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Background :

Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist, and civil society leader who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. These loans are given to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans.  Mohd.Yunus experiment is that micro-credit turned into an alternative investment fund to help fight unemployment.
To a question if people in West Bengal were not ready to take risk taking ventures as entrepreneurs, he said "I don't look at it that way. The mentality to start own ventures is there, everywhere in world including Bengal. But you have to be with them (the young unemployed)."

"There is this ocean of money all around. Poor people just want a sip of that money and we should reach it out to them," he said adding even rich people become defaulters in bank loans "but conventional banks still reach out to the rich”.

To a question about the fall of ponzy firms in Bengal, Yunus said, "While there can always be fly-by-night firms in a system and laws and legislation to check their activities, if you refer to the micro-credit concept mooted by us, it never collects money from depositors."

The inspirational story of how Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus invented microcredit, founded the Grameen Bank, and transformed the fortunes of millions of poor people around the world.

In 2006, Yunus and the Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts through microcredit to create economic and social development from below".
After changing lives of over 9 million people in Bangladesh and generating 100,000 dollars in US, Grameen Bank experiment has been able to benefit an estimated 300 million borrowers across the world including Brazil.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said that "lasting peace cannot be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of poverty" and that "across cultures and civilizations, Yunus and Grameen Bank have shown that even the poorest of the poor can work to bring about their own development". Yunus has received several other national and international honours. He received the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2010.
The microfinance movement was started off by one man: Muhammad Yunus, with one vision: to eradicate poverty from the world. Muhammad Yunus, the Bangladeshi economist, widely known as the Father of Microfinance founded the Grameen Bank to make small loans to the poor in Bangladesh.

Dr. Yunus was greatly influenced by his mother who was known to never turn away anyone in need. The famine that hit Bangladesh in 1974 pushed him to do something about poverty. During his visits to the poorest households in the village of Jobra, he realised that a small loan can make a big difference to a poor person. He made his first loan to 42 women in the village, with just USD $27 from his own pocket. With this money, the women were able to make baskets, sell them and quickly repay the money they borrowed from him. He began to see that small loans would not only help them survive, but create in them the spark of enterprise and this could empower them and pull them out of poverty.

Since traditional banks refused to make small loans to the poor, the idea for Grameen Bank was born. In 1976, Dr Yunus launched the activities of Grameen bank, giving out microloans to the poor. In 1983, Grameen Bank was officially formed. The borrowers typically repay back the loan in small weekly installments. In small villages with no access to banks, Grameen has brought banking to people’s homes. The bank’s 22,149 staff serve 8.37 million borrowers at their door-step in 81,379 villages all over Bangladesh, every week. So far, Grameen Bank has disbursed USD $11 billion in loans.
The success of the Grameen microfinance model has inspired hundreds of countries throughout the world, including the USA. Grameen Bank and Dr.Yunus jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.

Idea :
Empathy – Open it up
THINK – What is the Purpose of MY LIFE?
1)    To be USEFULE TO OTHERS          – Entrepreneur – To be Job Creator  - THINK BIG?
2)   To work for somebody else            – Service             – To be  Job Seeker  - THINK SMALL?
-   All human beings are born an ENTREPRENEUR
-   It is our belief that destiny plays a role to become rich
-   Job is end of Creativity
-   Job is run by Limitations/Instructions
-   Damaging to do Job
-   We work for others to make them richer

Why Not Become an Entrepreneur?
You are born entrepreneur – We create our Wealth  – Wealth Creator to NATION

Capitalist system :
-   Wealth becoming mushroom owned by fewer
-   Not sustainable way of human community
-   All money in few people hands – 73% is owned by 1% of Indians
-   Humanbeings are driven by self interest
-   Humans are selfish – they should be selfless
-   Economic Theory retaining  selfishness  - Real humans are beyond
-   We see with bifocal glasses $ sign, global sign to solve human problems of people, such as, sanitation, Housing, Healthcare, Solar Energy, etc.

Anyone can Create  SOCIAL BUSINESS:
-   No Charity show – it is a Sustainable Development Branch of Business –lending to  Family, children education, vocational training; other activitiy needs – The entire family is business for us
-   To do  business is to solve problems  and not motive of making profits
-   Many companies have started SOCIAL BUSINESS through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – Tatas, SodexHo, Ceat, etc., creating Social Business
-   Sole purpose of earning their lives
-   Any one can create Social Business – Profits ploughed back in business

Mission of Microfinance :
Two types of Micro Credit :

-   Right Micro Credit – To get people out of poverty
-   Wrong Micro credit – To make Profits only
Problem of Unemployment is created artificially
Creator /Innovator – huge humanbeing
Shift your mind
Move away from greed civilisation to Selfless Civilisation based on Empathy, Fellowship and Humanity

Grameen Bank MODEL is not Country Specific - It is human specific
No document – but we lend money
INDIA / US /other countries  replicates  from Bangladesh Innovation

Learnings from  journey (Spark)  creating Grameen Bank in Bangladesh – Dream Come True?

-   How to make useful to other people –one people who needs me
-   Can I do something which would make difference to other person – Became part of my life
-   Knowing people in village – name, face, family, etc.
-   I see people in the real sense
-   In my Economic Book – they are described as Labour not People
-   University learning gave me a “Bird’s Eye View” – different perspective
-   I did not see anything everything is blurred
-   Most of it is imagination

suddenly gave me problem of happiness he is expecting
-   I see very sharp clear way problems unsurmountable
-   Problem is not discussed in classroom
-   When you come to people, problem is different
-   Thought of Way to protect person

-   Why don’t I lend my money myself?  I STARTED
-   I believed in me – save somebody – Making a Difference “MAD”  in someone lives

-   Reaching to Villages - Villagers thought I was lender – Money lender – but I was protector of them
-   How to continue beyond numbers – Recycle that money
-   How do I find money – I am not a banker - that is job of bank – I am a TEACHER
-   Bank cannot lend money to poor people  - they are not credit worthy
-   Have you tried out – debate, discussions took place – Met MD/GM of Banks – Tried very single bank to persuade what I was doing – Bank is not supposed to judge credit worthiness of people
-   I, Yunus, became as Guarantor
-   Banks thought I am becoming nuisance and they finally agreed
-   Banks started controlling and I thought of creating a bank myself
-   Persuaded Finance Minister, Central Bank and SPARK initial journey commenced from 1976 and got permission to commence business in October 1983
-   GRAMEEN BANK EMERGED – OWN BANK – SKY is the limit – Anything I want  and How Far I want
-   All borrowers must be women
-   Banks don’t lend money to POOR people and women too – Banks lend money to RICH people
-   Poor women afraid of money – scared of money – never touched money in their life
-   She  lived her life as if she did not exist
-   I tried out – If one woman SUCCESSFUL – Others will follow – Snowball effects
-   Took 6 years to  take off – 50% Men and 50% women – Money going to family through women
-   Later women became 97% and 3% Men
-   Changed lives and families
-   All women in frontline
-   Reduce poverty by half by 2030
-   Poverty is part of it – artificially imposed on human beings
-   Give them opportunity – Moh.Yunus business was not giving them Charity but making it Social Business through Sustainable Development Goals

-   If you find any poor person in Bangladesh, you will get 100 dollars
-   Poverty Museum – how horrible poverty used to be

-   Impressed by entrepreneur ability by women
-   All human beings are entrepreneurs

-   Let us bring programme to beggars – even beggars can become independent entrepreneur
-   Talked to beggars and studied their way of living
-   I studied generations of beggars – three generation beggars
-   Real person resides in them
-   How they lived – go house to house begging – Told them would you mind carry a basket of merchandise with you  – cookies, biscuits, etc.
-   You go begging anyway – carry a basket with you – we give money loan say Rs.300 – Rs.500 to buy merchandise
-   6 to 9 months studied business
-   Slowly slowly Business expanded from 1000 beggars to 1 lac beggars
-   Study showed – We bring merchandise, they opened the door and gave us stool to sit. 
-   Children tell them to bring sweets, chocolates, etc.
-   Beggars became Marketing agents for families
-   Two years of operation of this idea – One-fourth of beggars stopped begging
-   They already know which house is good for begging and which one is good for selling – Market segmentation
-   Not gone to Harvard University – SELF /EXPERIENTIAL  LEARNING 

-   Can a Beggar become an Entrepreneur??
-   YES – People/Banks  should look them differently
-   Put any amount of money  and even one paisa is welcome  in SB Account
-   Last  2017 – Total 3 billion loan and 2.25 billion accounts
-   SB Account Savings in their account far exceeded amount of their loans
-   Today, Beggars have respect and proudly say to BANKS – Beggars are not BORROWERS of BANKS – Beggars are LENDERS to BANKS
-   It is our responsibility to make sure illiteracy ends at parents level
-   Children must go to school and job of Bank is to ensure there is no dropouts
-   Study as much as you want School/College – education loan – Grameen Bank is Your Bank – you can go as far as you want.  No Job in Bangladesh.
-   Why looking for jobs ?
-   Job is obsolete idea.
-   – I am JOB CREATOR (THINK BIG) - I am  job seeker (THINK SMALL)


-   Taught in School – History, Geography, Civic – But nobody taught – How to start a life? How to become an entrepreneur?
-   Self/Experiential  Learning made her an Entrepreneur  - Mother being illiterate but had courage to ask for loan of $20 or $30 – she mobilized all confidence in bank and continued business.
-   How come your mother knows it and you (children) don’t know it. She did not wait others to teach her – How to start her life
-   You (children) are an artificial person as you went to school
-   School should be making lives not jobs for the people
-   Get rid of bad things in your head – artificial humanbeing
-   Join hands with Venture Capital – We Invest and become a Partner – If you need Second round of money, we will Lend you!


