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FS Weekly No. 47: Amarlab, GoZyaan, IDLC’s CSR philosophy, new book review, Taptap Send

Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Society | 6 September 2022 | No. 47

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On to the updates.

I. Amarlab names new CEO and COO

In a fascinating move, Digital healthcare startup Amarlab named its Chief Business Officer Nafeesa Chowdhury as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company and its Vice President of Operations and Service Delivery Mokhlesur Rahman Mijba as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company. This is a major and usual change for an early-stage company in Bangladesh and comes amid a time when Amarlab is looking for a path to its next stage of growth. Read.

II. UCC and Shikho announce a new partnership to make university admission preparation available online

EdTech startup Shikho and University Coaching Centre (UCC), one of the largest and most renowned competitive university test preparation institutions in the country, have announced a new collaboration with a goal to democratize access to UCC’s best-in-class university entrance exam preparation programs by digitizing the curriculum and making the classes available online to students nationwide. The move is likely to change many things for both companies. Read.  

III. Financing Happiness: Inside IDLC’s distinct long-term oriented CSR philosophy

Giving, however, is a fundamentally tricky question. With the idea of giving, the question comes where to give and how to give. These are legitimate questions as there are causes that are more important than others and there are ways of giving that can maximize the impact of your giving. Hence giving to causes that can generate long-term impact and address problems at their core is a far superior approach than otherwise. To that end, effective giving should be a priority for every corporation in regard to its CSR activities. This is where IDLC, the largest NBFI of the country, offers an interesting example of effective giving. Over the years, the company has designed a non-conventional approach to its CSR and Sustainability initiatives. Read

IV. Book review: Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants to Be

I collected a copy of Steven Pressfield’s new book Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants to Be as soon as it came out. It is a short book and did not take me long to finish. This is my fourth book by Steven. Previously, I enjoyed reading his excellent The War of Art, an all-time favorite among creative types, Do the Work and Turning Pro. Steven understands the trial and tribulation of creative life. Being an author himself, I think part of the understanding comes from his lived experience. The rest of it, as Steven puts it, comes from “the muse”. Read.

V. US-based immigrant-focused fintech startup Taptap Send expands to Bangladesh, hiring activities show

Taptap Send, a US-based immigrant-focused fintech company that provides a no-fee international money transfer service for immigrants, has apparently been working to expand its services in Bangladesh. Online hiring activities of the company show that Taptap Send is currently hiring for a growth launcher position for the Bangladesh market. The role description says “your role will be to lead the launch of Taptap Send in the remittance market from the US to Bangladesh. You’ll quickly understand the customer and community, build an initial strategy, execute on growth tactics, track and report on their success, and iterate over time to ensure that we hit our growth targets.” Read

VI. GoZayaan is revolutionizing international hotel bookings

Finding the right accommodation during a holiday is tricky but crucial. Distance from the city center, cleanliness of rooms, amenities available at the premises, etc. everything impacts the quality of one's vacation. International travel has gained substantial popularity in the past few months as more countries lift travel bans and open their borders to foreign travelers. The demand for international hotels is now more prominent than ever. However, booking foreign hotels from Bangladesh still remains a troubling phenomenon. Travelers routinely face challenges with transparency, limited choice, lack of information, payment, and much more. This is where GoZayaan comes in.  The Dhaka-based travel-tech startup has been working towards solving many of these issues for travelers. The company has on-boarded a massive collection of international hotels — an inventory of over 680,000 hotels on its platform and introduced several other facilities for international travelers. Read

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Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2022 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at [email protected]

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