Bangladesh Sustainability Excellence Award Finalists 2023: How Robi is offering financial independence and employment
Robi provides Financial Independence & Employment Opportunities through planned Community Engagement initiatives to thousands of young people in districts across Bangladesh. The initiative created earning opportunities to over 30,000 as app developers, and trainees went onto launch over 60 IT firms, leading to thousands more in job creation.

bdapps, is an initiative by Robi Axiata Limited which acts as a centralized platform that can unify, connect and empower local mobile app developers. The platform offers telecommunication- based API gateway for mobile app developers and a platform for digital distribution of apps through its very own National App Store recognized by Ministry of ICT.

What sets bdapps apart is its role as a unique facilitator between the budding app developers of Bangladesh, and the 170 million mobile phone subscribers of the country. Each of these mobile phone subscribers are value-seekers who can willingly subscribe to local apps and services, if it addresses their needs and offers a convenient payment gateway i.e. their mobile wallet.

On the other hand, app developers can distribute their apps, free of any cost, to the masses of the country. To strengthen the means of this initiative, bdapps has also went into multi-stakeholder partnerships with renowned bodies such as ICT Division, Startup Bangladesh and Bangladesh Open Source. to drive collective action in engaging the developer community while offering them sustainable streams of revenue generation.

Moreover, the initiative drives down to the grassroots level. For instance, multiple leadership platforms (bdapps Campus Ambassador Program, bdapps Mentorship Program, bdapps She Squad Program) have been established in a bid to nurture future-forward skills among our developers while accelerating inclusive growth across numerous targeted communities.

More recently, bdapps has also started working closely with Madrasa students and local youth development organizations in an effort to engage more communities in finding financial sustainability through digital services.

Within bdapps, several other innovative initiatives were also introduced in a bid to offer more tools to the developers’ community. Appmaker, for instance, is a no-code app creation tool from bdapps, that is democratizing app development. bdapps is also supporting its developers in promotion through MYSMS, a centralized promotional tool designed solely for developers, and also launched the first-of-its-kind bdapps Loan Program to enable developers to invest in their apps.

The core idea at the centre of bdapps is to encourage the monetization of digital apps and services, making it possible for people to enter the digital workplace while targeting different segments such as university students, young female graduates, freelancers and even homemakers.

Till date, bdapps has a cumulative of 30,000+ App Developers, 50,000+ Mobile Applications and 7,000+ Female Developers, making it the largest digital community of the country. Female participation in bdapps is 23%, higher than the national average of 16%.

bdapps’ own Female Leadership Initiative “She Squad Program” itself has increased female participation in bdapps by 133% in an effort to encourage more women to join the digital workforce.

Student participation in the platform is at 35% while the initiative’s flagship “bdapps Campus Ambassador Program” is the largest in the country with 128 Campus Ambassadors who are representing bdapps on a national as well as a regional level.

Our bdapps Developers are earning an average of 30,000 Taka/Month as revenue generated from their apps. In fact, since the platform’s launch, bdapps has disbursed 100 Crore+ Taka to its developers as app revenue. Exemplifying the platform’s potential as a solid economic stream, more than 3,000 of the developers are pursuing bdapps fulltime.

65 successful IT firms has been set up by developers till date, providing an additional 12,000+ extra jobs.

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