3 Bangladeshis on list of 100 Global Tech’s Changemakers
Sonia Bashir Kabir, Afeef Zaman and Morin Talukder, three Bangladeshi tech and start-up entrepreneurs, have been named in the Rest of World's (RoW) 100 Global Tech's Changemakers' list for their contribution to the technology sector amidst challenges.
The RoW is a global non-profit publication covering the impact of technology beyond the West.
From tech leaders, innovators and investors to activists, the RoW identified those people outside Silicon Valley and the West whose efforts directly impact countries where the majority of the world's population lives.
Earlier this year, it set out to find 100 of the most influential, innovative and trailblazing personalities in fintech, e-commerce, policy, digital infrastructure, and a range of other sectors that intersect with and influence technology.
"To put together the list, our reporters and editors researched individuals in each regional ecosystem who have made an outsized contribution to their sectors while facing logistical, financial, and political challenges that come with building something groundbreaking in those communities," said the RoW.
Among the three, Sonia Bashir Kabir is the founder and managing director of SBK Tech Ventures, a Bangladesh-focused venture capital fund which invests in startups that support the digital development of rural areas.
SBK's portfolio includes more than 40 startups ranging from fintech, health tech, edu tech to blockchain, B2B SaaS to e-commerce.
Previously, as the Managing Director of Microsoft Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan & Laos Sonia partnered with donor agencies, banks, telecommunications companies, and students, to mobilize and grow the company's initiatives.
Her efforts to democratise technology and empower women with technology won her many prestigious global awards including Bill Gates Founders Award and United Nations SDG Pioneer Award.
Afeef Zaman is an expert in problem solving in emerging markets, especially in his home country of Bangladesh.
He's the CEO of ShopUp, Bangladesh's largest full-stack business-to-business commerce platform for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.
With the venture, he decided to help entrepreneurs who run the country's 4.5 million popular mom-and-pop stores but struggle to access the formal financial system due to a lack of digital presence.
Thanks to ShopUp, they can now access digital credit, B2B sourcing, logistics, and business management solutions.
After closing South Asia's largest funding round worth $75 million in 2021, the company has just added to its funds with a $34 million series B extension round.
Morin Talukder is the co-founder and CEO of Pickaboo, a Bangladesh-based e-commerce platform.
Though still in his 20s, Talukder is a seasoned expert in the booming e-commerce industry, having founded the online shopping platform ehatbazaar.com in 2015, which he sold a year later to focus on Pickaboo.
During its six years of operation and five funding rounds, it has gained the confidence of its customers and now claims to be Bangladesh's most trusted e-commerce platform.
In order to stay competitive, Talukder has prioritised offering a high-speed delivery service with turnarounds of as little as three hours and has turned Pickaboo into one of the first e-commerce retailers in Bangladesh to introduce monthly payment plans and customer membership plans.