Torchbearer of technology
Bangladeshi Rashed Kamal enlightens backward African societies
Bangladeshi young technology entrepreneur Rashed Kamal has enlightened societies in some African lands Kenya and Uganda which are in the process of enlightments in Software and ITES sector in recent days.
Holding the flag of United Nations he moved around the corners of the African countries to share knowledge on software development, standard regulation as well as modern international marketing method. Despite that the people of Uganda and Kenya have been introduced with technology, they have little knowledge in market expansion.
Rashed Kamal, CEO and Managing Director of The Databiz Software Ltd, one of the leading Bangladeshi software developers, shared his experience in an exclusive chat with the Daily Observer recently.
Kamal trained 30 technology entrepreneurs in Kenya and Uganda as specialist of a United Nation's programme.
"An innovation is enough to brand a company, a country or a nation. Every good initiative starts at home and then spread globally," Kamal started his words.
He said there are lots of potentials in African countries but they lack proper guidance.
Kamal added he had to successfully leave behind a good number of stages before becoming adviser in Kenya and Uganda.
Being asked why he had been chosen by them, he said, "My17-18 years' experience of working in this sector, my study (graduated from the IBA faculty of Dhaka University) and my experience of working in the community have worked in my favour. Moreover, I myself have received this training (of which he is a trainer now) intensively by the ITC(International Trade Center, Geneva) and CBI( A Dutch Government Agency) before."
Performing well in a few levels after completing the training in Bangladesh he has been called on by UN's International Trade Centre (ITC) as an 'International Consultant and IT Industry Expert'. He informed he's got a Dutch technology expert named Fred Jenson as a lead trainer there. Each training is a six-month project. At the completion of this, this training may start in some other countries. He said two days of training and two days of coaching is delivered in each country. Midsession is held after three months and after that a third session. Already a couple of sessions of the training have been completed.
Rashed Kamal said they have made tremendous progress in these two sessions. They have acclimatised well what we had taught them in the first training. They also did the home works, which we had given them for self development, quite well.
What are they taught? In reply of this question, Rashed Kamal said, "We actually teach them software and service export marketing strategy. They work in small scales. We prepare thier marketing plan on how they can lift them to larger scales and how they can create ways to enter other countries. They prepare small plans and send those to us after taking the training. We asses those plans and send them back by making necessary rectification. The finishing session has been done in November."
Kenya and Uganda are lagging behind Bangladesh by at least 10 years in term of information technology. But the plus point is they are good at English. They have started marching forward capitalising on this very aspect. They are doing very well in developing business process outsourcing (BPO) and medical web application. ITC has chosen these two African countries for this reason that they will do well if provided with training.
From the information of Rashed Kamal we have come to know that the people working with technology are very idle leisure-loving. They did not have much hurriedness. They were reluctant to attend meetings timely. They are not even willing to apologise for coming to the meeting late. Things started changing after the first training session. They have made cent per cent progress from the situation they were in at the beginning of the session. Although there are some similarities between them and the Bangladeshi people, there is a supply chain gap among them. Technical know-how is very minimal there so they are progressing sluggishly.
The technology lovers of Kenya and Uganda have started dreaming about entering the European market with their software and service products. "We have made them understand that they must do well in the domestic and the African regional markets at first only then they can go to the European markets", said Kamal.
Rashed Kamal pointed out, Kenya has progressed better between these two countries. There is a provision for automated car parking in the country's capital Nairobi. Mobile Money (banking) M-Pesa is very popular there. Uber service has also been launched. Bangladesh also has a good deal of scopes for working there, mentioned Kamal.
Rashed Kamal stated he particularly wanted to talk about two Kenyan and one Ugandan company. The two Kenyan companies used to work with many items. One of them dealt with 16 service products. He suggested those two institutions to work with one specialized product. He told one company to focus on web application and advised the other to emphasize distribution channel portal. He told the Ugandan company to develop Medical software specifically with different horizontal area.Rashed Kamal has been working with 15 Kenyan and a similar number of Ugandan companies. From his experience of training in the two countries, he said, in both the countries the technology market is very small. They do not know at all to what level the international market has gone by now. They have to change their attitude if they want to make further progress. They also need cultural transform. However, they know how to fight. This fighting attitude will take them much ahead, believes Rashed Kamal.