Learning from Quotes:
‘Empathy’ – Open it Up
Entrepreneurs are not just born, they are made!
“Become Business Minded -  Not Service Minded”
“I was born intelligent, education ruined me”

THINK – What is the Purpose of MY LIFE?  To be USEFULE TO OTHERS – To Become an Entrepreneur – To be Job Creator  - THINK BIG?  To serve Society in particular and Nation in general

MSMEs/Banks Lending to BEGGARS – thus making them an ‘ENTREPRENEUR’ – They should be looked differently

Mission of Micro Finance is to get people out of Poverty

Move away from greed civilisation to Selfless Civilisation based on Empathy, Fellowship and Humanity

-   All Humans are Born Beggars & Entrepreneurs
-   Poverty is not created by people
-   Poverty is created by the system

Entrepreneurs are Risk takers and who have fire in their belly

I –Create – ‘I ‘ to ‘Infinity’ – Ideate, Innovate and Transform

“There is so much of best in worst of us.
There is so much of worst in best of us.
So who are we to judge rest of us”

The greatest mistake of most of the human beings:
We listen half
Understand quarter
Think zero
But react double and then remember that forever

Every human has vast potential. Only thinking makes him small.

Entrepreneurship - In the words of Shri Narayan murthy, mentor Infosys:
-   Converting idea into jobs and contributing to wealth and growth of the country
-   Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) flourish and add value to economy.
-   Entrepreneurs are Leaders who create more jobs and more wealth for nation. Contributing to nation building, e.g., Mahatma Gandhi a great leader.
-   Enhance confidence of people – dream and reach for the stars
-   Inspire people in hour of confusion, dilemma and turbulent times.
-    Six Attributes for success – you will succeed in toughest times
       o   Openness to ideas
       o   Merit
       o   Value system, discipline – Motivation – lead by example
       o   Innovation
       o   Excellence
       o   Execution
Any company’s failure is that they have overlooked some aspect of risk/attributes. You will get listed, even not then you have your investors/customers.

Let bad news take the elevators.
Good news take the stairs.

Entrepreneurs should be able to –
1)   Predict Revenues – Forecast revenue system
2)   Sustain those predictions – actual sales, customers need, deliver on time and quality
3)   Profitability – as profitable as possible – sell better, new ideas, innovative products and increased margins (control your cost)
4)   Reduce fixed costs and reduce indirect cost
5)   Derisking your work – no one geography, different avenues of  technology, not relying on one employee/skilled talent.
It is said “Do not keep all eggs in one basket”

Decide what you want to become as an entrepreneur. Imagine If the following are kept in hot water what  happens :
1)   Carrot – it is hard and strong before –  subject to heat resistant they become soft
2)   Egg – nice and well protected outside and soft inside – after the inside also becomes hard
3)   Coffee Beans – hard and strong before – after changed its form and merged into milk and also resisted heat

Be like Coffee Beans - Winners and Leaders are like ‘Coffee Beans’ – they can survive under all circumstances and challenging times.

Innovate the Model before Business Plan

Committed/competent – innate qualities

Constantly reinvent your business model

Outreach and within reach of people – Explore the Unexplored

Be Different  - Be MAD (Making a Difference)

I want to make a DIFFERENCE :
“Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less travelled by – and that has made all the difference” – Robert Frost –

Yeh Dil Mange More attitude – Change Your Attitude

Go beyond customers to stakeholders

Be Leader and inspire your team

Innovation is risky,
Non-innovation is fatal – Philip Kotler

Believe in Yourself - Never compare yourself with others, you are insulting yourself

Self-confidence is very important

Remember : Nobody is perfect – I am Nobody
   “If God only used perfect people nothing would ever get done”

Fire in belly / Passion

Question Everything

Able to face Challenges

Entrepreneurship -  Total Empowerment – Will you be able to do in service?? THINK

Able to take Risk

Able to change / Lead change

Do SWOT analysis - Identify your Strength,  Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

Conduct Market Survey / Study – Finding what the customers want?

Ordinary people with limited means can earn and learn how to start and run their own business profitably and to become extra-ordinary?? ATTITUDE. Difference from ordinary to extra-ordinary is that little bit extra.

Dhirubhai Ambani, Bill Gates, Narayan Murthy were also ordinary persons.  People laughed at their ideas. They will laugh at your ideas too.  Do not worry.  Come to us – BoB – we will help you - BoB advertisement for Loans to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Prepare your Plans and Project and any banks can assist you for funding. Funds are not a problem.
Start up – Hewlett Packard (HP) story – Commenced business in Garage

THINK BIG THINK POSITIVE (‘Cat’ also appears as ‘Lion’ in mirror ) – What you think so you become

Have a  DREAM – Write down your goals and keep revising it.

Create the Future – not predict the future – Do not wait for future

Focus on Customers – Study customers mind

Focus on value rather than sales and profit

Synergise -   Co-operation/Collaboration and not Competition need of hour
Establish the Problem

Right product at right time – current trends

Automation – systems and procedures at  place

Digitisation – internet, mobile, etc.

Work SMART and not hard – Street Smart


Find purpose, Means will Follow – Mahatma Gandhi

Find aim and your set of goals – means will follow – Means is not an hindrance at all. It is only mental block to commence business.

HR –human & customer capital
-   Attracting & Retaining talents
-   Customer attraction and Retention
-   Building Relationship
-   Changes in customer behavior
-   Networking

Value-based business
-   We have to gain TRUST to be in business and be RESPECTED Businessmen – No tutoring / lecture will help you gain the inner voice.
-   Be HONEST and TRUSTWORTHY to be a SUCCESSSFUL Businessmen. 
-   ETHICAL, NON-ETHICAL, NON COMPLIANCE  - YOU HAVE TO DECIDE - Example, weights and measurements – gripe water – 5% (100 grams when packed); shaving soap – 3.5% and soap – 2.5% - To ensure whether it contains 100 grams before packing
-   Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI)
-   Cross Border Business – Countries without Boundaries

Changes in technology – cheaper models – websites – ecommerce – bulk emails/SMSs

Environment factors – inflation, regulatory, economic, etc.

       o   Scanning environment in which we are working –changes taking place / Technology / Regulatory, etc. KEEP YOUR EYES AND EARS OPEN.

Other challenges :
-   Remain in Business which is Relevant – Bring in new ideas and eliminate old ideas, viz.,  Victoria / fixed tel. lines/tailor/cobbler.
-   Be prepared for change - Bajaj Scooter waiting period 20 years/Fiat Car/Godrej Refrigerator
-   Changes in Technology
-   Tolerance limit should be narrow –
        o   Time
        o   Quality – customer’s delight / WOW effect
        o   Price  - no bill required when purchasing /booking – hotel, tours, books, ipad, online via internet
-   Prepare for –
        o   Acquiring new skills
        o   Technology and the way it is changing – Telecom, transportation, logistics, etc.
        o   Skilled manpower to manage cash register – no waiting in queue
        o   Banking computerized system
        o   Skill of contracting and capability is very important
        o   Sale and Purchase Agreement
-   Franchising business – managing supply chain management
-   Premium Products – per sq.foot cost– hotel Taj expensive? Cost included in price
-   Developing BRAND – Parsi Dairy, Tata (Steel), Colgate (tooth paste), Bisleri (water)
-   Hygiene and Health – customers have become conscious nowadays
-   Globalising mindset / getting technology buying / employee trained / jt.venture / regulatory / language

Service Oriented Industry :
If money is not motivation – than What??  Anxiety and desire for employers – ONLY SALARY INCOME
-   Maitri – spouses
-   Society – education - picnics

-   Content for education – e-Learning business
-   Entertainment
-   Home Services – Healthcare
-   Retail
-   Home Care products
-   Manufacturing premium products – chocolates/cakes/pastries


Contributing to Development of People and development of Nation economy – It is an excellent area where one can think of entering as an entrepreneur.

By becoming Social Entrepreneurs
you will contribute towards promoting the cause of underprivileged women through financial empowerment and help them become respectable breadwinners for their families and gain financial independence.  With the right training and opportunity, entrepreneurs can give women a new way of life and help a wider section of society reap the benefit of your skills.

Entrepreneurs Mission and Vision in education :
To Aid rural development through quality education
“The future of India lies in her children. And the future of India’s children lies in Education”.
To Build the character of   rural children through a well rounded range of curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.
To Provide Value-based education complimented by state-of-the-art with research facilities, keeping main thrust on agriculture, healthcare, industry, technology and environment
To Facilitate harmonious growth of children through excellence in teach and a well-rounded motivational approach

Opportunities :
Eco-Village – Model Village – Nirmal Gram (Clean Village) – Cyber Gram (computer literacy, connectivity, etc.) – pioneering efforts towards spreading Education, setting up Schools/Colleges and thus contributing to social upbringing of youth “Child of today is future of the nation” – Rural Electrification/Solar energy – flourishing Agri-based village – training to skilled and unskilled labours – Old Age Homes (seek blessings of senior citizens) – Agri and Rural Tourism (the way to rural development)

Creating eco-village plan with thrust on health, hygiene, sanitation framework and work towards promoting community life stock management, solid waste management, provision of community blocks, sewage treatment by green bridge technology, energy conservation through biogas power generation and solar street light system.

Entrepreneur can take various initiatives for an Eco-Village,  such as, Personal and Public Hygiene drive,  Schools, Provisions for Clean Drinking Water, Tree Plantation, Sewage Disposal, Underground Drainage System, Waste Management, Adoption of Natural Fertilizers.

Women of the village be pulled into the effort to make a change and will actively bring about serious ground-level changes.  Innovations be deployed that will help counter mindsets.  For instance, toilets be called as “Aarogya Mandir” (temple of cleanliness) and take help of children to spread the right messages and may be called “Swatchata Doots” (messengers of cleanliness).

 Social entrepreneurship is the work of social entrepreneurs.  A social entrepreneur recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles and skills to organize, create and manage a venture to achieve social change.

Social entrepreneur is an individual with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. Social entrepreneur is ambitious and persistent, tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for bringing wide-scale changes for betterment for all walks of society.

