Forbes recognises nine Bangladeshis in 30 Under 30 Asia list

Nine Bangladeshi entrepreneurs have appeared in the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia list, for their contribution to different fields. 

The US magazine recognised a total of 300 entrepreneurs from the Asia Pacific region and said these individuals are finding innovative ways to navigate new business realities in the region and lead the transformation of various industries.

The recognitions came under 10 categories – entertainment and sports; finance and venture capital; enterprise technology; media, marketing and advertising; consumer technology; industry, manufacturing and energy; the arts; social impact; retail and ecommerce; and healthcare and science.

The Bangladeshi entrepreneurs are -  

Abdul Gaffar Sadi, MD Tushar and MD Shahidul Islam

They founded Dhaka-based Drutoloan, which translates to 'quick loan' in English. It helps micro and small businesses get lending from banks and financing companies, helping them with the paperwork and helping lenders assess creditworthiness. Since starting in 2019, the co-founders said the company disbursed over $2 million in loans. In November it raised $125,000 in pre seed funding.

Sultan Moni and Mumtahina Anika 

They cofounded Dhaka-based fintech startup Zatiq, aiming to help small companies better manage their accounting with software and hardware that are easy to adopt. One example is a business calculator that can be synced with smartphones to track finances and generate reports. Zatiq also offers a simple way for small businesses to start an e-commerce website. In August, Zatiq raised a $1.6 million pre-seed funding round led by Dekko ISHO Venture Capital.

Fahad Ahmed

He is the co-founder of Wind.App, a cross-border remittance platform that uses blockchain technology and stablecoins to offer faster and cheaper transactions. Founded in 2022, the startup secured $3.8 million in pre-seed funding led by Global Founders Capital and Spartan Group in November. 

Before Wind, Fahad was part of the founding team and head of product at Pathao, where he launched services such as food delivery, payments, and ride-hailing in Bangladesh and Nepal. A self-taught coder, Fahad earned a bachelor's degree in finance and economics from the University of Dhaka.

Redwan Ahmed

He is an award-winning freelance journalist who goes after the biggest stories in Bangladesh. His coverage of the Rohingya crisis for Agence France-Presse earned him the 22nd Human Rights Press Award and his investigations for the British news outlet The Guardian unveiled the exploitation of Bangladeshi garment factory workers. 

Beyond reporting, Redwan co-founded the Bangladeshi Journalists in International Media, dedicated to protecting local journalists. Ahmed was named a fellow in the 2021 Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalism program.

Mehedi Shoron

Mehedi Shoron is the co-founder of HelloTask, the "Uber for maid service" in Bangladesh. The app offers hourly bookings, monthly subscriptions, verification of the maids it employs, and safety features to protect them from exploitation or violence. 

Hellotask has raised funding from investors as well as grants from the World Bank and Oxfam. The company hopes to expand its force of maids to 100,000 by 2025 and explore international markets.

Anusha Alamgir

Anusha Alamgir is a Bangladeshi multidisciplinary artist with a master's degree in architecture from the Royal College of Art in London. She was the only female Bangladeshi to exhibit in the 18th International Architecture Exhibition at the 2023 Venice Biennale with a film called 'Porda - which means 'veil' in Bangla - addressing Muslim veiling practices. 

Alamgir's artistic practices apply architectural concepts to sculpture, painting, photography and performance, while also exploring contemporary issues in Bangladesh such as the female body image and the so-called male gaze. 

Her work has been exhibited by the Oitij-jo Collective in London, at the La-La Land Gallery in Los Angeles and the Drik Picture Library in Dhaka. Alamgir is also the founder of the online thrift store Colors Dhaka.

Selection method

In the selection process, Forbes reporters and editors combed through thousands of online submissions, as well as tap industry sources and list alumni for recommendations. 

Candidates were evaluated by the Forbes Asia team and a panel of independent, expert judges on a variety of factors, including (but not limited to) funding and/or revenue, social impact, scale, inventiveness and potential. All final listers were 29 or younger as of 31 December, 2023.