Other Research and Publications

CES White Paper_Angel Investment in Bangladesh - Trends, Challenges, and Opportunitie_Fateen Tahseen Alam & Sajid Amit_April 2024:
In the past 12 years, early-stage companies in Bangladesh attracted nearly $45 million in angel investments across 121 disclosed deals. While about 60% of this came from non-resident Bangladeshis, local investors funded 69% of deals, albeit with smaller cheque sizes. The majority of investments went to pre-seed and seed-stage companies, with healthcare receiving the most funding, followed by e-commerce and logistics. Challenges such as narrow exit opportunities and difficult foreign currency transactions persist, but ongoing efforts by stakeholders, including the government, are gradually addressing them. Despite hurdles, Bangladesh's strong macroeconomic factors suggest long-term investment potential.

CES White Paper_The State of Online Medicine Delivery in Bangladesh_Mohammad Ruhul Kader & Sajid Amit_March 2024:
Discover the transformative shift in Bangladesh's healthcare scene propelled by the rise of online medicine delivery startups. Despite modest investments, these startups have raised $32 million between 2015 and 2023, signaling significant potential. This white paper delves into the current realities, market dynamics, challenges, and prospects of Bangladesh's online medicine delivery landscape. From understanding market trends to outlining opportunities and recommendations, this paper comprehensively analyzes this burgeoning sector. Explore how online pharmacies are poised to address evolving healthcare needs as Bangladesh's population ages and demands escalate.

CES White Paper_The Future of AgriTech in Bangladesh_Mohammad Ruhul Kader & Sajid Amit_November 2023:
The agritech sector is experiencing significant growth, with notable startups emerging in the past decade. Despite its relatively short history, this sector has managed to secure nearly $14 million in funding. This growth has led to an increase in job opportunities in the service and industrial sectors, transforming agriculture into a more abstract field. However, as agriculture remains a crucial influence on our lives, contemporary society has become increasingly disconnected from the food system.

Our whitepaper delves into the current landscape of the agriculture sector and agritech in Bangladesh, with a specific focus on the opportunities and challenges it presents for the market system and agritech enterprises. Additionally, we aim to provide recommendations for moving forward in this evolving industry.

CES White Paper_Startup Valuation & Founder Personality_Orpita Oysharja & Sajid Amit_October 2023:
In recent years, startups worldwide have grown, reshaping economies and competing with established companies. Bangladesh has also seen a rise in startups, with 1,200 active ones drawing $804 million in investments. bKash is now Bangladesh's first unicorn, valued at $2 billion. These startups have had a significant economic impact, supporting 1.5 million jobs and aiding 750,000 SMEs. Government efforts like the Digital Bangladesh Campaign and the iDEA Project have been pivotal in nurturing this ecosystem. However, Bangladeshi startups face challenges in securing funding and better valuations. This whitepaper explores the link between founder personalities and funding success, examining how charisma and storytelling affect valuations, while also warning against extreme behavior. It draws from global research and local expertise, highlighting traits like passion, vision, authenticity, and coachability in attracting investors. Additionally, it explores the role of hubris in entrepreneurial personalities and its potential benefits in managing startup challenges. Overall, the paper underscores the importance of understanding and leveraging founder personalities for startup funding and valuation success.

CES Working Paper_A Review of the Private Equity Industry in Bangladesh_Fateen Tahseen Alam & Sajid Amit_August 2023:
Private equity is still in its early stages in Bangladesh, as evidenced by a small presence of local and foreign investors, as well as little to no coverage of late-stage investments in the country. In contrast, early-stage investments are more visible due to media coverage, as increased investments in this space from foreign venture capital funds and angel investors—representing nearly 94% of all investments—have made it the most active investing scene in Bangladesh's private equity industry. However, this is not to say that the late-stage segment is insignificant in scope in Bangladesh. Observations by investment professionals reveal that if late-stage investments in the form of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) between local entities—most of which are either confidential or not publicly reported—are brought to the forefront, the industry’s late-stage segment may well be as large as, if not larger than, its early-stage segment in total investment.

Navigating the path to improving the environment for private equity in Bangladesh will be difficult in the face of high interest rates until the first quarter of 2024, when investments will likely be low or stagnant. However, regardless of the current challenges, Bangladesh's strong macroeconomic factors position the country's private equity industry as a potentially high-growth case in the long term.

