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Strategic ambition of Cookups, on-demand economy and society, and what makes life real with Nahita Nishmin, CEO, Cookups (Part II)

Nahita Nishmin is the CEO of Cookups Technologies Limited, a Dhaka-based on-demand homemade food delivery platform. Prior to Cookups, Ms. Nahita briefly worked at Unilever Bangladesh on sustainability and purposeful brand-related initiatives. Before that, she spent a long time working in the development sector including eight years at Swiss Contact’s Katalyst project, managing agricultural portfolios for the company. 

In this second and final installment of our fascinating conversation with Ms. Nahita, we talk about the state of the on-demand food delivery market in Bangladesh, what separates Cookups from other players in the vertical, Cookups’s strategic path to scale, the state of Cookups’s business and operation today, how she thinks about culture and organization building, the ultimate vision for Cookups, what happened to the thesis that on-demand food delivery has a sure-fire path to mainstream adaptation, the social and cultural impact of the rise of the on-demand economy and technology, her favorite books and reading as a hedge against the culture of speed, young people and decline of work ethic, meaning of work, humility as a leadership framework and the importance of embracing difficulties, putting life in the context of death and much more. 

This was a much longer interview, so we had to divide it into two parts. This is the second and final installment of the interview. Read part one here

I. STRATEGIC DIRECTION OF COOKUPS 

Ruhul Kader

What do you think about competition in the food delivery vertical? 

Nahita Nishmin 

It's a cluttered space and competition is steep. But we don’t want to position Cookups as just food delivery. As I've said we’re more than food delivery. We’re a platform for home cooks. We give them an identity. For customers, you can find your grandma's recipes here, customize your orders and we give you what you want that's not made commercially. We want food to tell a story and stand for something. We envision a platform where foodies are going to come to be with fellow foodies, interact with our cooks, and talk food. 

So there is steep competition. On-demand food and getting food easily, all of which our competitors offer is great. Our delivery time is a bit longer — we now take three-hour orders for “express”. If we could bring down the delivery time below one hour for all products that would be great.

It is a complex challenge for us. Because a majority of home cooks seek this flexibility of cooking when they want to cook. They're not commercial kitchens. They want the flexibility of managing their homes and also cook and sell on Cookups. We want to cater to these women. So we have to offer that flexibility. At the same time, we want to do more on-demand deliveries. We want to have more kitchens that can deliver home-cooked food faster and more efficiently. 

We've become leaner because we want to get to that stage where we can say that we've grown organically as much as we can and now we want to do paid large-scale promotions. 

Our competition also comprises companies who don't have the same business model. For them, unit economies perhaps is not as big a concern because they have more flexibility with their finances. I think that's a great boon for them. Since we operate differently, we have to think creatively. 

Ruhul Kader

As you rightly said, it is a competitive vertical. Some players who mostly deal with restaurant deliveries are now seriously eyeing the homemade food vertical. You mentioned several things about your relationships with the cooks and customers and the kind of benefits you offer them, the quality of your food, and so on. Is there anything else that makes Cookups indispensable to both the cooks and the customers you work with? 

Nahita Nishmin  

I've realized that no one's indispensable (laugh). It is a life lesson. I've mentioned our USP and how we're different. These are unique characteristics and are not easy to replicate for various reasons. Those are our strengths and our key differentiating factors.

To reiterate, we’re obsessed with quality. We call everybody when their ratings go to three and below. We have excellent relationships with our cooks and diners built over the years. We offer complete customization which many people want. Our app has a note section where you can mention your preferences while placing your orders. 

We do a ton of things for our cooks. As I have said, we provide capacity-building services and a lot of other value-added services. We have close relationships with our  cooks that go beyond mere business. Until now we've been able to do it. 

Of course, as we scale some of these features will become less prominent. But we’ll always have a human touch. We’re a different kind of business from just dealing with commercial entities. You're dealing with all these women home cooks who have come into the platform because of a craft that they do well but they face constant challenges. To help them navigate the challenges and maintain confidence, there'll always have to be a team that does capacity building, counseling, and so on. These have to be there. 

Ruhul Kader 

As you mentioned, with scale many of these benefits might lose their strength. One of the messages of being a homemade food platform is that it's personalized and of high quality and not something mass-produced in a commercial setting where quality sometimes doesn’t take precedence. Once you scale, your popular cooks will have to grow capacity. You have to turn them into large kitchens. How do you maintain that personalization and the home-cooked ethos? 

