In his new position, Md Yousup Faruqu will be responsible for the digital transformation in the public and private sector of Bangladesh as well as in the SMEs through the collaboration of Microsoft's robust partner ecosystem.
Yousup has been working in technological transformation across the country for more than 16 years now. Before Microsoft, he worked in prominent tech and communications giants like VMware, Banglalink Digital Communication and Symbiosis Bangladesh.
And before stepping into the professional realms of technology, the Bangladeshi citizen hailing from the district of Cumilla went on to study at Bangalore University at the age of 19 to earn a Bachelor's degree in Computer Applications.
In a recent interview with The Business Standard, he shared his vision and mission as the Country Managing Director of Microsoft Bangladesh, as well as the role of technological transformation in Bangladesh.
TBS: Tell us about your journey to becoming the Managing Director of Microsoft Bangladesh.
Md Yousup Faruqu: Shortly after I graduated from Bangalore University, I took up a faculty position at Acme IT where I taught courses on various programming languages, databases, and operating systems. I then served as a core tech engineer for more than a decade at companies like Symbiosis Bangladesh and Banglalink Digital Communications Ltd. before I joined VMware as a Solution Architect. In time, I was promoted to Country Manager for VMware in Bangladesh. And in September, I joined Microsoft.
TBS: What difference do you think you can make at Microsoft Bangladesh?
Yousup: My main objectives will be to accelerate digital transformation and to empower our diverse Microsoft partner ecosystem. The total number of global tech jobs is expected to increase nearly five-fold from 41 million in 2020 to 190 million by 2023 as cloud adoption continues to rise. We continued to see growth in the 2nd quarter of FY21, especially across the Microsoft Commercial cloud (+34 percent YOY). This trajectory is expected to continue as Microsoft partners in Bangladesh build devices, applications and cloud-to-edge solutions.
At Microsoft, we are on a mission to empower every person and every organisation to achieve more. Our vision is to help people and businesses realise their full potential. Moving forward, every organisation in Bangladesh will need more ubiquitous and decentralised computing. We are the only cloud provider with the capabilities to support every organisation's multi-cloud, hybrid and edge needs.
TBS: How crucial is the integration and advancements of technology to the development of Bangladesh in a post-LDC era?
Yousup: It is very crucial. For developing countries, access to new technology can boost a nation's economy, reduce the costs of production, and encourage the growth of new businesses. Incorporating advanced technologies can diversify our exports, which appears to be a significant challenge in the post-LDC era. It can also help solve challenges like Bangladesh's slow pace of formal job creation and the slow poverty reduction.
As Bangladesh seeks to diversify its export base, move up the value chain, and create more better-paying jobs, improving the productivity of small and medium businesses through technology can help it become a developed country by 2041. I look forward to transforming the country, the industries and the capabilities of the country together, with our partners and the community.
TBS: Share with us your thoughts in general about the budding tech industry in Bangladesh.
Yousup: Bangladesh's budding IT sector holds the promise of effective reforms, job creation, industrial expansion and substantial spillover effects to other sectors, as well as better governance and inclusion. Many young, enterprising and well-educated entrepreneurs are passionate about ICT entrepreneurship, and they will undoubtedly keep the software and IT-enabled services business alive for many years to come.
The Government of Bangladesh is also devoted to the development of the ICT sector. They have expressed their willingness to harness the power and utility of information and communication technologies to improve efficiency and transparency in the government; generate employment; and enhance the quality of education, commerce and citizen services in the country.
TBS: What are your plans regarding Microsoft Bangladesh as well as your personal endeavours?
Yousup: In Bangladesh, there is great urgency and acceleration towards cloud adoption, with the need to drive innovation, cost savings and improve customer experiences. There has been a significant increase in cyber threats and the need for fraud detection among institutions. I am confident that with our cloud-based technologies and 'zero trust' strategy, we will be able to help countless organisations in the country to evolve and stay resilient in the future.
As for my future personal endeavours, I hope to introduce a learn-it-all culture in my household.
TBS: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your life and Microsoft Bangladesh?
Yousup: It might seem hard to view this pandemic in a positive light, but it forced me to reflect, accept and grow. While it continues to present a variety of new challenges, it also creates new opportunities for me to cultivate a growth mindset and spend time with my wife and children.
As we adapt to the demands of our employees and their families, the nature of work is changing, and so are we. We were able to ensure that every Microsoft employee, regardless of location or device, got the tools, resources and solutions they needed to be as productive, creative and safe as possible.
We urged employees to use Microsoft Cares, a counselling service included in our benefits package, to improve their mental health. Microsoft employees can also use our wellness platform to access a variety of webinars, virtual workshops and printed resources to help them make informed decisions about their health and safety, as well as the health and safety of their families.
Our goal is to better understand the impact of remote work and help our employees, partners and customers adapt to do their best work during these challenging times. This pandemic will undoubtedly leave its mark, but we can also celebrate signs of an upswing alongside a new way of work that will provide lasting benefits.
TBS: Any advice for the upcoming tech enthusiasts who may want to pursue a career in this field?
Yousup: Mindset is everything. Whether you are talking about career success, starting your own business or getting through a tough exam, having the right mindset can be the difference between success and failure. Where we are today and where we are headed is grounded in a deep understanding of a growth mindset.
Technology is ever-changing, so you must be willing and able to change with the times and needs of your clients. And lastly, never be ashamed of asking for help when you need it. Your ego is only the 'idea' you have of yourself.