It all started with an idea to cause a disruption.
One of the major problems in our country is unemployment. Thousands of people in Bangladesh are unemployed because there are not enough jobs for them. This list includes many well-educated job seekers too.
Getting a job is difficult in Bangladesh because the competition is too high and hence many people often fall behind in the race.
Those who are starting a business on their own often face trouble with networking, investment, infrastructure or any other core component.
Adnan could see all these happening around him – and that is when the idea came to his mind – he would create entrepreneurs.
This is the story of Adnan Imtiaz Halim, a man who has proved himself a changemaker and impacted many lives in recent days.
Adnan is the chief executive officer of Sheba Platforms Limited, the parent company of Sheba.XYZ, the largest service marketplace and one-stop solution for home services in Bangladesh.
Before this venture came to life, Adnan had a bright and promising corporate career and had already served many big corporations.
"I started my career even before I graduated from university," he recalled, adding that his employer was supportive and allowed him time to study and appear for his final exams.
For the next few years, Adnan worked in some renowned companies and his career graph was always moving upwards.
"I loved challenges and nothing could demotivate me," he said with a smile.
Then one day, he decided to give up his job and begin his start-up. That is how Sheba Platforms Limited first came into being.
We were sitting at his Banani office that evening while he spoke about his dreams and goals about Sheba.
"I want Sheba to be someone's last organisation and after they leave this place, they must be equipped to start their venture," Adnan said.
Sheba Platform works as a bridge between a service-provider and a customer, allowing a person with any kind of skill to be employed and earn a living.
Besides, it also creates the opportunity for the service providers to become independent once they are ready to start their own business.
Besides, the service providers get training and workshops on their trade, skill and networking and other soft skills that can be useful in the long run.
One such service provider is Rakib Hossain.
Rakib Hossain (pseudonym) is a freelance computer technician. He has been running an independent business for the last two years.
Every day, Rakib gives hardware and software support to at least five people around North Badda and adjacent areas.
During the lockdown, while many people lost their job, Rakib was spending a busy time giving technical service to many people working from home.
Rakib has developed a regular client base over two years, Adnan informed us.
But how did he get these clients? We wondered.
"Two years ago, Rakib was a service-provider for Sheba.XYZ. When he was working with Sheba, some of his customers liked his work and later became his regular clients," he said.
That is how Rakib became an independent entrepreneur.
He mentioned that Sheba not only created a platform for him to find work but also trained him on soft skills and other relevant components of running a successful business.
"My work with Sheba has contributed a lot to my career as an entrepreneur," Rakib said.
Another story is that of Naima's (pseudonym). She was working with Sheba.XYZ as a beautician for more than a year.
During the coronavirus lockdown, when all the beauty salons were shut, Naima was loaded with service orders.
Since she provided good service to these customers, they all encouraged her to become their permanent beautician, allowing Naima to broaden her horizon and become an entrepreneur.
"Starting a new venture can be a difficult task and that is where Sheba wants to play a role," Adnan said.
Talking to this correspondent, Adnan revealed his magnanimous side. He said that through Sheba he wanted to reach every corner through partnership and collaboration.
"If you look around, the most vulnerable business entities are the small businesses. The large corporations are always at liberty of putting pressure on the small businesses, causing a severe loss for the small traders," he said.
"At Sheba, we want to bridge that gap through partnership and collaboration. We have many plans and SOPs in place for them," he also said.
Adnan said that through his philanthropic work, he wants to support the small businesses who have faced the major brunt of Covid-19.
He also seeks to collaborate with big ventures to bring them on board to broaden his horizon to help the struggling small businesses.
"We need to optimise all our resources to mobilise the people around us," Adnan said.
"Sheba strives to support and empower small businesses and during the Covid-19 lockdown we came forward with several initiatives to help these ventures," Adnan also said.
"The dimensions of how we work are changing over time. Earlier, most people aimed for big organisations, while nowadays they seek to work in smaller start-ups. Sheba is penetrating that market and in future, we will bring many opportunities for the small businesses," Adnan said.
Adnan said that soon most jobs would become freelance/entrepreneur positions. Sheba is moving forward to prepare the youths for the future of the job market.