Talks and Seminars

The Center for Enterprise and Society’s Leadership Talk Series and Seminars bring respected scholars, business leaders, and government officials at ULAB to speak on the challenges and opportunities for enterprise development in Bangladesh

CES Talk Series: “Financial Literacy and Career Development for Bangladesh Capital Markets”
Lanka Bangla Securities (April 2018) 

A team of Lanka Bangla Securities consisted of Head of Alternative Investments, Mr. Mohammad Mahabub Ullah; Mr. Ahmed Kamrul Hasan, Head of Human Resources; Mr. Mehdi Aqif, Manager, Business Development; and Mr. Adib Islam Khan, Deputy Manager, Alternative Business Development presented an informative session on capital markets in Bangladesh. LankaBanla showcased their Stock Paathshala Platform through which students can do virtual trading and get a deeper perspective on investing.


CES Leadership Talk Series: “Human Development for Everyone”
Dr. Selim Jahan
Director at UNDP Human Development Report Office, USA (February 2018)

Prior to his current position since 2014, Dr. Selim served as the Director of the Poverty Division of UNDP (2007-2014), Senior Advisor in the Bureau for Development Policy (2000-2007), Deputy Director of HDRO (1996-2001), and Policy Advisor in HDRO (1992-1996). During his time in HDRO, he was a member of the Core Team that authored nine global Human Development Reports (1993-2001). Before joining UNDP in 1992, Dr. Selim held different positions in universities,both at home and abroad,and served national governments and other international organizations such as ILO, UNDP, UNESCO, and World Bank. He acted as the Economic Adviser, Planning Commission of the Government of Bangladesh (1989-90).


CES Leadership Talk Series: “I Can If I Will”
Mr. Mohsin Ahmed
Managing Director of Linde Bangladesh (February 2018)

Mr. Mohsin Ahmed joined Linde Bangladesh Limited in July 2016 as Chief Operating Officer. In January 2017, he was appointed as the Managing Director of the company. Prior to joining LINDE Bangladesh, he was the President at Emami Group for its SAARC Countries’ business operations. Mr. Mohsin Ahmed started his career with British American Tobacco (BAT) under the Trade Marketing & Distribution function. He had been the Sales Director of Nestle Bangladesh during 2003 to 2011 also serving as an Regional Sales Development Manager in Morocco. Previously, Mr. Ahmed served in Unilever during 2000 to 2003 in Sales Operations.


CES Seminar: “Undergraduate Academic Experience Survey 2016-17”
(July 2017)

The objective of the Survey has been to assess student satisfaction regarding their undergraduate academic experience, including their perception on academic value, workload, faculty satisfaction, degree curriculum and academic well-being among many others.  Expert Panelists emphasized the role of a practical orientation to the curriculum in enhancing learning in universities and further underscored the importance of mental and emotional health and detailed a range of initiatives to serve students.


CES Leadership Talk Series: “The Journey of an Entrepreneur”
Sylvana Sinha
Founder of Pravaa Health (April 2017)

Founder and MD of Pravaa Health, Ms. Sylvana Quader Sinha, advised governments in Afghanistan as a lawyer, the Middle East, and Asia on governance and legal reform. Ms. Sinha also served as a foreign policy advisor to the 2008 Presidential campaign of then-Senator Barack Obama. She later joined The World Bank, where she worked on judicial reform and human rights in Afghanistan and on other issues, including conflict and development and women’s economic rights in Islam. Ms. Sinha is a graduate of Columbia Law School, where she earned a certificate from the Parker School of Comparative and International Law.


CES Leadership Talk Series: “Gender, Women’s Rights and Climate Change”
Farah Kabir
Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh (August 2017)

Ms. Farah Kabir has been working with ActionAid Bangladesh as the Country Director since June 2007. She is a renowned human rights activist in both Bangladesh and overseas. Ms Kabir has over 20 years of experience in leadership in the development sector. As the Country Director, Ms Kabir has been advocating and contributing to the rights of marginalized and disadvantaged women. She has contributed significantly to climate change adaptation initiatives designed by the UN including adaptation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as they pertain to Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change. She has also envisioned and implemented new innovations such as the first-ever Water Museum in Kuakata.


CES  Seminar : “State of the Bangladesh Economy FY 2015-16 and National Budget FY 2016-2017″ Professor Mustafizur Rahman and Tawfiqul Islam Khan
(June 2016)

Professor Mustafizur Rahman is an economist and currently the Executive Director of CPD. In addition to teaching in Dhaka University, he was a visiting Post-Doctoral Fellow at Oxford University and Warwick University, UK and a Senior Fulbright Fellow at Yale University, USA. He was a member of Panel of Economists for the 6th and 7th FYPs.

Towfiqul Islam Khan is an Economist and currently a Research Fellow at CPD. He received Australian Leadership Award (ALA) in 2008 to carry out post-graduation in University of Melbourne.


