This year's Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list, prepared by Forbes magazine, announced the names of young trailblazers yesterday, in 20 industries and categories.
Two young Bangladeshis -- Hussain M Elius and Abdullah Al Morshed -- were also featured as honourees in the categories of Consumer Technology and Media, and Marketing and Advertising respectively.
According to Forbes, choosing these honorees among thousands of nominees is a long and daunting three-layer process that relies on the knowledge and authority of a wide-reaching community, skilled reporters and expert judges.
While Hussain M Elius is known to be a game-changer in Bangladesh's transport sector, Abdullah Al Morshed, also known as Morshed Mishu, uses art to pave paths of happiness in a violent world.
The CEO of Pathao, a popular app based ride-sharing platform that helps passengers reach their destinations on time, which is also a very popular food delivery platform, 29-year-old Hussain M Elius practically changed the face of Dhaka and eventually Chattogram, where inter-city commuting has always been a challenge.
Not only are more and more individuals opting to use the services of Pathao to reach destinations on time or for delivery purposes, Elius has also managed to provide jobs to many.
“Unofficially, we have become one of the largest employers in the country,” said Elius to Forbes. Today, Pathao has raised over $12.8 million from four rounds of funding and is valued at over $100 million.
“Dhaka transportation has been lagging behind its international peers,” says Elius, talking about how Pathao is eventually reaching out to the whole country. “Ride-sharing services are positively contributing to the traffic situation. There is an immense potential for the platform to grow and reach a significant portion of the population.
“There is still a lot that can be done and we want to collaborate with the government and city corporations in designing a better transportation infrastructure. We need to work together to create long-lasting change and make people's lives better,” he said.
In December 2017, the initiative had also won The Daily Star ICT Award in the category of ICT Startup.
On the other hand, Abdullah Al Morshed has been sketching, cartooning and producing artworks under his pen name Morshed Mishu ever since he was a child.
An assistant editor of the satirical magazine “Unmad”, the 25-year-old shot to international fame with his Global Happiness Project, where he would transform poignant and heartbreaking photographs of refugees or victims of war, to artworks where these same people would be seen happy and leading a regular life.
In the beginning of 2018, Mishu began to transform a photograph of a tearful son, in the arms of his helpless father in a warzone, to an illustration of the same father and son laughing together in a beautiful field, surrounded by flowers and sunshine.
He did not stop there.
Yet another photograph of a young girl who died while trying to protect her baby sister, holding an oxygen mask on the baby's face, which had caused outrage all over the world, was transformed in to a lovely artwork of the same young girl bottle feeding her baby sister.
A photograph of a dead father and his baby son lying in the debris of their own home, turned out to be a warm bed, with the baby lying on the father's chest, napping the afternoon away, thanks to Mishu's powerful strokes.
“Last year, many images were being shared by my friends on social media, which I could not unsee, even if I tried,” says Mishu.
“I asked myself, what I really wanted to see. I wanted to see people smiling and happy. That's when I picked the photograph of the crying father, running away to safety while holding his child, most probably from Mosul, Iraq. I started to draw and turn it into a happy moment.”
Morshed Mishu's artworks have been featured in exhibitions in Berlin and London. In July 2018, at the 40-year celebrations of Unmad, Mishu was honoured with an award for The Global Happiness Challenge, which garnered recognition in the media of Afghanistan, Albania, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kurdistan, Turkey, and Vietnam. Popular internet media and news companies such as AJ+, Bored Panda and Buzzfeed have also featured the project.
“Because of the mention in Forbes, I have been able to represent Bangladesh and I am very happy about that,” adds Mishu.