Top 7 Reasons Why Dhaka Might Be the Next Silicon Valley

by Maisha Rahman 578 views0

Silicon Valley may be the leading global center of computing innovation, but an increasing number of regions in South Asia are emerging as formidable competitors to its technological prowess. One of these is Dhaka, Bangladesh—one of the world’s most populated cities and home to the Dhaka Stock Exchange, among the largest in South Asia.

The following are the top 7 reasons why Dhaka—with its leading high-tech research facilities and enterprises—is giving Silicon Valley a run for its money.

7. American startups are swarming in on the action.

Source: lau rey / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: lau rey / Flickr Creative Commons.

Not only do global giants Siemens, Ericsson, and Novartis have regional headquarters in Dhaka, but a growing number of tech startups are also looking to establish a presence in the city. An exponential fast growth rate of smartphone adoption and optimal conditions for marketing user-centric products make it ideal for getting users en masse.

6. The local ecommerce space is growing at an accelerated rate.

Source: Robbert Noordzij / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: Robbert Noordzij / Flickr Creative Commons.

Despite challenges that make success with online business models difficult for etailers at large, ecommerce is nonetheless thriving in Dhaka. Local entrepreneurs—with the help of regional solution providers—have overcome the consumer base’s low credit card penetration and trust issues, resulting in flourishing online businesses.

5. Bangladesh is conveniently surrounded by neighboring tech startup hotspots, bringing global exposure and business opportunities.

Source: Sundarganj WebProject / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: Sundarganj WebProject / Flickr Creative Commons.

In fact, India—one of Bangladesh’s closest neighbors—is a major catalyst for bringing in global investments, business opportunities, and interest from abroad to the surrounding regions.

4. A growing youth population is rapidly expanding the local pool of highly-skilled, talented workers.

Source: thedailystar.net.
Source: thedailystar.net.

A generation of tech-savvy youth entering the workforce translates to more forward-thinking, innovative companies being founded down the line, once requisite work/business experience is attained.

3. Dhaka frequently hosts global technology events, resulting in the influx and exchange of ideas, innovation, and resources from abroad.

Source: Rubayeet Islam / Flickr Creative Commons.
NewsCred at Startup Weekend Dhaka. Source: Rubayeet Islam / Flickr Creative Commons.

Tech events are great opportunities for young entrepreneurs and other like-minded innovators to gather and share ideas, and Dhaka has seen a groundswell of such activities emerge in recent years. Organizations like Google Business Group Dhaka, Google Developer Group Dhaka, and HubDhaka, among others, are players spearheading such events.

2. More Dhaka-based startup successes pave the way for young technologists and entrepreneurs.

NewsCred at Startup Weekend Dhaka. Source: Rubayeet Islam / Flickr Creative Commons.
NewsCred at Startup Weekend Dhaka. Source: Rubayeet Islam / Flickr Creative Commons.

NewsCred, a Bangladeshi startup with Bangladeshi founders, is a leading model of how businesses that begin in Bangladesh can capture the global market. The company just closed another $25 million investment round, and is transforming Dhaka’s startup scene by inspiring the community with their success.

1. Dhaka’s private sector is breaking free from restrictive, archaic cultural norms and traditions.

Source: David Stanley / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: David Stanley / Flickr Creative Commons.

An increasingly favorable environment in Dhaka for women entrepreneurs translates to more female business leaders taking their technological innovations to market.

Though Bangladesh is still considered a developing country, government-led initiatives like Digital Bangladesh aspire to transform the country into a digitally developed nation by 2021. As such, it may just be a matter of time before Dhaka emerges on the global stage as a leading tech innovation center in its own right.

 

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