Home Interview Promising Entrepreneur: Imteenan Akhter Khan

Promising Entrepreneur: Imteenan Akhter Khan

Imteenan Akhter Khan
DigiFix Bangladesh

Imteenan Akhter Khan, founder of DigiFix Bangladesh, is a trailblazing entrepreneur revolutionizing the digital services landscape. With innovative solutions and a relentless drive for excellence, Khan is steering DigiFix towards becoming a market leader, empowering businesses and individuals with cutting-edge digital strategies and unparalleled service quality.

Let’s learn about his journey.

Mr Imteenan Akhter Khan, please share your professional and academic peregrination for our readers!

I am a graduate of BRAC University, from the Department of Computer Science with a minor in Business. I started working when I was in my 3rd semester at BRAC. My first workplace was Jarvis, I started there as an Intern in the Graphic Design department, I was blessed to find experienced people that helped guide and develop my vision towards commercial graphic design that helped shape my views on building a brand.

6 months in, I decided that I wanted to help brands in a capacity greater than just designing for them, I had ideas that I wanted to implement, but I could not unless I looked at the entire brand.

I developed a cycle where I’d work for 6 months with a company, get a reading of how my understanding of building brands and my skills have grown, learn further from the company, and then give myself 6 months off to learn and implement the knowledge I gathered outside the company by working on my own projects with local clients.

From 2016-2019 I had the opportunity of working as a creative head for a Digital agency Lateam and after that I helped out as a project based Designer at Jarvis again, my clients mostly included Shakib Al Hasan, Berger, Herfy etc.

Even though I was working on and off with companies, throughout this journey I had been constantly working with now local favorites like Rustic Eatery, Dumplings of Fury and Fat Boy Pies. The idea was simple, I wanted to implement not only my design prowess but also execute ideas that I thought will help them stand out from the crowd. Back in 2016, these brands were just starting out, I’m proud to say that I have successfully helped shape the brand perception of Rustic Eatery in a way that they are now a household name, having 4 branches throughout Dhaka. and as of the first day that I took charge having at least 10X more revenue per branch.

There was a point where I was managing university, personal life and nearly 10 clients all at once. I realized a team was required. Although the team had no name for around nearly a year. I decided to get all the paperworks done and thus, DigiFix was formed around 2021. DigiFix is a communication agency, where we ensure that we provide clients with all the tools necessary to reach their desired target audience. I’m the founder of DigiFix and we have been lucky and honored to work with major clients such as Sir John Wilson School, Ranks Petroleum Shell MD, Rancon Motors, Anwar Motors, United Hospital, Meghna Bank, Pubali Bank, Robi Digital Services portfolio via Ada, MFS Pocket and many more exciting clients.

We saw a gap where most of our clients required production and photography services, both of which were either not very affordable and even after paying a big amount the quality was not satisfactory, near the end of 2022 ClickFix was formed, the production unit of DigiFix where we provide photography, videography and editing services for our clients.

Can you share the inspiration behind founding DigiFix Bangladesh and the vision that drives your entrepreneurial journey?

Most of what I do comes from a place of helping others grow. I like thinking about businesses, understanding their nuances and the industry that they’re in. What makes this industry tick and how can I help disrupt this industry or give our clients an unfair advantage in the communication side of things. My motto has always been to build winners, whether it’s in a teammate or in a client that’s trusting us with their communication strategy and execution. I like to execute ideas, constantly and consistently. Without execution ideas are not worth conjuring up, execution is where the growth happens.

I hate complacency, I hate normal, I hate it when people do “just enough” to get things done and I despise the “ we have always done it this way ’’ mentality. I like change, I love creative thinking, taking a jab at the Goliaths while working with limited resources, and I believe that if we do not try to keep pushing the boundaries, there’s just no point of showing up to work.

