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Shuttle Names New CEO as Co-founder Reyasat Chowdhury Steps Down From Top Job

Shuttle Co-founder Reyasat Chowdhury has stepped down from the company's CEO position, handing over the CEO role to Hesham Rajmi, the current VP of Market Operations at the company, the company said in an announcement yesterday. The changes come as the transport-tech startup looks to set its new strategic direction amid the changing market and funding realities. Reyasat will transition to a new role as President of the company. Rajmi joined Shuttle last year and previously worked at Uber in Bangladesh and India.

In a social media post, Reyasat wrote that while he “won't be involved in day-to-day operations,” he will “continue to support and guide the leadership team”. 

In a separate announcement on its social media page, Shuttle wrote: “We are thrilled to announce the appointment of our new CEO, Hesham Rajmi. With several years of experience at Uber Bangladesh and Uber India, Hesham joined Shuttle last year as VP of Market Operations and has already made significant strides in improving efficiency, moving the company closer to profitability. Join us in extending a heartfelt welcome to Hesham! We look forward to his strategic vision and leadership to drive Shuttle to even greater success. Here's to an exciting future ahead!”

The leadership change comes at an interesting time for Shuttle as the startup funding landscape changes and more and more companies are looking to achieve profitability and long term sustainability. Shuttle was founded in 2018. The company popularized the concept of shared travel on daily commutes, starting with pick and drop services from home to university for female students. The company launched a vertical for men and office-goers in 2021. It has since expanded into a number of related verticals. 

Under Reyasat, Shuttle evolved itself from a scrappy startup to an important player in Dhaka’s transport-tech scene. The company raised $2.5 million in total funding from a number of local and international investors including South Asia Tech, Startup Bangladesh Limited, Bangladesh Angels Network (BAN), Accelerating Asia, among others. 

As he steps down, Reyasat says that he will continue to support the leadership team from his new position as president. “Today marks an exciting milestone for Shuttle! I am stepping down from the CEO position to pave the way for our talented new CEO, Hesham Rajmi. Successfully executing a proper succession is every founder's dream, and we are thrilled to have found someone like Hesham Bhai to take the company forward. With several years of experience at Uber Bangladesh and Uber India, Hesham Bhai joined Shuttle last year as VP and has already made significant strides in improving efficiency and moving us closer to profitability. I am fully confident that he is the right person to lead Shuttle to new heights. In my new role as President of the company, while I won't be involved in day-to-day operations, I will continue to support and guide the leadership team to ensure we reach our milestones.”

In recent months, Shuttle has been prioritizing profitability as the funding landscape for startups changes across markets under the pressure of the changing economic reality. The new CEO who comes with experience in the ride-hailing business in Bangladesh and India is expected to steer the company in that direction. We expect to see the impact of the shifts at the top to trickle down over the next few months. 

Shuttle is the second startup in Dhaka that will be run by a non-founder CEO. Previously, we saw another transportation-tech startup Pathao go through a similar transition. We wrote at the time that the change was indicative of “coming changes in Dhaka’s startup ecosystem.” The leadership transition at Shuttle confirms our prediction and we will likely see more similar moves as Dhaka’s startup ecosystem matures. 


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