Sonia Bashir, 2 other Bangladeshis among 100 Global Tech’s Changemakers

Bangladeshi tech entrepreneurs Sonia Bashir Kabir, Afeef Zaman, and Morin Talukder have been named on the Rest of World (RoW)’s 100 Global Tech’s Changemakers’ list.

RoW had set out to find 100 of the most influential, innovative, and trailblazing personalities in fintech, e-commerce, policy, digital infrastructure, and a range of other sectors that intersect with and influence technology.

From tech leaders, innovators, and investors to activists, it identified those people outside Silicon Valley and the West, whose efforts directly impact countries where the majority of the world’s population lives.

Among the three Bangladeshis, Sonia Bashir Kabir is the founder and managing director of SBK Tech Ventures, a Bangladesh-focused venture capital fund, which invests in startups that support the digital development of rural areas.

SBK’s portfolio includes Dmoney, Solshare, and Praava Health.

Previously, as the country manager of Microsoft Bangladesh, Sonia partnered with donor agencies, banks, telecommunications companies, and students, to mobilise and grow the company’s initiatives.

She also worked to provide microloans to women to start IT businesses.

Afeef Zaman is an expert in problem-solving in emerging markets, especially in Bangladesh.

He is the CEO of ShopUp, the country’s largest full stack business-to-business commerce platform for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.

Afeef bootstrapped Ice9 – a venture builder providing solutions for emerging economies – to success in his 20s. Following this, he decided to help the entrepreneurs who run the country’s 4.5 million popular mom-and-pop stores but struggle to access its formal financial system due to a lack of digital presence.

Thanks to ShopUp, they can now access digital credit, B2B sourcing, logistics, and business management solutions. After closing South Asia’s largest funding round worth $75 million in 2021, the company has added to its funds with a $34 million series B extension round.

Morin Talukder is the co-founder and CEO of Pickaboo, a Bangladesh-based e-commerce platform.

Though still in his 20s, he is a seasoned expert in the booming e-commerce industry, having founded the online shopping platform ehatbazaar.com in 2015, which he sold a year later to focus on Pickaboo.

During its six years of operation and five funding rounds, it has gained the confidence of its customers.

To stay competitive, Morin has prioritised offering a high-speed delivery service with turnarounds of as little as three hours and has turned Pickaboo into one of the first e-commerce retailers in Bangladesh to introduce monthly payment plans and customer membership plans.

“Together, the individuals featured on our Global Tech’s Changemakers list influence how products are made and distributed, how entrepreneurs are funded, and how tech is regulated and its users protected far beyond their local markets,” RoW said.

“As a result of the extraordinary headwinds they face, our editorial team believes these leaders are more innovative, more thoughtful, and better at sharing new ideas than most people in the Western world understand.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh