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FS Weekly 57: Staying productive while working remotely, lessons from Reasons to Stay Alive, new founder interview, and more

Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Society | 18 February 2023 | No. 57

Hello there, Welcome to another edition of FS Weekly. I'm Ruhul. I convene Future Startup Weekly to help you understand entrepreneurship and the technology landscape in Bangladesh and beyond.

This edition features:

  • 1 founder interview 
  • 02 Essays 
  • 01 company deep dive
  • 01 Bookworm
  • 03 Recommended readings

First, FS Talk February 2023 will take place on the 25th Feb. The always excellent founder and CEO of iFarmer Fahad Ifaz will share his journey and lessons at the event. It is a free event, but you have to register to get an invitation. Details and registration are here. I look forward to seeing you on the 25th! 

Future Startup Interview

Amir Salihefendic
Amir Salihefendic

Future Startup Interview: Amir Salihefendic, Founder and CEO, Doist

Amir Salihefendic is the founder and CEO of Doist — the company behind popular productivity and work apps Todoist, one of the world’s most popular productivity tools used by millions of people, and Twist, an async work communication app that helps remote-friendly teams run an organized, transparent, and balanced workplace. Read.

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FS essays and analyses

01. How to stay productive while working remotely

Remote work has seen phenomenal growth over the last decade. But maintaining productivity while working remotely can be a challenge. Staying productive while working remotely requires a balance of setting boundaries, creating a routine, taking self-responsibility, and utilizing technology effectively. This is an excerpt from our interview with Mr. Modasser, you can read the full interview here.

02. 10 life-changing entrepreneurial lessons from Shombhob Health founder Azra Salim

Azra Salim, the founder, and CEO of online pharmacy and healthcare startup Shombhob Health. After completing her A level in Bangladesh she went to the US to study business administration at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. Did her undergrad there, majoring in Finance. After graduation, she worked in the US for several years as a consultant to Fortune 500 Companies. After coming back to Bangladesh she joined the family business. The family business, Jayson Pharmaceuticals, was founded by her father in the 1960s. She worked there for about three years and took a break of about four years.  In 2012, she rejoined Jayson. From 2012 to 2020, she worked full-time in a pharmaceutical company and helped the company grow and raise capital to go for an IPO. In 2021, Ms. Azra founded Shombhob Health with an ambition to take healthcare close to people. 

This is an excerpt from our interview with Ms. Azra publish early this year. You can read the full interview here. 

Company deep dive: GoZayaan 

Founded in 2017, GoZayaan is a Bangladeshi travel-tech company with operations in both Bangladesh and Pakistan. The company has seen excellent growth over the years. Read our collection on GoZayaan here


How to deal with depression and anxiety: Lessons from Matt Haig's Reasons to Stay Alive

Reasons to Stay Alive is a novel and memoir written by novelist Matt Haig. The book is based on his experiences of living with depression and anxiety disorder. 

The book intends for people to never lose faith and support. In the book, he encourages us to enjoy the little joys and happiness that life brings, and tells us that there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy life. He tries to convince people that time can heal, there is light at the end of the tunnel, even if it can’t be seen.

Outside FS Ideas

A few interesting reads I enjoyed last week from across the internet. 

1. A Conversation With Bing’s Chatbot Left Me Deeply Unsettled. Read 

2. 16 Life-Learnings from 16 Years of The Marginalian. Read.


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 ruhul@futurestartup.com

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