Raisul Kabir, founder and CEO of Brain Station 23 Limited, started the company back in 2006 with his three other co-founders. Though the company entirely worked in outsourcing at first, for the last six years it has been working for the local markets as well. Now it is a prominent name among the banks in Bangladesh for providing the best and most secure banking solutions. They are also the name for customer solution provider from mobile applications to enterprise solutions.
Mr. Kabir graduated from department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in 2006 and right after his graduation he started Brain Station. He had been passionate about technology from a very young age. He took the risk of becoming an entrepreneur and eventually started to work for his passion. He believes that IT industry in Bangladesh is a promising industry and it has the potential for contribution to social progress by direct job creation, workforce transformation and business innovation.
Farzana Afrin Tisha interviewed Raisul Kabir last week to know about his thoughts and experiences. The excerpts of the interview are given below:
Question (Q): What inspired you to start your company being an EEE graduate and then find your way into the IT industry?
Answer (A): The global giant Infosys inspired me since the very beginning, and I always wanted to build a company where I can create employment for many. In 2006 Infosys was a 3500+ people company and while watching them growing that big I dreamt of building a company like that which will be able to create employment for such a big number of people in Bangladesh. I was lucky to have some amazing co-founders to work with and with their guidance and assistance I hope to take Brain Station to its next milestone.
Q: What's the most important thing to focus on while starting a career?
A: While choosing a career whether it is to be an entrepreneur or a service holder, one should set a particular goal- that is personal and internal. They need to have a clear vision of where they want to see themselves in the future. They need to start working towards the goal and as of its own reward direction for the future path will automatically come up. One thing we always need to remember that patience is the key. Things do not just happen overnight. Therefore, to achieve a well-deserved promotion they have to work real hard to get a practical result.
Q: What are the challenges you have faced in Bangladesh as a tech entrepreneur and where do you want to see yourself in the next five years?
A: Though there has been a lot of progress in the IT industry in Bangladesh, still there are many sectors which are yet to accept tech for their present and future businesses. Some industries are so reluctant towards tech that they do not even want to try the system out. Also companies in Bangladesh are very cynical about Bangladeshi software solution providers and are ready to suffer with a foreign incompatible software solution rather than implementing a local custom solution.
For me, I want to see Brain Station 23 becoming Infosys of Bangladesh with more developers, marketers and with all other resources that a global giant needs. Therefore, we have raised our investments and build partnership with BD Venture and IPE Group and we hope to see this big dream come true shortly.
Q: What kind of person will thrive in the IT industry?
A: I think having sharp focus in one's work is the key. Instead of trying everything out I guess one needs to be focused on one particular subject at a time initially and eventually should expand their horizon for the better outcome. And this theory will help any individual to sustain the industry in the long run. For example, when we started with outsourcing only, we put our focus on that matter only and we made a good outcome out of outsourcing. Then when we began working in the local market with few more new industries, we started facing significant challenges. We have already passed our phase of an early start up and we are now thinking of expanding our horizon. Moreover, only focusing on technology will not be able to help companies to go far if they do not emphasise their marketing and sales activities, then they will not be able to survive in the market.
Q: Tell me about the one time you failed.
A: There were several times when I had gathered some learning from my life. I would not call them failure. But among them, Biponee, one of the largest e-commerce stores in Bangladesh, which is now Kiksha, was my greatest learning of all time. For Biponee I learned that competitive advantage is one of the essential ingredients for any business and examples are the best items to look into while setting the future strategies for running a business successfully.
Also, there is one more learning that came to me all the way long that dealing with emotional intelligence in business is crucial. Thus you can fight with your co-workers if you find any discord on any issue in your company. You need to sort the problem with discussion for the betterment of your organisation.
Q: What will be your suggestions for aspiring entrepreneurs?
A: I will suggest to the future entrepreneurs: Keep challenging yourselves and take the biggest risk possible because you never know the outcome of your efforts unless you actually do it. So, believe in yourself, face your fears and find good people as teammates or coworkers since the fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already what you want to be. Finally, no one succeeds overnight, and everyone was once a beginner. As Steve Jobs once said, 'if you look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.' So do not be afraid to invest time in your company or in yourself.
I hope as being the privileged individuals, we will be able to work with bigger perspectives and better outcomes for our society as well as for our country.
The interviewer Farzana Afrin Tisha graduated in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from American International University Bangladesh (AIUB). She is
currently working with Brain Station 23.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org