That’s what I think my vision is, being that one person who isn’t afraid to go against the norm, who is okay with sticking to his beliefs, being the only one in the room that keeps on pushing even when everyone has given up, being someone who is always hungry for change, self-growth and helping others grow. I think this positive attitude is infectious, it helps nurture self-belief in people and helps everyone perform better and with a purpose.

The DigiFix story is a gradual one, as stated earlier, initially when I was working as a solopreneur managing all aspects of a brand completely alone for 10+ brands, I realized a few things during that time.

i) I was helping to serve segments of the market that big advertising agencies could not reach because with their overheads and the smaller paychecks involved, it will not be feasible for them.

ii) Since I had to do everything myself, I had a much clearer picture of the industry we were in, the people we were catering to and also, the pain points of the consumers along with the needs and wants of the clients.

iii) The most important bit was that at that time I was in my early 20s and the clients kept coming. The question is why? And the answer to that is pretty simple, working with me was much more flexible, easier on the pocket and the strategic framework along with the visual support that I was providing was outgunning those of much more experienced organizations.

Near the end of 2020 I decided to form a team, and in 2021 I felt that it was the right thing to do and form DigiFix. The main inspiration was to keep the core the same, providing hard hitting strategy and visuals that help give our clients an upper edge over their competitors. But unlike before, where we were working with mostly startups or SMEs, the idea was to go big and spread the same philosophy among both existing clients and giants corporation/institutes.

What unique value proposition does DigiFix Bangladesh offer in the digital services industry, and how do you differentiate your company from competitors?

DigiFix is a collective of experts in their own fields. As a communication agency our involvement ensures that all of the client’s needs are being met with pristine care and dedicated expertise inhouse. DigiFix doesn’t just deliver digital services, we forge partnerships to elevate brands.

We break away from the industry standard of impersonal, templated solutions. Instead, we take a collaborative approach. Our in-house team of creative minds, video and photography experts, social media gurus, and media buyers work together to understand a brand’s unique goals and craft a custom integrated content system that propels them forward.

This integrated approach sets us apart. Smaller agencies lack the resources and understanding to offer such a comprehensive service, while larger agencies can be slow and bureaucratic. DigiFix strikes the perfect balance:

*Nimble and Agile: We move quickly and efficiently, ensuring every action aligns with the agreed-upon strategy.

  • Invested in Your Success: We view ourselves as partners, not just service providers. Your wins are our wins.

At DigiFix, we’re not just about delivering solutions; we’re about building enduring partnerships that fuel their brand’s success.

As a founder, what key challenges have you faced in building and scaling DigiFix Bangladesh, and how have you overcome these obstacles?

As a founder, every day is a challenge. But if we phrase it in a different way, every day is also an opportunity to learn something more. I do believe I’ve had my fair share of learning in the years that I’ve been on this journey. But I do believe there’s more to come, that’s going to be the best part.

i) Reigniting that fire: If you’ve survived COVID and the recent election phase as a business, you will know that droughts can be very dangerous. When you’ve constantly been in one industry and the tides shift a bit too much, the fire that helped you begin everything might start to flicker, doubt might creep in, and everything can feel stressful. I also went through a phase like this.

What helped me out of it was the people that I worked with, when you have a solid team, that believes in you and the vision that you have set out for your company, their belief and confidence alone gives you the strength and power to dig deep and find that inner fire that helped you and pushed you to start your business. Because you just don’t feel like it’s your responsibility to run the company, it is equally your responsibility to keep the people working in your team happy, satisfied and motivated.

ii) Finding our voice: The business environment where we operate in is a very cluttered arena, finding a voice for your brand that resonates with you and the people in your organization is very important to stand out from the competition. Usually the first touch point for a potential client is the Client Service Executive/Business Development Executive that they will be talking to, if the representatives of your company are not immersed in the culture of your company and do not feel for it, 3/5 times you won’t be locking that client.

