Future Startup Tech’s Person Of The Year 2018

Future Startup Tech’s Person Of The Year 2018

Our hope is that in Bangladesh we will experience a different technological revolution that will truly liberate common people and truly empower them. To an inclusive technological revolution.

You can read a fitting introduction to this year’s Tech’s person of the year here.

Tech’s Person Of The Year 2018 – For An Inclusive Technological Revolution

Often, things are not what we see from the outside. This reality of multidimensionality of most things in the world is what makes life and living interesting as well as complex, all at the same time. Similarly, the ability to see beyond the surface and identify opportunities as well as challenges beyond our common imagination is what separate some people from the rest of us.

While I don’t believe that this ability to see things beyond their normal appearance is an act of genius inaccessible to rest of the common folk like us, however, it requires significant effort, willingness, and grit to develop and apply this skill.

Our Tech’s person of the year 2018 does not go to a single person rather a group of people, to be exact 04 persons, who have done meaningful work in taking tech to the consciousness of common people in Bangladesh. This is our first attempt at doing this and we have not applied any formal or structured methodology in the selection process.

At FS, one of ways we look at the world is through the lens of a combination of a few things: beyond immediacy, instant gratification, and social approval and popularity. This year’s Tech’s person of the year is also a manifestation of that understanding of the world.

The way we look at this year’s selection is that this has been a long overdue recognition for all the people in the list not only for their short or long-term success or popularity, rather their impact in making tech a thing of common people in Bangladesh. Tech has been a thing of common people in Bangladesh for all along, these people have established it once again.

One has commoditized trust in the financial product. One has built the first successful local internet company and continues to influence tech ecosystem with his critical and often risky opinion. And two of them have proved that it is possible to build technology services in Bangladesh that people use and that it is possible to dream higher and reach out to that and also have significantly contributed to making tech a part of public conversation.

Again, our criteria for selection was not success or popularity but the impact in the sense that taking tech to the common people, contributing to making tech a part of the public conversation and making it accessible to the consciousness of the common people.

Tech's Person Of The 2018

Future Startup Tech’s Person Of The Year 2018

Taking tech to the common people, here is to our Tech’s Person Of The Year 2018:

Kamal S. Quadir

Kamal S. Quadir

Kamal Quadir
CEO, bKash, Former Founder, and CEO, Cellbazaar

For making financial technology available to the common people and most importantly, commoditizing trust. As Muhammad A. (Rumee) Ali says, “the most important contribution of bKash is not the technology or the scale it has achieved today but the trust it has been able to create among people in technology. At an individual level, people have not interacted with technology in a way that required financial trust. bKash for the first time as a technology wanted ‘trust’ from its users and in most cases, people responded positively. It has created the basic infrastructure for FinTech and that is ‘trust’. That is why I do not see bKash as a delivery channel rather it is something more. It has in a way changed the trust infrastructure of financial services and paved the path for fin-tech products.”

Further reading: you may read our complete coverage of bKash here.

Fahim Mashroor

Fahim Mashroor, CEO of Ajkerdeal

Fahim Mashroor
Founder and CEO, BDjobs.com and Ajkerdeal.com

For proving the fact that it is possible to build a successful internet company in Bangladesh and for making employment opportunities available to common people and consistently influencing tech ecosystem in Dhaka with the critical and often risky opinion, sometimes opinions that are not popular.

Further reading: You may read our complete coverage of Mr. Mashroor here, and Ajkerdeal here and BDjobs here.

Waseem Alim

Waseem Alim

Waseem Alim
Co-founder, Chaldal

For believing and the acting upon the fact that it is possible to build internet company in Bangladesh and that it is possible to raise investment and following through. Chaldal is an online grocery startup. The company has raised investment from a host of investors including Y Combinator and IFC.

Further reading: You may read our coverage of Mr. Waseem here and Chaldal here.

Hussain-M-Elius

Hussain-M-Elius

Hussain M Elius
Founder and CEO, Pathao

For taking on one of the most difficult problems in Dhaka and offering a solution to it and then proving the fact that although it is challenging and difficult, it is possible to try and make a dent. Pathao has created a solution for common people by the common people and it has greatly influenced the tech’s public conversation in 2017.

Further reading: You may read out coverage of Mr. Elius here and Pathao here.

The first wave of the global technological revolution started with the high hope that tech would liberate humanity, democratize opportunity, reduce inequality, and give power to the common people.

As American intellectual Lawrence Lessig beautifully illustrates in his wonderful book The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World, the tech revolution has failed us.

Over the past years, we have come to see the death of the open internet. Technology has helped a new wave of inequality. It has concentrated the opportunities and power in the hands of a handful of people and corporations and created an environment of winners take it all. And corporations and authoritarian regimes have successfully completed a counter-revolution turning tech into a tool for manipulating and controlling the common people.

Our hope is that in Bangladesh we will experience a different technological revolution that will truly liberate common people and truly empower them. To an inclusive technological revolution.

Notes – 1) We don’t know whether this will be a yearly thing yet, but this year this seems an appropriate thing to do. Thank you for reading.
2) This list originally appeared along with this piece, it has been separated after receiving feedback from our readers.

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Ruhul Kader

Co-founder at Future StartUp
Ruhul Kader is a co-founder at Future Startup. He writes about business with a specific concentration on strategy, technology, and society. He can be reached at [email protected]

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