Case Study :
Baramati Hi-Tech Textile Park Ltd.(BHTPL) :

Since the year 1967, Hon.Shri Sharad Pawar, renowed politician of the nation, transformed Baramati into modern village by bringing canal irrigation, co-operatives like milk societies, sugar factories, poultry and various industries.  He then realized the need for creating skilled and respectful employment opportunities for women.

Taking the advantage of a Scheme for Integrated Textile Park (SITP) of Government of India, he decided to start textile park in Baramati. A special purpose vehicle (SPV) called “Baramati Hi-Tech Textile Park Ltd. (BHTPL)” was set up over sprawling 60 acres of land which would house small domestic garment manufactures. BHTPL is situated MIDC region of Baramati about 100 kms. from Pune in Maharashtra State. 

BHTPL was established by a group of entrepreneurs under the patronage of Ms.Sunetra Ajit Pawar.  BHTPL consists of a comprehensive group of textile oriented units specializing in function such as Garmenting, Apparel Printing and Packaging, Home Furnishing, Embroidery, Dry Cleaning and Technical Textile within the Textile Park. It also has a series of smaller units available such as ancillary support units.  The park was commissioned in a scheduled 18 months time frame.

The establishment of BHTPL also aimed at economization of the production costs.  With the relentless efforts of Ms.Sunetra Pawar, BHTPL offers state-of-the-art infrastructure and also makes available local, skilled and trained labour. To further enable the success of the Park, she made provision for transportation services for women travelling from relatively longer distances.  The Park provides common Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) to process industrial sewage processing and also has a solar power generation unit for generating solar electricity.

Knowing that the success of any organization lies in the training and better work environment of its employees, the part has set up an ultra modern counter for various banking needs, R&D and Quality Centre for designing of world class products and meeting global quality standards, cafeteria for refreshments and an innovative crèche within the campus of the Park.

Another way in which BHTPL proved to be benchmark was by drawing out the benefits of Government entailed facilities and schemes for the progress of entrepreneurs.  It not only provided the employees with adequate training, but also helped them in the overall development of their personality and upliftment of their living standards.

Benefits of BHTPL :

In the era of women empowerment, BHTPL has set an unique example for textile industry in India by being an 100% women oriented unit. This outstanding and unique concept was noticed by then first women President of India, Hon.Pratibha tai Patil.




TIPS to prepare your Business Plan vis-a-vis-Project before presenting it to Bank for finance :

        -   Business Idea
        -   Name and Logo of business
        -   Tagline
        -   Competitive advantage / USP
        -   Products
        -   Market Research – Quest/Social Networking/Market Plan
        -   Demand for products
        -   Target customers
        -   Advertising
        -   Promotion ideas
        -   Packaging
        -   Distribution – direct / indirect channels
        -   Quality
        -   Cost per Unit and computation of cost
        -   Selling cost
        -   Start up Capital – breakup, viz., Rent, Land development, furniture and fixtures, electrical applicances, advertising expenses and miscellaneous expenses
       -   Meet start up cost – own funds / borrowed funds – sources of funds
       -   Profit and Loss statement
       -   Break-even Point (BE) – no.of units sold per month
       -   Risk factors and mitigation of risk
       -   Plans for future development

Mission for Universities :
Setting up of “Social Business Centre – 3-Zero Free World” under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities at Corporates, Colleges/Schools, Universities commencing with University of Mumbai as also take this mission across the globe.

Government of India and all Banks requires them to come together and substantially  contribute effectively for successful MISSION of “3-Zero Free World”  and pursue to  cover all villages as also  to reach to poorest of the poor strata of the society to eradicate 3-zeroes, viz., poverty, unemployment, carbon emission and make environment friendly place and to make financial inclusion a big hit. It should think on lines of Grameen Bank experiment, which as of now, has been able to benefit an estimated 300 million borrowers across the world including Brazil,  further to greater heights.

    -   Learnings from the Lecture delivered by - Prof.Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate, Founder Grameen Bank, Bangladesh - (IMC – Pravinchandra V.Gandhi CHAIR in Banking & Finance - JBIMS, University of Mumbai on Monday, 2nd July 2018 at University of Mumbai, Convocation Hall, Fort, Mumbai)

    - articleshow/60291330.cms?from=mdr

   - - Banker To The Poor - Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty

   -   Book on ‘Pearls of Wisdom – Inner Engineering – Achieving Professional Excellence (APEX)’  by Actor Advocate Lion Prof.Dr.Firdos T.Shroff, Mumbai (INDIA)


Authors for Joint Research  Paper for Publication

Actor Advocate LION Prof.Dr.Firdos T.Shroff, Global Motivation Guru
PG Diploma in Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Thoughts, University of Mumbai)
Mentor, Universities/Management Institutions;
Senate Member,Pune University; UN Talent;
Fellow IIBF;  (former Union Bank of India)
Mr.Taminul  Islam,
Research Scholar,
Daffodil International University (DIU)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
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প্রোটিনের প্রয়োজনীয়তা

পেট ভরেছে তো? খেয়ে তৃপ্তি মানেই শরীরে পুষ্টি মজুত এই ধারণা একেবারেই ভুল। সেটা অনেকেই বোঝেন না! তাই খাওয়ার ব্যাপারে পুষ্টির চেয়ে টেস্টি খাবারেই ঝোঁক বেশি দেখা যায়। আবার অনেকেই বুঝেও তা গুরুত্ব দেন না। কিন্তু সুস্থ থাকতে শরীরে প্রয়োজনীয় পরিপূরকের চাহিদা খাদ্যাভ্যাসের মাধ্যমে মেটানো অত্যন্ত জরুরি। একমাত্র পুষ্টিকর খাবারের মাধ্যমেই সেই মাইক্রো ও ম্যাক্রোনিউট্রিয়েন্টের ও চাহিদা মেটানো সম্ভব। শরীরে জরুরি ম্যাক্রোনিউট্রিয়েন্ট গুলির মধ্যে অত্যন্ত গুরুত্বপূর্ণ হল প্রোটিন।

প্রোটিন এক ধরনের অণু, যা বহু অ্যামাইনো অ্যাসিডের সমন্নয়ে তৈরি। এই অ্যামাইনো অ্যাসিড দু’ধরনের হয়-এসেন্সিয়াল এবং নন এসেন্সিয়াল অ্যামাইনো অ্যাসিড। শরীর নিজে থেকেই যে অ্যামাইনো অ্যাসিডগুলি তৈরি করে সেগুলি হল নন এসেন্সিয়াল অ্যামাইনো অ্যাসিড আর যেগুলি আমরা বাইরে থেকে খাদ্যের মাধ্যমে শরীরকে জোগান দিই সেগুলিকে বলা হয় এসেন্সিয়াল অ্যামাইনো অ্যাসিড, যার উৎস প্রোটিন জাতীয় খাবার। শরীরে ২০ ধরনের এই অ্যাসিড রয়েছে তার মধ্যে নয়টি এসেন্সিয়াল ও এগারোটি নন এসেন্সিয়াল অ্যামাইনো অ্যাসিড। সবকটির উপযুক্ত উপস্থিতিতেই শরীরে পর্যাপ্ত প্রোটিনের চাহিদা মেটানো সম্ভব।

পেট ভরানোর জন্য যেসব খাবার আমরা খাই তার বেশিরভাগই কার্বোহাইড্রেট সমৃদ্ধ খাবার। যেখানে প্রোটিনের মাত্রা খুব কম থাকে। যেমন ভাত, রুটি, মুড়ি, পরোটা, লুচি, চপ, চাউমিন ইত্যাদি। এতে শরীরে কার্বোহাইড্রেটের চাহিদা মিটলেও প্রয়োজনীয় পর্যাপ্ত প্রোটিনের চাহিদা মেটে না। শরীরে সবকটি এসেন্সিয়াল অ্যামাইনো অ্যাসিড পৌঁছায় না। ফলে শরীরে উপস্থিত নন এসেন্সিয়াল অ্যামাইনো অ্যাসিডগুলির সঙ্গে এই এসেন্সিয়াল অ্যামাইনো অ্যাসিডের যোগসূত্র অসমাপ্ত থেকে যায়। তাই শরীরে প্রোটিনের প্রয়োজনীয়তা পূর্ণ হয় না।

প্রোটিনের প্রয়োজনীয়তা- সুস্থভাবে বেঁচে থাকতে শরীরের প্রতিটি অঙ্গ-প্রত্যঙ্গ, তন্ত্র, কোষ এবং প্রয়োজনীয় অণুর কার্যকারিতা ঠিক রাখতে প্রোটিন অত্যন্ত জরুরি। প্রোটিনের ৫টি অতি গুরুত্বপূর্ণ ভূমিকা হল-

১. প্রোটিন শরীরের গঠনের অতি প্রয়োজনীয় একটি উপাদান। যা শরীরের প্রতিটি কোষকে একে অপরের সঙ্গে সংযুক্ত করে রাখতে সাহায্য করে।
২. মাংসপেশী এবং স্নায়ুর স্বাভাবিক গতিবিধি বজায় রাখতে, শরীরের বিভিন্ন অঙ্গ-প্রত্যঙ্গের মধ্যে সিগন্যাল সঠিকভাবে পাঠাতে প্রোটিনের ভূমিকা অত্যন্ত জরুরি। যা বিভিন্ন হরমোনকে সক্রিয় রাখতে সাহায্য করে।
৩. শরীর থেকে রক্তক্ষরণ আটকায়, রক্ত জমাট বাঁধে(ব্লাড ক্লট) ও শরীরের বিভিন্ন রাসায়নিক বিক্রিয়া ঘটাতে প্রোটিন জরুরি।
৪. আমাদের হার্টে অক্সিজেন পৌঁছায় একটি প্রোটিনের মাধ্যমে, যার নাম হিমোগ্লোবিন।
৫. শরীরের রোগ প্রতিরোধক তন্ত্রে কোনও অ্যান্টিজেন (রোগ উৎপন্নকারী জীবাণু- যেমন ব্যাকটেরিয়া বা ভাইরাস) প্রবেশ করলে অ্যান্টিবডি তৈরি হয়, যা এই জীবাণুকে রোধ করে। এই অ্যান্টিবডিও একটা প্রোটিন।