CES Working Paper_Mitigating the Dollar Crisis: Policy Recommendations for the Near and Long Term_Orpita Oysharja, Tawhid Ahmed Chowdhury & Sajid Amit_September 2022:
Over the last few months, the dollar price in Bangladesh has grabbed headlines and generated great discussion. Not unrelated to this, the country is also experiencing an energy crisis due to rising fuel prices and power shortages. A combined effect of the dollar and fuel crises has led to high rates of inflation and fast depletion of forex reserves. The Government of Bangladesh has already adopted multiple measures to control the dollar price and supplement the forex reserves which includes seeking loans from the IMF, World Bank, and ADB. While many are worried that Bangladesh is headed in the same direction as Sri Lanka and Pakistan, we do not think that the Bangladeshi case is nearly as precarious. The Bangladesh economy is deeper, more complex, and more resilient. This paper provides a thorough analysis of the current situation as well as near and long-term recommendations on how to steer away from future crises.

CES Working Paper_Emerging MOOC Markets: Perspectives from India and Bangladesh_Zarif Azhar, Sajid Amit, and Simi Mehta_April 2022:
Under the project “Building Resilient Universities,” CES has developed a MOOC on Promotion of Diversity, Tolerance, and Pluralism. The MOOC market is fast-growing in Bangladesh and already quite large in India. This report looks at the MOOC market in Bangladesh and India in consultation with experts in both countries.

CES White Paper_Secret Sauce_Seeam Noor and Sajid Amit_February 2022:
The goal of this white paper is to explore what leadership at successful startups in Bangladesh have in common. Global academic literature, as well as findings from our expert interviews, indicate that the leadership ability of startup leaders is critical to the success of the startup. In fact, startup leadership could well be considered a valid area of research on its own, among scholars of business and entrepreneurship.

Survey Report_Undergraduate Academic Experience Survey (UAES) 2016-17_Sajid Amit, Ahmed S. Ishtiaque and Adib Sarwar_June 2017:
Presentation Slides

The objective of the Survey has been to assess student satisfaction regarding their undergraduate academic experience, including their perception of academic value, workload, faculty satisfaction, degree curriculum, and academic well-being among many others. Perceptions of a total of 460 respondents were reflected from 5 Private Universities and 2 Public Universities in this report.

Survey Report_Shopper Survey on E-commerce in Bangladesh: Perception, Demand & Usage Trends_Sajid Amit, Ahmed S. Ishtiaque, Abdul Baten and Adib Sarwar_November 2016:
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. The report also includes strategic recommendations to address e-commerce value chains and business development.

Survey Report_Overcoming Business Challenges in Bangladesh: Findings from a Survey of Firms in the Real Estate, IT and Furniture Industries_Daniel M. Sabet, Ahmed S. Ishtiaque, Mehdi Rajeb and Afsana Tazreen_May 2015:
CES’s flagship research project is based on a survey of 525 businesses, which explores how entrepreneurs are overcoming challenges related to financing, supply chain, human resources, and government. The research asks if entrepreneurs are responding to these challenges by relying on their own entrepreneurial qualities, strengthening their institutions, or by turning to their personal networks. The study goes a step further and asks which of these approaches tends to produce the best results. Contact CES for your free copy.

Next Generation: 2015 and Beyond Report
Next Generation Report Highlights
 – Institute of Informatics and Development (IID) prepared a particular brief based on the study.
The Next Generation research series intends to bring the opinions and perspectives of young people in Bangladesh to the forefront of policy debates. ‘Next Generation Bangladesh 2015 and beyond’ is a follow-on to British Council’s 2010 report and is placed in the context of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Next Generation report looks into five important areas affecting young people’s lives – governance, law and order, education and employability, environment, and health. This report was commissioned by the British Council, ActionAid Bangladesh, and the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB). The research was conducted by The Nielsen Company (Bangladesh).

CES Working paper_“Fear Is Not Enough”_Daniel M. Sabet_September 2013:
Abstract: This observational study and survey of pedestrians in Dhaka, Bangladesh asks why more pedestrians do not use pedestrian bridges given the high number of pedestrian fatalities and the dangers of crossing Dhaka’s chaotic streets. Surprisingly, the research finds that individuals who are very worried about being hit by a vehicle or who report actually having been hit are no more likely to use pedestrian footbridges. Instead, the convenience of bridges, the extent to which pedestrians are in a hurry, and the age of respondents offer far better predictors of pedestrian bridge use. The findings point to a need for improved infrastructure, law enforcement, and educational campaigns.

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