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16
লিংকডইনে নিজেকে যেভাবে তুলে ধরবেন

বিভিন্ন সামাজিক যোগাযোগমাধ্যমে উপস্থিতি কিন্তু পেশাজীবন কিংবা চাকরির ক্ষেত্রে খুব গুরুত্বপূর্ণ। পেশাজীবীদের জন্য যোগাযোগমাধ্যম লিংকডইন বিশ্বব্যাপী জনপ্রিয় একটি প্ল্যাটফর্ম। পেশাজীবনে উন্নতি কিংবা নতুন চাকরি সন্ধানে কিন্তু লিংকডইন বেশ কার্যকর। এখন অনেক নিয়োগের ক্ষেত্রেই লিংকডইন প্রোফাইল সংযুক্ত করতে হয়। ধীরে ধীরে লিংকডইনের ব্যবহার অনলাইন মাধ্যমে বাড়ছে।

লিংকডইনের প্রোফাইল পেশাদারদের নতুন সংযোগ ও নতুন কাজের সুযোগ পেতে বেশ সহায়তা করে। ফেসবুকের মতো সামাজিক যোগাযোগমাধ্যম নয় বলে লিংকডইন ব্যবহারের ক্ষেত্রে পেশাদার আচরণ করতে হবে। যেসব বিষয়ে খেয়াল রাখবেন:

১. লিংকডইন প্রোফাইলে আপনার সার্টিফিকেটের নাম, নিজের সম্পর্কে লেখা, শিক্ষাগত স্বীকৃতি, পেশাদার অভিজ্ঞতা, স্বেচ্ছাসেবামূলক কাজের অভিজ্ঞতা, প্রশিক্ষণ, পুরস্কার এবং দক্ষতার বিস্তারিত সংযুক্ত করতে হবে। আপনার জীবনবৃত্তান্তে যেসব তথ্য আছে, তার সঙ্গে তথ্যের কোনো ফারাক থাকা যাবে না। ভুল তথ্য যাতে কোনোমতে না যায়, সেটা খেয়াল রাখতে হবে। বাড়িয়ে লেখা যাবে না।
২. প্রোফাইলের ছবিটি চেষ্টা করুন পেশাদার রাখতে। সেলফি কিংবা ফেসবুকের মতো সাধারণ ছবি দেওয়া যাবে না। অনেক পেশাজীবী সঠিক ছবি ছাড়া লিংকডইনে কাউকে যুক্ত করে না।
৩. লিংকডইনের কভার ছবিটি আপনার সম্পর্ক ও কাজে আগ্রহ তৈরি করে—এমন করে যুক্ত করুন। কোনো সেমিনারে অংশগ্রহণ কিংবা কোনো প্রেজেন্টেশন বা কোনো অর্জনের ছবি যুক্ত করতে পারেন।
৪. লিংকডইনে বিভিন্ন বিষয়ে লেখার সময় বানান ও ব্যাকরণ সম্পর্কে সতর্ক থাকা উচিত। পেশাদার বাক্য ও যোগাযোগের ধরন প্রয়োগে গুরুত্ব দিন।
৫. ব্যক্তিগত বা রাজনৈতিক মতামত লিংকডইনে এড়িয়ে চলুন।
৬. লিংকডইনে আপনার প্রোফাইলটির বিশেষ ওয়েব ঠিকানা থাকা উচিত, যা আপনার নামের সঙ্গে মেলে।
৭. লিংকডইনে যা লিখছেন বা প্রকাশ করছেন কিংবা নিজের কোনো কাজের তথ্য প্রকাশ করলেন, তা বিভিন্ন নিয়োগকারী প্রতিষ্ঠানের মানবসম্পদ বিভাগের কর্মীরা যাচাই করতে পারেন, সে ক্ষেত্রে ভুল তথ্য পরিহার করুন।


যারা লিংকডইনে নবীন
বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়–জীবন থেকেই লিংকডইনকে নেটওয়ার্ক তৈরির মাধ্যম হিসেবে ব্যবহার করা শিখতে হবে। যাঁরা কর্মজীবনে নবীন, কিংবা প্রথম চাকরি খুঁজছেন, তাঁরা লিংকডইনকে বেশ কার্যকর উপায়ে ব্যবহার করতে পারেন।

১. আপনার বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ে যেসব কোর্স করছেন বা শেষ করেছেন, তা যুক্ত করুন। বিশেষ কোনো কোর্সে অংশগ্রহণ বা কোনো আলোচিত শিক্ষকের তত্ত্বাবধানে কাজ করলে তা যুক্ত করুন।
২. বিশেষ কোনো কর্মশালা কিংবা প্রশিক্ষণ নিলে তা যুক্ত করুন।
৩. সৃজনশীল ও এক্সট্রা কারিকুলার অ্যাকটিভিটিস সংযুক্ত করুন।
৪. কোনো বিষয়ে জানার আগ্রহ থাকলে লিংকডইনের বিভিন্ন গ্রুপে সংযুক্ত হোন। এ ছাড়া কোনো কিছু পোস্ট করলে কার্যকর হ্যাশট্যাগ ব্যবহার করুন।
৫. যে ক্ষেত্রে বা যেসব প্রতিষ্ঠানে কাজ করতে আগ্রহী, তা অনুসরণ করুন। তাদের কর্মসংস্কৃতি বোঝার চেষ্টা করুন।
৬. আপনার নেটওয়ার্কে যাঁরা যুক্ত হবেন, তাঁদের বিভিন্ন পেশাসংশ্লিষ্ট পোস্টে আপনার পেশাসংক্রান্ত মত লিখে নিজের কথা প্রকাশের চেষ্টা করুন।
৭. লিংকডইন থেকে নিজের পেশাদার সংযোগ তৈরির জন্য কার্যকর যোগাযোগ কৌশল শিখুন, যা পরবর্তী সময়ে পেশাজীবনেও কাজে আসবে।
৮. আপনার পেশা কিংবা শিক্ষাসংশ্লিষ্ট বিভিন্ন বিষয়ে নোট প্রকাশ করে নিজের লেখার দক্ষতা ও সৃজনশীল ভাবনার কথাও প্রকাশ করতে পারেন।


পেশাজীবীদের জন্য লিংকডইন
যাঁরা এরই মধ্যে পেশাজীবনে অনেক সময় কাটিয়েছেন, লিংকডইন তাঁদের জন্য নতুন সংযোগ, নতুন দক্ষতা সম্পর্কে জানার সুযোগের ক্ষেত্র কিন্তু। এ ক্ষেত্রে নিজের গুরুত্ব বাড়ানোর দিকে মনোযোগ দিন।

১. গুণগত অবস্থান বনাম সংখ্যা: কয়েক হাজার অপ্রাসঙ্গিক সংযোগের চেয়ে কিছু উচ্চ মানের কার্যকর কম সংখ্যায় সংযোগ থাকা ভালো। লিংকডইনে জনপ্রিয়তার প্রতিযোগিতা নয়।
২. সংযোগ: যেহেতু লিংকডইন তারকা কিংবা সেলিব্রিটিদের কার্যকর কোনো প্ল্যাটফর্ম নয়, তাই লিংকডইনে সংযুক্ত হওয়ার চেষ্টা করতে হবে। নিজের পেশা কিংবা শিক্ষাসংশ্লিষ্ট বিষয়ে আলোচনায় অংশ নেওয়ার চেষ্টা করুন। নিজে শিখুন, নিজের সহকর্মী বা সংযুক্ত মানুষের কাছ থেকে শেখার চেষ্টা করুন।
৩. নিজের প্রতিষ্ঠানের নতুন কর্মী নিয়োগের ক্ষেত্রে লিংকডইন ব্যবহারের চেষ্টা করুন। প্রতিষ্ঠানে বহুমাত্রিক সংস্কৃতি তৈরির জন্য লিংকডইনের বিভিন্ন গ্রুপ থেকে পরামর্শ নিতে পারেন।
৪. প্রতিষ্ঠানের নতুন কাজের সুযোগ কিংবা অর্জন লিংকডইনে নিয়মিত প্রকাশ করুন।
৫. লিংকডইনে পরিচিত কিংবা প্রাক্তন সহকর্মী বা শিক্ষকদের কাছ থেকে সুপারিশ নেওয়ার সুযোগ থাকলে নিন। কাউকে সুপারিশ দেওয়ার ক্ষেত্রে কাজের গুরুত্ব ও সম্পর্কের দিকে নজর দিন।

Collected
Source-- https://www.prothomalo.com/chakri/chakri-suggestion/%E0%A6%B2%E0%A6%BF%E0%A6%82%E0%A6%95%E0%A6%A1%E0%A6%87%E0%A6%A8%E0%A7%87-%E0%A6%A8%E0%A6%BF%E0%A6%9C%E0%A7%87%E0%A6%95%E0%A7%87-%E0%A6%AF%E0%A7%87%E0%A6%AD%E0%A6%BE%E0%A6%AC%E0%A7%87-%E0%A6%A4%E0%A7%81%E0%A6%B2%E0%A7%87-%E0%A6%A7%E0%A6%B0%E0%A6%AC%E0%A7%87%E0%A6%A8

17
Imagine for a moment you are a university professor, in front of you are seated 30 students, and you have their best interests at heart. How do you equip someone now with the necessary skills for a job in five to ten years, that does not even exist today? A new role in a new sector we cannot possibly fathom just yet. A daunting task, isn't it? But this is the exact question we asked ourselves in a recent series of meetings in the Graduate School of Management (GSM) at BRAC University. To assist in our work, we scrolled through the 21st-century skills as defined by the World Economic Forum, which we found were provided with a rather close expiry date. However, doing a curriculum review today, knowing the red tape and associated time until implementation, we need at least an eight to ten-year time frame.