একদিনের প্রোটিনের প্রয়োজনীয়তা (গ্রাম)/বডি ওয়েট (কেজি)
বয়স             পুরুষ          মহিলা
৬ মাস           ১.১২          ১.১২
৩ বছর          ০.৭৫          ০.৭৬
৫ বছর          ০.৬৯         ০.৭১
১০ বছর         ০.৭৫          ০.৭৪
১৫ বছর         ০.৭১          ০.৬৯
১৮—২৯বছর  ০.৬৬          ০.৬৬
৩০—৫৯ বছর  ০.৬৬        ০.৬৬
৬০—এর ঊর্ধ্বে  ০.৬৬       ০.৬৬

ওজন বুঝে প্রোটিন মেপে

শারীরিক অবস্থা একদিনে প্রোটিন- গর্ভবতী মহিলা ৭৮ (গ্রাম)। প্রসবের ৬ মাস অবধি ৭৪ (গ্রাম)। প্রসবের পর ৬ মাস থেকে এক বছর অবধি ৬৮ (গ্রাম)। সাধারণভাবে মাপকাঠি হল যার ওজন কেজিতে যত তার শরীরে ঠিক তত গ্রামই প্রোটিন প্রয়োজন। অর্থাৎ কারও ওজন যদি ৬০ কেজি হয়, তার শরীরে দিনে ৬০ গ্রাম প্রোটিন জরুরি। এর মূল কারণ হল যে খাদ্যে যত গ্রাম প্রোটিন উপস্থিত তার পুরোটাই শরীরে শোষিত হয় না। প্রত্যেকের দৈনন্দিন জীবনে খাটনি (কম ঘুম, কায়িক পরিশ্রম বেশি ইত্যাদি) কত তার উপর নির্ভর করে প্রোটিনের প্রয়োজনীয়তা। তিন রকম অবস্থায় এই প্রোটিনের প্রয়োজনীতার হেরফের হয়।

যাদের কিডনির সমস্যা, তাদের কম প্রোটিন খাওয়া উচিত (৬০ কেজি বডি ওয়েট হলে ৪০—৪৫ গ্রাম প্রোটিন)। যারা খুব শারীরিক পরিশ্রম করেন যেমন মাটি কাটা বা যারা খুব এক্সাসাইজ বা খেলাধুলো করেন তাদের একটু বেশি প্রোটিন খাওয়া প্রয়োজন।যারা অসুস্থতার কারণে শারীরিকভাবে খুব দুর্বল থাকেন তাদের একটু বেশি প্রোটিন খাওয়া দরকার।

কোন খাবারে কত প্রোটিন- অনেকের এ ধারণা রয়েছে নিরামিষ খেলে শরীরে প্রোটিনের পূর্তি হয় না নিচের তালিকা, সেই অনুমানকে ভুল প্রমাণ করবে....

খাবার প্রোটিন    (মিলিগ্রাম/১০০ গ্রাম)
মুরগির ডিম              ১৩.৩
হাঁসের ডিম                ১৩.৫
খাসির মাংস               ২১.৪
মুরগির মাংস             ২৫.৯
কাতলা মাছ               ১৯.৫
চিংড়ি মাছ                 ১৯.১
কুচো চিংড়ি                ২০.৫
বাটা মাছ                   ১৪.৩
ট্যাংরা মাছ                 ১৯.২
ইলিশ মাছ                  ২১.৮
গরুর দুধ                    ৩.২
ছানা                         ১৮.৩
মাসরুম                      ৩.১
রাজমা                       ২২.৯
কাঁচা ছোলা                 ১৭.১
ছোলার ডাল               ২০.৮
মসুর ডাল                   ২৫.১
কাঠ বাদাম                 ২০.৮
কাজু বাদাম                 ২১.২
পোস্ত                           ২১.৭
সয়াবিন                      ৪৩.২
সেদ্ধ চালের ভাত
(মিলে ছাঁটা)                ৬.৪
সেদ্ধ চালের ভাত         ৮.৫
(ঢেঁকি ছাঁটা)
গম                            ১১.৮

প্রোটিনের অভাবে-
চুল পড়ার সমস্যা, গায়ের রং ফ্যাকাসে হয়ে যায়, পেটে জল জমে ফুলে ওঠে, পায়ের গোড়ালিতে জল জমে ফুলতে থাকে, ফুসফুসে জল জমতে পারে, দৃষ্টিশক্তি হ্রাস পেতে পারে, হঠাৎ রক্ত ধমনীতে জমাট বেঁধে যেতে পারে, প্রচণ্ড ক্লান্তি ভাব, হাড় বেরনো, দুর্বল চেহারা।

প্রোটিনের ঘাটতি পূরণ করার জন্য অনেকে আজকাল বাজারের প্রোটিন মিক্স পাউডার খান। কিন্তু এগুলোর মধ্যে বেশির ভাগ গুলোই কোনও ওষুধ কোম্পানি বানায় না বা স্বীকৃত সুপারিশ ফর্মুলা নয়। এগুলো খাওয়ার ফলে কিন্তু অনেক সময় শরীরে বিভিন্ন সমস্যাও দেখা দিতে পারে। অনেক সময় যারা মদ্যপান করেন তাদের ধারণা যে মদ্যপানের সঙ্গে বেশি প্রোটিন খাওয়া উচিত। তা কিন্তু নয়, বরং ওই প্রোটিন সাধারণত যে রূপে খাওয়া হয় (ভাজা) তাতে শরীরে মেদ জমে বেশি। জাঙ্ক ফুড বা ফাস্ট ফুডে প্রোটিন যে রূপে খাওয়া হয়, তাতেই প্রচুর পরিমাণে নুন এবং ফ্যাট শরীরে প্রবেশ করে। স্বাদ ভাল লাগার ফলে অনেক সময় শুধু প্রোটিনই খাওয়া হয়, প্রয়োজনের চেয়ে বেশি প্রোটিন শরীরের ক্ষতি করে। শরীরে প্রোটিনের জোগান ঠিক রাখতে সেদ্ধ, অল্প তেলে বাড়িতে রান্না করা প্রোটিন সমৃদ্ধ খাবার খান।


শিক্ষার আধুনিকায়নে সরকার ব্লেন্ডেড এডুকেশন সিস্টেম চালুর কথা ভাবছে: শিক্ষামন্ত্রী

শিক্ষা কার্যক্রমকে আরও সহজ ও আধুনিকায়ন করা হবে। এ লক্ষ্যে সরকার ব্লেন্ডেড এডুকেশন সিস্টেম চালু করার কথা ভাবছে।

 শিক্ষামন্ত্রী দীপু মনি গতকাল নর্থ সাউথ বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের ২৩তম সমাবর্তন অনুষ্ঠানে ভার্চ্যুয়ালি যুক্ত হয়ে প্রধান অতিথির বক্তব্যে এ কথা জানান। মন্ত্রী বলেন, বয়স যেন জ্ঞান অর্জনের ক্ষেত্রে কোনো প্রতিবন্ধক না হয়, সে বিষয়েও কাজ করছে শিক্ষা মন্ত্রণালয়। শিক্ষার্থীদের শেখাতে হবে কীভাবে জীবনব্যাপী শিক্ষা অর্জন করা যায়।
  ‘দ্রুত পরিবর্তনশীল এই বিশ্বে প্রতিনিয়ত জ্ঞানের বিষয়গুলো পরিবর্তিত হচ্ছে’ উল্লেখ করে মন্ত্রী আরও বলেন, আজ যে জ্ঞান খুবই প্রয়োজনীয়, সময়ের পরিবর্তনে হয়তো সে জ্ঞান তার প্রয়োজনীয়তা হারাতে পারে। বেঁচে থাকার এবং জীবিকার জন্য হয়তো নতুন কোনো জ্ঞান অর্জন করা জরুরি হয়ে যাবে। তাই শিক্ষার্থীদের শেখাতে হবে কীভাবে জীবনব্যাপী শিখতে হয়।

শিক্ষামন্ত্রী বলেন, একজন শিক্ষার্থী বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় পর্যায়ের শিক্ষা শেষ করে কর্মক্ষেত্রে যোগদান করার পরও নতুন কোনো ক্ষেত্রে জ্ঞান অর্জন করা তার জন্য জরুরি হয়ে যেতে পারে। তখন ওই কর্মজীবীর পক্ষে আবার বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় পর্যায়ে সরাসরি শিক্ষা কার্যক্রম শুরু করা সম্ভব নয়।

এই প্রয়োজনীয়তা উপলব্ধি করে ব্লেন্ডেড এডুকেশন ও মডিউলার এডুকেশনের ওপর গুরুত্বারোপ করে মন্ত্রী অনলাইন শিক্ষা কার্যক্রম চালিয়ে যাওয়ার কথা পুনর্ব্যক্ত করেন।

সমাবর্তনে সমাবর্তন বক্তা হিসেবে যুক্ত ছিলেন প্রধানমন্ত্রীর বেসরকারি শিল্প ও বিনিয়োগ বিষয়ক উপদেষ্টা সালমান এফ রহমান। বিশেষ অতিথি হিসেবে যুক্ত ছিলেন বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় মঞ্জুরি কমিশনের চেয়ারম্যান কাজী শহীদুল্লাহ। সমাবর্তনে সভাপতিত্ব করেন নর্থ সাউথ বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের ভিসি আতিকুল ইসলাম।


Role of Bangabandhu in expanding higher education and Bangladesh today

Hafiz T.A. Khan
Professor of Public Health & Statistics, College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare, University of West London, Boston Manor Road, Brentford TW8 9GB, UK

Abstract. The study attempts to evaluate the role of Bangabandu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Founding Father of Bangladesh, in his initial plan on higher education and to produce adequate human resources to rebuild the country since independence. Secondary sources of information are used to evaluate his role in higher education expansion in Bangladesh. It has been revealed that the economic growth and development seen in Bangladesh today was largely impacted by his education plan.

