State Minister for ICT Division, Zunaid Ahmed Palak on Tuesday inaugurated Digibox, the first entirely "Made in Bangladesh" IoT Smart delivery solution.
"Digibox developed by the ekShop of a2i offers seamless last-mile delivery, storage, and pick-up experience. It champions ICT Division's motto of 'Made in Bangladesh' for hardware and software solutions," the state minister said in the chief guest's speech at the inauguration event held at the ICT Tower, Agargaon, Dhaka.
While speaking as the chief guest at the event, he said the private sector employed more than 1 lakh people in the past four years to deliver products.
"But as there is a lack of logistics infrastructure, a lot of innovation is still needed in the sector. And this is where ICT Division's ekShop comes in," he said.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak added that Amazon started this service called "Amazon go Locker" in 2018, so did Alibaba in the same year, while India started back in 2020.
"All of these solutions are either American, European or Chinese and would cost anywhere between $15000-$30000 per installation, where ekShop-Digibox is completely manufacturing them in Bangladesh and saving on that cost," he further added.
At present, there are about 2,500 e-commerce companies in the country and at least 50,000 business pages on Facebook.
The local e-commerce sector is expected to be worth Tk26,000 crore or $3 billion next year, said Zunaid Ahmed Palak.
"It is a pleasant surprise to see a Bangladeshi-made solution for end-mile logistics incorporating IoT and next-generation technology," Daraz's Global CEO Bjarke Mikkelsen said.
Daraz is proud to partner with the ekShop-Digibox initiative for its last-mile delivery solution and hopes to expand or multiply its reach in the near future," he added.
Describing the features of Digibox, Rezwanul Haque Jami, Head of Digital Business at Aspire to Innovate (a2i) Programme, said it is well-suited for solving storage and distribution challenges in any industry.
With its help, companies have improved their operations while reducing labour costs, asset losses, and automated regulatory compliance. For e-commerce logistics, it allowed users with the fastest delivery-retrieval cycle. There is no more missed delivery or returns or extra delivery cost.
"Digibox is designed in such a way that one single installation can serve up to 300 customers a day, without spending Tk50-100 per delivery; that is a saving of Tk5-Tk9 lakh a month," he added.
Currently, DigiBox has been installed on Daraz Tejgaon Hub, Zigatola Hub, Mohammadpur Hub, Celebrations Point (Gulshan), BCC Bhaban - ICT Tower and Agrabad Hotel Chattogram.
So far, in only a few weeks of operations, the system collected and distributed more than 5000 parcels. This portrays the sharp demand for this kind of simple yet sophisticated IoT logistics device in the market.
Apart from the places, work is underway to install DigiBox on Jamuna Future Park, Shimanto Shambhar, North South University, Dhaka University, and Mirpur as part of its nationwide expansion agenda. It is estimated that with 1000 such boxes across Bangladesh, the total logistics lead time can be reduced by 50% for the whole ecommerce sector.
Dr. Dewan Muhammad Humayun Kabir, project director at Aspire to Innovate (a2i) Programme, chaired the event, while Bjarke Mikkelsen, Global CEO of Daraz, Alibaba Group, and Syed Mostahidal Hoq, Managing Director of Daraz Bangladesh spoke at the programme.