Innovator Under 35: Q & A With Atiqur Rahman Sarker of Filament Engineering
Atiqur Rahman Sarkar started Filament Engineering with a vision to create strong local electronics brands and generate employment opportunities. His company now works in the field of Renewable Energy, and Clean Cooking stove and employs over 48 people and manufactures solar controller and inverter in Bangladesh while working as an EPC for solar in Bangladesh. His idea, Muspana Sabuj Chula, clean cooking stove, has got GACC, UN Foundation Spark Fund.
We recently spoke to Mr. Atiqur Rahman, one of our Innovators Under 35 for 2016, about his philosophy of life, what drives him as an entrepreneur, how he handles difficult time and his take on the future of Bangladesh and youth’s role in building a better Bangladesh.
Briefly tell us about yourself.
I came from a remote village of Comilla called Brahmanpara. I did SSC from Comilla, HSC from Notre Dame College and then completed my B. Sc. in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) from BUET.
After graduation, I worked at three leading telecom operators in Bangladesh, Grameenphone, Banglalink, and Robi at different points of time before starting my own business. I am Married to Tambira Fatema who is a Doctor herself and we have two cute daughters.
Since I’m an Electrical Engineer, I always try to find problems in my domain and solve them. I love to play with new things, find alternative solutions to typical problems. I love to take challenges and passionate about technology and energy.
What are the driving principles of your life?
You know, the ultimate power comes from your heart. If you want something badly enough and work hard, it is likely to happen.
When it comes to solving a problem, I always try to find and solve a problem of my own locality. I think the nature and magnitude of problems that we have in Bangladesh are different and a local orientation in problem solving is critical for the country and also for the success of the solution.
We are a country of 170 million people. If you look at things we consume or use on a daily basis, lots of our necessary products are not made locally and are coming from abroad, but we can easily close this gap with a little intention and a lot of hard work. I think we do have capabilities to solve our own problems, but we lack the willingness and courage to apply ourselves.
How do you motivate yourself when you feel really down or come across a difficult challenge?
A positive mind will always give you a positive momentum and vice versa. I always try to find the good side of a problem. Every problem has a solution, we just get to spend time with the problem and have patience.
I’ve encountered lots of problems in life and am still facing, but the courage to take challenges and the belief that difficult time would pass help me to move forward. I enjoy difficulties, every challenge is a sort of training and opportunity to learn from.
Five lessons you have learned from the teacher called ‘Life’.
A couple of things I have learned over the years:
a. Focus is the key
b. Collaborate and connect the dots
c. Be patience
d. Never give up
e. Be happy at the end of the day
What do you think about the future of Bangladesh? How can young people contribute to that future?
I think Bangladesh is a wonderful place to do business. We have a lot of problems here which means a lot of opportunities. As Peter Diamandis said, a problem is a terrible thing to waste. The question is how you look at a problem.
Young people can change a society and we are a relatively young nation. A growing number of young people are taking initiatives and working hard to contribute to building a better Bangladesh. That said, these people need support from everywhere and everyone they can get.
I would also like to point out that there is a huge fascination towards technology which is a good thing but we must think hard how can we apply technology to solve more critical problems of our society and contribute to areas like agriculture and all instead of only doing things that are common.