Keywords: Bangabandhu, Bangladesh, Higher Education, Human Resources.

JEL: A14, A21, I20, I25

How to cite: Khan,  H.  (2021).  Role  of  Bangabandhu  in  expanding  higher  education  and  Bangladesh  today. Journal  of
Economic Development, Environment and People, 10(1), 6-10. doi:

1.  Introduction

The  founding  Father  of  the  Nation,  Bangabandhu  Sheikh  Mujibur  Rahman,  realised  the  importance  of education  and  human  resource  development  from  the  very  beginning  of  the  independent  state  of Bangladesh.  As  a  consequence,  education  was  identified  as  one  of  the  top  priorities  for  all  sectors  in providing an important basis for nation building. In 2020, Bangladesh celebrated its 49th victory day and it is now time to remember our great leader as we appreciate the huge impact his education policy has had on the overall development of the country.

The paper reviews literature systematically and briefly outlines his higher education policy and its impact on our country’s society and the economy as a whole. Available secondary sources of information are used to analyse selected research hypotheses.  The following points are highlighted:

1.1 Development of a higher education policy
1.2 Growth of higher education
1.3 Opportunities of higher education and human resource development
1.4 The need for quality education
1.5  The  role  of  Bangladeshi  expatriates  for  improving  the  quality  of  education  and  overall  nation building

1.1. Development of a higher education policy

In  1971,  after  a  nine-month  war  of  liberation,  Bangladesh  became  independent  and  the  Father  of  the Nation quickly took a firm decision in order to build the country. It was a big challenge as there were very limited  resources  but,  despite  this,  reconstruction  of  the  infrastructure,  recruiting  skilled  people  for working  in  public  administration,  fixing  the economy  and  health  and,  above  all,  education  received  the highest  importance  in  his  initial  state  planning.  It  was  his  plan  to  eradicate  illiteracy  and  poverty  from Bangladesh  by  building  a  productive  nation  through  the  means  of  proper  education  and  training.  He created a national education policy on 26 July 1971 and gave responsibility for devising the plans to Dr. Muhammed Qudrat-i-Khuda. After two years of intensive work, an education and training policy report was published  on  30th   May  1974  that  provided  guidelines  on  how  to  build  a  nation  and  develop  its  skilled human resources. Action was also taken to reform the higher education sector and through a government order (University Act 1973 which is also known as the Ordinance of `73). There were six public universities at  that  time  in  Bangladesh.  Four  general  and  two  specialised  type.  The  1973  Act  does  not  apply  to  all universities. It is applicable to only four general universities namely Dhaka University, Rajshahi University, Jahangirnagar  University  a  Chittagong  University.  Under  this  Act,  universities  were  given  autonomy  to govern and developing creative teaching and learning, and for gearing up innovative academic research activities. In order to directly support the higher education sector, a University Grants Commission (UGC) was established on 16th  December 1972 under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Government of the  People’s  Republic  of  Bangladesh.  The  UGC  evaluated  the  demands  of  multipurpose  education  that would be required for the development of the country and to approve the curriculum so that money was well utilised. Over the last five decades, the UGC has performed tremendous work in higher education, not only with financing but also with horizontal and vertical expansion of the higher education sector as well as monitoring the governance of public and private universities. The Commission has also played an important role in providing appropriate training for academic staff through scholarships and arranging regular teacher training workshops. Due to all these efforts, we now see a gradual improvement in classroom teaching, in ICT and internet use, in facilities for blended learning, and in research publications. In 2010, in order to meet  the  demands  of  the  modern  world,  the  government  proposed  renaming  the  UGC  as  the  Higher Education Commission of Bangladesh making it similar to other countries. Directly after independence, the Father of the Nation provided access to higher education for all people in our society by the means of low tuition fees that enabled a huge number of students to have opportunities in higher education that has continued to this day. As an example, the enrolment into tertiary education increased from 11.77% in 1999 to 47.72% in 20091. This is projected to increase as the population increases and has helped many to get jobs within the country and to go abroad. Those living outside Bangladesh play an important role in nation building by also co-operating and investing in the country.

1.2. Growth of higher education

As already mentioned, the higher education sector has developed both horizontally and vertically over the last 49 years. The current Sheikh Hasina Government has a plan to support higher education and to build at least one public university in every district of the country. This is a highly ambitious plan especially for a developing country like Bangladesh but is possible for a leader who has a clear plan for the future. Since Independence, the growth of every university has increased many times in terms of size and infrastructure and  successive  governments  have  increased  the  budgets  for  achieving  it.  In  order  to  make  education accessible to as many people as possible, the government gave permission for the establishment of private universities  in  areas  where  there  were  no  public  universities  at  all.  This  seems  to  be  a  good  plan  for investing  money  in  the  higher  education  sector  that  will  create  employment  opportunities  all  over  the country. Private universities play an important role in the country’s economy by providing education and services  but  with  their  introduction,  the  1990s  saw  a  policy  shift  towards  neoliberalism  in  the  higher education sector2. The country is gathering experience of running both public and private universities with the  main  objective  to  broaden  access  to  higher  education  in  order  to  meet  the  demand  of  secondary graduates. Currently, Bangladesh has 46 public and 107 private universities. Except 1973 Act, other public university is being run by its own Act, while private universities operate under the Private University Act 1992. Critics argue that “From the beginning, the private universities were alleged to do business rather than  ensure  the  standard  of  higher  education  for  students”  (Kabir,  p161)2.  The  UGC  has  been  strictly monitoring all activities of the private universities in the country.

1.3 Opportunities of higher education and human resource development

A substantial proportion of the population in Bangladesh are young with around 40% aged between 18 and
29 years. A significant cohort of this group are aged between 15 and 24 that will continue to grow in the coming  years,  and  they  will  need  access  to  adequate  education  and  training.  The  Government  of Bangladesh  is  aware  of  this  demographic  dividend  and  plans  to  establish  the  right  policies  to  maintain sustainable  economic  growth  to  the  benefit  of  the  country.  As  well  as  providing  every  educational opportunity via public and private institutions for the young population as per demand, the government has  also  created  job  opportunities.  Many  NGO  activities  started  in  Bangladesh  immediately  after independence in 1971 and during most of the 1970s, NGOs provided various services including education, health and sanitation and family planning3. There are many success stories around the activities of the NGO sector as it can offer huge employment opportunities for Bangladeshi graduates. International NGOs are always  on  the  lookout  for  skilled  individuals  compared  to  local  ones  and  many  people  have  taken advantage of opportunities outside the country either for higher education or employment. Bangladeshi students  studying  outside  the  country  are  successfully  completing  their  courses  and  representing  their country with pride. In recent years there has been a growth of remittance back into Bangladesh partly due to skilled Bangladeshi educated people living outside the country. However, most of our migrant workers are unskilled and get very low salaries and it is now time to think about this situation. Our policymakers must put an emphasis on learning English as an international language and to provide technical training at all  levels  of  the  higher  education  sector.  In  this  way  we  can  build  a  productive  nation  and  reduce unemployment problem in the country.

1.4 The need for quality education

It is broadly well-known that the higher education sector has played an important role in producing a large number of graduates over the last five decades. However, those graduates face tremendous challenges when they start new jobs that might not have any connection with their learning. This means that in spite of   having   a   university   education,   it   does   not   help   them   contribute   effectively   in   the  workplace environment. This may lead some to think that it was a complete waste of their time and resources and as many do not find jobs that match their education, they quickly become unemployed. These are challenging issues that need urgent attention and reform as soon as possible. For example, the academic curriculum should be designed as per the requirements of the changing nature of the current job market and we need to  prepare  graduates  so  that  they  are able  to  handle  challenges in  the workplace.  Universities  need to participate in global rankings such as the QS and The Times Higher Education (THE) ranking lists. Employers generally  prefer  graduates  from  ranking  universities  when  they  are  hiring  employees  and  we  cannot completely ignore this aspect living as we do in a global community. Universities need to work closely with industry   and   multi-national   companies   and   launch   apprenticeship   programmes.   In   practice,   such programmes would enable our talented graduates to quickly develop their skills to fit the needs of their particular  workplace  environment. Policymakers  should  therefore think  seriously  about  how  to  produce more skilled people from the higher education sector all over the country. This would help to quickly solve our unemployment rate and generate a skilled workforce for the nation. It is also time now to think about the quality of education rather than the quantity of graduates.

1.5  The  Role  of  Bangladeshi  expatriates  for  improving  the  quality  of  education  and  overall  nation building

A huge number of expatriates that received their initial education inside Bangladesh now live outside the country and many of them work in the higher education sectors in developed countries. These people can be in regular contact with the Bangladesh Embassies and play an important role in the capacity building of the country and would be happy to contribute without any consultancy fee or other benefit. Some of them would be happy to take a visiting professorship position and reconnect with Bangladesh that could help to build  a  bridge  between  Bangladeshi  academic  staff  and  expatriates.  Such  activity  would  enable  young graduates to get scholarships and provide opportunities to enter further education as well as to publish joint articles. Universities themselves could build partnerships with foreign universities and conduct joint projects. This would all help in building relationships with experts, in improving the academic environment and quality of education, and above all establish partnerships and linkages with foreign universities. The development  of  joint  academic  programmes  between  Universities  in  Bangladesh  and  those  in  other countries would benefit our graduates a great deal in their careers and enable them to earn decent salaries that are comparable to other countries. We have many examples around us such as Malaysia, Sri Lanka and even China.  All our investment should be put into graduates, so that we can give back to society in many ways.

