From Meetings to Milestones: A Promising Start in Bangladesh

Last Monday marked the beginning of a new chapter in my career as I stepped into the role of the British Asian Trust's first Bangladesh Country Director. It has been an absolute whirlwind of a week, filled with inspiring meetings and a deep sense of purpose. 

Building Connections and Finding Common Ground 

In my first week, I had the privilege of meeting some of the Advisory Council members, including Runa Khan from Friendship, and the esteemed Board Trustees: Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Shenila Rawal, and Khatun Sapnara. Each interaction was a revelation, uncovering shared experiences and ambitions. 

  • Lord Jitesh Gadhia and I connected over our time as Sloan Fellows. While we completed our MBA programmes in different countries, the shared experience has been a strong foundation for our professional relationship. 
  • Shenila Rawal and I discovered our common ground with our past work at the World Bank, finding alignment in our visions for sustainable development. 
  • Khatun Sapnara, a trailblazer in the UK legal field, and I bonded over our shared heritage and ambition as proud and ambitious Bangladeshis. 
  • Finally, meeting the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, at a private British Asian Trust reception was quite a first week highlight. Although he attended Stanford and I MIT, our shared dedication to fostering innovation was evident, despite the friendly rivalry. 
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Climate Innovation Fund: A New Dawn for Bangladesh 

I am thrilled to announce the significant milestone we achieved with the signing of Prime Bank's support for our work with the SAJIDA Foundation on the Climate Innovation Fund. This initiative is a crucial step towards addressing climate change and fostering innovation in Bangladesh. 

The Climate Innovation Fund aims to drive transformative projects, with the winners of the first round soon to be announced. Agriculture, the lifeblood of our nation of 160 million people, remains at the forefront of our efforts. It is the foundation upon which we will build our nation's security and success. 


Embracing Innovation and Looking Ahead 

Bangladesh is a land of boundless innovation. Despite limited resources, we consistently find ways to ensure that every corner of our country is served. The Climate Innovation Fund is just the beginning of our journey. 

I am incredibly excited to support Bangladesh's growth and witness the nation's transformation. Together, we will launch the Bangladesh rocketship into the global arena, showcasing our resilience, creativity, and unwavering spirit. 

Stay tuned for more updates as we embark on this transformative journey. The future of Bangladesh is bright, and I am honoured to play a part in shaping it. 


By Eshrat Waris, British Asian Trust Bangladesh Director