Nahita Nishmin

When we scale there will have to be a scalable product that is generalized. But customization will always be possible even if we scale. You see many places such as Northend Coffee allowing minor customization. You write a note mentioning your preference for extra milk with your latte, and they do it. Technology is making these things easier. That's a scalable product — coffee, latte, Northend but the customization can be streamlined using the technology. 

If I design a process where whoever processes the order must see the note, he/she will get multiple notifications for the same, then they're bound to see it. We just have to design a product that will have all these learnings incorporated into it and instead of humans doing all of that the technology will have to do them. 

Ruhul Kader

Now individual cooks prepare food at home. If they want to scale they cannot remain individuals, they have to become at least a semi-kitchen or restaurant or something like that to serve additional demand. And if that happens you no longer remain a homemade food platform. You become similar to any other food delivery platform. Will it then make it a challenge to remain a homemade food platform?

Nahita Nishmin

A larger kitchen doesn’t have to be a completely commercial restaurant. There's nothing wrong with a restaurant. I love food and I go to restaurants. The thing is when we eat a sandwich from a shop it tastes a certain way. If I have it from a home cook, it tastes different. My question is: if I cook for 500 people how do I keep that same taste? Home cooking means you get the same taste as homemade food even if I do it at scale. I think it is possible to keep the same quality even if you cook for 5000 people. Because the recipe for home-cooked food is different. And we’ll always maintain that even if it takes us to go the extra mile to ensure the same standard. We will always maintain the homemade taste and feel. 

Ruhul Kader

How many deliveries do you do on a daily or monthly basis?

Nahita Nishmin 

I don't want to give an exact number. We have grown significantly both in revenue and the number of orders in the last two years. At the same time, we have built new revenue streams outside of deliveries. We've increased our revenue by thinking creatively. How can we grow our revenue even if our number of shipments remains the same? How do I increase the basket size, for instance? How do I have other forms of revenue? Can I get more cooks coming into the platform so that our inspection income also rises? How do I do that? So we have tried to be innovative and creative in terms of growth. And we have largely been able to do it. 

Ruhul Kader

Do you manage your logistics in-house? How do you work with your delivery people? 

Nahita Nishmin

Our delivery people work full-time and we make sure that they are compensated well.  They also receive training on delivering cooked food.

I.I. ORGANIZATIONS AND CULTURES 

Ruhul Kader

Can you talk about your culture? You briefly talked about how you designed the organization. I want to go deeper into how people work and interact with each other, how the organization is structured, what are principles or values you have, etc. 

Nahita Nishmin  

One thing I've tried to establish with the culture is a no-nonsense attitude and a disregard for excuses. . If you can't do something I will understand but not taking responsibility for one's actions and not going through with deliverables is something that I don't want in our culture. We don't want people who make excuses. We want hardworking individuals. They don't have to be the smartest and brightest but they have to have good work ethics and principles. 

I want everybody to be helpful to each other. We are a small organization and within it, if we have office politics and people blame each other for failures, nothing will work. I dislike it and people know this by now so they never come up to me with complaints about others. They work extra hard to get things done. We don’t want to have a culture where people blame each other. These are two things that we don't want to have in our organization. 

We want to hire more females. I've tried actively but I'm unable to do so for certain roles simply because of our national social environment and all of that. Women face many barriers in terms of the need for shorter working hours, in terms of the need for flexibility, etc. In startups, if you're not flexible, what are you? So I have had a hard time building that environment of having a lot of women in the workplace. We have one woman in Jessore and I want to have more but it's a shift system and it is difficult for women to work late into the night.

We have a supportive culture. We help each other. It is an open culture where you can speak your mind and freely share your ideas and thoughts. We are a startup. We're trying to grow and also be lean. These are two competing priorities. As a result, we're often time-starved. Everybody is super busy. But we also actively think about how we can have more conversations. We have created structures and processes to have conversations with each other every quarter. It's much more formalized now, but we should do even better in terms of having more open talks. 

We have a strong feedback culture. We take anonymous feedback. I take exit interviews very seriously. We want to have a culture where people come to work and work hard and also feel that they are supported. We can do better, but we're trying. 