2. Conclusion

The benefits provided by higher education are enormous and multifaceted in the development of our country. The Father of the Nation laid the foundations of it at the very start of independence and during his short life he gave people a dream for Bangladesh and a plan to build the nation with pride and dignity. He also faced the cancer of corruption in society and mentioned it clearly without hesitation but unfortunately, today it is seen that some of the university graduates are involved with huge corruption when they should be genuinely contributing to society. The overall development of the country could perhaps have been more visible to people if by any means corruption could have been avoided at every level. It is not too late to eliminate corruption in the society by remembering the sacrifice of  our  30  lacs  martyrs  in  1971  and,  of  course,  our  beloved  Father  of  the  Nation  “Bangabandhu  Sheikh  Mujibur Rahman”. Finally, let’s work together and try to build a better Bangladesh.

3. Acknowledgements

The   paper   is   prepared   for   an   invited   lecture   on   “Bangabandhu   and   Bangladesh”,   Organized   by Entrepreneurial Economists Club, on 26 December 2020, Dhaka School of Economics, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.  Professor  Khan  is  also  an  Associate  Professorial  Fellow,  The  Oxford  Institute  of  Population Ageing, University of Oxford, UK

[1]   S. Ahmed, M. McGillivray. Higher education enrolment in Bangladesh: does the wage premium matter? Applied
Economics, 51 (60): 6497–6516, 2019.
[2]   A.H. Kabir. Neoliberalism, Policy Reforms and Higher Education in Bangladesh, Policy Futures in Education, 11 (2):
154- 166, 2013.
[3]   S. Zohir. NGO Sector in Bangladesh An Overview, Economic and Political Weekly, September 4: 4109-4113, 2004.


ইজরাইলের বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের ছাত্র-ছাত্রীরা যখন নতুন মৌল আবিস্কার করে, তখন আমাদের বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের ছাত্র-ছাত্রীরা লাইব্রেরিতে গিয়ে প্রেম করে!

বিশ্বের ১ নম্বর হাভার্ড বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ে সারা বছরে কোন কনসার্টের খবর পাওয়া যায় না। আর আমাদের ভার্সিটিতে কত কত কনসার্ট... এল.আর.বি, জেমস, শিরোনামহীন, অ্যাশেজ, তাহসান, ওয়ারফেজ.-একটার পর একটা প্রোগ্রাম হয়। (সংযুক্ত: কনসার্ট হয়, কিন্তু কখনোই এটা নিয়ে অতিরিক্ত মাতামাতি হয় না।)

নাচ, গান, হোলি উৎসবও হয় এখন।

ফাক ইউ, হট বেবি, ক্রাশ খাইছি, মাস্তি, ইয়াবা, বিয়ার, গাজা এই শব্দগুলো এখন ছেলে-মেয়েদের কাছে অতি পরিচিত।

অন্যান্য দেশে জ্ঞানী মানুষরা, বিজ্ঞানীরা কথা বলতে বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ে আসেন। বিজ্ঞানী আইনস্টাইন বেশ কয়েকবার অক্সফোর্ড বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ে ডিবেটে অংশগ্রহণ করেন।

আর আমাদের?

বিজ্ঞানী মকসুদুল আলম কয়টা সমাবর্তন অনুষ্ঠানে যেতেন? আমাদের বর্তমান বিজ্ঞানী মুহাম্মদ আশরাফুল আলম কয়টি সমবর্তন অনুষ্ঠানে যান? (যিনি ব্যাক্টেরিয়া শনাক্তকরণের সেন্সর তৈরি করেছেন. "যুক্তরাষ্ট্রের প্রসিডিংস অব দ্য ন্যাশনাল একাডেমি অব সায়েন্স" জার্নাল এ তার গবেষণা ছাপা হয়েছে)

বা ‘জিন’ ত্রুটি নির্ণয়ে অভাবিত সাফল্য অর্জন করেছেন বাংলাদেশের যে তিন গবেষক। তারা হলেন— ডা. কেএম ফোরকান উদ্দিন ও ডা. মোঃ রোবেদ আমিন ও বাংলাদেশি বংশোদ্ভূত কানাডিয়ান বৈজ্ঞানিক ডক্টর মোহাম্মদ উদ্দিন ড্যাফিল। তারাও কি ভার্সিটির কোনো সমাবর্তন অনুষ্ঠানে যাবেন? তাদেরকে কি বাংলাদেশের কোন বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ে ডাকা হবে?

তাদের কাউকেই বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ে ডাকবে না। কারণ- নাইলা নাঈম আর সানি লিওনদের দাম এখানে বেশি অথবা দালালী আর দাসত্বের বীজ বহনকারী মেরুদণ্ডহীন বুদ্ধিজীবীরা - যারা এদেশের মানুষকে রোহিঙ্গার মতো করতে চায়। স্টিভ জবসের স্পিচ পাওয়া যায় ইউটিউবে। সমাবর্তনে বক্তব্য দিয়েছিলেন তিনি।

বিলগেটস একজন ভালো বক্তা।

মার্ক জুকারবার্গও একজন মোটিভেশনাল স্পীকার!

আজকে চীন বিশ্বের অন্যতম পরাশক্তি হতে যাচ্ছে। ইন্ডিয়া আইটি সেক্টরে ডমিনেট করছে। তাদের ছেলে মেয়েরা গুগলে কাজ করে। আর আমাদের বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের ছেলেরা মাস্তি করে আর মেয়েরা হিন্দি সিরিয়াল দেখে সময় পার করে।

ভারত যখন বসে বসে সিইও তৈরি করে আমরা তখন বসে বসে ক্যাম্পাসে ক্যাডার তৈরি করি।

 আমেরিকা যখন নতুন নতুন ফাইটার জেটের নকশা করে, তুরস্কের বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের ছাত্র-ছাত্রীরা যখন প্রতিরক্ষা-নিরাপত্তা মেলার আয়োজন করে আমরা তখন ক্যাম্পাসে মিথিলার - তাহসান ডিভোর্স নিয়ে আন্দোলন করি এবং ইউটিউবে লুল ভিডিও দেখি।

মায়ানমার যখন প্রতিবেশী দেশের সীমান্ত থেকে খনিজ সম্পদ আহরণের যন্ত্র আবিষ্কারের চেষ্টা চালিয়ে যাচ্ছে - তখন আমাদের ছেলেমেয়েরা বোটানিক্যল গার্ডেনে বসে প্রেম করছে।

আমাদের দেশে প্রেমের নাটক করে হিট হওয়া ছেলেটা হলো বড় সেলেব্রেটি। আর ময়দা সুন্দরী হচ্ছেন হট কেক।

এখানে লাইব্রেরিতে গিয়ে অন্তরঙ্গ হওয়ার ভিডিও ফাঁস হয়।

সদ্য বিদেশ ফেরত আমাদের এক শিক্ষক বলেছিলেন, ওদের দেশে কলেজ লেভেলের ছেলে মেয়েদের যে দক্ষতা আমাদের দেশে মাস্টার্স পাস করা ছেলেমেয়রাও এতোটা ক্রিয়েটিভ এবং দক্ষ হয় না।

আমরা মাসে কোটি কোটি টাকা ব্যয় করে ১০০ টির বেশি TV চ্যানেল (আমাদের একটা চ্যানেলও ভারতে দেখানো হয় না) সংযোগ দিয়ে ছাত্র-ছাত্রীরা শিক্ষা দিচ্ছি----

অফিস টাইমে কিভাবে মেয়ে পটাতে হয়।

কিভাবে বেস্ট ফ্রেন্ডকে প্রপোজ করতে হয়।

কিভাবে বন্ধুর গার্ল ফ্রেন্ডের সাথে ফ্লার্ট করতে হয়।

কেন বাংলাদেশ থেকে গবেষক তৈরি হয় না?

কেন আমরা ওয়ার্ল্ড র‌্যাঙ্কিংয়ে জায়গা পাই না?

কেন আমাদের ইন্টারন্যাশনাল কোন সেলেব্রেটি নাই?

প্রেম করার জন্য বার আছে, সী বিচ আছে, লং ড্রাইভ আছে---। বিশ্ববিদ্যালের লাইব্রেরিতো প্রেমের জায়গা না! হিন্দি চ্যানেল দেখার জায়গা এটা নয়! সবার বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ে পড়ার দরকার নেই।

বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় হলো সক্ষমতা অর্জনের জায়গা। মায়ানমার ১০ লাখ রোহিঙ্গাকে আমাদের উপর চাপিয়ে দিয়েছে, ভারত- আসাম থেকে ৮০ লাখ বাঙালি মুসলিমদের আমার দেশে ডুকিয়ে দেয়ার আয়োজন করছে! ভারত পারমাণবিক বোমা বানালে - আমরা কি হাইড্রোজেন বোমা বানাবো কি না?

কিভাবে প্রতিবেশী রাস্ট্রের সাম্প্রদায়িকতা ও আধিপত্যবাদ হতে মুক্তি পাব? চীনের সাথে আমাদের প্রতিরক্ষানীতি কেমন হবে? আমাদের বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের ছেলে- মেয়েদের এসব বিষয়ে ধারণা না থাকলেও- প্রশ্ন আউট করে পরীক্ষায় Golden A+ পাওয়া, ইন্টারনেটে সারারাত Girl Friend নিয়ে ডুবে থেকে জাতিকে মেরুদণ্ডহীন করার পাঁয়তারা আধিপত্যবাদীরা ঠিকই ঢুকিয়ে দিতে পেরেছে!

