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1. As the Country Managing Director of Microsoft Bangladesh, you oversee a vast range of technological advancements. How do you see advancing technology shaping the financial landscape of Bangladesh, especially in light of the country’s growing economy?

Advancing technology is poised to play a transformative role in shaping the financial landscape of Bangladesh. I would envision several keyways in which technology could drive positive changes: 1) Digital Financial Inclusion: Advancements in technology, such as mobile banking and digital payment solutions, can significantly enhance financial inclusion in Bangladesh. 2) Data-Driven Decision Making: Technology enables the collection, analysis, and interpretation of vast amounts of data. By leveraging data analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), financial institutions can gain deeper insight into customer behavior, preferences, and risks. 3) Blockchain and Financial Transparency: Blockchain technology has the potential to enhance transparency and security within the financial sector. 

Also, advancements in technology will certainly shape the financial landscape in terms of cybersecurity and fraud detection & prevention. As digital transactions increase, the importance of robust cybersecurity measures and fraud prevention tools becomes paramount to protect both individuals and institutions. 

2. What are the solution focus areas of Microsoft at the moment for Bangladesh?

For Bangladesh to harness the positive impact of advancing technology on the financial landscape, we are continuously working with businesses to adopt and consume Azure Cloud services, Data & AI analytics platforms, building digital infrastructure, promote skills development & digital literacy and foster collaboration between public and private sectors. 

The launch of Microsoft for Startups Founder’s Hub and the work we have seen from the entrepreneurs has been truly inspiring. Through Microsoft for Startups Founder’s Hub, startups have been provided with access to technology tools including secure cloud platforms such as Azure, Microsoft 365, GitHub Enterprise and Visual Studio Enterprise, tools available to empower both the business and technical aspirations of the founders to help them build connections with customers and fast-track their growth.

3. The use of technology such as those available with Microsoft has enabled startups like InveStar BD to expand AI vision capabilities. How can similar opportunities as well as Microsoft’s resources drive digital transformation in nurturing and fostering Bangladesh’s startup ecosystem?

Our work is focused on empowering our customers and partners, so we are glad to see that InveStar BD has joined Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub and avail many different benefits from this program. Such programs can play a significant role in driving digital transformation and fostering the startup ecosystem in Bangladesh. 

The introduction of Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub in Bangladesh has been a key highlight for entrepreneurs and founders across the nation. Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub in Bangladesh was launched to continue our mission and to fuel innovation among ambitious startups who are eager to make their mark on the global stage. The Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub program caters to anyone with a dream, no funding required. 

Through this program we have been able to connect founders with industry veterans and showcase innovation from Bangladesh in the World Stage. We are in awe of our booming business sector and techy-savvy population, and we have been able to empower our tech talent and provide state-of-the-art resources to all cross sections of society with a drive for social transformation through the digitalization and the adaptation of new technology.  

4. The success of InveStar BD lies in its ability to provide easy access to a full spectrum digital investment platform. How can Microsoft’s expertise in cloud computing and AI services enhance and scale such digital investments?

Cloud and AI offer a wide range of advantages for digital investment, with scalability and flexibility being the most important. This allows infrastructure to accommodate the growing demands of applications, ability to analyze large amounts of data to provide the most impactful business decision, process automation, and enhanced customer support with virtual assistant. Security, privacy, compliance remain core elements to digitization and Microsoft provides robust security tools with extended capabilities to build Zero-trust security framework which is crucial for maintaining sensitive financial information. 

With InveStar BD, we have seen how our services can help improve the services already offered.  InveStar BD has come a long way and we are glad to be part of the journey they have made thus far. By harnessing Microsoft’s AI capabilities, we look forward to seeing the impact and value that will be added to numerous lives by the AI-based learning platform that will offer educational resources and insights to investors at every level. 

5. In your opinion, how can technology, particularly AI, help break down barriers and create a more inclusive and accessible financial environment for all?

AI driven technology has the potential to be timesaving and ensure cost-saving in terms of better decision making and expanded economic opportunity.  In addition, it enables possibilities such as providing more accurate risk assessments, detecting patterns of fraudulent behavior, and minimizing breaches, automate administrative tasks, enable remote services, and gather more comprehensive and representative data. Overall, it can help with better financial decisions and improve financial well-being, irrespective of background or level of financial knowledge. 

It is vital that AI is developed and deployed responsibly for low-income, vulnerable consumers without replicating societal biases. 

6. As the Country Managing Director, you have a deep understanding of the evolving tech landscape in Bangladesh. How do you see startups and small businesses such as InveStar BD contributing to the country’s digital transformation journey? 

 Startups and small businesses play a crucial role in driving digital transformation and economic growth. Through Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub, the selected startups have gone through a significant journey and contributed towards impactful initiatives. We are also able to see the forefront of innovation where they develop new technologies, products and services that address local challenges and needs. Their agility allows them to quickly adapt to market demands and experiment with innovative solutions.

These startups are also significant sources of job creation, employing local talent and contributing to building a stronger workforce. Particularly in economies like ours, job opportunities are essential for a growing workforce. 

The entrepreneurship ecosystem that we have fostered encourages risk-taking, creativity and collaboration. This inspires other individuals to pursue their own entrepreneurial ventures and subsequently, promoting a culture of innovation. 

Finally, digital inclusion Startups can develop solutions that cater to underserved and unbanked populations, promoting financial inclusion and access to digital services which align the vision of the government of a more digitally inclusive society.