Future Inside: 05 Powerful Interviews Exploring The Future Of Finance, Agriculture, On-Demand Economy, Digital Marketing and The Future of Retail in Bangladesh

Future Inside: 05 Powerful Interviews Exploring The Future Of Finance, Agriculture, On-Demand Economy, Digital Marketing and The Future of Retail in Bangladesh

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Muhammad A.(Rumee) Ali

Muhammad A.(Rumee) Ali

Life’s Work: An Interview With Muhammad A. (Rumee) Ali, CEO, BIAC [Read the full interview here]

Dear readers, you are in for a wonderful time! Please find yourself a cozy place, get a cup of coffee or whatever you like and get ready to peek into the brilliant mind of Muhammad A. (Rumee) Ali. Muhammad A. (Rumee) Ali is the Chief Executive Officer at Bangladesh International Arbitration Centre (BIAC).

Mr. Ali has a diverse and decorated career. Prior to joining BIAC, he worked at BRAC for over eight years as the Managing Director of Enterprises and Investments where he streamlined BRAC’s social enterprises, provided strategic guidance and board supervision to BRAC Bank as the Chairman and closely oversaw the early days of bKash as its first Chairman of the Board. He served as Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank from 2002 to 2006. He was the first Bangladeshi CEO of Standard Chartered Bank and ANZ Grindlays Bank, Bangladesh. In fact, he was the first Bangladeshi to hold the CEO position in any major multinational company in Bangladesh.

Mr. Ali is considered as one of the most important, impactful and finest business leaders in the country.

In this interview, Mr. Ali walks us through his early life and upbringing, reflects on his journey to what he is doing today, his several-decades-long career spanning multiple countries, institutions and important roles, trials and tribulations he has had to face throughout his career, shares his thoughts on the state of financial industry in Bangladesh, fin-tech, and the future of financial industry, talks about his work at BIAC, incredible importance of arbitration for the development of the overall business eco-system of the country and his ambition for the organization, discusses his management philosophy and why investing in people is disproportionately important for organizational success, shares his ideas for building a lasting institution, ponders upon the meaning of life and explores the eminent importance of reflecting on our life and work regularly, staying true to yourself and living your values and the peril of limitless ambition and greed and why we should give without the expectation of reciprocity.

While the interview offers a rare opportunity to peek inside the mind of one of the most influential business leaders of Bangladesh, it is a compendium of practical ideas and is an intellectually empowering, immensely insightful and altogether enchanting read.

[Read the full interview here]
Sabbir Hasan Nasir

Sabbir Hasan Nasir

The Future of Retail, Shwapno, and Life: An Interview With Sabbir Hasan Nasir, Executive Director, ACI Logistics [Read the full interview here]

“I try to bring ‘beauty’ into everything,” says Sabbir Hasan Nasir, “into the product, space, customer relationship and overall organization.” He is the Executive Director of ACI Logistics where he leads Shwapno, the leading retail brand in the country. Mr. Sabbir has a diverse career spanning multiple sectors and countries.

Prior to joining ACI, he was the CEO of Otobi where he had helped to transform Otobi and turn it into a regional furniture brand. He is also author of four books – three of them are a series on Sufism and a poetry book entitled Podochinho.

Mr. Sabbir was born in Khulna where he spent a large part of his early life. Growing up, he was into music, math, and physics. He studied mechanical engineering at BUET, worked with Professor Dr. Jamal Nazrul Islam – the prominent Bangladeshi mathematical physicist, and cosmologist, then moved to business and went on to do an MBA, studied Sufism and recently has completed an executive program on management, innovation, and technology from MIT – Sloan School of Management.

A self-described designer and passionate student of Sufism, to be in a conversation with him is a little like wandering into a wonderland of tranquility, warmth, critical thinking and humility.

In this interview, Mr. Sabbir walks us through his early life and upbringing, reflects on his journey to what he is doing today, trials and tribulations he has had to face throughout his career, shares his thoughts on the state and the future of retail industry in Bangladesh, talks about his work at Shwapno, how customer obsession, continuous evolution and collaborative approach to problem-solving defines its internal culture, Shwapno’s ecommerce initiative, and his ambition to transform Shwapno into an omnichannel retailer in the country, discusses how empathy, fairness and creating a challenging environment informs his management philosophy, shares his thoughts on design thinking, leadership and growing an organization, ponders upon the meaning of life and explores the eminent importance of maintaining a growth mindset and looking at life as an opportunity to contribute.