Recently, we had the honour of moderating a panel with a very experienced group of human resources (HR) leaders from Nestle, bKash, Grameenphone, Renata, Standard Chartered, and the World Food Programme. We confronted them with this question, and their response was rather astonishing.

They all agreed that the content of the actual curriculum does not matter too much (which is something we actually put a big focus on to date)—what matters are the methods of teaching being used and the skills being acquired. Those, they argued, would be largely independent of the actual discipline. Moreover, since the pandemic, many young candidates have literally transformed themselves through self-paced online learning, meaning that a marketing graduate in today's world no longer necessarily ends up in the marketing department or a finance student in the finance department. These boundaries have been largely softened, and instead, now we have more versatility in students and more flexibility in employment.

Adding onto that (for the student reader of this article), in your next interview, prepare yourselves for the following questions: what did you do in 2020? How did you deal with the pandemic, what did you learn during that time, and how did you use it to gain a better understanding of the world and yourself? These are just some of the questions an interviewer might ask you.

It was in August 2011 that Marc Andreessen coined the famous phrase "Software is eating the world" in a Wall Street Journal opinion article. This easily leads to the assumption that when choosing a subject, the student should rather focus on software engineering related topics. However, our panelists stressed that they did not expect their applicants to always be tech-savvy, it was rather the awareness and curiosity for technological change that was a must-have (again, independent of discipline!) and that it was crucial to have a general awareness of what is going on in the business world. The recommendation was to follow key leaders on LinkedIn (not Facebook!) and see what they are concerning themselves with.


So where does that leave us at the GSM? We need, and to some degree have already been forced (given the closure of universities due to Covid-19), to transform our way of teaching. As Jack Ma fittingly put it, if machines are to take over, you need to find your niche where you can compete with them. This leads us to think, not about how to teach someone to learn a text by heart in a short time, but for example, about how a leader shows empathy, something which the smartest algorithm will have an extremely difficult time to learn. Or about how to reflect and critically judge based on strong ethical foundations. As the late Marvin Minsky, co-founder of MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, put it: "No computer has ever been designed that is ever aware of what it's doing".

BRAC University's online learning platform buX allows students to study in a self-paced manner. Nowadays, by default, all exams are open-book, or rather open-Internet, which means the questions we ask must hit exactly the points which our HR leaders were highlighting—critical thinking, knowing what is important and what is not. If I have the whole Internet at my fingertips, the exam questions need to test exactly those skills, otherwise what value would the student be adding if (s)he simply copies from the slides that may have been distributed? The panelists even went so far as to recommend leaving the PowerPoint at home altogether and to focus only on engagement, because students have to learn how to operate in and contribute to a group effectively. So it is not so much content after all, but rather style, methods and the skills you are targeting for your students to acquire through everything you do as a teacher.

In addition, we have been particularly happy about this remark from our HR leaders, stating that there needs to be a lot more interaction between the corporates and the students, and internships are not a part of that. Building on the large success of Bangladesh's freelance community that provides services for companies across the world and a strong up-and-coming entrepreneurship community, it was suggested by the panel to also focus on these kinds of targeted engagements with corporates, for example, via an opportunity marketplace. Why not invite corporates and representatives from startups over, not only for motivational speeches but also to engage with the students for an active interaction?

In summary and borrowing from Marvin Minsky once more: "If you understand something in only one way, then you don't really understand it at all. The secret of what anything means to us depends on how we've connected it to all other things we know. Well-connected representations let you turn ideas around in your mind, to envision things from many perspectives until you find one that works for you. And that's what we mean by thinking!". In the spirit of an open society, this is where our youth needs to excel at and what universities need them to prepare for.


Writer- Dr Sebastian Groh is Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Management (GSM) at Brac University, and Dr Eileen Peacock is the Executive Dean at the GSM at Brac University.
Collected
Source- https://www.thedailystar.net/opinion/news/the-job-market-transforming-university-education-should-too-2053157

18
An Exclusive Article by Baybars Altuntas, Executive Chairman World Business Angels Investment Forum, for the Angel Investor Review

FPO: An innovative financial framework for smart entrepreneurs

‘What’, you may ask, ‘is an FPO’?
No, it’s not like an IPO (initial public offering). It’s a new angle on an existing concept—a ‘franchise public offering’. Let’s say your business is doing well. You’ve already had several rounds of financing. Your business has several branches, and you’d like to keep growing — but running the branches is sapping all your time, your energy, and your creative juices. You are considering if an IPO might be in your future.

The IPO trail
An IPO sounds exciting, but once you learn about the procedures and requirements, you’ll understand that there are significant drawbacks. Getting a company through to its IPO is time-consuming and extremely expensive, and what seem like hundreds of financial, regulatory, and legal hurdles are waiting for you. Another important downside is that you give up some of your equity in the company and turn over control to a board of directors — and of course you will have to keep your shareholders happy. In essence, you end up a quasi-employee of your own company.

A road less traveled: FPO
Let’s say you are not keen on the idea of other people deciding on how your company will be run, especially if, until now, you are the one who has put their blood, sweat, and tears into the company to make it the success it is today. Let’s say you don’t want to go through the long and tedious process of pursuing an IPO and spend lots of money doing it. An FPO is an avenue you may not have considered. I see an FPO as a variation on conventional franchising models.

How franchising works
Franchising is an alternative method of raising capital. It allows you to scale your business with minimal capital investment on your part; you use other people’s money to expand. And unlike with an IPO, you don’t risk debt or give up equity. You still own the business, and you own the brand. Franchising also offers advantages from a management point of view, as franchisors don’t have to spend their time on the day-to-day running of the each franchise. That is what your franchisees will do for you. This frees up your time so that you can focus on developing the big picture, engage in other business opportunities, and expand on your entrepreneurial and leadership skills. Not having to run everything yourself relieves much of the stress and takes away the hassle.

What is more, franchisees, as owners of their businesses, have a personal stake in making sure their franchise succeeds, so they are always on the lookout for ways to improve the business, which strengthens your brand in the process. You as the franchisor enforce brand consistency throughout all your franchises and receive a share of the profits.

So what’s the difference between conventional franchising and FPO? The differences are relatively simple: First of all, with an FPO, you start with a good number of existing branches. You convert those branches to franchises — and then open up the field to new franchised branches. In conventional franchising, however, franchisors may have one or even several branches that they run themselves, so they are not entirely free of the day-to-day branch management.

Preparation is important. A strong brand is key if you want to make a successful FPO. You need a high-quality product and high brand recognition before you start. These are not created overnight. They therefore need to be part of your long-term growth strategy, preferably from the early stages of your entrepreneurial journey. The underlying message: Put branding as a focal point early on in your business plan.

You also need to recruit good franchisees, people who will take the formula that has worked so well for your business and use their own capital and their own managerial skills to grow your brand throughout your country, and maybe even into new markets.

My story
I had an entrepreneurial streak in me even as a child, but my adult entrepreneurial journey began when I initiated a series of vocational training courses that addressed a need created by my country’s rapid expansion in tourism and aviation. In the beginning, the offer was training for flight attendants, ground hostesses, ticketing agents, and tour operators. The uptake was swift, and we soon added an English language component because demand for English-speaking professionals in these occupations was high. From there, we expanded on the language side of the business as well as increasing offerings in vocational training. We became the go-to place for both vocational training and language learning. All the while, I was building the brand.

I had chosen an out-of-the-ordinary name for the company, and to build the brand, I ran full-page advertisements in newspapers, capitalized on testimonials, partnered with a high-profile university that helped develop level standards and provided pedagogical advice. I was opening branches throughout the city and then in other cities throughout the country. With a dozen or so branches, I was run ragged trying to manage them all. I was dealing with more than 600 personnel, course materials, schedules, certificates, advertising, government bureaucracy — you name it, it was all on me. Yet there was still plenty of room for growth that I wanted to capture.

I had looked into filing for an IPO, but I quickly realized that it was not as simple as I had thought — and that I’d be giving up a lot, including control of how my company was run. Franchising alone was not the answer for me, however. I had to find an innovative way to scale up my business in a way that would free up time for me to focus on new entrepreneurial adventures. Opening new branches would increase my load. So I franchised my own branches, which paved the way (and thereby increased the demand for new franchises). Voilà! My FPO! In this model, you own the brand, you still own and have control of how the company is run, and you have time to focus on develop new businesses, if you like. I’ve never looked back; it was one of the best decisions I could have made. As you grow your company, perhaps you too should consider an FPO. I could liberate your time so that you can enter new fields of entrepreneurship and expand on your leadership skill set.