Ruhul Kader

How big is the market for a company like Cookups? And how big is the overall food delivery market in Bangladesh? 

Nahita Nishmin

It's a large enough market. The existing market for a platform like Cookups probably is not that big but more conscious customers are coming into the market and that is an opportunity for us. We’re empowering these home cooks. Giving them an identity. And we offer greater customization and healthier and higher quality food to our customers. We believe there is a large market that value these two values and we have to tap into that market. 

Subscriptions, which you mentioned, there's a need for that. People are time-starved. These are big opportunities and we want to pursue them. In terms of your question, how big is the market, these are expanding segments and we want to cater to those. 

Ruhul Kader

What are the challenges for Cookups now?

Nahita Nishmin

We've covered some of it. Specifically for this period, one major challenge is rising costs. Our home cooks can't keep their grocery costs constant from one week to another. Our fuel costs and our salaries are rising. Overall, our cost of doing business has risen tremendously. These are extraordinary times. It is hard to control burn amid this situation but that is what we've tried to do. 

These are difficult business environments, not just cost-wise but also demand-wise because people don't have as much money and are not spending as much. Online spending has declined. The investment climate is difficult. Things are quite difficult. But I think that the companies that survive through these times, they will do well once this period ends.  

Ruhul Kader

Do you plan to raise money in the near future? What's the plan for investment?

Nahita Nishmin

We're not going to do it in the next six months. There will be some institutional changes that will make us even better at attracting investment. We'll make these changes in the next year and hopefully raise investment after that.

Ruhul Kader

You talked about the long-term ambition of the company. What are the priorities for the company in the next 2-3 years?

Nahita Nishmin 

Priority-wise, we want to be the leanest and as efficient as we can be. Number two is we want to strengthen our tech. We want to improve our product and build a strong tech and product team. In a year’s time, we want to be in a position where we can attract investment and have money so that we can invest in growth. 

But I never want to get out of that being-lean philosophy. I think that many of us have fallen into that pit of buying growth. But I don't want to get into that philosophy of burn and expensive growth. 

Ruhul Kader

Chaldal is the majority shareholder of Cookups. How does your relationship with Chaldal work? You briefly mentioned that you share technology with Chaldal. 

Nahita Nishmin

We've tried to take advantage of the economies of scale. We might share logistics in the near future. We have those synergies. We also keep a lot of things separate. Because independence is also important — independence of decision-making and independence of operation. Cookups is run as an independent entity. Our finances are different and the team is different other than the tech. It's important for our unit economies and other strategic reasons. 

We get a lot of informal and important support from Chaldal. Since I know the people, I get a lot of expert advice and support without payment. And I'm very thankful for that.  

Ruhul Kader

As you pointed out, there are several synergies as well. One is, of course, Chaldal deals with groceries, and your cooks can become customers of Chaldal, and Chaldal’s customers can become your customers and vice versa, etc. Have you tried to exploit any of that? 

Nahita Nishmin

We do cross-marketing and promotion. Cookups consumers are being targeted by Chaldal and vice versa. Cross-promotion and using social media happen. Using the base of cooks for grocery has also started happening. 

Ruhul Kader 

Food delivery runs on a popular thesis. We’ve discussed some of it such as the time-starved urban professional class, dual-income households where husbands and wives both work where they don't have time to cook food, and the rise of internet penetration and so on. In your opinion, has food delivery service gone mainstream in Bangladesh as yet? If not, do you see there is a path to getting there in the near future? 

Nahita Nishmin

The definition of the mainstream can be different for different people. I think food delivery is more or less mainstream. I think people understand what food delivery is now and they use it. If some people don't use it, it's because it does not match their price point or they don't understand it. Of course, it can go even more mainstream. As tech and internet penetration grows and people understand how to use these services, we see there is a huge scope for growth. 

This is part of larger internet education. People have to be able to use services. That will come with time and that will also come with the infrastructure that we need that I was talking about regarding the role of policymakers. So education, literacy, infrastructure these things are important for the growth of these services, which has happened in India, which is why you see so many unicorns because so many people are used to it. 

I've also said this Cookups is not just a mere food delivery platform. Our vision is to be a platform where food connoisseurs come to interact and have fun. It is not about transactions alone, which I believe is very important for us. 