 🖋️ডাঃ মোঃ সিরাজুল ইসলাম।


ইউজিসি কি বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়গুলোকে কলেজ বানাতে চায়

বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়র শিক্ষকদের নিয়োগ প্রমোশন/আপগ্রেডেশনের জন্য যে অভিন্ন নীতিমালা করা হয়েছে, তাতে নতুনত্ব নেই। বরং এই অভিন্ন নীতিমালা মেধাবীদের বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় শিক্ষক হতে নিরুৎসাহিত করবে এ কথা বলা যায়।

নতুন অভিন্ন নীতিমালায় শিক্ষকদের প্রমোশন বা আপগ্রেডেশনে এক গ্রেড থেকে আরেক গ্রেডে যেতে শুধু সময়কাল বাড়ানো হয়েছে। এই অভিন্ন নীতিমালা দেখে মনে হচ্ছে শিক্ষকেরা যাতে কম সময়ের মধ্যে অধ্যাপক না হতে পারেন, সেটির ওপর জোর দেওয়া হয়েছে। এটি কখনোই বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের মূলনীতির সঙ্গে যায় না।

জাপানে আমার পিএইচডি সুপারভাইজার খুব দ্রুত অধ্যাপক হয়েছিলেন। তিনি সহকারী অধ্যাপক থেকে অধ্যাপক হয়েছেন। তাঁকে বলা হয়নি তোমার সহযোগী অধ্যাপক হিসেবে ন্যূনতম কয়েক বছর থাকতে হবে। তিনি অধ্যাপক হয়েছিলেন ‘নেচার’ নামক বিশ্বখ্যাত জার্নালে পরপর দুটি আর্টিকেল প্রকাশ করার জন্য। তিনি এই কাজগুলো করেছিলেন আমেরিকায় বসে এবং তাঁর দেশ তাঁর কাজের সম্মান দিয়েছে।
 আমাদের দেশের এই অভিন্ন নীতিমালায় কোথাও গবেষণাকে অগ্রাধিকার দেওয়া হয়নি। বলা হয়েছে একটি ন্যূনতম সংখ্যার আর্টিকেল থাকে। কিছু ক্ষেত্রে বলা হয়েছে, দুটি আর্টিক্যাল ইমপ্যাক্ট ফ্যাক্টর সম্পন্ন জার্নালে থাকতে হবে। টোটাল ইমপ্যাক্ট ফ্যাক্টর ৩০ আর ২–কে সমানভাবে দেখা হয়েছে।

আমার কাছে আগেও মনে হয়েছে ভালো গবেষণা করার জন্য আমাদের তরুণদের কখনোই চাপ বা উৎসাহিত করা হয় না। ইমপ্যাক্ট ফ্যাক্টরের ওপর কোনো জোর দেওয়া হয় না। ভালো ইমপ্যাক্ট ফ্যাক্টর অর্থ হলো গবেষণার মান ভালো এটি বোঝার চেষ্টা করা হয় না। এখানে ‘নেচারে’ প্রকাশ আর দেশীয় জার্নালে প্রকাশ সমানভাবে দেখা হয়। যার কারণে কোনোভাবে আর্টিকেল প্রকাশ করলেই হয়। আমি মনে করি, এটি বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় শিক্ষকদের দোষ নয়। নিয়ম আমাদের এ রকম করতে বাধ্য করে।

বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়গুলো কলেজ নয় যে এখানে বিরাট লম্বা সময় শিক্ষক হিসেবে সার্ভিস দেওয়ার ওপর প্রমোশন বা আপগ্রেডেশন নির্ভর করবে। শুধু সময় দ্বারা নির্ধারিত হওয়া প্রমোশন বা আপগ্রেডেশনের জন্য কেউ বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় শিক্ষক হওয়ার জন্য আসে না। এখানে সবাই স্বাধীনভাবে ওপরে উঠতে চায়। নিজস্ব যোগ্যতাবলে ওপরে উঠতে চায়। বাইরের দেশে এই প্রতিভার মূল্যায়ন করা হয়। প্রতিটি বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় তাদের প্রয়োজন অনুসারে এবং স্ট্যান্ডার্ড অনুসারে শিক্ষক নিয়োগ প্রমোশন বা আপগ্রেডেশনের ক্রাইটেরিয়া নির্ধারণ করে।

আমাদের এখানেও বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় স্বায়ত্তশাসিত প্রতিষ্ঠান। আবার প্রতিটির মর্যাদাও সমান নও। এখানেও বাইরের দেশের মতো হওয়ার কথা ছিল। তাদের মতোই গবেষণাকে সবচেয়ে বেশি অগ্রাধিকার দিয়ে সবকিছু নির্ধারণ করার কথা ছিল। বাইরের দেশের মতোই সময় নয়, গবেষণা দিয়ে প্রমোশন বা আপগ্রেডেশনের নির্ধারণ হওয়ার কথা ছিল আমাদের এখানেও।

একজন বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়োর কাজ শুধু ছাত্র পড়ানো নয়। এই নিয়মে শুধু ছাত্র পড়ানোর কথাই বলা হয়েছে। মনে হচ্ছে যত বেশি সময় ছাত্র পড়াবেন ততই তিনি ভালো। এর মাধ্যমে কখনোই বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের চেহারা পরিবর্তন হবে না। আন্তর্জাতিকভাবে কখনোই আমাদের বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় সামনের দিকে যাবে না। বিখ্যাত গবেষক হওয়ার স্বপ্ন দেখা তরুণেরা কখনোই আর বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের শিক্ষক হতে চাইবে না।

আমরা বাংলাদেশের বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়গুলো কেন আন্তর্জাতিক মানদণ্ডের না এর জন্য সব সময় বলি। কিন্তু এর পেছনের কারণ চিহ্নিত করি না। গবেষণা ছাড়া যে বহির্বিশ্বের সঙ্গে প্রতিযোগিতা সম্ভব না, তা নিয়ে ভাবি না। আর এ জন্য যে গবেষকদের উৎসাহিত করতে হবে, তা আমরা জেনেও বুঝি না।

অভিন্ন নীতিমালার এই অদ্ভুত নিয়মে একজন শিক্ষকের সেল বা নেচারের মতো পাবলিকেশন থাকলেও তাকে বিরাট লম্বা সময় শুধু ক্লাসে পড়ায়নি এই অজুহাতে প্রমোশন বা আপগ্রেডেশন ছাড়া বসে থাকতে হবে। আবার বিদেশে যাঁরা খুব ভালো গবেষণা করছেন, তাঁরাও আর আসার উৎসাহ পাবেন না। কারণ, ভালো গবেষণাকে এখানে একদম গণনার মধ্যেই নেওয়া হয়নি।

আমি পুরো হতাশ। আমার ধারণা, আমার মতো বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়র প্রতিটি শিক্ষক হতাশ। এ রকম নিয়মের দোহাই দিয়ে বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় কনসেপ্টকে ধ্বংস করে দেওয়া হচ্ছে। এভাবে চলতে থাকলে এ দেশ কখনোই সামনের দিকে যাবে না। বরং বাংলাদেশ থেকে মেধাবীরা চলে যাবেন আরও দ্বিগুণ বেগে।

লেখক: ড. মো. ফজলুল করিম, সহযোগী অধ্যাপক, মাওলানা ভাসানী বিজ্ঞান ও প্রযুক্তি বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়, টাঙ্গাইল, বাংলাদেশ। ভূতপূর্ব: ফ্যাকাল্টি, কুমামতো বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়, জাপান এবং পোস্টডক্টরাল ফেলো, পিটসবার্গ বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়, যুক্তরাষ্ট্র।


Despite gloomy environment precipitated by the unprecedented pandemic which has almost forced the global economy to its knees, Bangladesh has still been beaming bright rays of hope. Only recently, Bangladesh got the final recommendation to graduate from the status of a Least Developed Country (LDC) to a Developing Country by the relevant UN Committee. Though Bangladesh will get another five years in general to make the official graduation to prepare itself, this was perhaps the best news for Bangladesh in the year of birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and as well as when the country was poised to celebrate the golden jubilee of its independence. The news arrived on February 26 at 9:30 pm Bangladesh time. A similar news about the first round of recommendation for the graduation came around the same time in 2018. That time, we received the good news by achieving simultaneous elevation in three indicators -- Income per capita, Human Assets Index (HAI), and Economic and Environmental Vulnerability Index (EVI). We learned that the UN's Committee for Development Policy (CDP) would meet again in three years for the second review of this progress. As already indicated that evaluation episode ended a few days ago. During these three years, under her dynamic leadership, our prudent Prime Minister has kept the development journey of Bangladesh afloat by coordinating with all the departments and groups concerned with development. At a time when almost all countries of the world are struggling to save 'lives and livelihoods' from the attack of Covid-19, she has been taking the economy of Bangladesh forward with great efficiency despite the persistent health challenges. Even in these difficult times, not only have we achieved 5.24 per cent growth in the last financial year, but we have also launched the Eighth Five-Year Plan. In the first financial year of the plan, we dream of achieving a growth rate of 7.8 per cent. As a result, the current trend of increasing per capita income will persist. Per capita income has been a major driving force behind Bangladesh's amazing socio-economic transformation. Since coming to power in 2009, the Hon'ble Prime Minister has focused on accelerating growth. Along with Infrastructure development including fast-tracked mega projects and trade facilitation, she has kept the wheel of the economy running with various types of incentives during this Covid crisis. As a result, while the total GDP size was $103.5 billion in FY 2008-09, it has increased to $330.2 billion in FY 2019-20. This means that the size of the total economy has more than tripled in this one era. Since our population growth rate is stable (around 1 per cent with fertility rate around 2 per eligible couple), the growth rate of per capita income has been much more than three times during this period. According to the CDP criteria, the per capita income of only 1,230 dollars would've been enough to hit the desired mark. In 2020, our per capita income was 1,827 US dollars. At present, it is 2,064 US dollars. Not to mention the success of agriculture and the progress of remittances and exports being the driving forces of our economy. In a single decade, exports have increased from $15.57 billion to $40.54 billion. Reserves have increased from $7 billion to $44 billion. The poverty rate has come down from 48.9 per cent to 20.5 per cent, although it has seen a temporary rise because of the fallout of Covid-19.

