“With the new innovations and technological capabilities coming our way, the landscape is ever-changing. The huge shift in venture capital investments towards artificial intelligence, blockchain, machine learning are due to their immense potential and application in so many
different industries. Bangladesh can be a part of this huge global market and should start preparing for this inevitable technological future.”, echoed the speakers who joined the roundtable on "Adapting Emerging Technologies for Exponential Economic Growth" at BASIS Softexpo 2018 on Saturday.
The roundtable was organized by Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of Bangladesh (VCPEAB) and TiE Dhaka at the Windy Town of Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) in the capital. Daily Banik Barta was the Media Partner for the session. The multi-stakeholder roundtable was chaired by Mr. Shameem Ahsan, Chairman of VCPEAB and President of TiE Dhaka.
Mr. Shyam Sunder Sikder, Secretary, Ministry of Post and Telecommunication was present as the Chief Guest. Mr. SM Ashraful Islam, Executive Vice Chairman, eGeneration Group and Mr. Shawkat Hossain, Secretary General of VCPEAB presented keynotes on emerging technologies, digital future and venture capital funding in this market. Mr. Md. Shafiul Islam (Mohiuddin), President, FBCCI; Mr. S. K. Sur Chowdhury, Adviser, Bangladesh Bank and Mr. Hossain Khaled, Managing Director, Anwar Group were present as special guests. The roundtable had participations of Mr. Rashedul Islam, Additional Secretary, ICT Division; Mr. Sayem Ahmed, Chairman, Dutch-Bangla Bank Ltd.; Mr. Tapan Kanti Sarkar, President, CTO Forum; Mr. Sabur Khan, Chairman, Daffodil Group and other key personnel from different sectors.
Mr. Shyam Sunder Sikder, Secretary, Ministry of Post and Telecommunication said, “One major hindrance to the foreign investment is absence of readymade data on the sector. We need R&D centers and training centers to reduce this gap and promote innovation.”
Mr. Shameem Ahsan, Chairman of VCPEAB and President of TiE Dhaka said, “Digital transformation will contribute to 60% of GDP in Asia by 2021, as per a study conducted by Microsoft and IDC. Bangladesh needs to adapt, utilize and excel in the emerging technologies and harness the growth potential.”
Mr. SM Ashraful Islam, Executive Vice Chairman, eGeneration Group said, “Appropriate interventions with the use of blockchain, IoT, Artificial intelligence technologies in traffic management, health care, education and training, banking and insurance, efficient use of energy, judiciary, agriculture can power growth.”
Mr. Md. Shafiul Islam (Mohiuddin), President, FBCCI said, “Our private sector is going strong despite of some limitations on national level. We should figure out how to manage these weaknesses using the disruptive technologies. Governance, traffic management, infrastructure should be among the top priorities we should look at.”
Mr. Hossain Khaled, Managing Director, Anwar Group said, “In order to achieve sustainable profit local companies must adapt to the emerging technologies. Sadly, we aren’t yet adapted to the present technologies being adapted in most countries.”
Mr. S. K. Sur Chowdhury, Adviser, Bangladesh Bank said, “To achieve our target economic growth it is necessary to adopt technology driven measures. Using these technologies for financial and social inclusion, and environmental sustainability can be a game changer.”
Mr. Shawkat Hossain, Secretary General, VCPEAB said, "Venture Capital is a very important source of funding for the startups who are gradually entering into the business with new and new ideas and emerging technologies."
VCPEAB advocates on behalf of the local venture capital and private equity industry to ensure sound public policy that encourages a favorable environment for investment. On the other hand, TiE Dhaka is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, hosts networking events and mentors startup founders. The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), was founded in 1992 in Silicon Valley. There are currently 13,000 members, including over 2,500 charter members in 61 chapters across 18 countries.