It is very important for you to build a culture where the vision is communicated properly. Ultimately the culture of the entire organization is what trickles down from the people in charge. If you’re toxic, they’ll be toxic. If you’re hustling for growth, they’ll also be hustling for growth.

iii) Building a team & People management: You cannot scale without a team. Everyone has 24 hours in a day and there’s only so much that you can get done within those 24 hours while maintaining family life, health and work.

It’s a bit tricky figuring out what makes certain people in your team tick, but understanding and managing resources according to what gets the best output from them is very important for you to understand how to grow your business. I believe in hiring slow, firing fast. If the person does not add value, is a complainer and is a negative impact on the team, I’d rather not have him on the team.

iv) Creating Generals: As the business grows, you will no longer be able to look into every aspect of the business, you will need to create a set of generals within the organization that will be accountable for each segment.
If you do not learn to delegate and empower your employees and keep believing that you’ll need to get your hands dirty for every small problem, your company is doomed already.

v) Keep your eyes on the prize: I believe my role is very simple, it’s to network, bring in work and ensure that the bottom line is positive. This works well for me in my modality of running DigiFix.

Someone who’s running a completely different business needs to understand, what’s the one metric that will be the key to their success.

vi) Reducing the distance between plan and execution: Initially when we started we used to have grand plans that never saw the light of day, but as we matured as a company what we realized is ideas are worthless without execution.

For execution to take place, processes need to be set and aligned among the team. The ability to execute as a team will give you confidence and the belief of moving forward. A state of knowing that it won’t work is better than a state of analysis paralysis.

Can you describe a significant milestone or achievement in DigiFix Bangladesh’s journey that you are particularly proud of?

Fundamentally, I feel like DigiFix wins when our clients win. Let me break this down into two parts.

Where we felt like we won because our clients won:
i) Our client Rustic Eatery opened 4 branches throughout Dhaka, we helped 10x their sales per branch.
ii) We reinvented the Instagram of Checkmate Events, causing them to create another sales channel via reels, a service that we introduced to them.
iii) We helped one of our clients which was a ticketing platform ( Can’t take name due to NDA) reach record online ticket sales via our Eid bus campaign.

Where DigiFix was proud:
i) We have helped and are helping brands to transition into digital. Some of them include Sir John Wilson School, Phoenix Insurance, Meghna Bank etc.

E.g. We started the digital transformation of Meghna Bank, creating a digital first communication approach for their deposit accounts, savings accounts, RFCD accounts etc.
The integrated approach was also carried over as leaflets, brochures, hand cutouts, banners to distribute in all branches of the bank.

We also created the Meghna Pay MFS logo and brand guideline.

The mark on the door of every Meghna Bank branch is also introduced by us.

ii) We provided creative support for Aparajeyo50, which took place in Dubai to celebrate the 50 years of Bangladesh.

iii) We provided the full creative support for the BPL team Chattogram Challengers during the year of 2022.

iv) The teammates that had to part ways with us are all A listers in their currents organizations. I take immense pride in that and the heights they are reaching.

What ongoing learning or development initiatives do you pursue to continuously enhance your entrepreneurial skills and knowledge?

Due to the field of work that I’m involved in, I get to learn something new everyday. Small learnings about businesses, processes, industries and people is what fascinates me. I believe learning is the only way to grow.

I often try new things to experience and learn as well.
e.g I tired making a podcast series called The Grit Narrative a few months back.
I ran into some hurdles and I appreciate that, these hurdles help me understand where to place my chips so that I can become more consistent.

I also have two other side projects that are currently ongoing and I’m getting interesting insight from them everyday.

Other than learning hands on, I have three methods of learning,
i) From people: Human beings are open books, having a chat with someone who has more experience and knowledge than you is always a blessing to have.

ii) From Books & Case Studies: I do read some volume of non-fiction books, mostly in the genre of brand building, self-help, financial literacy, startups and I must say I love some of the frameworks that I have picked up from them.

