Bangladesh, with a 48 million strong young population, could be a major growth hub for ICT based Startups. The country has a 6.3 percent GDP growth rate and 145 million population could be a major destination for many multinational companies. Unlike many western countries with a small percentage of youth population, Bangladesh is blessed with the youth energies and spirit. The question is how to use them efficiently, create job opportunities and bring out the richness from their hard work. For Bangladeshis to be able to tap into global job opportunities, a national strategy needs to be crafted, which will identify future job demands globally and build capacities of these young people so that they can come level with other nationals in the international job market.

Here are three humble suggestions:

Focus on Technology– Youth education and capacity building should focus on a technology-driven job market. Many current human centered jobs will be replaced by robots globally. Other Artificial Intelligent technologies are sweeping the market rapidly. Self driving cars, drones, augmented reality are no longer in the Sci-Fiction movies, but will be roaming around in our neighborhood very soon. How prepared are the youth of Bangladesh for such global scenarios? How many Robotics Labs do we have? Do our universities teach Artifical Intelligence?

Promote Entreprenuership/Startup Culture– The government of Bangladesh should create a start-up fund or a Technoprenuers Fund to support and promote a start-up culture in the country. According to Futurestartup, there are not enough serious start-ups in Bangladesh. We have a bunch of eCommerce companies running on hype. Although there is a positive vibe and continuous buzz in the industry, international investors are not showing that much interest in the Bangladesh market. The government needs to intervene in these circumstances, provide funding, ease the bureaucratic hurdles, bring in international mentors and create the positive startup ecosystem.

Non-resident Bangladeshis should step forward– There are many scientists of Bangladeshi origin working in big organizations globally. Many senior executives have been creating value in international tech firms. One would like to urge them to start venturing into the Bangladeshi market, either by investing in startups and/or building local capacity through training and coaching. Sometimes a little inspiration from the experienced, foreign educated can push a lot- changing lives is not always very complicated.

Lets talk and take some action in the interest of our future.

Naguib Chowdhuryis currently working in a Development Bank as Innovation Specialist.

One Response to “Bangladesh: A prospective startup hub!”

  1. Asrar Chowdhury

    The solution to the challenge lies in one phrase in your article: “48 million strong young population”, I think. Add to this that the Bangladesh economy has been exhibiting a steady growth for the last two decades. What do you get? You get a youthful population that is slowly becoming consumers. This is exactly what happened in the industrial revolution in the 19th century and in the transformation of China in the last century. Bangladesh has the youthful consumer base for start-ups to succeed. Thus you see the emergence of online companies without much foreign investments. The dilemma or the challenge with start-ups is that this market is evolving and highly competitive. In competitive environments, you observe boom and bust. In course of time, those who are fitter, survive and you will see companies emerging within Bangladesh that have successfully embraced and marketed technology. It’s just a matter of time.

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