II. ON-DEMAND, TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY 

Ruhul Kader 

One different question about food delivery and the on-demand economy. Our world has changed over the last decade. Today, you can open an app, order food, and other things, and get them delivered in a day or a few hours for which in the past you probably had to wait at least a few days. Everything is instantaneous these days. As you mentioned, people now complain about small things. Do you think this kind of on-demand food delivery and other on-demand services change society and change people in terms of how they perceive life? Do you think these changes are making us and our society more impatient? Take food. Making food is a process and it is often a sacred process. Eating food used to be kind of a celebration. There is some sort of philosophical and psychological aspects of cooking your food — preparing your food, sitting together, and eating it. It has become completely industrial. Today, we know so little about our food. How can you make your life more efficient that has become the sole purpose? But you see these things have all sorts of second-order consequences on how people operate and how society functions. How do you see all these changes? 

Nahita Nishmin  

It is common knowledge that technology has made life easier but it has also made it more stressful. Every measure of standard of living that you see, every measure of parity, standards of living, purchasing power, everything will tell you that we’re doing increasingly better. Our purchasing power has gone up. Our life has become easier. But how are you measuring it? 

You're measuring it with the fact that 20 years ago I didn't have washing machines and I now have or my income has gone up. The thing is, yes, you have a washing machine. Yes, you have tools to make your life easier, which you didn't have before. But you had time. You had people. Maybe you had people to do the washing. Now you don't have the people but you have a machine to do it. I think the way we measure the standard of living is important. 

Ten years back people would come home at a certain time. They would spend time with their family or whatever, or go out once a week. It has become harder and harder for people to do that. I'm guilty as charged. When I'm at home, I spend time with my daughter. I try to. But I have also my phone at hand. I’m always wary that my team needs me. I'm never offline. I'm always available. It has become the way of life. And this is not right. I think that there needs to be a space where you don't do this and cut off from everything, even if it's for a small period. It can be one hour that you're home and you're just not going to touch any device. And you're not going to think about your business.

Ruhul Kader

Such as an important point. I think we never fully come home. We have these handheld devices and we are attached to them all the time. We’re with our people but we're also in constant touch with someone in another country. We’re never present. 

Nahita Nishmin

Work is fine. Business is fine. Business is part of life because what you're doing is something that you're passionate about, and you love it. It gives meaning to your life. Cookups gives meaning to my life. I completely buy this philosophy which is why I'm doing it. That's fine. 

But I'm with my daughter, but I'm thinking about how I would deliver the big order tomorrow, it is not right. That's why I think that the standard of living we talk about, all these measures, I don't think they are the right way of looking at life. 

Today, we have everything. We have TV, and OTT platforms for entertainment but seriously when are we watching them? Who watches TV anymore? Many people watch OTT but how do they do it? They do it instead of sleeping. I don't think it's an improvement at all. 

You're not sleeping and you're watching Netflix. There is no balance. By balance, I don't mean you work only 8 hours. If you're an entrepreneur, you will have to work 12-14 hours a day and seven days a week. But there should be an end time when you stop after 14 hours and pay attention to your people and yourself. We need to understand where we put a full stop and say enough is enough. For the next two hours, I'm not doing anything.

III. MEANING OF WORK AND LESSONS IN LIFE 

 Ruhul Kader

Can you offer us an insight into what you do and how you approach your work as the CEO of Cookups? What is your philosophy about work? 

Nahita Nishmin

I derive immense value from my work. Work is important to me, which gives me meaning. I'm doing Cookups because I think that all the sacrifices that I make are worth it. I'm doing something impactful. Work is essential. That's my philosophy about work. 

As the CEO, I think that my people are my first priority. If my people need me, I should be available. I also think that I have to be accountable and responsible for how this company does. I should be able to perform that responsibility. I should also be able to support my staff in their endeavors. 

In terms of work-life balance, if you’re in a startup majority of your life is work. But you have to have some time for things that are important to you. It can be anything. It can be family, health, other hobbies, etc. This is also true for my people. They should be able to do that. That's my philosophy. 

On a separate note, I think we’re seeing a breakdown of work ethic in our society. My understanding is that people are getting lazier. People tend to use many excuses. When I work at a startup, it's not going to be like a regular nine-to-five job. And I have to understand that. Valuing work is important. 

Ruhul Kader

What are some of the lessons from your journey so far? 

