Give me a chance to realise my ‘Silicon Valley dream’ with you
Sonia Bashir Kabir tells BASIS members
Published : 21 Jun 2016, 04:09:21
Ujjal A Gomes
Sonia Bashir Kabir, the Managing Director of Microsoft Bangladesh, is leading the “Change Makers” panel in the upcoming election of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) for the 2016-19 sessions to be held on June 25.
In the end of May, Sonia Bashir Kabir has been appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to serve in the Governing Council of the Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries (LDC) as the representative of Bangladesh. She was also the country head of Dell Bangladesh.
bbarta24.net recently had an opportunity to talk with the prominent IT personality about the BASIS election and future of the IT sector.
bbarta: what is Microsoft’s role in Bangladesh?
Sonia Bashir Kabir: People used to think that Microsoft is a company that only makes Windows operating system and Office. Microsoft has reinvented itself. Cloud computing is one of our priorities. We are putting emphasis on how to make technology available to everyone. Cellphone is an example of that. We are organizing computer training to introduce technology to people. We are training without charging any fees. If people really like a brand it does not need branding.
Please give me a chance.
bbarta: what do you think about the future of the ICT sector of Bangladesh?
Sonia Bashir Kabir: I have spent my student life in Silicon Valley. I have seen how technology can help a country and people to move forward. Technology does not play a significant role in Bangladesh. I have clear vision of going there. Here, people are using phone like crazy. But, we have failed to introduce technology to them. If I get a chance I will ensure that everyone is educated in technology. Most of us including driver, maid servant change phone very frequently to get newer model. I think, we have long way ahead of us.
bbarta: What are the barriers women are facing to climb up the corporate ladder in the ICT sector of Bangladesh?
Sonia Bashir Kabir: Bangladeshi women may get mad at me after hearing my opinion. It is true that men in our country shows more respect to women when compared to other countries. I can tell it from my long work experience in the U.S.A. The government has taken many initiatives to promote women in the technology sector. I think that women are not taking the advantage of the available opportunity. Obstacle will come and we have to overcome it with strong willpower. They have to be confident and determined to work in this field.
bbarta: What kind of steps can be taken to increase women’s participation in the ICT sector?
Sonia Bashir Kabir: I would say one needs to have self-confident, self-respect and courage to overcome fear. Women in our country are promising but we have to create opportunity for them. Also we have to create safe work environment. Women are working in the garment factories, aren’t they? Thus, if we create the scope in technology sector, they will come. We have to encourage them.
bbarta: Do you have any special plan for Bangladeshi women?
Sonia Bashir Kabir: I have a desire to create one female computer service engineer in each village in Bangladesh. They will fix computer sitting at home and also will be connected with the local call centre. I want to create five thousand computer service engineers this year.
Please give me a chance.
bbarta: Lets change the subject. You are competing in the BASIS elections. If you are elected would there be any kind of impact on the country’s IT sector?
Sonia Bashir Kabir:There are one thousand members of BASIS, among them, 368 members are voters. If I win I will spend 1000 hours with the members. I would like to give one hour time to each member. If I can keep all the members happy BASIS will run smoothly. I want to work for the BASIS members. My desire is to realise my Silicon Valley dream by promoting the BASIS members. I have nothing else to seek for.
bbarta: Do you have any special message for BASIS members?
Sonia Bashir Kabir: My message is—brother please give me a chance. You will see how far I take BASIS by realising your and my dreams.