Sherpa Hossainy's Blog

Promoting green technology is the goal

Posted in Bangladesh, Business, Computer, Dhaka, Environment, Internet, IT, Software, Technology by Sherpa Hossainy on December 23, 2011

Published in The Independent on 20 December 2011

Read the article online in Independent website

Digital print version

With the motto “Go green with ICT”, the fifth digital ICT fair is eyeing to endorse the latest environment friendly information and communication technology products, organisers of the fair said.

“This fair aims to promote green ICT products at affordable prices and take part in mitigation of climate change through the use of environment friendly technology,” said Tawfique Ehsan, president of Multiplan Centre Shop Owners Association, organiser of the fair.

Ehsan said, “We want to raise public awareness regarding use of green technology and integrate information and technology in everyday life.” Ehsan, convener of the fair, said this fair will also help increase the penetration of ICT throughout Bangladesh.

Visitors at Digital ICT fair checking out laptops

Leading computer and computer accessories importers will showcase the latest technologies from global brands, organisers said. More than 450 stalls will take part in the fair and some will display the local laptop brand “Doel”. The introduction of recent digital innovations around the world will help achieve the vision of “digital Bangladesh”, they said.

Kazi Obaid Alam, sales executive of Flora Ltd, said, “We are promoting technology, which is environment friendly, and at the same time energy efficient and cost effective. It is imperative to move to low-radiation, low-noise and low-heat emitting energy efficient devices. This fair will promote use of green ICT products.”

Flora Ltd is displaying two new printers from Epson — K100 and L100. The cost of printing a page in the K100 model is only Tk .90, whereas for a laser printer the cost is Tk 2 and for an inkjet Tk 4-4.5. The L100 model is designed for photo studio professionals and it can print 18,500 pages or 1,200 pictures with its “inktank” technology.

Flora Ltd, the leading computer retailer in Bangladesh, is also showcasing second generation laptops and notebooks with core i5 technology, and some environment friendly computer accessories from global brands like Uniross and Sony. The company is mainly targeting bulk buyers, Alam said. The fair is providing customers with a great opportunity as prices at the fair are competitive and they can choose from a range of options, he added.

The fair, which started yesterday, will continue until 26 December at the Multiplan Computer City Centre. Citycell is the platinum sponsor of the fair and Acer, Avira and Fujitsu is among other sponsors. More information can be found on the fair website: www.digitalictfair.com.

Visitors at Digital ICT fair check products at a stall

Although free for school students, a mandatory Tk 10 ticket to enter the fair has drawn flak from regular customers in the market who were not necessarily coming as a fair visitor. Many of them refused to pay the entry fee saying that they didn’t come to attend the fair. However there seemed to be no way of distinguishing between the fair visitors and others coming for repairing or warranty issues.

Many customers who were obstructed from going up without a ticket were told to get permission from higher authorities. But many didn’t seem to bother to go up and left.

Md Asaduzzaman Khan, a businessperson, who came to fix TV card problems, was not let in without a ticket. “It’s like a forceful sale of tickets. Do they think everyone is coming to join the fair? There are many other customers too,” Khan said. This entry fee might actually backfire by resulting in a waning number of visitors, he said.

Ehsan said with permission from the authority anyone can go up without having to buy a ticket. He stood by the decision of charging an entrance fee and hoped for a major turnout at the eight-day long event. “We are hoping to get 25-30,000 visitors in the fair,” he said.

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First-ever laptop bazaar slowly packing a punch

Posted in Business, Computer, IT, Software, Technology by Sherpa Hossainy on October 22, 2011

Published in The Independent on 20 October 2011

Read the article on Independent website

Digital print version

With the motto of “Laptop in every house”, Bangladesh’s first dedicated laptop market is steadily pulling crowds while sales are yet to pick up to the expected level.

The Eastern Plus BCS laptop bazaar started on  October 13 in the city’s Shantinagar area with a view to creating a one-stop market for laptops, including notebooks, tablets, smartphones and portable computer accessories and software.

To kick it off, Eastern Plus Shop Owners Association and Bangladesh Computer Samity (BCS) has jointly organised a nine-day laptop fair until October 21 in the market, which showcases 52 global brands at 74 shops. While there is a plethora of visitors in the market, vendors are yet to be satisfied with the pace of sales.

“Many people are coming in and checking out machines, but we didn’t sell that many,” said Abu Siddik, an executive of International Office Machines Ltd, authorised dealer of Toshiba — one of the sponsors.

Sumon Al Mamun, branch in charge of Computer Source, the country’s one of the biggest PC vendors, said his stall had 2,000 visitors until Tuesday, but most of them only had queries about laptop prices.

“But I’m upbeat about the prospect of the market as desktop sales are going down and demand for laptops are shooting up day by day,” Mamun said.

Visitors checking out computers at Laptop Bazaar in Dhaka

Mustafa Jabbar, president of BCS, said doing some hurried sales is not the main motive of the fair; rather it is important to get many visitors and raise awareness.

“Computer is not like rice or daal. People will come and have a look, compare prices and then buy one. It might take a week or even a month for one to decide,” he said.

Jabbar, also chief executive officer of Ananda Computers, said he is happy with the turnout and the main purpose of the fair is served. “Before the laptop market this place was like a ghost house and now it feels so vibrant,” he said.