Nahita Nishmin

There are many. Let me share a few relevant ones. In startups, you have to think fast. Things change fast. The reality of today may not be the reality of tomorrow. You have to be extremely flexible and adaptable. You have to be able to change, which is not easy for many people. Because for many of us, our characters are not built that way. So the first lesson is to be adaptive and flexible. 

The number two lesson is that there is no single best leadership style. You take the good things from everywhere and build a philosophy that works for you. The typical examples of leadership that we get around us are mostly male. Be it entrepreneurs, C-level, or startups. We're looking at a mostly male-dominated world and that has worked for men. And people seem to think that the same style is going to work for you as a female as well. But it may not. Because people perceive females differently, whether you're an executive or a CEO. The way a male CEO work and interact with people, a woman will not be perceived the same way if you behave the same way. You may think this is how leaders act or work but if I shout like a male CEO, as a female CEO that's the end of me. The kind of feedback that I've received from lots of people tells it all. Either you're too aggressive. When you're not too aggressive, then you're not good enough. But when you're aggressive, you're aggressive, you're not assertive, which is not acceptable for a lot of people. You are either trying too hard or not trying hard enough. It's difficult to be a female leader. My lesson in these cases is that learn from everywhere, and take the best. And don't try to please everyone. As women, we try to please too many people. 

Have humility. Having humility is important. I think worldwide, including in Bangladesh, the CEOs that we see, get blindsided. They think that they're always right because they have all these ‘Yes’ men around them. They don't understand that they can be wrong. They have no humility. Having that humility can make all the difference between you and an average leader.  

As a female boss, you're going to face a different and difficult environment. You just have to navigate it the best you can. You can talk to other female leaders but don’t expect an answer from everyone. 

Ruhul Kader

Advice for young people.

Nahita Nishmin 

I already said a lot of things. If you're a woman, you're going to have a tougher time. I am always fighting for instance. I am known to be a feminist, and I encourage everyone to be one (laughs). Just keep trying and working hard and working smart. Don't give up. Another thing is that when we organize anything for women, we fill up the auditorium with women but why? If men don't understand the challenges we face in various areas of life, at home, in government offices, and at corporate houses, then how would they know and understand it? I think men need to step up and understand what women go through. 

I see these days that young people tend to use all sorts of excuses for not working hard. Work hard. As young individuals, if you don't work hard, your laziness will catch up with you in 10/15 years. Maybe you're getting by now because of your connections or whatever but people who matter understand who you are. So don't always try to cut corners. 

Ruhul Kader

That's beautiful advice. I think we have this problem as a society where we do not learn about work ethics. We don't have any idea of work ethics and people rarely learn work ethics in schools and colleges and universities. It is an important point. Recommend a couple of books for our readers. 

Nahita Nishmin

I am a non-entrepreneur book reader. I don't read nonfiction. I read like Wall Street Journal and New York Times, etc. I enjoy reading those. But I read a lot of fiction. 

Ruhul Kader

I think fictions are a higher reading. I read a lot of nonfiction. But I think fictions are closer to life and reality. Then nonfictions are usually linear, and straightforward. What are some good fictions that you enjoyed lately? 

IV. OF BOOKS AND READING 

Nahita Nishmin 

Letters from a father to his daughter by Nehru. Nehru had written them to Indra Gandhi. I think that's interesting. Fiction that I read when I was much younger and read multiple times after that. When I read I'm very romantic. I read a lot of Jane Austen. One of my favorites is Pride and Prejudice and I recommend it to everybody. I think men and women alike should read Pride and Prejudice and another is Little Women. And again, I want men and women both to read it. It is this fantastic depiction of family life and how beautiful relationships can be. Because I'm a feminist, I love Sathkahon by Somoresh Mazumder. Not a book, but I recommend everyone to watch Pather Panchali. I mean yes you can read the book by Biphutibhushon but I think the film is even better. Although I don't think I can watch it again now because it's so sad. It's so harrowing. Now I'm at a stage of life where I don't read anything sad. I don't watch anything sad. I don't because I get so dejected. I only want to see happy things. But one should read and check all of Satyajit Ray’s work. 

I read a lot of children's and young adult fiction. I think they lift me. I go back to simpler times. Because when I read I don't want to take on more stress. I want to relieve stress. I read a lot of classics and I read a lot of children's and young people's things. People should just generally read, even if it's one page a day. I do this from time to time. I read one page a day. 

