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Lessons from 16 inspiring personalities of Bangladesh

ATM Hasibul Islam | September 07, 2017 00:00:00

While a second year student at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Dhaka University this writer decided to work on a self-motivated project--writing a book to inspire people and spread the good word. After much hard work and patience, it was possible to complete the book 'From Stones to Castles'. The book depicts the journey of these people and shows us how they have navigated to the present state of success as we see them in.

For this work, the writer was lucky to meet entrepreneurs, educators, innovators and change makers who have put their marks in Bangladesh. The book shares the story of Dr. Ananya Raihan who wanted to be a socialist politician in his young days and is now the founder of 'Dnet', a social enterprise, the story of Anita Ghazi Rahman who founded 'Think Legal Bangladesh', the first free non-chamber related legal website and the story of Iftekhar Enayetullah and Maqsood Sinha who implemented their thesis and research findings to discover a composting process of recycling organic waste which is now patented by them and is being used in six different countries.

The book features some interesting and impact making ideas to solve problems like water sanitation and traffic of Dhaka city from the renowned architect, Iqbal Habib. This piece also portrays the struggle Mr. Habib and his colleagues at 'BAPA' ('Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon') had to go through for materialising the Hatirjheel project as we see today. It features the story of Korvi Rakshand who went out of the traditional definition of life to open a small school for poor children that has become the civil society organisation called 'Jaago' today.

An interesting and unique interview in this book is that of Maher Khan. He is neither an entrepreneur nor an innovator. But, he is undoubtedly an inspiration to thousands of youths in Bangladesh. Maher Khan was the lead guitarist of Nemesis and was considered one of the best guitar players in Bangladesh. It narrates Maher's reasons to leave music and how the transformation took place, solely for the love of Allah.

It also voices the entrepreneurial journeys of Mahmudul Hasan Sohag and Mridul Chowdhury. Mr. Sohag is the founder of Onnorokom Group. Many know him as one of the founders of the first Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) of Bangladesh. Mridul is the founder and CEO of 'mPower', a social enterprise that works on ICT4D projects. He is also a documentary film-maker.

'TED' is a media organisation that works with the slogan 'Ideas worth Spreading'. It is one of the most acclaimed public speaking platforms in the world. Mohammad Tauheed is a senior TED fellow, who is architect by profession and education. The writer met him while volunteering for TEDxDhaka 2014 and later learned the interesting story of being affiliated with TED.

Dr. Mohammad Farashuddin, ex- governor of Bangladesh Bank, considers 'teaching' to be the most prized opportunity to benefit the society by imparting knowledge. The book features the story of young Farashuddin who used to travel three-and-a-half mile on foot to reach his school in Habiganj and later on becomes one of the most celebrated economists of the country.

Most of us dream of doing what we love, few actually end up doing. Naveed Mahbub, who left his job as the CEO of IBM Bangladesh and Nokia Siemens Network Bangladesh and took standup comedy, shares how he turned his passion into profession.

In the last few chapters, the book features two extremely talented women entrepreneurs of present times, Sabhanaz Rashid Diya, the founder of 'One Degree Initiative Foundation' and Samira Zuberi Himika, founder of Team Engine, Inspira Advisory and Consulting, GIGA Tech and Trinity Tech.

The book also depicts the life of Tahsan as a musician and as an academic and tells us the challenges he faced while choosing music over a corporate career.

Being the son of Rehman Sobhan and Salma Sobhan, young Zafar had to fill in the colossal shoes of his parents. It was not until he was 33 years old when he found his true calling, journalism. The piece describes his learning process, his struggles and his inspirations.

The one and only person from Bangladesh, who is known to be a Superhuman as seen on Discovery Channel and has four Guinness book record is Mak Yuree. The book contains the story of the 'Thundershin Man' who can break three baseball bats with one kick.

Finally, the book shares an analytical look on each of the success stories to find out a pattern. In a sentence, the secret formula to 'one's success is good luck coupled with persistence and hard work'. The book can be read for free at 'fromstonestocastles.com'.

The writer is a recent graduate from the IBA of Dhaka University. He is currently working as a

management trainee in bKash Limited, He can be reached

at [email protected]

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