Born and raised in Bangladesh, Asif did his B.Sc in Electrical & Telecommunication Engineering. After living in the US for seven years, he went back to Bangladesh 2 years ago, where he continues to invest in local startups. His leading venture there is ARCom, a media company that does everything in WordPress, helps Enterprise-Level WordPress clients and serves several Fortune-500 Clients.
We were curious to hear what distinguishes Bangladesh as a developing high tech nation, as we can see many developers and WordPress entrepreneurs, in particular, coming from there:
“It’s very strange. You see, the first thing is, Bangladesh is a highly populated country. We have nearly 170, 180 million people, and our government is actually pushing education, especially like tech education a lot for the past 10, 20 years. I do see lots of computer graduates, like an unbelievable number of computer graduates coming out every year, and WordPress is very popular here. I did a presentation back in WordCamp San Francisco in 2014. I presented this slide where it says, in Bangladesh, in that time alone, we have over 40,000 WordPress programmers only in oDesk. It’s a very high number of WordPress programmers here. A lot of people work at Fiver, Upwork, and a lot of these small work kind of things. Elementor especially is extremely popular here. I am involved with Elementor from the start, and we are also leading the Elementor community here in Dhaka as well.
I do see like if I open up a meeting only for 50 people, it will get fully covered in only maybe a half-day or something. So people are very interested in new things, especially maybe, we have a very large number of young population. In Bangladesh, we say right now in this way, that about 70% of the entire population is actually either from age zero to 35. So most of the people in Bangladesh are very young right now. This generation is very young.
A lot of things are happening here. At the same time, Bangladesh is a very different country if you want to compare with anything in the world. I have been heavily in India, so a lot of people think India and Bangladesh will be a lot similar because we look probably the same. I think it’s kind of you should expect it’s a nation that is actually moving forward very high because of the high GDP growth, that maybe you will also expect like the tech ecosystem is also moving fast, so a lot of things are happening.
At the same time, the startup ecosystem is also moving very fast. One of my main reasons to come back to Bangladesh is, I have a lot of vested interests in the country. Back in like 2017, I was feeling like this is actually the right time for me to stay here in Bangladesh because I could do much more here, the kind of movement is happening in here. You couldn’t understand why we are trying catching up so fast and why so many things are happening here.”