CES Leadership Talk Series : “The Inspirational Journey of PRAN : From Local to Global”
Ahsan Khan Chowdhury
Deputy Managing Director of PRAN-RFL Group (June 2016)

Ahsan Khan Chowdhury is the Chief of Operations & Deputy Managing Director of PRAN-RFL Group. Mr. Khan, led by the vision of his father, has led the company from its growth state to its present dominant stage locally and globally, over the last 22 years. With 65% local market share and 400 million customers in 124 countries, PRAN-RFL has been awarded the Best Exporters award by the government for the last 10 consecutive years.


CES Leadership Talk Series: “The Road to Middle-Income: Bangladesh’s Growth Story”
K Mahmood Sattar
Banking Professional (November 2015)

Mr. Sattar has around 33 years of experience in the Bangladesh banking sector, including his stint as the CEO and MD of the City Bank and Eastern Bank, as well as his directorship at reputed organizations such as the Association of Bankers Bangladesh, BRAC bank and bKash.


CES Talks and Seminars - Other Events

CES Seminar: “Governance After Rana Plaza: Reviewing the Ready-made Garments Sector
after the Rana Plaza Disaster” (April 2018)

The seminar started with a presentation on research findings by Dr. Kazi Mahmudur Rahman, Associate Professor, ULAB, and Dr. Shahidur Rahman, Associate Professor, BRAC University. The research focused on the state of the RMG sector with respect to labor safety and working conditions and progress made since Rana Plaza. This was followed by an expert panel comprising of Ms. Anne-Laure Henry-Greard, Deputy Programme Manager, Ready-made Garment Programme, ILO Country Office in Bangladesh; Ms. Vidya Amrit Khan, Director, Desh Group of Companies; Mr. Mikail Shipar, Former Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of Bangladesh; and Professor ATM Nurul Amin, Chairperson, Department of Economics and Social Sciences (ESS), BRAC University.


CES Seminar: GP Accelerator Information session – “Startup with GPA”  (April 2018)
Startup Dhaka organized an informational seminar on Grameenphone Accelerator Batch 5 at ULAB . The Accelerator program offers 12 Lakh in seed funding, access to co-working space, expert mentorship using Startup Dhaka resources and GP resources, and a variety of other facilities. The Seminar was presented by a group of team members of GP Accelerator including the CEO of Startup Dhaka Mr. Mustafizur Rahman.


CES Leadership Talk Series: “Emotional Intelligence as the Driver of Entrepreneurial Success” by Imran Newaz Khurshid,Manager at Junction Bangladesh Ltd. (October 2017)IMG_0671
Mr. Imran Newaz Khurshid is a certified trainer from Cambridge University of UK, being an instructor there with Cambridge Certificate in Teaching and Learning at Services for Professional Education and Enterprise Development (SPEED). He is an Exchange Alumnus of the US State Department; a Program Specialist (as part of Obama’s “Stand with Civil Society” Agenda) at Social Impact 360 empowering US students on entrepreneurship. Currently Mr. Imran is a Manager at Junction Bangladesh Ltd. – an enterprise of Dnet, developing the entrepreneurship ecosystem of Bangladesh.


CES leads a Workshop at BRAC University on
“Building Resilient Universities Project” (October 2017)20171007_134233

A team of faculty members from ULAB, visited BRAC University’s Savar campus to conduct a half-day workshop delivering a structured curriculum on the themes of Civic Education, Media Literacy, and Emotional Health, for 25 faculty members from BRAC University. This initiative was a part of the partnership agreement signed by ULAB and BRAC University to collaborate under the “Building Resilient Universities Project” (BRUP). The project is funded by a prestigious US-based grant, of which, ULAB is the lead implementer.


CES Seminar: “Shopper Survey on E-Commerce in Bangladesh” (Jan 2017)CES Report launching
In light of the exciting growth prospects of e-commerce in Bangladesh, the Center for Enterprise & Society (CES) conducted a research study to assess the existing state of perceptions, usage trends and demand among retail shoppers in Bangladesh. This event marks the inauguration of this report to industry leaders and stakeholders.
The report also includes strategic recommendations to address
e-commerce value chains and business development in Bangladesh.


CES Leadership Talk Series : “E-Commerce in Bangladesh: History and
Youth Entrepreneurship Opportunities
” by Rezwanul Haque IMG_0157Jami, IT Sector Specialist (Dec 2016)
Mr. Jami is a graduate of Dhaka University in Finance, who subsequently developed a career in IT and is well regarded for his contribution to the value added services (VAS) space, both for his pioneering work for TeleTalk and more recently as the National VAS Consultant for the Government’s A2i program. Mr. Jami has also
experience working in the IT sector in Thailand.


CES Leadership Talk Series :  “A Critical Analysis of Trend and
Direction of the RetailAgora CEO Small Industry in Bangladesh.” by Christopher Echivard, Retail Market Specialist.  (March 2016)

Christopher Echivard holds his professional career spanning 30 years and 7 countries, having worked with global household names in retail such as Marks & Spencer, Carrefour or Tesco. Mr Echivard has fifteen years of Broad level experience as Chief Commercial Officer, Chief Operation Officer and CEO. He later shifted from his dual degrees in law to career in retail.


