Watching John Wayne and Clint Eastwood films in Dhaka, Bangladesh, AKM Zabed Rahman never imagined traveling to their stomping grounds to learn how to improve his business.
Zabed serves as the managing director at Sthapottik Ltd., an architecture and interiors firm in Dhaka.
He was accepted into the Professional Fellows Program, a project financed by a U.S. State Department grant to bring in emerging leaders to broaden their professional experience. He finishes the program this week.
The grant is administered through the University of Oklahoma. The Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communications and the Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth worked together to host fellows from Bangladesh and Nepal, pairing them with public and private organizations.
Zabed was paired with The McKinney Partnership, a Norman architecture firm. He compared that business to his own.
“Process-wise, I think we are OK,” Zabed said. “But technology-wise, they are way ahead.”
Reality matched his predictions, he said. The United States is one of the most developed nations in the world, but Bangladesh is still developing.
The McKinney Partnership uses Autodesk Revit, a 3D modeling software, to help design buildings.
“One person can do four persons’ work,” Zabed said.
He was also impressed by the communication software available, namely Skype.
The McKinney Partnership’s community involvement inspired Zabed to see past the bottom line, he said.