Baybars Altuntas
Former Senior Advisor of the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), Executive Chairman of the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF) – an affiliated partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) chaired by the Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, and President of Deulcom International Inc., Star of the Turkish version of the television show Dragons’ Den / Sharks Tank. Recipient of the European Trade Association of Business Angels (EBAN) award for the Best Individual in Europe Globally Engaging with the Global Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in 2014 (Ireland), 2015 (Netherlands), 2016 (Portugal), 2017 (Spain) and 2018 (Bulgaria). The only angel investor to be granted a personal audience with former President Obama at the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship in Washington DC. Appointed as JCI Ambassador, following Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary General of the United Nations. Profiled regularly by leading international media such as CNN International, Bloomberg, BBC. A co-author of Planet Entrepreneur: The World Entrepreneurship Forum’s Guide to Business Success Around the World, published by Wiley (2013). Author of ‘’How I Became a Top TV Star and Celebrated Investor’’, published by Balboa Press (2014) and translated into Chinese, Croatian, Albanian, and Macedonian.

Collected
Source--http://angel-investor.review/fpo-an-innovative-financial-framework-for-smart-entrepreneurs-an-exclusive-article-by-baybars-altuntas-for-the-angel-investor-review/

19
Pandemic cuts demand for online workers from Bangladesh: ILO

The Covid-19 outbreak has affected the supply of online labourers from Bangladesh because of a fall in demand for web-based workers in the developing and developed countries, according to a report of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Bangladesh's share in global online workers declined to below 15 per cent last year, down from nearly 20 per cent in 2018. Last year, creative and multimedia occupied the biggest pie in the supply of online labourers from Bangladesh, which was the sales and marketing supports in 2018. The ILO shared the information in the report titled "World Employment and Social Outlook 2021: The role of digital labour platforms in transforming the world of work."

Among the South Asian peers, the supply of online labour increased from both India and Pakistan even during the Covid-19 because of their expertise in diversified sectors like IT and software, the report said.

"Digital labour platforms such as Uber, Foodpanda and Sheba XYZ are creating hundreds of thousands of new, flexible job opportunities in Bangladesh for women, persons with disabilities and young people and that must be applauded," said Tuomo Poutiainen, ILO country director for Bangladesh. "However, this report shows that many workers often struggle to find sufficient well-paid work to earn a decent income and many do not have access to social protection, which has been particularly concerning during the pandemic."

Irrespective of whether platform workers are classified as employees or self-employed, they should enjoy the rights to associate, bargain collectively and to be protected against discriminatory conduct and unsafe workplaces, the ILO country director also said.

"Put simply - what is unacceptable in the analogue world of work should also be unacceptable in the digital one."

After the widespread outbreak of Covid‑19, there was a decline in both the demand for work and the supply of labour in March 2020. Activity picked up gradually from early April. On the demand side, there was a rise between April and May, after which demand declined gradually and then stagnated until October before picking up again.

The impact of the pandemic seems to affect clients and workers differently across countries, the ILO report also said.

The tasks performed on these platforms can be classified into the following occupational categories: software development and technology; creative and multimedia; writing and translation; clerical and data entry; sales and marketing support; and professional services.

Globally, a large proportion of tasks are completed in the field of software development and technology, whose share increased from 39 per cent to 45 per cent between 2018 and 2020.

Professional and sales and marketing services have also gained importance, whereas occupations such as creative and multimedia, writing and translation, and clerical and data entry tasks declined between 2018 and 2020. The clients who demand such work are largely based in developed countries, with four of the top five countries belonging to this group.

In 2020, about 40 per cent of the demand for such work was from clients based in the United States. Compared to 2018, however, the share of demand from the United States for such work has declined, and that from Australia, Canada, Germany, India, and the United Kingdom increased.

In contrast to the demand for work, the supply of labour on these platforms originated mainly from a number of developing countries, in particular Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, the Philippines and Ukraine, apart from the United Kingdom and the United States.

Workers from India are the largest contributor, and India's share of total supply rose by about 8 percentage points between 2018 and 2020, while it declined in other developing countries, except Ukraine.

The digital economy is transforming the world of work. Over the past decade, the expansion in broadband connectivity and cloud computing, along with innovations in information and communications technologies, have enabled economic transactions and the exchange of large amounts of data and information between individuals, businesses and devices.

Data is increasingly a key asset, which is driving the digital economy. Related to these transformations is the proliferation of digital platforms in several sectors of the economy.

Since March 2020, the Covid‑19 pandemic has led to an increase in remote-working arrangements, further reinforcing the growth and impact of the digital economy.

While digital platforms provide a range of services and products, the report focuses on digital labour platforms, which mediate work and have rapidly penetrated a number of economic sectors as a result of innovations in digital technologies. Digital labour platforms are a distinctive part of the digital economy. They allow individuals or business clients to arrange a ride, order food or find a freelancer to develop a website or translate a document, among many other activities and assignments.

This report seeks to enhance people's understanding of how digital labour platforms are transforming the world of work, and the implications of that transformation for employers and workers.

It draws on the findings of ILO surveys conducted among some 12,000 workers in 100 countries around the world working on freelance, contest-based, competitive programming and microtask platforms, and in the taxi and delivery sectors.

It also draws on interviews conducted with representatives of 70 businesses of different types, 16 platform companies and 14 platform worker associations around the world in multiple sectors.

About 96 per cent of the investment in digital labour platforms is concentrated in Asia ($56 billion), North America ($46 billion) and Europe ($12 billion), compared to 4 per cent in Latin America, Africa and the Arab States ($4 billion).

Platforms providing taxi services have received a much larger share of venture capital funds than delivery or online web-based platforms.

Among taxi platforms, the distribution of funding is uneven, with 75 per cent of funds concentrated in only two platform companies.

Digital labour platforms globally generated revenue of at least $52 billion in 2019. About 70 per cent of the revenues generated were concentrated in just two countries, the United States (49 per cent) and China (22 per cent), while the share was much lower in Europe (11 per cent) and other regions (18 per cent).

The seven largest technology companies globally had a cumulative revenue of over $1,010 billion in 2019, and most of these companies invest heavily in digital labour platforms as well.

Collected
Link--https://www.thedailystar.net/business/news/pandemic-cuts-demand-online-workers-bangladesh-ilo-2050137

22
Startup / Scaling up your startup
« on: February 19, 2021, 03:56:54 PM »
Scaling up your startup

How incubators play a crucial role in the growth of early-stage startups

Considering we have now been able to distinguish between a startup and a SME, the next thing we should ideally talk about is how they have different growth strategies. Startups are high risk, high return. Since they are expected to win markets and scale, there's definitely a need for strong foundations in its early-stages. Early-stage startups usually focus on product development, establishing a customer base, market research and eventually ensuring a way to create defensible value.

Apart from the business, finding the right people and building a team that believes in the idea is crucial for its growth. There is no doubt that a startup needs access to more resources and networks at this stage. Incubators work on bridging the gap between founders and resources by providing founders with opportunities to grow their business. But how does an incubator work?

The types and roles of an incubator:

There are two types of incubators; early stage incubators and accelerators. Early stage incubators usually work with early-stage startups to help them attain a level of self-sustainability. They help them access resources such as, funding, talents, connections and knowledge. Startups can receive coaching, mentorship, legal support, collaboration, office space and networking with industry experts and successful founders through their program. Mentorship through experts in areas such as financial strategy, business plan, marketing strategy, operations and management as well as pitching to investors are the key benefits provided by an early stage incubator.

Accelerators on the other hand, become of help to startups when they have achieved initial market traction. These are a fixed term program that help startups access investors by guiding them to perfect their pitches each day. They also help startups build crucial networks for partnership and financing prospects. YCombinator is one of the top global accelerators that has incubated companies like Airbnb, Stripe, Twitch, Reddit, Dropbox etc. In its entirety, both of these ultimately work closely with the startups with the objective of maximizing their overall success.


"For an early-stage startup, day 100 is never a reflection of day 1. If the execution didn't differ from the original idea, it was never a startup to begin with. The undisputed logic behind it is that once you get into execution, you will be exposed to new information and new challenges. A well-designed incubation program with proper mentors helps startups not only learn the fundamentals of establishing a business, but also to streamline their service. For us, NSU Startups Next has been that vessel of navigation," says Co-founder and CEO of Reshop Ventures Limited, that has recently graduated from NSU Startups Next, an incubation program by North South University.

Key benefits of an incubator:

Access to funding: Incubators offer funding opportunities for startups through investor relations. Some incubators have partners to assist the startups using the incubator. These partners will often provide startups with funding and other invaluable resources. There are incubators that offer investing offers like angel networks. These programs bring together investors looking to provide funding for startups they believe can succeed.

Exposure to industry leaders and mentors: Incubators arrange mentorship sessions with industry leaders and experts for nascent startups which would both be exclusive and educational. Founders get to have one on one interaction with these mentors as required and get valuable feedback on their business. They might also challenge in a manner that assists a startup in refining its vision and goals.

Structure and curriculum to maintain focus: Incubators maintain a curriculum that is followed throughout the incubation period. All startups must allocate time for the sessions, workshops and KPI meetings to assess their progress. It is almost like enrolling in a college where a startup has to go through a rigorous process to develop their business by the day. Incubators help keep their focus steady while a startup completes all its business goals and objectives set for growth.

Networking opportunities: Incubators generally enroll a batch of startups from where they need to graduate after completing the program. The program duration generally ranges from 4 months to even 5 years depending on the type of incubator. All the companies participating in it collaborate with each other on different tasks and build a network with like-minded people. Networking is essential for early-stage startups because a solid foundation of professional relationships is needed for them to succeed in their respective industries. Incubators provide a professional environment where people coming from different backgrounds and expertise can network with each other and benefit from the relationships.


