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

Leading with Digital Transformation (February 25, 2021)

ULAB Center for Enterprise and Society, and Dhaka Tribune jointly organized a webinar titled “Leading with Digital Transformation”. The session featured Sonia Bashir Kabir, Founder and Chair, SBK Ventures, A Venture Capital Company. It was an hour long session where Sonia Bashir Kabir shared her thoughts on leadership, digital transformation and her professional journey. Ms. Kabir highlighted the importance of common-sense approaches to building startups, and underscored how she looks for founders who have good work ethic, because implementation is a key driver to startup success, not just creative ideas.


CES organized International Webinar Series: Protecting Diversity, Tolerance and Pluralism amid the Pandemic

Episode 1:The Role of Education in Protecting Diversity, Tolerance and Pluralism (September 19, 2020)

Sajid Amit, Associate Professor, ULAB, Director, CES

• Dr. Francis X. Clooney, S.J., Professor, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University, USA
• Dr. Tariq Modood, Professor, Sociology, Politics and Public Policy, University of Bristol, UK
• Dr. Imtiaz Ahmed, Professor, International Relations, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
• Dr. Agustin Fuentes, Professor, Anthropology, Princeton University
• Dr. Samia Huq, Associate Professor, Anthropology, BRAC University, Bangladesh
• Dr. Robert L. Mckenzie, Adjunct Assistant Professor, SPA, Columbia University, USA

The goal of this webinar was to engage international and domestic academics in a discussion on how diversity, tolerance, and pluralism can be promoted through educational institutions. How COVID-19 impacts the importance of diversity, tolerance, and pluralism, and ways in which it can be promoted were also discussed in the webinar.


Episode 2: The Role of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Protecting Diversity, Tolerance and Pluralism (September 26, 2020)

Sajid Amit, Associate Professor, ULAB, Director, CES

• Chris Rowell, Head, FE/HE Regional Delivery Network, Dept. for Education, UK
• Dr. Indu Prakash Singh, Social Activist, and Facilitator, CityMakers Mission International, India
• Afsan Chowdhury, Professor, BRAC University, Bangladesh
• Julie Coleman, Senior Program Manager, ICCT, The Hague
• Lucy Daley, Second Secretary, British High Commission, Bangladesh

The webinar was intended to engage international and domestic Civil Society personalities and leaders to talk about how programming for their NGOs, foundations, think tanks, and other CSOs, integrate the promotion of diversity, tolerance and pluralism, and how COVID-19 will change its approach to such programming was the goal of the webinar.


Episode 3: The Role of Youth in Protecting Diversity, Tolerance and Pluralism (October 3, 2020)

Opening Remarks:
Sajid Amit, Associate Professor, ULAB, Director, CES

Ayman Sadiq, Founder & CEO, 10 Minute School

• Dr. Simi Mehta, CEO and Editorial Director, IMPRI, India
• Sajid Iqbal, Founder & CEO, Change 3D
• Jenny Gustafsson, Journalist and Co-founder, Switch Perspective, Lebanon
• Zakaria Shafi, CEO, Cloud Tuition, UK
• Shamsin Ahmed, Founder & CEO, Identity Inclusion, ED

The goal of the third webinar was to engage youth leaders and influencers and encourage them to share their experiences working with the promotion of diversity, tolerance, and pluralism. Engaging as well as inspiring a large community of aspiring youth leaders to work with the goals of promoting diversity, tolerance, and pluralism were the major discussion parts of the webinar.


Economic, Social and Political Impact of AI (March 9, 2020)

The ULAB Center for Enterprise and Society (CES) organized its Leadership Talk Series Seminar featuring Mr. Akhter Matin Chaudhary, Principal Consultant, Black Swan Consultancy. The title of the talk was “Economic, Social, and Political Impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI)’’. Mr. Chaudhary delivered an interactive talk to students including faculty members and emphasized the future of economic function, the political impact of a profound change in the human condition, preparation for the inevitable technological onslaught, the role of the State change, etc.


The State of Media in Bangladesh (March 5, 2020)

The ULAB Center for Enterprise and Society (CES) organized a research-dissemination seminar on Media Freedom co-organized with Dhaka Tribune under “The Libertas Project’’ funded by British High Commission (BHC). The goals of this project were to generate a strong evidence base on the current state of media in Bangladesh and initiate advocacy with local government and private sector stakeholders. The project was worth GBP 40,000, initiated by VP, ULAB Board of Trustees, Dr. Kazi Anis Ahmed and implemented by CES.


Advanced Company Valuation Masterclass with Kazi Mahboob Hassan (December 2019)

Masterclass is organized for an ambitious finance professional or a startup founder. Mr. Kazi Mahboob Hassan is the Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer (CSTO) of Grameenphone and the architect behind GP Accelerator.


CES Leadership Talk with Ms. Rubaba Dowla (October 23, 2019)

The ULAB Center for Enterprise and Society (CES) is proud to bring you its Leadership Talk for Fall 2019, featuring Ms. Rubaba Dowla, Founder and Managing Director, Pulse Healthcare Services.
Rubaba Dowla is a highly experienced leader with a successful track record. She has more than 19 years of experience in the Telecommunications sector. She is also the Founder and Managing Director of Pulse Healthcare service, a digital healthcare platform providing access to doctors through video consultation with online diagnosis and e-prescription capability.


