Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Professor Chowdhury shares insights on Bangladesh with IGOE Global Fellows

By Tulio Bracho, Class of 2014, Finance
Kelley MBA IGOE Fellows

In the mid 60’s, Indiana University and Dhaka University entered into a collaboration that was meant to provide both universities the opportunity for global fellowship. Forty-five years later, the collaboration was rekindled and a new generation of business students is benefitting from working with representatives of one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

The Institute for Global Organizational Effectiveness (IGOE) was honored to take part in this renewed effort of globalization and have Professor Golam Mohammed Chowdhury, the first recipient of the Herman B. Wells - M.O. Ghani Fellowship visit to discuss business and the economic situation in Bangladesh. Professor Chowdhury understands these topics well as he is a professor at the Institute of Business Administration at the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh, and share important insights with IGOE Global Fellows.

The government of Bangladesh is doing all that it can to encourage investors through various programs and policies. Bangladesh has a democratic government and both of the major political parties support an investor-friendly regulatory regime. There are no major tensions that exist and Bangladesh is on friendly terms with all of its neighbors in the area. This stability is great for businesses that are moving into the region.

Bangladesh also has extremely low labor costs, some of the lowest in Asia. With a population half the size of the U.S. in the geographical area about the size of Iowa, there are many skilled workers available in the country. This population supports many growing industries including textiles, frozen foods pharmaceuticals and leathers. There are over 5,000 textile and garment factories currently operating making the textile industry the largest exporter in the country.

There are also opportunities for continued growth. Gas and coal mining are starting to be developed and promise to be a major factor in Bangladesh’s economy. Factors like these are why Bangladesh has been named a Next-11 country. It has been predicted that if the economy continues to grow, it should be the 31st largest in the world by 2050.

We can learn much from looking at the example provided by one of the fastest growing economies in the world. As the rest of the world has suffered through an economic depression, Bangladesh has continued to grow. As the economy has grown, companies throughout the world have started to make connections with Bangladesh. It is very likely that graduates from the Kelley School of Business will be either working for or with a business with direct connections to Bangladesh. Even if those direct connections are not there, graduates can play a role in their own organizations by advising them to establish those connections. In that way, organizations can take full advantage of the low-costs, high quality and political stability compared to other countries in the region.

It is through partnerships like the one that allowed Professor Chowdhury to visit Indiana University and IGOE where we can learn from one another. Hopefully this fellowship, and others like it, will continue to provide an opportunity for us to learn from the successes of each other. 


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