[Read the full interview here]
Sazzadul Hassan

Sazzadul Hassan

Syngenta Bangladesh and The Future Of Agriculture: An Interview With Md. Sazzadul Hassan, Managing Director, Syngenta Bangladesh Limited [Read the full interview here]

Md. Sazzadul Hassan is the Managing Director at Syngenta Bangladesh. Mr. Hassan was born and brought up in Dhaka. He studied Statistics at Dhaka University, after his bachelors in Statistics, he did an M.Sc. in Computer Science when Dhaka University first opened up Computer Science Department and then went on to do an MBA from IBA.

Mr. Hassan has a diverse and decorated career spanning multiple industries and countries.

In this interview, Mr. Hassan walks us through his early life and upbringing, reflects on his journey to what he is doing today, his multiple decades of career spanning multiple industries, countries and important roles, shares his thoughts on leadership and growth, talks about his work at Syngenta Bangladesh, its internal culture of collaboration and engagement, current state of the company and its ambition going forward and the future of agriculture in Bangladesh, discusses innovation in the agriculture sector, his management philosophy and why it is important beyond measure to engage people and work as a team, shares his ideas for being an effective CEO, his morning routine and ponders upon the meaning of life and why our greatest satisfaction comes from giving.

This is our first major interview on agriculture and agri-tech and is a compendium of practical ideas, personal anecdotes and powerful insight on the future of agriculture industry in Bangladesh – an intellectually empowering and altogether enchanting read.

[Read the full interview here]

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Riyad Shahir Ahmed Husain

Riyad Shahir Ahmed Husain

What’s Next For Magnito Digital: An Interview With Riyad Shahir Ahmed Husain, Co-founder, and CEO, Magnito Digital [Read the full interview here]

Riyad Shahir Ahmed Husain is the CEO of Dhaka-based digital marketing company Magnito Digital. Magnito is one of the earliest digital marketing companies in Dhaka and over the past few years, it has grown significantly. In its fifth year now, Mangino eyes further. “Now that we are completing our five years, we think that we have come to a crossroad and that this is the end of phase one,” says Mr. Husain. “The next few years are also very important for us. Now we are investing in a couple of areas which we think is critical for our growth and scale going forward.”

In this immensely insightful interview, Mr. Husain tells us about the current state of Magnito Digital and its ambition, how much it has evolved over the past few years, its growth strategy going forward, talks about changing digital marketing landscape, his take on growing competition and challenges in digital marketing and major digital marketing trends going forward, shares his management philosophy and incredible importance of having good partners, shares his ideas for being an effective CEO, building a sustainable business and dealing with stress and challenges as an entrepreneur.

[Read the full interview here]
Zubair Siddiky

Zubair Siddiky, MD, Foodpanda, Bangladesh | Photo by Foodpanda

The Future Of On-demand Food Delivery In Bangladesh: An Interview with Zubair Siddiky, Co-founder & MD, foodpanda Bangladesh [Read the full interview here]

Zubair B.A. Siddiky is the Co-founder and Managing Director of Foodpanda (stylized foodpanda) Bangladesh. Over the past few years the company, which launched its operation in Dhaka in 2013, has grown significantly.

Food-tech, which includes among other things food delivery and restaurant discovery services like foodpanda, is an interesting business. In Dhaka, we have a host of players in the space working in different verticals from restaurant discovery and reservation to food delivery to homemade meals marketplace. In our neighboring market India, it is a big business having players like Zomato and Swiggy among others.

Foodpanda is an important player in Dhaka’s food-tech space for several reasons. It is part of the world’s largest online food delivery group Delivery Hero. Over the past few years, the company has built a solid business while expanding its operation in two more major cities apart from Dhaka. It just revamped its platform and launched its foodpanda for business service in Dhaka.

In this interview, Zubair Siddiky tells us about his journey to what he is doing today, talks about foodpanda, its current state, challenges, organizational culture and future ambition, discusses automation and major technology upgradation and how data informs almost every decision at the company, shares his thought on overall food delivery business in Bangladesh and key to this business, illustrates his management philosophy and explores the eminent importance of believing in your work and leading by example while building a startup and why ego is the enemy on our way to achieving great things in life.

[Read the full interview here]

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