Atikur Rahman is one of the pioneer graduates in Bangladesh who has completed his Bachelor’s degree from the Department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Daffodil International University. He became the first National Champion in an International Start-up Competition ‘Get In The Ring’ in 2016. Within this time, he has initiated two ventures, Food for People and Junipreneur. Currently he is working for Junipreneur- a platform that is dedicated to bringing out the entrepreneurial skills and abilities of children.
Tell us something about Junipreneur
Well, Junipreneur is a platform where it sorts out the individual traits, strength and weakness of young minds while giving them the environment to grow and think out of the box and bring something innovative to become an entrepreneur who can take amazing initiatives. Education is a big challenge if we do not change the way we teach. The way we teach, the things we are teaching are knowledge based only. We cannot teach our kids to compete with machines because they are smarter. We have to teach something unique, so that a machine can never catch up with us.
How did you come up with this idea?
It was second year of my university when I came to feel that my department wants to develop an entrepreneurial eco-system. If we really want to bring changes in the society or change the mind set of the students to become entrepreneur (initiative taker) we have to introduce entrepreneurship teaching at the school level or atleast we have to try to inject the venom of entrepreneurship. Thus Junipreneur formed!
How did your journey start with Junipreneur?
Junipreneur started its journey on August, 2017 with an intention to create an entrepreneurial eco-system for the next generation. I am really grateful to Dr. Md. Sabur khan, Chairman & BoT of Daffodil International University for boosting up my initiative and supporting me in every way. He also gave me the privilege to implement the prototype of Junipreneur in Daffodil International School. I worked very hard for seven months to bring out the best possible syllabus which can be taught to the school going students and it is a proven fact that through implementing some techniques, entrepreneurial mindsets can be built among the students.
Why did you choose such a risky path?
It is my personal choice and frankly speaking, I believe I can bring changes to the society. When your passion becomes your profession, it is fun and hence every hardship becomes easy miraculously.
Is there someone or something that mostly influenced you to choose this path?
After my A-levels I got involved in my family business and helped my father to establish a fully automated rice mill, where I used to look after the business strategy development and banking stuff. I spent one and a half year learning every inch of business from my father. My father is my first mentor who taught me things which are beyond books or syllabus, and this changed my perspective of thinking. I could feel that I am more than this and then decided to study further. Soon, I got more interested in business studies. Joining Department of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Daffodil International University was out of nowhere because I was prepared to study economics in BRAC University but fortunately I knew my previous Head of Department of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Syed Maruf Reza who is like a guardian in my life because everything I’m today is because of him. I am forever grateful to him.
What do you think about the participation of students in different competitions, seminars, and other events?
I think participating in competitions will help one to judge his/her compatibility or will help one to judge him/herself if they are on the right track, so it is important according to me. It is not important to join every seminar and event, but to join the one which may add value.
Would you love to say something to the youth community about taking entrepreneurship as career?
We must not limit entrepreneurship to business field only because entrepreneurship is important. It doesn’t matter if he/she an engineer, doctor or pursuing any other profession. In this 21st Century, every employer wants their employees to be entrepreneurial minded or initiative taker. It is a very competitive world now and without an entrepreneurial mindset it is almost impossible to have a bright career in future. Another term “intrapreneur” is very favourite of mine because person like Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google is an intrapreneur; he is working as an entrepreneur taking initiatives within an organization on behalf of the shareholders and the Board of Directors. Without his entrepreneurial mindset he would not have been the CEO of Google. Hence I urge all the youth individuals to not follow the trend but rather set the trend, which is only possible through entrepreneurship. 30% of the total population of Bangladesh is youth aged between (10-24 years) so I believe if we can take entrepreneurship as profession, Bangladesh will be the next China.
And at last let me share a quote that I follow, which is by Mr. Ratan Tata- “No one can destroy iron, but its own rust can. Likewise, no one can destroy a person, but his own mindset can.’’ So, before changing anything, change your Mindset.