Here are 10 interviews, in no particular order, with some of our favorite founders in Dhaka on starting a company, putting together initial resources, running an operation for the first time, tribulations of being a founder, challenges of an early-stage company, reflections on being a founder and much more. We hope you enjoy reading the interviews as much as we enjoyed doing them.
1. Doing Things That Don’t Scale: An Interview Farhan Anwar, Founder and Managing Director, Workd
Workd is a new job search platform that calls itself “Bangladesh’s first AI-powered job search platform. Workd uses intuitive search-and-apply features to filter jobs and effortlessly connect applicants with their suitable jobs. Workd generate a unique matching profile for each candidate based on their choices, searches, and queries.”
In this interview, we sit down with Farhan Anwar, Co-founder and Managing Director of Workd to learn more about his journey to what he is doing, and the inner workings of Workd. We talk about his early life and his motivation behind pursuing an entrepreneurial life while he had other more comfortable options. The origin of Workd, the early days of building the product, putting together the team and resources together, going into the market and convincing the first handful of users, and overcoming the challenges of beginning from the scratch. We talk about the state of Workd’s business today and ambition going forward, reflect on the trials and tribulations of being a founder, the importance of physical exercise, and much more.
2. Kishwar Hashemee on Cloud Kitchen, Kludio’s Business, and Job of a Founder
In this interview, we sit down with Kishwar Hashemee, Founder and CEO of Kludio, to learn more about his journey to what he is doing, and the making and intricacies of Kludio. We talk about his early life and his motivation behind getting into the business of food, the origin of Kludio, the early days of building the product, putting together the team and resources together, going into the market and convincing the first handful of users, and overcoming the challenges of beginning from the scratch. We talk about the state of Kludio’s operation today and ambition going forward, reflect on the importance of patience and embracing discomfort as founders, and much more.
3. Democratizing Access to Internet: An Interview With Samiha Tahsin and Omran Jamal, Founders, Bonton Connect
Bonton Connect is a Dhaka-based technology startup that aims to democratize access to the internet by enabling peer-to-peer wifi sharing through a marketplace “where the general people can purchase and sell their home internet”. Bonton effectively brings the sharing economy to the world of the internet.
In this excellent interview, we sit down with Samiha Tahsin and Omran Jamal, Founders of Bonton Connect, to learn more about their path to entrepreneurship, what is Bonton Connect, how Bonton Connect came into being, how Bonton’s tech and business work. how Bonton operates as a company, Bonton’s state of business today and ambition going forward, and much more.
4. Founder at Work: An Interview With Rayana Hossain, Founder and Managing Director, ISHO
This week at Founder at Work, we speak with ISHO Founder and Managing Director Rayana Hossain about her early life, how her childhood and upbringing continue to shape her life and work, her path to what she is doing today, and behind the scenes of ISHO. We explore how she came to found ISHO, how ISHO has evolved over the past year, insights from her entrepreneurial journey and growing a business, and much more.
5. Founder at Work with Eddie Bearnot, Co-founder and CEO, Frontier Nutrition
Frontier Nutrition CEO and co-founder Eddie Bearnot walks us through his early life, how his childhood and upbringing continue to shape his life and work, his path to what he is doing today, gives us a peek behind the scenes of Frontier Nutrition and much more.
6. Founders at Work: An Interview With Ahmed Humayun Murshed, Faisal Mahmud Sajeeb, and Mezarul Musrufe Ontu, Founders, Accfintax
Ahmed Humayun Murshed, Faisal Mahmud Sajeeb, and Mezarul Musrufe Ontu are founders of Accfintax, an independent professional services provider with distinctive local strength and understanding in Accounting, Finance, Tax, VAT and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). Founded in 2017, the company has experienced steady growth over the past years and worked with a long list of clients from across sectors and verticals using a combination of excellent service, commitment, and local understanding.
In this interview, we caught up with three founders of Accfintax Ahmed Humayun Murshed, Faisal Mahmud Sajeeb, and Mezarul Musrufe Ontu to learn more about the origin of Accfintax, Accfintax’s business today and ambition going forward, imperatives for entrepreneurship, and more.
7. Founder at Work: An Interview With Reyasat Chowdhury, Founder and CEO, Shuttle
Reyasat Chowdhury is the founder and CEO of Shuttle, a Dhaka-based transportation service startup that provides “safe transportation at an affordable fare by moving more people with fewer vehicles with the help of technology’. Originally started as a safe transportation solution for women in Dhaka, the company has since expanded its service adding more routes with Dhaka and making its service available to more office goers. In this interview, we discuss Mr. Reyasat’s path to entrepreneurship, the origin of Shuttle, Shuttle’s business today and ambition going forward, imperatives for entrepreneurship, and more.
8. Founder at Work: An Interview with Al-Amin Sarker Tayef, Founder and CEO, Barikoi
Barikoi Co-founder and CEO, Al-Amin Sarker Tayef, talks about his path to entrepreneurship, the germination of Barikoi, how it has evolved and found product-market fit, how they crafted the business model of Barikoi, the state of Barikoi’s business today, how the company operates, and its ambition going forward, reflects on his lessons from his journey so far and much more.
9. iFarmer’s Fahad Ifaz Talks Building an Agriculture Finance and Supply Chain Company, iFarmer’s Business, How Ideas Evolve and Running a Startup
Co-founder and CEO of iFarmer, Fahad Ifaz, talks about his path to entrepreneurship, the germination of iFarmer, how it has evolved over the years from an idea to build an uber for urban farming to an innovation agri-tech and fin-tech company, how they crafted the business model of iFarmer and iFarmer’s enduring edge as a platform as it expands, the state of iFarmer’s business today and its ambition going forward, how iFarmer is putting data at the center of farming and finance, explains the intricate operation of iFarmer, reflects on why it is critical to have a healthy disregard towards naysayers when you are building something innovative and of potentially high impact and much more.
10. Jatri Founder and CEO Aziz Arman Talks Smart Mobility Solution to Enhance Public Transportation Systems, Jatri’s Business, and Running a Startup
Jatri is the first bus tracking and digital ticketing platform in Bangladesh. Founded in 2019, the company aims to transform public transportation in Bangladesh and beyond through improving the experience of public transportation, enabling bus operators to run more efficiently and empowering cities to improve public transportation systems by using technology. Large scale transportation options, such as bus, offer a far better and efficient solution to transportation challenges facing emerging cities in the developing world than other small scale ride-hailing options. To that end, Jatri can effectively become an important piece of public transportation solution in cities across markets.
The company has recently raised a highly publicized seed round, which many called one of the biggest seed rounds ever in Bangladesh, from a diverse set of investors who have funded or been involved in many leading modern mobility companies such as Bolt, Uber, Bird, Angkas, Yassir, Buseet, and Rappi. With the new investment, the company aims higher and eyes to “help cities enhance their public transport systems across the region.”
We caught up with Jatri Co-founder and CEO Aziz Arman to have a better understanding of Jatri’s business, how the company operates, the state of its business and its long-term ambition, the business of new mobility solutions, what does it take to raise investment, the anatomy of running a startup, and psychological aspects of being a founder and much more.