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Speakers stress for nurturing innovation

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Staff Reporter
Speakers at a dialogue on Saturday in the city stressed for the need to nurture innovation as the key driver to realise Bangladesh's goal in reaching developed country status by 2041.
They joined together for discussion at Bangladesh Innovation Conclave's (BIC) "Bangladesh Innovation Dialogue 2018" at Le Meridien Dhaka, which was also the precursor to the first ever Bangladesh Innovation Award 2018 later the same night.
The dialogue comprised of two panel discussions and two keynote speeches. The keynote speakers were Varun Sakhuja, Director, Innovation Management-Mastercard Labs, Asia Pacific and Manoj Kulkarni, Executive Director at Nielsen South Asia.
In his keynote speech, Varun Sakhuja said that Change is the new constant and innovation is important for long-term success, while Manoj Kulkarni urged companies to be receptive to new ideas, a philosophy which he followed and experienced success.
Topics for the panel discussion included "How Companies Should Drive Innovation" and "Innovation the Bangladesh Model."
The discussants included Abdul Kalam Azad, Principal Coordinator, SDG Affairs, Prime Minister's Office, Shehzad Munim, President, FICCI and Managing Director British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB), Syed Almas Kabir, President, BASIS, Hossain Khaled, Managing Director, Anwar Group of Industries and others.
"The upward GDP growth over the last 15-20 years did not happen overnight," said Hossain Khaled, "it was the result of a multitude of factors, including the country's demographic dividend, the RMG boom and more."
"We really need to rethink everything and bolster innovation in Bangladesh, if we are to gear towards becoming a developed country by 2041," said K.A.M Morshed, Director, Technology and Partnership Strengthening Unit at BRAC.
Shariful Islam, Founder of Bangladesh Innovation Conclave and Bangladesh Brand Forum, said that Bangladesh Innovation Conclave has taken that vision to push the dialogue on innovation across the country.
"Innovation is what drives the entire world," said Syed Mohammad Kamal, Country Manager, Mastercard, "in line with that, we are envisioning a cashless Bangladesh very soon."
A special dialogue session preceded the program between BIC founder Shariful Islam and founder of Ten Minute School Ayman Sadiq. They talked about why every youth should know and be ready for the innovation era.
The Bangladesh Innovation Award is designed to recognize the vibrant community of innovators - from startups to established companies - and its breakthrough creations and ideas.
In celebrating successful innovations from startups and veterans alike, the award program aims to build Bangladesh's economy by acknowledging and rewarding the creative mind, fueling innovation within it.
The competition got 168 entries and the awards were given under nine categories and another special category.
The main categories of the award were designed for sectorial innovation which took place in multiple disciplines such as RMG, healthcare, product development, etc.
An initiative of BIC, The Bangladesh Innovation Award was powered by MasterCard and organized by Bangladesh Brand Forum.