Why do we need more incubators in Bangladesh?
Early-stage startups are in a unique position where they can reach success on a massive scale when provided with the right direction and support. Reddit, Airbnb, and Dropbox were startups that used incubators to grow their business in the initial stages. Each of them is now valued at greater than $1 billion.

Pathao was also born out of an incubator called HackHouse Dhaka. Pathao has been able to raise more than 12.8 million USD from four rounds of funding and it is currently valued at over 100 million USD. The Bangladeshi startup ecosystem has picked up pace with investments in 2020 and early 2021. According to Lightcastle Partners, The Bangladesh Entrepreneurship Ecosystem is at an inflection point with an excess of USD 200 million in international investments from big-name corporate investors and venture capitals over the last 4 years. The ecosystem is diverse and operating in multiple sectors. Homegrown startups have raised more than 200 million USD of foreign investment over the last decade. Startups like ShopUp, Paperfly, SOLshare, iFarmer, Maya, Loop, Gaze, TruckLagbe have raised significant investment amounts amid the pandemic, paving the way for more startups to grow. This also signals the rising interest of foreign investors in Bangladeshi startups that are showing promising growth.

The emergence of both local and international venture capital firms like IDLC, Anchorless Bangladesh, active Angel Investment Networks like Bangladesh Angels and the government's VC fund, Startup Bangladesh Limited are facilitating the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem. A host of local and international operating accelerators and incubators propelled more than 1000 active startups in Bangladesh, generating over 1.5 million employment, embracing products and services of startups as part of the country's everyday life.

Currently, finding the right talents and access to financing are considered severe bottlenecks for emerging startups in Bangladesh. While it is a great time to found a startup in Bangladesh according to experts, opportunities should be optimized for both companies and investors. Incubators can help form and sustain startups while giving them access to funds and investors, keeping both ends functional.

Ultimately, the success of incubators is measured through the success of their startups, eventually building a successful ecosystem for the next generation of founders in Bangladesh.

Writer- Nomrota Sarker
Collected
Source- https://www.thedailystar.net/toggle/news/scaling-your-startup-2047613

23
Angel Investor / Angel investing 101: Doing it right in Bangladesh
« on: February 14, 2021, 11:49:32 PM »
As interest in the Bangladeshi startup ecosystem has grown, so has the responsibility of angel investors and other early stage stakeholders to properly assist founders and startups in preparing for their next stages of growth and funding. At Anchorless Bangladesh, we've spent the last 18 months better understanding how to accelerate the ecosystem relative to regional peers. This included a wide sweep with our friends at LightCastle Partners into the amount, type and sources of funding for startups. Of the roughly US$300 million invested in startups so far, under $25 million came from angels, of which less than a third were from local angels.

In our assessment, lack of consistent and appropriately structured angel funding is one of the single biggest weaknesses that has limited the development of the ecosystem.  In comparison, our regional peers in India, Indonesia and Vietnam have benefitted from angels playing a critical role in the early development and future funding of startups.  Not only does Bangladesh need more angel investors, but we need those who do become angels to invest more effectively and thoughtfully so founders can proceed to raise future rounds of funding abroad to scale their businesses.  Why does this matter?  Because startups and venture capitals can have a generational impact on the Bangladeshi economy, paving the pathway for our own Google, Facebook and Microsoft.


The role of angels in the funding process

Angel investors give startups capital at very early stages — often even before the company has revenue, traction or even a minimum viable product (MVP). While there are cases where angels invest in just an idea, especially for second or third-time founders with a track record, this is rare. Angels are critical in supporting startups before they receive proper seed funding, when ideally an institutional investor would come in with sizable capital to aggressively go for product-market fit and scaling. Angels invest in startups to lock-in a disproportionately high return in return for the risk they take. For instance, well-known angel investor Jason Calacanis received a return of over $100 million for the $25,000 he initially put in.  We encourage angel investors to build rapport with founders and the ecosystem; once an angel is known to properly support founders, they will likely get access to more future deals from the best founders. This explains why some angel investors get repeated deal flow into the best startups.

FINDING THE RIGHT INVESTMENT

The process of finding the right founders and funding the startups is not easy—however, if done right, the chances of a better return are significantly greater.  Here are some suggestions for angel investors on how to find the next investment.

Quality of the founder and their focus

Finding the right investment starts with talking to founders. When we at Anchorless meet with companies, a sizable portion of our interest is related to the founders themselves. Similarly, an angel also invests in founders. Why? Because at the early stage of a startup, there's a lot of uncertainty regarding the market and the solution. This is exactly why an investor must trust founders to navigate such complexities. Before an investor puts in a dollar, they must make sure they're betting on those they trust and whose values and goals they align with — especially since an investment can last anywhere from 3-5 years, maybe even longer. Good founders will take capital and use it effectively to create value. If they are jumping from idea to idea without market research and validation, that may be a red flag.

Unit economics & tech-enabled scaling

While a startup will almost always be initially unprofitable, that doesn't mean it shouldn't have a strategy to improve its unit economics. It's a good sign when each successive sale the startup makes loses less money than the previous sale. One way to improve unit economics and scale efficiently is by having founders who have built or are capable of building a tech-enabled process that allows for the company to grow faster as it gets more customers. For instance, if a company needs to hire a new person for every new sale, then it's likely that the founders do not have a clear strategy on how to scale.

Market size and potential

During due diligence, investors should confirm that there is a reasonable market size for the product or service that the founders are envisioning. In addition, ask them, "What  would you do if you had 100% market share?" This will show you how they think beyond their current business.

Valuing the investment

While there are no hard and fast rules for valuing an angel investment, taking a mid-to-long term view here is necessary to ensure a positive outcome. The goal of an angel should be to make sure the company is properly set up for the next round of funding.


Exit strategy

Angel investors need to understand how their capital fits into the larger scheme of the fundraising process. Angels need to structure their involvement in a way from the beginning that allows a startup to successfully raise capital from institutional funds, likely from abroad, in a future round. We stress the importance of doing things the right way early so that an angel investor has a clearer path in actualising a return—or, in other words, get money back for the investment. In order to do this, angel investors must be able to sell their shares into the market either through an acquisition, secondary sale or IPO. It's important to gauge the possibility of these options for each company.

CURRENT ISSUES WITH ANGEL INVESTING

Prospective investors not only need to assess startups with the right criteria but also need to evaluate their own motivations so that they can provide the kind of capital and support. Before getting into angel investing, prospective investors must ask themselves why they want to invest: Is it financial gain? If so, what is your time horizon? Is it personal satisfaction? Maybe a story to tell at a dinner party? Is it to show support to the community? How important is return?

"Am I interested in investing in a startup or an SME?" This reflection is critical; the inability to understand the difference between the two has caused significant issues between investors and founders and, at times, negatively impacted the ecosystem's progress. Capital should only be allocated to a startup when the goals and vision of the investor and the founders are aligned.

The following is a compilation of issues based on feedback from local founders currently affecting the Bangladeshi angel investment scene:

• Angels taking more than around 20% of companies: As a startup is expected to raise multiple rounds of capital, it's important that the founders retain a sizable portion of equity in order to remain incentivised. We have  repeatedly seen that founders who own a larger part of their company will work on its success more than founders who own a small percentage of a startup. Globally, angels usually do not take over 15% in the initial round. Due to the risky nature of the Bangladeshi ecosystem, taking a slightly higher percentage within reason is understandable. Ultimately, an angel investor's goal is to get the highest absolute dollar return regardless of percentage; 5% of $100 million is preferable to 20% of $10 million.

• Angels taking board control: In short, when an institutional investor (such as a venture capital fund) invests in a company, it wants to make sure the founders are in control of their company instead of an early angel who came in with a relatively small amount of early capital — especially when they are looking to put in a much larger sum.

• Focus on short-term metrics such as break-even and profitability: As discussed above, the primary goal for a startup should be to create defensible value through providing a scalable product, service or technology. Focusing on these two metrics will often stunt long-term value creation which may limit the investor's return.


• Asking for dividends: Startups do not pay dividends as all positive cashflow a company may produce should be put back into the business for further growth.

• Failing to add value beyond the money: The best angels provide mentorship, aid in business development and help with fundraising to further increase the value of the startup.

• Focus on physical assets: In general, asset-light startups will be valued higher due to their ability to use capital and scale more efficiently. For many, this may seem counter-intuitive, but the goal of founders is to maximize the return on every dollar raised.

That is easier to do through technology than physical assets.

• Not aiming high enough: Investors need to recognize that a startup should at least aim to dominate a market. Lowered expectations may stunt the company's growth and make it less attractive to future venture investors.     

• Funding properly and following up on financial commitments: Investors must allocate capital in no more than two tranches—and not monthly. An investor should want founders to worry about who to hire next or what product feature to add rather than focusing on whether they will be able to pay their employees.

To reiterate, the reason an angel invests in a founder is because they trust them. Investors should be there for guidance and support, not to treat them as employees without their own will and direction. Additionally, investors need to remember that if the founders' mental health does not allow them to operate at optimal efficiency, the investor's return will be limited. When we think of the best founders globally, we see the strength of their leadership and the support of their investors through their journey as a key complement to their success.

MANAGING PORTFOLIO RISK

The most important thing to understand is that, while an angel may lose money in the majority of their investments, the ones that are successful should yield a disproportionately positive overall return. So, how does one approach angel investing knowing this? By creating a diversified portfolio. Once a potential investor decides how much money they will allocate to angel investing, the next step is to diversify risk.