Case Studies are also a very impactful way to get answers in a short time.

iii) From Podcasts: I love podcasts, the democratization of information in this age is just insane, you can tune into a podcast, give 40-1 hour of your time and come out with a fairly good understanding of the “why” and “how” of things.

Mr Imteenan Akhter Khan, please say something to the readers!

Focusing on too many things at once makes it completely certain that you’re not focusing on the right things. Build your team, create accountability, position yourself in a way that others are not in the market, stand out and you will have chance, a chance to kill it.

Whether you kill it or not depends solely on the execution. Without proper preparation, placing the chess pieces where they need to be place commendable execution isn’t possible. Without commendable execution failure is only a few meters away.

Quick Chat with Imteenan Akhter Khan

The most outstanding achievement of your life as of now:
There are two:
i) Being able to turn a one-man show into a company with 25+ employees that people recognize, that’s something I’m really proud of.

ii) Being an introvert I had to go through substantial self-conditioning to be a public speaker. Being able to speak and teach the next generation the bits of knowledge that I have. Talking in front of hundreds of people, sharing my opinions in front of people who have more years on than resume than I have been on this planet Earth. I think growth happens most when you’re out of your comfort zone, in my case, I’ve always tried to be in the uncomfortable zone.

Your Icon:
Of course, I love the usuals Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the late Steve Jobs, but they are not people who I have modeled my life around. I’d go so far as to say I’ve learnt a lot from Chris Do and Gary Vaynerchuk. I don’t really have an icon, just people that I look up to.

Name the most influential books you have read:
The $100 Startup and Zero to One definitely have to added in this category.

Your greatest fear:
I’m claustrophobic, in life too I don’t like being confined to one single place for long time. I hate complacency and want to learn and grow as much as possible before I eventually end up kicking the bucket.

Best piece of advice you’ve received:
The Magic You Are Looking For Is in the Work You Are Avoiding

You in only three words:
Ambitious. Resilient. Innovative.

Skill Set:

Hard Skills:

• Project Management: Having a top-level view of company operations and streamlining processes is necessary to ensure that everything is going according to plan. Having the experience and the foresight helps foresee future mishaps that might happen.

• Industry Skillset: Every industry has specific needs, if you’re a founder you do need to have a top-line understanding of each segment, how they work, and what specifically you want to improve. Without that understanding, it’ll be difficult as you’ll need to rely on other people’s calls and judgement.

Soft Skills:

• Leadership: Owning your business and being accountable for everyone in that business is tough, motivating yourself and your team, putting on a brave face during challenges, and managing expectations are all skills that you will need to learn if you need to grow your business.
• Communication: Networking with new people and clearly communicating a vision to your team is also a must have soft skill. You are the face of your company, if you don’t communicate properly, your bottom line falls.
• Persistence & Problem-Solving: During growth phase, you’ll wake up to a fire everyday and you’ll need to figure out how to put the fire out. Constant problem-solving, overcoming setbacks, and learning from failures, persistence and problem-solving skills are essential if you’re in this for the long haul.
• Lifelong Learning: The market isn’t ever stagnant, it’s always on the move. Continuous learning to elevate yourself and your team is a must.
• Attention to Detail: A keen eye for detail and having the foresight to identify potential problems are skills that you develop over time, but developing them is a must.

Prayer For The Human Civilization

Negativity is prevalent in our society, we want everything instantly without putting much effort into it. That’s what the world has come to now a days. We need to focus on 3 things.

i) We need to focus on staying positive and believing that things will be alright if actions are taken to ensure it. We’re going through challenging times, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about it.

ii) Hard work always beats talent. If we want to grow, hard work and finding a gap in the market is the only way.

iii) Everyone’s going through a tough time, that’s just the reality of the world. A little bit of kindness goes a long way.

The InCAP: Thank you, Mr. Imteenan Akhter Khan! It’s a glittering conversation with you!

Mr. Imteenan Akhter Khan: My pleasure! Wish you all the best! Thank you.

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