Easy As ABC: Personal Finance Simplified (June 19, 2019)

Mr. Asif Khan, CFA is the Managing Partner of EDGE Asset Management Company Limited. He was previously an Associate Director at Exotix Capital, one of the biggest frontier market stock brokerage based out of London. Mr. Khan has more than 9 years of experience with 4.5 years on the Buy-side working for NY-based hedge fund Caravel Management LLC. EDGE AMC Limited started its journey as a registered asset management company in February 2018. Founded by a team of investment management professionals with a strong track-record, EDGE AMC is committed to delivering strong investment performance by harnessing long-term, value-investing opportunities available in Bangladesh’s capital market. Senior executives of the company, being CFA charter holders, have sufficient training, experience, and commitment towards upholding investors’/ unitholders’ interests under any circumstance.


Leadership for Success – brought to you by CES (July 10, 2019)

This is the CES Leadership Talk for Summer 2019. Professor Mamun Rashid, Managing Partner, Pricewaterhouse Coppers Bangladesh delivered the talk to faculty and students.


Building a Better Bangladesh: Perspectives of an Industry Leader (April 10, 2019)

The ULAB Center for Enterprise and Society is proud to bring you its Leadership Talk for Spring 2019, featuring Mr. Masud Khan, Chief Executive Officer, Crown Cement Group. Mr. Masud Khan is a seasoned professional with 38 years worth of experience in leading multinational companies like Crown cement group, Lafarge Holcim Bangladesh, British American Tobacco, and many others. He will share his valuable insights on the opportunities and prospects for bringing about a better future for the people of Bangladesh and the country itself.


Venture Capital in Bangladesh: Current Trends & Future Prospects (October 31, 2018)

Mr. Shawkat Hossain is a pioneer in the rapidly growing venture capital industry of Bangladesh. He has worked with and invested in the leading startups of Bangladesh and spoke about the state of the startup scene in Bangladesh; prospects for young entrepreneurs; as well as job opportunities in venture capital and equity financing for graduates.


Based On True Stories – Inspiring Startup Stories (July 24, 2018)

The Session was a Panel Discussion titled “Based on True Stories” featuring some exciting Startups, contributing immensely to the Startup community of Dhaka and beyond! From this they got insights on:
– an Amazing startup journey
– real-world processes that add value to building a business
– vital decisions taken by owners to become great Startups
– failures in their journey
– Entrepreneur Lifestyle
– How can students become Startup CEOs?


Mentorship Direct! – Startup ULAB Grooming Session (June 28, 2018)

Mentorship Direct! – Startup ULAB Grooming Session (June, 2018)
The ULAB Center for Enterprise and Society (CES), under its Startup ULAB initiative, organized an event called “Mentorship Direct” featuring Mr. Adnan Imtiaz Halim, Co-founder and CEO of Sheba.XYZ, one of the top startups of the country. The Startup ULAB initiative aims to connect current and aspiring ULAB student entrepreneurs with resources such faculty or external mentorship, incubation support, access to funding, and so on. Sheba.XYZ is considered to be one of the top startups of the country with one of the highest valuations. Sheba has already served over 25,000+ household customers. ULAB CES is Bangladesh’s first university-based research center aimed at the creation of knowledge at the nexus of business and society.


CES Talk Series: “Financial Literacy and Career Development for Bangladesh Capital Markets”
Lanka Bangla Securities (April 24, 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 14, 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 11, 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 Leadership Talk Series: “Gender, Women’s Rights and Climate Change”
Farah Kabir
Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh (August 9, 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: “Undergraduate Academic Experience Survey 2016-17”
(July 10, 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 4, 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  Seminar : “State of the Bangladesh Economy FY 2015-16 and National Budget FY 2016-2017″ Professor Mustafizur Rahman and Tawfiqul Islam Khan
(June 6, 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 3, 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 10, 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 23, 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 1, 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 9, 2017)

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 7, 2017)

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” (January 10, 2017)

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 Report launching


CES Leadership Talk Series: “E-Commerce in Bangladesh: History and Youth Entrepreneurship Opportunities” by Rezwanul Haque Jami, IT Sector Specialist (December 18,2016)

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 Retail Industry in Bangladesh.” by Christopher Echivard, Retail Market Specialist.  (March 20, 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.

Agora CEO Small


CES Leadership Talk Series: “Roads Less Traveled” by Roy Clunie, Social Entrepreneur. (March 10, 2016)

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 20, 2015)

Mr. Hanif started his career at Royal Dutch Shell as a graduate entrant where he worked from 2000 to 2012, in Europe, Asia, and the 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  (October 21, 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 11, 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 27, 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 27, 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.”

The Universityof Liberal Arts Bangladesh and its curricula are accredited by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh, and approved by the Ministry of Education, Government of People's Republic of Bangladesh.