For instance, this is how we explain the risk management process to potential angels: if an angel investor has $100,000 to invest, make 5 investments ranging from $15,000 to $25,000. The goal is to champion your portfolio companies' ambitions without constant risk of failure. Per our previous point, if we allocated $20,000 into five investments, consider the difference between the two following scenarios:

In Scenario A, each of the five investments return 25% resulting in a total return of $25,000. In Scenario B, however, four of the five investments go to zero—but the fifth investment returns 2,000%, or 20x, bringing in a return of $400,000!  This kind of portfolio allocation is what makes angel investors successful.

 We remind angel investors that supporting ambitious founders can often result in better returns for an overall portfolio than seemingly safe business models.

The impact of quality angels

When angel investing is done right, its value to the ecosystem and economy as a whole cannot be understated. Think about what percentage of global GDP is attributed to venture-funded startups like Facebook and Google, or the fact that Gojek contributed $7.1 billion to Indonesian GDP in 2019. As angels are a critical component of early stage funding, without their presence, startup ecosystems can be held back. In Bangladesh, the need for greater angel funding is currently a limiting factor for the success of our brilliant, young founders.  By increasing local angel capital and bringing in global angels, including NRBs (non-resident Bangladeshis) through networks such as Bangladesh Angels, we can set up our startups for future success.

Quality angel investors can help founders take their companies to the seed stage where they can get further funding from institutional funds, including a vast amount of global capital that is actively looking to enter Bangladesh.

The impact of venture capital is significant to an economy. Companies such as Uber and Facebook had angel investors before they became companies that changed the way we live. In Bangladesh, only a few startups have scaled to a level of national visibility, yet none with the possible exception of bKash are at the level of funding and valuation that regional peers in India or Indonesia have achieved.

For Bangladesh to go from $500 GDP per capita to $1,000, and then $1,000 to $2,000e was achievable with low-level labor arbitrage, but for the country to double from $2,000 to $4,000 and beyond, we'll need to not only nurture home-grown startups but also build a culture of local wealth creation by empowering local founders to move up the value chain and bring in global capital.

In celebration of our country's 50th anniversary, let this next decade be filled with opportunities for every one of us.  Let's give our founders the tools to put Bangladesh on the global map as a destination for the startups that may come to shape our collective futures.

 
The author is the CEO and Founding Partner of Anchorless Bangladesh, an early stage venture investment fund.

Source- https://www.thedailystar.net/supplements/30th-anniversary-supplements/going-digital/news/angel-investing-101-doing-it-right-bangladesh-2043829

24
Tamil Nadu: Transgender Persons Get Training On Agriculture Entrepreneurship In Tiruchirapalli

Eight members from the trans community were educated about the opportunities available to them on agri-entrepreneurship by tapping the potential of banana which is a widely grown fruit in the region. The training session was part of NRCB's (National Research Centre for Banana) mission on 'reaching the unreached'.

In an effort to make the transgender community in Tamil Nadu's Tiruchirapalli self-reliant and help them earn a dignified living, the National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB) functioning under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) organised a two-day training programme.

According to The Hindu, as many as eight members from the community were educated about the opportunities available to them on agri-entrepreneurship by tapping the potential of banana which is a widely grown fruit in the region. The programme comprising of the training session was part of NRCB's mission on 'reaching the unreached'.

The publication further reported that the programme was funded by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). It is the apex body for providing funds on credit for development of agriculture and small scale businesses in the country.

Kajol, president of the Social Action For Emancipation (SAFE) group, reportedly also attended the session along with the eight members from the community. Her organization has been committed towards working for the upliftment of the transgender community.

The training session was kick-started by Anand Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General, Horticultural Science, ICAR, through video conferencing. He explained the scope of opportunities available to the participants as entrepreneurs, stressing on the importance of branding and country-wide marketing of the possibilities as well ensuring support for the such initiatives.

Advertisement B. K. Pandey, Assistant Director General, ICAR, informed about the government schemes available including for establishing cold storage and supply chain management which could help in reducing the financial burden drastically. S. Uma who is the director of the NRCB said that was a first-of-its-kind initiative rolled out by the Centre for the economic empowerment of transgenders through banana cultivation and utilisation. She further added that the training would provide them ideas on exploring business options on various banana based products. She said that organization would host more training programmes for the community and also offer incubation facilities for the interested trainees. Reports stated that the scientists at NRCB provided hands-on training to the participants on preparation of banana flower pickle, central stem juice, low-fat banana chips, raising nursery for ornamental banana and multiplying traditional banana varieties by macro propagation. The session briefed them on the 'how-to' raise funds for sustainable business projects to secure funds from potential investors and on the procedure to operate the business. Kajol has a higher secondary qualification and holds a diploma as a beautician suggested that the initiative be scaled up for the benefit of transgender community across the country.

Transforming The Lives

The transgender community has been subjected to prejudices and have been resorting to practises such as begging on the streets, train stations, dancing on festivities to earn a livelihood. However, increasingly the society has been seeing individuals from the community refusing to conform to the standards and taking the decisions of turning their lives around. Individuals from the transgender community have been taking over the non-conventional career paths not just to break the stereotype but also to empower the community. Education and suitable job opportunities have been the major contributing factors helping the transgender community shatter the stereotype and live honorably.

Transwoman Turns Entrepreneur

27-year-old employee-turned-entrepreneur transwoman from Bihar made the headlines when established her own cafe. Urooz Hussain set up her cafe named 'Street Temptation' in Uttar Pradesh's Noida at Sector 119. Describing the idea behind the cafe, she said that it was to inspire members from her community to work towards earning a life of dignity. Urooz shared that she had experienced workplace harassment which led her to establish her own business to promote a culture of equality. Speaking to ANI, the entrepreneur said, "I was subjected to harassment at my workplaces so I decided to start my own cafe that treats everyone equally.

I hope this will inspire others from my community." "I was born as a 'normal' child, as a boy, but later realised that even though I have a male body, my feelings are a like a girl which resulted in questioning about my identity in my teens. I faced a lot of difficulty in overcoming this situation. My male relatives used to bully me a lot. My father is strict, he had created a boundary within which I needed to behave as a boy. This was not okay with me. I used to play with dolls when I was young, used to interact more with girls than I did boys. So, I left my hometown in 2013 and shifted to Delhi and started my transition as a transwoman," Hussain said in a video interview with The Quint.

Collected
Source-https://thelogicalindian.com/lgbtq/transgenders-agri-entrepreneurship-tiruchirapalli-26521
The Logical Indian Crew
Published on -30 Jan 2021

25
Technology / Embracing Digital Technology in the New Normal
« on: January 28, 2021, 04:07:47 PM »
The Impact and Contributions of ICT during a time of Global Crisis:

Embracing Digital Technology in the New Normal

Pls read the attachment to know the Positive Impact and Contributions of ICT During a Time of Global Crisis

Collected
A resource of WITSA (World Information Technology and Services Alliance)


26
Higher Education / Business Education Post-Pandemic
« on: January 28, 2021, 12:51:45 PM »
If one sector of higher education is all set to see major changes post-pandemic, it is the domain management education.

Business education in India has proliferated with more than one thousand independent management colleges apart from 900 plus universities having a management education faculty or department. Alongside, commerce education is common in more than 20,000 colleges and the universities in the country.

Business education traditionally has been plagued with the following challenges:

It is delivered largely face-to-face with concepts and theories of management or usual taxation & accounting laws and principles being the focus; It is delivered by resource persons who have rarely practiced what they are teaching, and from books of management largely written in the Western nations; It is evaluated with a semester-end or an annual written examination which is the base of scoring, awarding degrees and considering for jobs; and It is heavily biased towards jobs in large corporations, indigenous or MNCs, while in reality the actual engagement later is in MSME sector or in small start-ups or entrepreneurial ventures of the learners of today.

The pre-pandemic times already necessitated many changes which several universities started adopting, and the pandemic has now quickly fastened the process of redefining business education in the country. The changes in business education which we may see in the next decade are as follows:

Business education will begin with a flipped classroom model, where the learners shall be provided multiple learning resources as required for that course, including open source resources and proprietary resources of the mentors themselves. These resources shall be videos, podcasts, pdfs, book chapter, case-study, info-graphics, interviews, slideshow, etc.

The learners are expected to develop asynchronous self-learning muscles in the first place, evolving in learning to learn, and then take up their doubts and challenges in synchronous sessions, which can be digital or physical, or at times even PhyGital (some in class and some online).

The third level in business learning then shall be problem-solving, critical thinking exercises with simulated situations given by the mentors to examine comprehension of the subject concerned, and application of the insights and knowledge gained in the given situations. Case-studies been already understood earlier, the learners shall be next asked to develop their own case-studies dependent on their interest areas. Alongside, after initiation to overall management, or commerce, principles and practices, the learner is supposed to take up a broad specialization area, which, at the first level can be marketing, human resources, finance and systems for the management learners. For commerce learners, it can be advanced accounts, taxation, actuarial sciences, business economics, etc.

The specialization next, especially at the Masters level, moves on to a niche area of specialization within the broad domain selected. In management it can be focussing on retail, services, leadership, budget management, project management, banking & insurance, learning & development, brand management, rural or agri-business management, data analytics management, energy management, logistics and supply chain management, IT & technology management, telecom management, entertainment & media management, social business management, development management, pharmaceuticals management, strategic management, Export-Import management, Sales Management, and the like. Similarly in commerce, one can go deep into one domain within taxation or accounting, for example.

