There used to be a time when our university students were asked where they saw themselves in a few years, they would say they wanted to work in a multinational company. That was the ultimate dream. If you asked them what they would do after that, some of that had the clear resolution of working at a senior executive position, managerial level, or at max, as a department head.
But why didn’t anyone have the temerity to say that they see themselves as the CEO, or Managing Director of a multinational firm? Is it because the utmost position is the most strenuous to earn? Or is it because visualizing themselves as the most paramount individual instead of a foreign one was unrealistic?
We have seen foreign individuals like Michael Patrick Foley being the CEO of Grameenphone, and the list of examples can continue. Yesterday, we experienced another Bangladeshi person making the headlines by turning into the first ever Bangladeshi CEO of renowned telecom giant, Grameenphone. Yes, I’m talking about our very own Yasir Azman Bhai, who has served as CMO of Grameenphone since June 2015 and also as Deputy CEO of the company since May 2017. Before this, he used to be Telenor Group’s Head of Distribution and eBusiness and worked across all Telenor operations.
One of the most notable examples would be none other than Sonia Bashir Kabir, who used to be the Managing Director of Microsoft Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and Laos. For those of you who are just being aware of this, yes, five countries! She is currently the Chairperson and CEO of SBK Tech Ventures. Sonia Apu is also the Vice Chair of the United Nations (UN) Technology (Tech) Bank for Least Developed Countries.
Allow me to talk about a few more example setters who I happen to know personally. Abrar A Anwar Bhai, who’s currently the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia used to be former CEO of Standard Chartered Bangladesh. I would also have to mention Shehzad Munim Bhai, the first ever Managing Director of British American Tobacco Bangladesh. Last but not the least, Mahtab Uddin Ahmed Bhai is one of the respected veterans who is setting a new benchmark.
Call it general partisanship in benevolence towards foreign individuals, or a subtle miracle, but the fad of believing that Bangladeshi souls can’t turn the dreams of leading multinationals into reality, is over. People like these are not just setting examples and innovating, they’re writing stories for the young leaders who will now be inspired to say, “I see myself as the Managing Director in several years.” The dreams only get bigger now.