Monday, June 8, 2009

Intel in Bangladesh in 2005: An Interview of Humayun Akhlaq

This is an interview that I took in 2005. I think that Humayun Akhlaq does not work for Intel anymore. Still, I am giving this interview here because this way, you can get some idea about Intel’s presence in Bangladesh during 2005. The interview was published in Computer Bichitra Magazine.

Intel is the worldwide leader in microprocessor technologies. Intel microprocessors enjoy the lion’s share in the market.

All of us are familiar with the “Intel Inside” slogan and the “Pentium” Brandname is familiar to everyone across the globe. However, in the last few years, Intel has also been moving in other areas of computing. It is trying to expand its business and trying to present itself as a company with computing solutions under one roof. Earlier this month, Intel organized its ICC in Dhaka. To join this event, Humayun Akhlaq, Sales Manager, Intel Corporation in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, came to Dhaka. He attended a press conference. He gave an interview with Computer Bichitra. Here is an excerpt of the interview:

Razib Ahmed: How is Intel doing in your country?

Humayun Akhlaq: In Pakistan, Intel started operation in 1997. Thus, in the last eight years, we have seen some great progress in the Pakistan market. The good thing is that we are having lot of support from the government of Pakistan. For example, the government of Pakistan is encouraging the flourishing of ICT sector and also giving all kinds of incentives. The Pakistani government has removed taxes from this sector substantially and has undertaken a number of projects to use ICT in infrastructure building. After coming to Bangladesh, I am glad to see that the Government of Bangladesh is also very pro-active.

Razib Ahmed: What is Intel’s plan for Bangladeshi market?

Humayun Akhlaq: In this region, Bangladesh is an important market for Intel. Bangladesh is a country that is developing in the ICT sector gradually. During this visit, I have talked to our business partners about what we can do here. Right now, we are working on the 2006 plan for Bangladesh-What investment we need? What resources we need? I wish I could implement them from tomorrow but as you know, we must follow some guidelines and do some background research. We would like to see our commitment and investment to Bangladesh grow from quarter to quarter rather than annually.

Razib Ahmed: You have met with your business partners in Bangladesh. What kind of reaction did you get from them?

Humayun Akhlaq: It was absolutely a marvelous experience for me. When I came to the meeting in the morning, I found out that 85% of them had come before me and were waiting for me. Within 10 minutes, we had a 100% attendance. Their eagerness towards Intel really amazed me. We gave some awards the high performing partners for achieving highest amount of sales. I asked them, how many of them were interested to complete for this program this year. I saw that quite a large number of people raised their hands. This positive attitude towards Intel is a surely an encouraging sign.

Razib Ahmed: In India, Intel runs a number of projects that have no relationship with business but are purely related to social commitment of Intel. When we can see similar projects in Bangladesh?

Humayun Akhlaq: We are working on that and we have some plans for Bangladesh too. It is something that we have to do in Bangladesh regardless of business opportunity there is. Everywhere, we are in the world, we are committed to the community, to the country and to the people and that goes whether we have a lot of commercial opportunity or not. We take this issue very seriously and we like to contribute more in the emerging markets.

Razib Ahmed: Do you have any plan to work with local universities?

Humayun Akhlaq: To be very honest, at this moment, we have not explored this area. However,if it is needed or if the universities have any requirement that can be useful to both of us then I am sure, we can explore the possibility.

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