It is also important to know quantitative aspects often neglected in traditional management education, like, econometrics, statistics, quantitative analyses software, big data analytics, IT applications of all sorts as needed. A couple of courses covering these will be very significant, more so today in post pandemic times.

It is significant at this stage to develop a few case-studies of success and/or failure of business initiatives in the chosen niche specialization area. Alongside, for hands-on experience, a couple of live projects and at least one major full-time internship should be done in the chosen niche area of business. In today’s times, one can have a low-engagement online internship also running along with the academic program, managing time and using the weekends well.

Higher emotional intelligence, ability to be a team-worker and when required to lead from a remote location, professional skills and work ethics, and a stronger sense of life skills are other necessities heightened in their significance post pandemic. Having a minor specialization in ITES with IT-Computer Science school, or in brand communication with the media school, or in corporate law or cyber law with the law school of the university one is studying, will be a big advantage and differentiator in a market-place full of management generalists with plain vanilla BBA-MBA degrees.

Jobs, Employers & Salaries:

On the jobs front, first lesson to be learnt is that one should seek a career and not just a job which is the manifestation of the chosen career at a point of time. If the focus is on the career per se, all or most of the above needs to be taken care of for better jobs.

Jobs today are available quite well in retail sector (online and offline together), pharma & healthcare sector, energy sector (conventional and non-conventional together), food sector, and in MSMEs as they shall be the driver of economic revival in the world which just now had 5% contraction last year from a total of 80 trillion dollar size, and in India which has gone through a huge 23% contraction in economy.

A quick survey with the placements offices of a few universities, including a talk with the corporate relations director Abhijit Giri of the university I am associated with, shows the following trends today:

The top six sectors employing freshmen from B-schools in India today are edutech, logistics & supply chain, banking and insurance, telecommunications, ecommerce/retail and analytics & consulting, and in this order. Among edutech enterprises, BYJU’s, Jaro, Toppers, and Extramarks are recruiting heavily, while DTDC and SafeExpress are the top logistics recruiters. Bank of America, ICICI, Aditya Birla and JR Laddha have been major recruiters in at least two universities I talked to in the banking and finance sector, along with a number of micro finance organizations. Reliance Jio takes the cake among telecoms and Amazon, e-kart and Flipkart in the ecommerce segment. AC Nielson and Emphasis major data and consulting recruiters. Our university had 94% final placements with range being from Rs.3.5 lacs to Rs.10 lacs per annum package, with Edutech giving highest packages, and the data analytics and consultancy companies paying next highest.

Re-invent yourself, re-define your career goals, re-strategize your journey, re-focus on specifics, re-learn after much unlearning, and re-invigorate the economy, post pandemic, taking the right lessons: that’s the mantra in the B-Schools of India today.

Collected
Source-https://english.karobardaily.com/2021/01/27/business-education-post-pandemic/#.YBEUHxwzo7U.twitter
The author is the Pro Vice Chancellor of Kolkata based Adamas University.

27
You need to know / About Covid-19: The Great Reset
« on: January 28, 2021, 12:42:05 PM »
Since it made its entry on the world stage, COVID-19 has dramatically torn up the existing script of how to govern countries, live with others and take part in the global economy. Written by World Economic Forum Founder Klaus Schwab and Monthly Barometer author Thierry Malleret, COVID-19: The Great Reset considers its far-reaching and dramatic implications on tomorrow’s world.

The book’s main objective is to help understand what’s coming in a multitude of domains. Published in July 2020, in the midst of the crisis and when further waves of infection may still arise, it is a hybrid between a contemporary essay and an academic snapshot of a crucial moment in history. It includes theory and practical examples but is chiefly explanatory, containing many conjectures and ideas about what the post-pandemic world might, and perhaps should, look like.

The book has three main chapters, offering a panoramic overview of the future landscape. The first assesses what the impact of the pandemic will be on five key macro categories: the economic, societal, geopolitical, environmental and technological factors. The second considers the effects in micro terms, on specific industries and companies. The third hypothesizes about the nature of the possible consequences at the individual level.

In early July 2020, we are at a crossroads, the authors of COVID-19: The Great Reset argue. One path will take us to a better world: more inclusive, more equitable and more respectful of Mother Nature. The other will take us to a world that resembles the one we just left behind – but worse and constantly dogged by nasty surprises. We must therefore get it right. The looming challenges could be more consequential than we have until now chosen to imagine, but our capacity to reset could also be greater than we had previously dared to hope.

For whole content pls see the attachment
Collected

28
Robotics / Robots and International Economic Development
« on: January 25, 2021, 11:33:50 PM »
INTRODUCTION
Given the importance of innovation and advanced technology competitiveness to the U.S. economy, it is heartening to see recent congressional proposals, such as the Endless Frontier Act, that propose significantly increased federal funding for research and development (R&D) targeted at key national priorities. However, in considering budget proposals for significantly increased federal support, Congress will be confronted with an array of conflicting information; some of it wrong, much of it misleading.

In particular, conservatives committed to limited government have made a number of inaccurate claims about the impact of federal funding for scientific and engineering research. What is perhaps most surprising is that these statements are almost always offered as doctrine, and not backed up by scholarly evidence, perhaps because the scholarly evidence on the issue directly contradicts their claims.

To help clarify some of these claims, this report identifies and responds to five of the most common. The bottom line is it is clearly in the national interest for Congress to appropriate significantly more funding for scientific and engineering research.

MYTH 1: FEDERAL R&D “CROWDS OUT” PRIVATE R&D
Because of abiding faith in “free markets” and a commitment to limited government, many conservatives oppose increases in federal funding of science and engineering research. To justify their argument, many make the claim that this is not additive; that it simply crowds out private sector R&D funding, and we are left with the same amount of R&D as before. The Heritage Foundation has stated, “By attempting to force government-developed technologies into the market, the government diminishes the role of the entrepreneur and crowds out private-sector investment.”1

In fact, the opposite is true: Federal support for basic and applied research is a complement to private research, because industry is able to build on the knowledge discoveries from publicly supported research, making their own research more productive and effective. These research results provide firms—large and small—with a common platform of basic knowledge, making their own research more productive and effective. In addition, government support for a promising line of research helps convince firms to boost their own efforts in these areas.

After reviewing over 60 academic articles on whether public sector R&D crowds out private sector investments, Cockburn and Henderson concluded:

There are a number of econometric studies that, while imperfect and undoubtedly subject to improvement and revision, between them make a quite convincing case for a high rate of return to public science in this [life-sciences] industry. It is worth noting that there are, so far as we are aware, no systematic quantitative studies that have found a negative impact of public science.2

A working paper from the World Bank combs through recent evidence on government funding for R&D, and finds that government funding significantly increases R&D investment.3 Although there is a large variation in the type of R&D funding examined, the study’s methodologies, and the location of the studies, the results are clear: Government funding boosts R&D spending. The paper tackles another important question as well: whether government spending “crowds out” private sector spending. The paper finds evidence of the opposite, however, with data that shows public funding actually incentivizes firms to invest more in R&D.4

Federal support for basic and applied research is a complement to private research, because industry is able to build on the knowledge discoveries from publicly supported research, making their own research more productive and effective.

Another study finds that for every additional dollar of publicly funded research added to the stock of government R&D, it induces an additional 27 cents of private R&D investment. For the life sciences industry, Ehrlich found that a dollar of National Institutes of Health (NIH) support for research leads to an increase in private medical research of even greater levels, roughly 32 cents.5 An Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) study finds that “direct government funding of R&D performed by firms (either grants or procurement) has a positive effect on business financed R&D (one dollar given to firms results in 1.70 dollars of research on average).” Most other studies of the issue find similar results, with the effect differing from around 10 cents to 30 cents of additional R&D for every dollar of government funding for university or government laboratory research.

It is important to note that some of these studies show examinations of a period when federal R&D was more than double what it is today as a share of gross domestic product (GDP). And even then, federal funding crowded in private sector R&D investment. As such, the idea that the increases being proposed today in bills such as the Endless Frontier Act would crowd out private funding makes little sense.

MYTH 2: PRIVATE FIRMS HAVE ENOUGH INCENTIVES TO INVEST IN R&D
It is all well and good to support federal R&D, but many market fundamentalists argue that firms already have strong incentives to fund R&D. They therefore argue that increases in R&D, particularly to key technology areas related to U.S. industrial competitiveness, are not needed. Heritage Analyst Katie Tubb stated, “I would question why is it the role of the federal government to be funding science across the board. The private sector plays a huge role in supporting science.”6

The question is not whether the private sector has incentives to invest in R&D; it clearly does. The question is whether those incentives are sufficient to maximize total economic welfare—and the answer to that is unequivocally no.

Economists have long attempted to measure the extent of spillovers from business R&D. As noted economist Zvi Griliches wrote:

There has been a significant number of reasonably well-done studies all pointing in the same direction: R&D spillovers are present, their magnitude may be quite large, and social rates of return remain significantly above private rates.… The estimated social rates of return look, actually, surprisingly uniform in their indication of the importance of such spillovers.7

A 1998 study by Jones and Williams shows the social rate of return from R&D and concludes that the optimal level was at least two to four times actual investment.8 The fact that some economists estimate a 7 percent private return and 30 percent social rate of return on R&D suggests the optimal level of R&D investment in the U.S. economy is three to four times larger than the total current level of private investment.9 The overall social return from investment in information technology generally is over 80 percent.10 When companies do basic research, the spillovers are even greater—as high as 150 percent.11

The question is not whether the private sector has incentives to invest in R&D; it clearly does. The question is whether those incentives are sufficient to maximize total economic welfare—and the answer to that is unequivocally no.