CES Leadership Talk Series : “Roads Less Traveled” by Roy Clunie, Social Entrepreneur. (March 2016)05
Roy Clunie had an interesting career leading up to his social enterprise adventures. Leaving school at 16, he was involved in a Farmer’s cooperative for 9 years and then a printing company for 25 years. Managing to setup Atlantis, a social health organization, Mr. Clunie proceeded to set up others like it: H2O, Healthy Options, Youth Charity, World Garden Project and Social Enterprise academy.


CES Leadership Talk Series : “Oil Drives the World But – Who Drives Oil?”
by Mustafa Hanif, Petroleum Industry Specialist (December 2015)05
Mr. Hanif started his career at Royal Dutch Shell as a graduate entrant where he worked from 2000 to 2012, in Europe, Asia and Middle East. His experience covers all segments of the oil industry:from exploration and production to refining distribution and chemicals. In 2013, he moved to Saudi Arabia as a senior advisor at a Saudi Arabian National Oil Company


CES Leadership Talk Series:”Think BIG” by Shehzad Munim, Managing Director of BATB  shehzad_munim(October 2014) 
Mr. Shehzad Munim is the first Bangladeshi MD of British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB) Limited. He joined as a Territory Officer and went on to become the youngest MD of a multinational company in Bangladesh. He has been serving at BATB for the last seventeen years.
Video (YouTube)


CES Seminar on Transfer Pricing.  (April 2014)
Ziad Rahman has over a decade of experience in Transfer Pricing, which includes six years at the Australian Taxation Office, six years at one of the Big Four accounting firms in Singapore and in Australia. Md. Shabbir Ahmed, Joint Director of Central Intelligence Unit and Coordinator of Transfer Pricing at the National Board of Revenue (NBR) and Towfiqul Islam Khan, Research Fellow, Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) also actively participated in the seminar as discussants.


CES Leadership Talk Series on Effective Leadership by Kamran Bakr, Managing Director of Unilever Bangladesh (March 2014)
Kamran Bakr is the Chairman and Managing Director of Unilever Bangladesh Limited. His talk covered many issues, such as the differences between leaders and managers and how to strike the right balance for effective leadership. His definition of an ideal leader would be “someone with a hard head but a soft heart.”


CES Leadership Talk Series on Entrepreneurship and Society by Selima Ahmad, Founder of BWCCI (October 2013)
Selima Ahmad has 27 years of experience in the private-sector business and founded Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI), the country’s first women’s chamber of commerce, which has helped develop more than 7,000 entrepreneurs. Her talk stressed on the need for entrepreneurship as a means for societal development, highlighting the necessity of good governance in Bangladesh.


CES Leadership Talk Series on International Aid in Bangladesh by Fahmeeda Wahab, Development Practitioner (June 2013)
Fahmeeda Wahab is an international development practitioner with over 26 years of experience, most recently with the Canadian International Development Agency. Her talk explored the advantages and disadvantages of international aid in Bangladesh.


CES Leadership Talk Series on Marketing Communications in Bangladesh by Aly Zaker, Chairman of Asiatic 360 (February 2013)
In addition to being a renowned television personality, Aly Zaker has been a pioneer in Bangladesh’s marketing and communications industry and is the chairman of the business group Asiatic 360. Aly Zaker’s talk offered an example filled primer for students and the business community on marketing communications in Bangladesh.


CES Leadership Talk Series on SME Financing by Syed Mahbubur Rahman, CEO of BRAC Bank (November 2012)
BRAC Bank was founded in 2001 to provide financing to Bangladesh’s many small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which had previously been neglected by both commercial banks and microfinance institutions. In this talk, Syed Mahbubur Rahman, CEO and Managing Director of BRAC Bank, spoke on how BRAC Bank is working to overcome the challenges to providing SME financing.


CES Leadership Talk Series on RMG Worker’s Well-being by Rubana Huq, Managing Director of Mohammadi Group (July 2012)
Rubana Huq, Managing Director of the Mohammadi Group, one of the country’s leading garment manufacturers with over 9,000 employees, spoke on the Perceptions and Realities of a Garment Wallah. She focused her talk on labor issues and challenged the sector to do more for the well-being of its workers.


CES Leadership Talk Series on Growth of Bangladesh’s Economy by Dr. Binayak Sen, Research Director at BIDS (June 2012)
Dr. Binayak Sen, Research Director at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies(BIDS), spoke on the last 40 years of Bangladeshi economic development and growth. Dr. Sen argued that despite enormous pessimism in the 1970s, Bangladesh has largely overcome the odds.


CES Leadership Talk Series on Social Responsibility in Business by Syed S. Kaiser Kabir, , CEO of Renata Limited (April 2012)
Syed S. Kaiser Kabir, CEO & Managing Director of one of Bangladesh’s leading pharmaceutical companies, Renata Limited, spoke on social responsibility in business. Mr. Kabir offers as unique perspective, as 51% of Renata is owned by the Sajida Foundation, which is active in microcredit and healthcare.


CES Leadership Talk Series: “Energy Supply Challenges Confronting Bangladesh.” by Dr. Ijaz Hossain,Professor at BUET (March 2012)
Dr. Ijaz Hossain, professor in chemical engineering from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), inaugurated the monthly talk series with a presentation on “Energy Supply Challenges Confronting Bangladesh.”