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Monday, October 18, 2021

“Blockchain technology and AI have huge potentials in Bangladesh Tech Market”

An in-depth conversation with Shaikh Abdul Wahid, CEO and Managing Director, LEADS Corporation Limited.

Being one of the leading software development companies, LEADS Corporation Limited is offering custom software development, software products, offshore software development, professional outsourcing and software consultancy. Even it has become the leading local provider of Core Banking System to banks and non-banking financial institutions.

In his recent conversation with Fintech, LEADS Corporation Limited, cofounder and the Managing Director, Mr. Shaikh Abdul Wahid, a consummate professional shared his thoughts on how to make organizations efficient even in pandemic situation and much more.

Here is the excerpt for Fintech readers.

We talked to you back in three years. How has everything been going since then? What new things have implemented within these three years?

That’s a very striking question. Well, it was different time back in three years. Lot of significant changes has been made undoubtedly. We not only have implemented new organization but hired a lot of people from different discipline amid us to make sure that we are ready for the future. Besides, we have made significant change in blockchain, IoT and AI areas. We have reshuffled our team members and we had hired a new COO who did lot of stunning deeds for our company and even we have got some other smart people in business development areas. Overall, I must say that, overall,we have done very well and of course doing better than before. One thing I would like to include, in lockdown period when so many organizations went on bankruptcy, LEADS went ahead and increase associate’s compensation appropriately. It is true that we did not achieve our revenue target for FY 2020 but our associates worked very hard to ensure that we make significant bottom line, and that is what has happened.

How much has the pandemic situation affected your business so far? How did you continue your work during the days?

COVID period is still dominating and during those days in 2020 it was not so possible to run the entire operation from office. So, we had to implement new “Virtual Work” concept. Since during my early professional life, while working for an American Multinational Corporation, I worked “Virtual” for several years in the USA. So, we started practicing “Virtual Work” many months before COVID 19 visited Bangladesh. Lot of people firstly criticized about it but quickly realized the benefits, and asked me whether I could foretell something about pandemic!I think under “New Normal” virtual work is a must. There are several other benefits of “Virtual Work”. For example; in Dhaka the facility cost is sky rocketing, the travel time getting worse and the productivity is going down. So, by giving “Virtual Work” facilities to our associates, we can definitely hire people with right skills for the Company. However, appropriate technology must be implemented to ensure productivity measurement. When finally, COVID 19 grasped us, we dauntlessly kept working and were able to bring productive works. We came with consultancy how to do “Virtual Work”. And we up with some innovative applications that are very much applicable under COVID 19. So overall COVID 19 did not negatively impact us. Contrary, we came with some new ideas as to how to work under the “New Normal”.

How Technological Advancement can help us to fight against any other upcoming pandemic? What is your opinion?

I think we all should keep our eyes and ears are open and learn what is happening in the Western World. Because we know that whatever happened in the Western World comes to Bangladesh at least after five years. Now I am talking here about the technology and not the pandemic. And for that reasons we have brought some highly qualified people in our organization. If we know what is happening in the World and prepare ourselves, then we can face any challenges irrespective of good or bad. In fact, we have to be predictive what may be happening next or not but if it is intruded inside our mindset, we can handle those entire upcoming pandemics which is unknown to us. I should say, 2020 is a learning year and we learnt a lot, we learnt using technological stuffs well, even those who didn’t know of little usage of tech device became efficient to use the system. And this is what I want to say the advancement of technology and you see, even in the pandemic situation or lockdown period working people didn’t stop their works. So definitely, covid taught us to go with technology for your survival. And you must confess, people get used to doing this entire thing in present new normal situation.We, LEADS, are working on innovative ideas on technology, we’ve successfully introduced AI Chatbot, named Leads Interactive Assistance (LIA), which is the perfect replacement of Human backed customer care service. We are also working on some other innovative ideas on technology to introduce in Bangladesh soon.If you focus on innovation on technology regularly,I believe that we can fight any other upcoming pandemics.

Last time you were talking about CBS. And your products are based on the financial and banking sector. Do you have any updated ideas for working with CBS?

CBS is one of the important elements for our business. We are currently working to update our CBS under new framework because we want to provide all of our existing and future customers with the latest technology. Because we believe that by providing latest technology to our customers, we are helping them to help their ultimate users. And that is one of the reasons why we have decided to hire more skilled resources to help with our CBS. To be frank, recently we have received new orders for CBS from few Banks, Probashi Kallyan Bank is one of them. I must say that this has happened only due to our roadmap that we could easily demonstrate to our CBS customers. We have new ideas and additional plans to develop new applications surrounding our CBS so that all our existing and future customers gets full benefits of our CBS.

Blockchain is nowadays a mostly talked topic in the software industry. Tell us about its use in Bangladesh’s technology sector. 

I am very optimistic about Blockchain, IoT and AI. Because I believe that these tools would become part of our daily life in Bangladesh. Blockchain, IoT and AI technologies has been in practice in several developed countries for years. Everyone knows the usefulness of this technology, yet most of the customers in Bangladesh are in the “wait and see” mode. However, I am hopeful that something will happen soon. I must say, Blockchain-supported solutions have huge potential both in local as well as overseas markets. So far, we have been working with this technology in our company along with severalassociatesin the last three years because we believe this will be the best future for us. We have started seeing the result by getting first Blockchain order from Japan. Yes, Blockchain, IoT and AI practices are going on in several Companies, including us. I also believe Blockchain, IoT and AI will dominate the World very soon and they will be the future of the IT industry.

Share with us your upcoming products and projects for this year?  

Definitely and as,I have said before, we are going to set up a new organization where many associates will be involved in research and development. This new organization will help us in understanding what is going on in the Western World and shape our future strategy accordingly. And we are going to launch several new products too because we always work with latest technology since we are the pioneer IT Company in Bangladesh. We believe in changesand we want to remain pioneer in Bangladesh and International market.

What is your future plan with LEADS? 

Great. And my first future plan is to go in new office at the end of the year. We will have new facilities in new area and I do believe new facility gives enough opportunity to our associates. Along with our  associates we will continue working with new ideas and of course we want to bring some unique technologies to be the unique company of tech sector.

Thank you very much for giving your valuable time to Fintech.

You are pretty welcome.

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