Okubo and colleagues examined many different studies and concludes that the private return is 26 percent and the social return 66 percent.12 Most recently, Bloom and Van Reenen examined the change in the rate of R&D spillovers; in other words the differential rate between private and social returns from R&D. The authors found that spillovers actually increased over the last 40 years, with the ratio of social to private returns increasing from a factor of three to four. As they wrote, “There is certainly no evidence that the need to subsidize R&D has diminished.”13 This underinvestment means, absent policies to raise the after-tax rate of private return from R&D closer to the rate of the public return (either through R&D tax incentives, direct funding of business R&D, or even support for government and university research that businesses can use), economic growth will be reduced, and the new innovations that will improve our lives will come about more slowly.

Economists Benjamin Jones and Lawrence Summers estimated that every dollar invested in innovation returns four dollars in social benefits. But these social returns compound as much as 2,000 percent (or $20 for every dollar invested) when considering health benefits, international spillovers, and if new firm creation drives the bulk of productivity gains that result from new ideas.14 Another study uses firm-level data for Canadian businesses between 2000 and 2012 to estimate the economic impact of these positive spillovers, finding that they amount to an additional 33 percent return on investment in R&D, on average. This windfall for society comes above and beyond the profits firms themselves make from their innovations.15

MYTH 3: FEDERAL R&D DOESN’T BOOST PRODUCTIVITY GROWTH
Some free-market fundamentalists have dismissed the role of federal research spending, arguing that it has minimal impact on productivity. For example, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed titled “The Myth of Basic Science,” Matt Ridley cited a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) article as proof the return on investment from publicly financed R&D is near zero.16 He wrote:

In 2007, the economist Leo Sveikauskas of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics concluded that returns from many forms of publicly financed R&D are near zero and that many elements of university and government research have very low returns, overwhelmingly contribute to economic growth only indirectly, if at all.

But what the BLS article is actually measuring is the impact of that R&D on the productivity of government agencies, which is in fact low.17 After all, when NIH funds research to treat diabetes or cancer, the results do very little to make NIH workers more productive.

In fact, the BLS article concludes that “many advances arising from university or government research eventually have an important indirect effect on growth,” and that “programs, especially those in which university scientists compete for grants, such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, some Department of Agriculture programs, and DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] in the Department of Defense, appear to have a remarkable record.”18

Ridley also misled when he cited an OECD study on the sources of growth among its member countries in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s as evidence that “whereas privately funded research and development stimulated economic growth, publicly funded research had no economic impact whatsoever. None. This earthshaking result has never been challenged or debunked.”19

Yet, the OECD study Ridley cites immediately qualifies that finding with: “[T]here are important interactions between public and private R&D activities as well as difficult-to-measure benefits from public R&D (e.g. defence, energy, health and university research) from the generation of basic knowledge that provides technology spillovers in the long run.” Moreover, later, more comprehensive OECD studies find government-funded research does have a major effect on innovation and growth.20

Some federal R&D, such as the study of black holes, likely has little effect on productivity. But the real question is whether most areas of federal R&D expenditures have significant impacts on productivity, and the evidence clearly suggest the answer is yes.

This is not surprising, because virtually every scholarly study examining the issue finds the same thing. For example, Griliches concluded that federal R&D in industry has a positive effect on productivity, though less of an impact than privately financed research.21 Likewise, Guellec and van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie found that government research expenditures, in addition to private R&D, contribute to the rate of economic growth.22 Another study of the U.K. economy finds evidence of spillovers of private R&D and public R&D, with an estimated rate of return to public R&D of 20 percent.23 Similarly, to compensate for this, the study examines the number of researchers in the public and private sectors between 1981 and 2017 across 20 OECD countries, finding that a doubling of private researchers increases productivity growth by 4.3 to 7.2 percent, while doubling public researchers increases productivity growth by 6.1 to 20.6 percent. Similarly, economist Dierk Herzer examined the number of researchers in the public and private sectors between 1981 and 2017 across 20 OECD countries, finding that a doubling of private researchers increases productivity growth by 4.3 to 7.2 percent, while doubling public researchers increases productivity growth by 6.1 to 20.6 percent.24

To be clear, some federal R&D, such as the study of black holes, likely has little effect on productivity. But the real question is whether most areas of federal R&D expenditures have significant impacts on productivity, and the evidence clearly suggest the answer is yes.

MYTH 4: FEDERAL R&D LEVELS ARE WHAT MATTERS, R&D SHARE OF GDP
Some have argued that the fact that federal R&D as a share of GDP has fallen is irrelevant and that all that matters is absolute amount. If the absolute funding levels have not fallen, all must be well.

Let’s start with the data. The federal government spends approximately $125 billion per year in R&D for everything from agriculture to human health, national defense, manufacturing, and energy. Unfortunately, despite a modest uptick in the nominal value of federal support for R&D, the overall trend is a decline.

This is true in constant dollar spending. When controlling for inflation, according to the National Science Foundation the federal government spent 15 percent less on R&D in 2017 as it did in 2010.25 As a share of GDP, the decline is much steeper. Indeed, in 22 of the 28 years from 1990 to 2018, federal R&D spending made up a smaller share of GDP than the year before, sinking to just 0.61 percent of GDP in 2018, the lowest level since 1955, according to the latest data from the National Science Foundation.

Figure 1: Federal R&D as a share of GDP

To understand just how far off the pace recent federal funding for research has been, figure 1 shows the recent fiscal year’s funding levels would need to increase to match prior year R&D-to-GDP levels. To match levels of the 1980s, for example, funding today would need to increase by about 80 percent, or $100 billion per year.

There are two problems with the view that the United States doesn’t need federal funding for research to stay at least constant with GDP growth. First, America is competing with China, which, as its economy grows, is funding vastly more R&D than three decades ago. The United States is in a commercial and military race with China, and that race is not about what it does relative to its past, but to China’s present and future. Second, as Nick Bloom and colleagues have shown, the global productivity of R&D has fallen, in large part because the technical problems today are much more difficult than the ones half a century ago.26 To take DARPA as an example, its funding as a share of GDP has fallen by half, which means DARPA innovation outputs have likely fallen by at least three quarters relative to GDP. This means that if R&D doesn’t at least keep up with GDP, there will continue to be less innovation every year.

MYTH 5: FEDERAL R&D CREATES RELATIVELY FEW JOBS
Some argue that in a time of high joblessness there is little point in funding R&D because it creates few jobs. To be sure, the principal goal of federal R&D is not to create jobs; it is to boost innovation, productivity and competitiveness, and national security. At the same time, however, it does create jobs. The Information Technology and Information Foundation (ITIF) estimated that an additional one-time $20 billion investment in research would create approximately 402,000 American jobs for one year. Our estimate projects that this level of funding would create or retain approximately 196,000 direct and indirect jobs.27 Moreover, to the extent federal R&D supports commercial innovation, this too would lead to job creation. For example, Battelle Memorial Institute estimated that in 2010 the federally funded Human Genome Project supported the creation of over 360,000 jobs.28

CONCLUSION
Free market conservatives are right about a lot. It’s important to limit the role of government in a number of areas, including ensuring it doesn’t overregulate key parts of the economy. But when it comes to federal investment in science, the free-marketers’ argument that the private sector can and will do most of the heavy lifting and that government can let federal support for R&D stagnate or even shrink is mistaken. That is a recipe for continued lags in innovation, productivity growth, national competitiveness, and national security.

AUTHOR
Robert D. Atkinson (@RobAtkinsonITIF) is the founder and president of ITIF.

Collected
Source- https://itif.org/publications/2021/01/25/robots-and-international-economic-development?mc_cid=4adbf2c475&mc_eid=b61832c89d

29
Respected Reader,

Pls see the attachment for the Post COVID-19 Jobs and Skills in Bangladesh

Regards

30
Higher Education Ahead- Innovations Galore Like Never Before

If demonetization leapfrogged fintech, COVID induced lockdown and physical distancing induced long closure of campuses across the world have tremendously pushed edtech ahead. We have come to a time when blended learning delivered phygitally (physical and digital together) has come to stay. Beyond this complete campus lockdown phase, during which time mentoring-learning-assessing has gone online globally, we shall be moving towards blended phygital education in 2021, which will be the new normal ahead.

Changes Emerging:

For this, first one has to be a digital personality with smartphone and net connection, and with laptop and wifi connection. Next, one has to learn how to create, deliver and engage in content across multiple online platforms, and how to take matter learnt online to matter practiced offline face to face. Third, one has to now learn assessment with open book through analysis and application, through quiz, through applied projects, through phygital presentation and actual work in labs and studios after using virtual labs and studios.
Fourth, education will now move from a system imposed disciplined endeavour to voluntarily participated and internalized process. It will be truly a learner-centric education now in the new normal, and shall be far more participative than the past.