The visitors and prospective buyers were also satisfied with the dedicated laptop market.

Md Mazharul Haque, a business person, who wanted a laptop for official use, said he came to the fair to “have a look” and compare prices. “All the big brands are available here and I hope I’ll get a good quote,” he said.

Haque said these fairs should not only be capital-based and there should be rural versions so that mass people can come in touch with affordable technology.

Torsten Malmdorf, a Danish national, who also came to the fair to buy a laptop, said, “I came to know about the market from facebook. I’m still searching and comparing prices, but most laptops here are for low-end users,” he said.

Of all the laptop brands and models, the customers seemed eager to check out the newly unveiled domestically made laptop, Doel. The state-owned telecom company Telephone Shilpa Sangstha (TSS) is producing four models of the laptop while the most basic one is priced at Tk 10,000 ($130). Bijoy Digital is the only shop in the fair authorised by the government for limited scale sales and display.

Tareq Ahmed, attendant at the Doel display corner, said, “There are so many customers who want to buy Doel, but there is not enough supply.” The most hunted model is Doel 1612, priced at Tk 27,000, he said.

“We are providing necessary information and taking bookings on the spot. But we have to deliver the laptops later,” Ahmed said.

SM Sobill Hossain, who works for Destiny 2000 Ltd, said he wanted to buy a Doel laptop for official use but the attendant said it will be available tomorrow. “This is a Bangladeshi product and it’s cheap. I want to be a proud user of my country’s product,” he said.

The BCS chief urged the government to formulate an effective policy and give distributorship to experienced computer vendors and said his company Bijoy Digital is interested in marketing Doel laptops.

“The government hasn’t yet got any marketing plan for Doel. If the government thinks Telegraph and Telecommunication Board will sell and market laptops, then those will stay in the warehouses.

“We sell computers, so we know best how to market those laptops,” Jabbar said.

Kazi Hasibur Rahman Shakil, general secretary of Eastern Plus Shop Owners Association, said this dedicated laptop market will save traffic hassles, time and money of the people living around the market area.

“In other computer markets people have to look around all over the market for laptops but here we have a dedicated floor. You can get everything in one place,” Shakil said.
Jabbar hoped that with the changing trends and rising awareness, Dhaka-centric computer markets will shift to district and rural areas. BCS will organise eight fairs all around the country from November to January to promote awareness, he said.

“The market trends are changing and it’s not at all desktop-based now. So laptops will be integrated with the rural scenario hopefully within two to three years,” he said.

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Acer launches flagship ICONIA tablet PCs

Posted in Bangladesh, Business, Computer, Corporate, Dhaka, Internet, IT, Software, Technology by Sherpa Hossainy on July 21, 2011

Published in The Independent on 15 July 2011

Read the article on Independent website

Digital print version

Acer, world’s second largest PC vendor, on Wednesday launched five of its ICONIA series tablet PCs on Google Android Honeycomb platform for the first time in the Bangladesh market.

The new range of tablets — ICONIA Tab A500 and W500, ICONIA dual screen notebook, ICONIA A100 and Smart S300 — will be marketed by Acer’s authorised distributor, Executive Technologies Ltd (ETL). However, A100 and S300 models will be available in the market after four months, ETL officials said.

A model displays an Acer Iconia tablet

The ICONIA Tab A500 will be priced at 45,800, and the 10″ Windows Home Premium, with portable keyboard and Windows 7 operating system, will be priced at Tk 52,800.

The ICONIA Tab A500 and W500 are 13.3mm thick and have 10.1″ touch screen and Aluminum casing. The A500 is equipped with NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core 1.0 GHz processor with Flash 10.1 support featuring Sky Cross antenna and ZTE LTE wireless module.

ICONIA Dual screen notebook has Intel Core i5 processor with Windows 7 operating system. The 14” notebook has high-definition widescreen LED backlit LCD screen.

The Acer tablets are equipped with a full size USB port, mini USB port, HDMI output, Micro SD card and SIM card support.

S Rajendran, chief marketing officer of Acer India, said, “With a first mover advantage on our Android 3.0 Operating System, we are confident to address the rapidly growing consumer IT segment in Bangladesh.”

The ICONIA A100, a 7” Android tablet, is designed for mobile experience and includes video chat and video recording options. The S300 model, a 4.8” Smartphone on Android Gingerbread 2.3 operating system with 8 megapixel camera, is targeted at avid mobile internet users.

The ICONIA series is a concept device featuring an intuitive all-point multi-touch functionality, offering a range of devices such as smartphones, notebooks and tablets.

Acer is the first PC vendor to launch its tablets under both operating systems — Google Android Honeycomb 3.0 and Windows 7, the officials said.

The Acer tablets also feature Clear.fi media sharing system to share content amongst the gadgets. It will be preloaded on the device to access, play and share multimedia across the home network and to instantly publish updates to social media networks.

Salman Ali Khan, deputy general manager of Executive Technologies Ltd, said, “We believe our association with Acer will bring a new dimension and help us deliver through our distribution network.”

As consumers adapt to new technologies ETL is confident to address the growing IT market of Bangladesh, he added.

Acer registered 100 per cent growth for the last two years, and employs about 8,000 people worldwide. In 2010, Acer’s revenues reached $19.9 billion, and it sold 39,926 units worldwide.

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