Like per capita income, Bangladesh's achievement in the other two indicators has also been highly promising. Criteria for human Assets Index threshold for graduation is 66 points, whereas our achievement is 75.4. In the Economic and Environmental Vulnerability Index (EVI)., Bangladesh's score is 27 points, well below the required threshold of 32. The lower the number, the better this index. In that regard, we have shown unexpected success in tackling climate challenges along with the Rohingya and Covid crises. The CDP's final recommendation will go to the Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC) in June, and later to the General Assembly of the UN in September this year. Because of the Covid crisis, we will get two more years with the usual three years of preparatory period. This means that in 2026, we will officially become a developing country.
The credit for achieving this final recommendation by meeting all the criteria twice in a row goes to our wise leadership and all the hardworking people of this country. In a press conference held the day after receiving the good news, the Prime Minister said that this achievement was possible thanks to the joint efforts of people. Bangladesh will take its place as a confident and dignified developing country in the world. This graduation will also bring forth additional benefits to our entrepreneurs. Being LDC means we were on the list of risky countries, which is why our 'sovereign rating' couldn't be increased. As a result, we had to accept higher rates both in securities and interests on commercial loans accessed by the private sector. This graduation will further improve our country rating. Confidence in Bangladesh will increase in the minds of multilateral investors. It will be easier to get foreign loans despite a slight rise in the interest rates. Interest rates will, however, be lower for the private sector. The cost of LC confirmation of our traders will be reduced by the foreign banks. More and more foreign investment will flow into our country enhancing employment opportunities. Our VAT, tax, and revenue collection will increase. At the moment, our tax-to-GDP ratio is very disappointing. We need to accelerate revenue collection at a huge rate by increasing the use of technology and manpower efficiency.

As a benefit of this graduation, public and private investment in higher education, training and healthcare will increase. The government is already moving ahead developing many mega projects including special economic zones and high-tech parks. In this new reality, many foreign entrepreneurs will surely take advantage of these modern infrastructures. The construction of another state-of-the-art terminal at our international airport will also help attract many foreign investors. After the graduation, international trade will be more competitive. To compete with foreign competitors, Bangladesh will have to make major changes in its import-export policies in the post-graduation period. Despite the pressure, these policy reforms will be good for everyone in the end. For the same reason, our factories need to be more environment and labour-friendly. Using green energy, ensuring the rights of workers will increase the urge to make our industries more modern and humane. This change will be essential for exporting goods at competitive prices. In the changed situation, economic diplomacy needs to be made smarter and more aptly focused.

However, after the transition, we may lose some of the ongoing benefits. Only by acquiring skills, it is possible to make up for that loss. Moreover, the tariff benefits that we now enjoy in India, China, and developed countries may be lifted after 2026, although the European Union will continue its benefits for Bangladesh up to 2027. If we can conduct appropriate economic diplomacy, we can extend the duration of this preparation period even longer. Just like Vietnam, we can even make free trade agreements with developed countries and alliances. Let's start this in the subregion first.

It should be kept in mind that the privileges we used to get as an LDC in copyright, patent, ICT, and service sectors might no longer be available to us after the graduation. Our pharmaceutical industry will continue to get duty-free benefits in the developed world till 2033. Until then, the terms of the IPR will remain relaxed. We can also import technology and raw materials on easy terms till that time. Afterward, we must get accustomed to more sophisticated trade including our own research and patents. We have to develop the mentality to accept this challenge in the garment sector as well. Even with a high tariff, we have been showing our strength in RMG exports in the United States. Our allocations may be reduced in climate funding as well, although we didn't get much funding in this field anyway. The scholarships and grants we receive from international and developed countries for human resource development, including education and health, may be reduced. However, it is also possible to cut some corners by bargaining. The World Bank, IMF, ADB, JICA will raise interest rates on their long-term loans. This process has already begun in some cases. Still, it shouldn't frighten us. By the diversification of agriculture and exports and the use of technology, we can certainly increase productivity. By increasing the capacity of infrastructure development, easing business environment, improving port and logistics management, we can make our products competitive in the world even after paying tariffs. So now we have to focus on new products, new markets and modernisation of production methods. If we can focus on the knowledge-based and green economy in the future and develop the human resources accordingly, Bangladesh will march ahead strongly even after the graduation.

The fighting spirit that Bangabandhu has instilled in our nation's core and the way Bangabandhu's daughter is wisely leading our development journey have all played a big role in our achievement. Alongside, there's nothing left to say about our hardworking people's amazing ability to fight against the odds to move forward. However, this is not the end of the story. The trend of economic growth that we have set in motion not only has to be kept intact but also needs to be accelerated. South Korea has become a developed country today by doing so. Vietnam is also walking that path. Malaysia, Thailand, and China are also traveling on the same route. Therefore, we mustn't lose track as we have a long way to go in the path of inclusive high growth by mobilising domestic and foreign resources. We have to clear our heads from absurd concerns about not getting a low-interest loan from international organisations, grants from the UN, and free tickets for government officials after graduating from LDC. How much foreign assistance do we take as grants and discounts anyway? Almost all loans have become 'non-concessional.' Bangladesh must run in the field of the world economy as a strong competitor utilising the opportunity of geopolitical reality. Many foreign entrepreneurs from China have already started coming to Bangladesh to take advantage of the 'Rules of Origin'. Foreigners will export their products from Bangladesh. We need to keep in mind that a large part of their income from the export of these products should be reinvested in Bangladesh. With the steady rise in per capita income, the number of our middle and high-income people is also increasing rapidly, so is their demand for high-quality tech-savvy products. Foreign investors are certainly paying attention to this growing domestic market in Bangladesh as well. So, the business of new technology-based products will also increase in our domestic market. Indeed, the future businesses will all be digital.

Therefore, we need to quickly change the identity of the 'net importer' country and increase the institutional and infrastructural opportunities to create more import substituting options and export-oriented industries. We have to increase our policy-focus towards achieving the capacity of supplying raw materials of our export products by local and foreign entrepreneurs based in our EPZ, BEZA, BEPZA, Special Economic Zones. In the meantime, we have made tremendous progress in the production of cement, petrochemicals, and high-quality yarn. By developing these ancillary industries, on one hand, the demand for raw materials for industrialisation in the domestic market is being met, on the other hand, the value addition from our per-unit export income is also increasing. This transformation must go on.

To accelerate this trend of development, the policies pursued by the present government to provide uninterrupted power supply, uninterrupted transportation, efficient port management, efficient manpower, and improvement of digital governance should be continued. Along with business-friendly policies and information to make our individual sectors more efficient, further modernisation of the financial sector and good governance, and, above all, to sustain our strength in the post-epidemic new world, there is no alternative to further strengthening the strategy of green and inclusive sustainable development. The thrust on eliminating corruption at all levels must also remain active. Bangabandhu's daughter is fully committed to the implementation of these policies. We have observed this quality of leadership with great attention in preventing this unimaginable epidemic, especially in vaccine management. However, there is nothing to be complacent about it as there has been a global surge in infections lately. We must follow precautionary health rules as strictly as desired. Undoubtedly, she sees far ahead. May this policy-prudence and our desire to achieve public-private-social capability continue in the post-LDC graduation period as well. Surely the days ahead will be ours.

Writer-Dr Atiur Rahman is Bangabandhu Chair Professor of Dhaka University and former Governor of Bangladesh Bank


Banking / From open banking today to open finance tomorrow
« on: March 25, 2021, 11:45:05 AM »
From open banking today to open finance tomorrow
"Mirna Sleiman, CEO of Fintech Galaxy, explains how sectors such as education, manufacturing and healthcare can benefit from an API-based financial layer"

Over the course of the past several years, the eyes of the regional – and indeed, global – financial sector have been firmly fixed on the concept of ‘open banking’. It’s no mystery why: Open banking is, simply put, a banking practice that provides third-party financial service providers standardized access to consumer banking, transaction and other financial data through application programming interfaces (APIs).

Without a doubt, open banking has been a major source of innovation that has, in many ways, reshaped the industry. Fintech Galaxy’s own Open Banking API sandbox has interacted with more than 1,000 cutting-edge fintechs from around the world, many of whom have successfully designed apps and delivered proof of concepts (PoCs) that eliminate customer pain points for financial institutions across the industry.

In my opinion, however, it’s time to get over our fascination with open banking and look towards the future of financial services as a whole. Without a doubt, that future is open finance.

Building on the successful foundations set forth by open banking, open finance broadens the idea out to include insurance, investments, exchanges and pensions.

While open banking has also shown the benefits for partners in terms of lower costs, increased efficiencies and customer insights, better retention and new markets, open finance creates a whole new world of exciting possibilities. Customers will be able to go far beyond the simple sharing of data among financial institutions to an open economy where sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing and education benefit from an API-based financial layer.

Customers will be able to easily complete a wide variety of tasks – ranging from the swift transfer of funds to insurance policy renewal services, get faster, cheaper finance/premiums or tailor-made debt advice. From the perspective of SMEs, open finance innovations – such as enhanced data integrations and payment initiations – can help improve the rate at which they are paid for goods and services. In a region such as the GCC and Middle East, where this is a chronic issue, open finance will pave the way for a multitude of solutions.

The time to act on this trend is now. The future of open finance is full of promise. According to Allied Market Research, the open banking market alone will be worth $43.15 billion by 2026, growing up at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.4 percent.

And while it remains too early to tell exactly how big the market for the broader term of open finance will be, at Fintech Galaxy we’ve already laid the foundations through the recently launched FinX22, the region’s first cross-border cloud-based innovation platform aimed at driving collaboration, fuelling innovation and creating integration between financial institutions and fintech firms. Over 2,000 fintechs from more than 70 countries are currently using FinX22’s open innovation marketplace, connecting to the API sandbox and delivering innovation that will transform the future of our region’s economy.

These numbers are only bound to grow as the Middle East’s broader fintech industry comes of age. To date, Middle Eastern fintech start-ups are still receiving only a small fraction of all venture capital fintech investment across the globe, although this is projected to change rapidly. Regulators from Bahrain to the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are putting the polices and frameworks in place for a more innovative and collaborative financial sector.

As the region sees a shift from open banking towards open finance, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that universal adoption will take place in just a few years’ time. With that in mind, make no mistake: it is the early movers that will reap the most rewards. The time to act is now.


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।


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.

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.


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.


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

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