Hence, teachers cannot remain the sage on the stage, telling the last word in syllabus, its interpretation, its delivery and its assessment. S/he has to be the mentor who mentors inside and beyond the classroom, creates proprietary content (self-videos, ppts, cases and lectures) and brings together aggregated content from open sources (youtube videos, URLs, cases, slideshares, MOOCs, etc). Mentors have to motivate, show a path, be the agony aunts and uncles, friends, and start from a structured syllabus and move to organic syllabus.

And the students cannot be the pre COVID times typical students any more going ahead. Students study in classroom, are taught by teachers, limited to given syllabus, and study for marks, grades, degrees. Learners study within and beyond the classroom, from mentors, peers, personal experience, books, digitally aggregated content, through projects and assignments. Learners learn for lifetime, and hence learn to learn further as things learnt today are obsolete soon.

Also, with Artificial Intelligence, robotics, automation, Machine Learning and internet of things being the other emerging realities, the skills for mass production or education to do the same work repeatedly will be totally irrelevant ahead when machines will take over almost all such work (more than three fourths of all human work today). Hence, new age skills, apart from technology use, have to be in areas like creativity, innovation, incubation, problem-solving, teamwork, leadership, critical thinking, design thinking, empathy, emotional intelligence and risk management. Each of these can be qualitatively and quantitatively mentored to any youth from an early age of say 15 years till 25 years of age, and will become his or her second nature.

Yes, for this, doubling public education expenditure, digital access to the hinterland, considering digital connectivity as a human right, digital literacy as a fundamental pre-requisite in any work, providing cell phones and laptops or tabs en masse, announcing cheaper data packages for students, CSR in the field of domain of digital connectivity by corporate houses, etc and more would be needed soonest to bridge the yawning digital divide in the otherwise class divided society.

Force of the Pandemic in Education:

What demonetization of late 2016 did to fintech in India, then COVID19 pandemic of early 2020 did that to edtech and healthtech world-over. There is a forced migration to digital learning which is laying bare the underbelly of the much touted Digital India campaign a couple of years ago.

World-over more than 770 million students have been disrupted by COVID19 and the consequent lockdowns globally. The United Nations has warned of the unparalleled scale and speed of the educational disruption being caused by Coronavirus. India has over 37 million students enrolled in higher education. An interruption in the delivery of education has already caused a disruption that might be long-run.

Learning or academics or education broadly has three functions: creation of learning content through research, writing, packaging with visuals; dissemination of learning through classes, lectures, notes, self-study, discussions; & assessment and evaluation of the education of the learner by various methods. All these three have been majorly impacted by the self-isolation imposed to ensure social distancing so that the learners and the mentors may first be protected from the spread of the infection of COVID19. The lockdown across the world is simultaneously a boon and a bane for the teaching-learning community today.

Digital Learning Tools Today:

The pandemic requires universities to rapidly offer online learning to their students. Fortunately, technology and content are available to help universities transition online quickly and with high quality, especially on the digital plank, though at a cost and with the risk of several teachers and administrators being forced to go out of the system.

Digital learning on the go or from distance calls for tech-led holistic solutions. It requires several content pieces to be transmitted digitally. These content pieces can be in the form of pdfs, ppts, URLs, YouTube links, podcast links, case-studies, etc. There can also be e-books, audio-books, kindle based content, magzter sourced magazines, etc. Then this can involve learning without being face to face through boxes, as in Google Class, or learning face to face as in Zoom live audio-visual discussions. People may also use GoToMeetings or MicrosoftMeet sessions also. Attendance can be taken on Google Spreadsheet and through Whatsapp Group chat of a batch of students too.

There are other tools that can take digital go miles ahead. Flipped classroom method with an active learning classroom can have all study resources given a day or two in advance, and the actual session starting with a quick quiz, then doubts clearance, and thereafter a few issues of the future or counter points to what were given earlier, like possible different scenarios or new research findings not shared earlier. This is quite an effective way of learning, which is internalized, collaborative, experiential, bottom-up, as distinctly different from teaching, which is instructional, hierarchic and top-down.

Then there are MOOCs, collaborative distance learning, wikis, blogs etc. Individual resource-rich institutes develop their customized secured and IPR protected Learning Management Systems, through the use of BlackBoard or TCSion LMS. Other LMS options like Kaltura or Impartus allowing video recording of talks also ar in use in many places. There are CourseEra courses, Swayam online lessons from UGC and similar other avenues to learn online.

Learning digitally can be further assisted with Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) which can take the viewer to an enhanced experience even integrating scenarios which are yet to happen creatively bringing them within the learning experience. These are immersive and contextual experiences, and artificial intelligence driven chatbots can further enhance the digital interface of the learner and the mentor.

Digital Learning Value-adds:

Incorporating big data analytics and content management, educators can develop an individualized curriculum that enhances how each student learns (e.g. playlist of learning content in WiseWire changing for each student). Many in the West have started the use of the millennials' language and style: Khan Academy video lessons, YouTube use, distinct style and language for young learners. Twitter, Tumblr, Snapchat, Imessage, Instagram, Facebook &Whatsapp are being creatively integrated with school education. There is a case of a management school in India, where the professor sends a 3 minutes interesting video on the subject he is taking up next through group whatsapp to increase interest in the batch towards the topic being taught.

In the US, the smart-phone applications like Socrative and Plickers are helping teachers interact and assess students’ progress, collaborate via cloud-based applications to work and solve a common goal. Teachers can publish real-time quizzes and polls for students via mobile devices to keep them engaged.

Further, using anything from iMovie to WeVideo, learners can create video as a learning resource. YouTube (with privacy settings) and SeeSaw or Flipgrid are also alternatives learners can make use of. The benefits of SeeSaw and Flipgrid are that students can add voice recordings or text sharing feedback with peers. Students became the co-creators of content and as a result, more engaged, including their parents. Useful apps like Book Creator, Explain Everything and EduCreations can be utilised towards this end.

There are various software used to create digital content, like Camtasia, Raptivity, Captivate, Articulate Online, etc.

Yes alongside, social media use extensively will support learning online. Facebook Page can broadcast updates and alerts. Facebook Group or Google Hangout with advanced features in G-suite can stream live lectures and host discussions. Twitter can act as a class message board. The 256 characters help to keep messages succinct. Instagram can be used for photo essays. One can create a class blog for discussions. There are many different platforms available, such as WordPress, SquareSpace, Wix, Blogger for that. And, one can create a class-specific Pinterest board as well.

Digital Assessment & Evaluation:

Online quiz, open book examination with time-managed and proctored question paper delivered online, applied questions not based on memory but comprehension, telephonic interview etc have been the usual ways of digital assessment and evaluation of learning.

Assessment refers to learner performance; it helps us decide if students are learning and where improvement in that learning is needed.Evaluation refers to a systematic process of determining the merit value or worth of the instruction or programme; it helps us determine if a course is effective (course goals) and informs our design efforts.Assessment and evaluation can be both formative (carried out during the course) and summative (carried out following the course). There can be many ways for the same. Mentors can make learners aware of expectations in advance (e.g. one week for feedback from deadline) and keep them posted (announcement: all projects have been marked). For example, one can create tests that are multiple choice, true/false, or short answer essays and one can set the assessments to automatically provide feedback.

Possibilities in Education beyond COVID:

Online learning is the big winner from this – across all education levels; so proving quality now is at centre stage. However, going ahead, in the post COVID times, blended learning will be the way to go. The biggest future benefits of virtual instruction will come after our professors and students return to their physical classrooms. The necessity of teaching and learning with asynchronous (Canvas, Blackboard, D2L) and synchronous (Zoom) platforms will yield significant benefits when these methods are layered into face-to-face instruction. We will come back from COVID-19 with a much more widely shared understanding that digital tools are complements, not substitutes, for the intimacy and immediacy of face-to-face learning. Since professors are now moving content online, precious classroom time will be more productively utilized for discussion, debate and guided practice.

Moving ahead in the New Normal, teacher may more be called a mentor now as information and knowledge are at the fingertips of the students faster than that of the teachers, especially the grown-up learners, post 16 years let's say. It was so earlier too, but even the facade of higher knowledge (read, degrees, age and experience) is not the greatest of value moving ahead. So mentors shall be needed to inspire, motivate, direct to a new domain of learning or action, bring in perspectives, lend shoulder to a grieving youth, but not just for knowledge and information which are anyways available.

Similarly, student can now be a true learner. They were always so. But the onus of learning is all the more on the learner now on (in the earlier regime teachers teach, students study). Students study for exams, marks and degrees, under the tutelage of teachers, with a structured syllabus. Learners learn within and beyond the classroom, from mentors and others, for lifetime use of knowledge for a career and life, within and beyond the syllabus, structured or unstructured, online or offline.

Engagement is the new currency in the post COVID education, as much as in entertainment. For a long time, the grievance in the classroom was that students are not present and neither interested to learn. That challenge is universal. But digital allows the learner to be engaged at his time, place and pace. And that is good enough. It is a qualitatively different world ahead. Good and bad education will not be decided by marks and numbers of degree certificates handed. It will be decided by the level of academic and related online and social media engagement of the learners, the quality of content shared by mentors, and the value and volume of content generated by engaged learners.

Writer-
Professor Ujjwal K Chowdhury
The author is a columnist and media academic, working as the Pro Vice Chancellor of Kolkata based Adamas University.

Collected
Source- https://www.daily-sun.com/post/531010/Innovations-Galore-Like-Never-Before

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