. That number now came down to 40 due to Mehedi’s startup, Jobike.
Mehedi worked as the Senior Product Operation Specialist in Alibaba Group before starting Jobike. He noticed many successful e-bike and bicycle startups in China and saw a business opportunity in that. Mehedi then convinced two of his colleagues at Alibaba to work with him in the new startup. They together developed the software as the minimum viable product in China. Finally, he quit his job and moved to Bangladesh for executing his idea.
Mehedi, along with two other Bangladeshis, rented a small office in Dhaka to start their operations. They start studying the market as a part of their R&D process. Alongside they also pitched a lot of investors and raised some funds doing so. Mehedi shared that, they finally got two investors after pitching almost fifteen. In the initial run, they started their service operations in Cox’s Bazar. It was only 20 paddle bikes back then which later shot up to 400.
Currently, Mehedi’s dream startup is doing very well. Jobike still has a very basic work culture that helps them minimise the burn rate. They have over 100K downloads in the Google Play Store that translates to over 18 thousand active users per month. They’ve recently started their operations at Gulshan and Banani, and they are still raising funds to grow more. Mehedi said they have a goal to launch 50 thousand bikes in the next two years. They are also projecting a million rides per day within the same period.
Mehedi has the vision to work with green energy in Bangladesh. He dreams of a Bangladesh with a hassle-free last-mile transportation system and an abundance of renewable energy. He doesn’t have a plan to retire yet, but when he does, he might start investing in new startups. He thinks that the startup friendliness in Bangladesh is going very forward shortly.
Lastly, Mehedi left some suggestions for the aspiring readers of Entreur who want to start a startup on their own. He said “First, learn about the entrepreneurial mindset. Start with a small idea that doesn’t need a lot of investment. Learn from the mistakes you make initially, that’ll help you achieve the bigger goal. If you pitch an investor, make sure you have a total solution to the problem you’re solving. Most importantly, never give up. There were times when I thought everything was over for me. There was no hope. But I got over it because I never gave up.”
It was a blast interviewing Mehedi. I felt very inspired after talking to him. From all of us at Entreur, we wish him and his team all the luck.