The speaker for the third Keynote Presentation was Prof. Dr. Hui-Ming Wee, Chung Yuan Christian University, Prof. Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam, Brac Business School delivered the invited talk. Mr. Reazul Chowdhury, Managing Director and CEO, Runner Automobiles Limited and Mr. Mominul Islam, Managing Director & CEO, IPDC Finance Limited presented the industry talk at that session. Prof. Dr. Akbar Ali Khan and Prof. Dr. Rahim B. Talukdar, Brac Business School, chaired the session.
Prof. Dr. Hui-Ming Wee’s speech focused on factors that drive logistic innovation and the many ways in which big data has transformed logistics. According to Prof. Dr. Wee, there has been a rapid growth in technological progress and computing power and by 2020 there will be 24 billion connected devices around the world. This interconnectedness and the data that can be gleaned from it can help us compute and solve many problems. He concluded his speech by highlighting that big data analytics enables the conversion of information into an unprecedented amount of business intelligence, the applications of which are manifold.
Mr. Reazul Chowdhury began his speech by sharing some of his personal and professional experiences with the conference. He outlined 2 important factors for success - strategy and more importantly, execution and for successful execution of any business’s plans the company needs a talented workforce. He stressed the importance of certain skills and qualities other than pedagogical knowledge for success. These skills include a desire to learn, a strong ethical and moral background and creativity. In the same vein he said, “In my view, a university degree provides an entry pass to the interview, nothing more than that”. He further asked teachers to support students and graduates to realize that a career is something that needs time and patience and constantly switching jobs due to the seduction of a higher salary is overall detrimental to building a career.
Prof. Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam shifted the focus of the discussion from microanalysis to a macro perspective. His topic was “Macroeconomic Performance of Bangladesh: Achievements and Challenges” and he focused on two critical areas - economic growth and poverty alleviation. Prof. Dr. Azizul noted that Bangladesh has achieved considerable success in addressing both these issues. Our GDP growth has doubled since the early 1980’s and currently stands at over 15%. He detailed a few underlying factors responsible for a country’s economic growth. As for poverty alleviation, at the onset of the 21st century about 50% of our population was under the poverty line but currently that number stands at 22%. Prof. Dr. Azizul also discussed in detail the minutia of the many problems that are an obstruction to our future growth and economic performance. He suggested certain steps such as increasing allocation of funds on social safety net programs, increase expenditure on education and ensuring effective use of resources to ensure steady economic growth.
The topic of Mr. Mominul Islam’s presentation was “Employability Skills in the Era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”. He condemned the culture of rote memorization in our schools and educational institutes, which stymies creativity, discourages students to think outside the box and does not equip them for collaborative tasks. He emphasized the need to develop crucial and sought after skills such as complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity and people management for better employability. Mr. Islam further elaborated three simple policies that encapsulate the essence of good leadership into 3 P’s - Perseverance, passion for learning and sense of purpose. In his closing remarks, he mentioned that the world does not need employees but entrepreneurs and people who think like future CEOs.