Everyone I know around me reads nonfiction but I can’t. When I read nonfiction, after a few pages, I'm like okay, this is more learning today, like porashona, you know what I mean (laugh).  

Of course, one book people should read is Harry Potter. Everybody should read the entire series. I've made my parents read it. Now I’m making my daughter read it. If you have to read one book, read Harry Potter. 

Ruhul Kader

The idea of reading every day is a great one. Many people say good entrepreneurs are like learning machines and reading is an excellent way of learning from the people who have gone before us. I think this is a very good book session because most people recommend the same kind of book, mostly nonfiction, mostly bestsellers. I think everybody around me is reading the same books, the same bestsellers. So these are different reads. 

Nahita Nishmin

Can you tell me what your three top recommendations for nonfiction are? 

Ruhul Kader

In terms of entrepreneurship, I think Zero to One by Thiel is a good book. It has a lot of original thinking. I think there are a lot of interesting biographies as well. For example, I’m currently reading Personal History by Katharine Graham, it is super interesting. Shortness of Life by Seneca, a quite old book, is an excellent read. Alain de Botton has written several fascinating books such as Status Anxiety, How Proust can save your life, and a couple of others. Nassim Taleb is another author I enjoyed reading. Malcolm Gladwell is someone I have enjoyed reading. Gladwell is extraordinary. The problem with non-fiction is that it is hard to come across truly original work. A majority of nonfiction work is kind of derivative. They are based on other works. There are a lot of excellent non-fiction and biographies, I think we should do a separate episode on books. Two more questions. Do you have any unusual productivity habits or how do you stay productive?

Nahita Nishmin

I don't think it's unusual, since I'm the kind of person who derives a lot of meaning from the work I do, I have to work. I have to be meaningful and useful. 

This is partly because of my upbringing. I have not seen people who have not worked. I mean, homemakers work a lot. They have the most difficult job in the world. I've seen my Nanu and Dadu. My Nanu is nearing 90 and she still cooks. She derives meaning from her work. 

V. MAKING LIFE REAL 

Ruhul Kader

What do you think about life given that life is short and transient? We try a lot of different things and then we’ll not be here for long. 

Nahita Nishmin

This is a topical question for me. We just lost Dadu. It has not been 48 hours, but I'm at the office. That also says a little bit about my philosophy. We cope in different ways. If I had to stay home, I would not be able to cope. So I came elsewhere so that I can go on and not think about it all the time. But I could only do this after I wrote about my Dadu because that is some sort of closure for me. When I put it in writing and share, it unburdens me. 

The older I get, I realize how transient life is. COVID has made the fragility and impermanence of life clear. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. I'm a big believer in taking action and living today. I try to do whatever I want to do. I don't put things off for tomorrow. That is how I think about it. Seize the opportunity and do whatever you want. 

The older I get I realize that we spend too much time considering what other people would think. It takes up too much time and effort. But I think we shouldn’t care too much about it. We should probably care about certain people in our lives and what they think. Instead, live your life. Seize the opportunity. 

Death is inevitable. But we should try to live this journey. Enjoying this journey doesn't mean having it easy. It's probably the other way around. Make it difficult, make it worthwhile. 

Since life is so short, we mustn’t waste it. You need to value relationships. More than anything else, COVID taught me that relationships are important. Building these relationships and having that connection is super important. 

Some people don’t have these relationships or emotional understanding. We've often thought that these are our leaders and we need to follow them because they can be so one-track and “just do it”. It's unfortunate. But many of these people are the ones who will “do well in life” because there is only one thing they want out of life. We've always thought of entrepreneurs as those kinds of people. They think, breath, sleep and dream one thing. While it's good to be obsessed, I don't feel they're the winners. That's my philosophy. I think that even if you're spending 16 hours a day, that's fine. But spend two hours on Sunday and have the humility to understand that other things are as important for your well-being and success. 

Ruhul Kader

That's so beautifully put. This is the perfect place to end this conversation. Thank you so very much. I appreciate that you have taken a long time to speak with me. 

Nahita Nishmin

Thank you that you've taken like three hours to talk to me (laughs). And you've thought through the questions and you've developed them beautifully. I enjoyed this very much.

Note: This was a much longer interview, so we had to divide it into two parts. This is the second and final installment of the interview. Read part one here

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 2021 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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