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Run Leather Breaks Ground as Bangladesh’s First B2B Platform for Leather Industry

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In a groundbreaking initiative, Run Leather has emerged as the pioneer of Bangladesh’s first-ever B2B platform, poised to revolutionize the country’s burgeoning leather industry. The startup has garnered notable acclaim, securing a spot in the top five startups listed by the Startup Dhaka Accelerator Program, a testament to its innovative approach and potential.

Recognizing the footwear industry’s rapid growth in Bangladesh, Run Leather addresses the persistent challenges faced by retailers in supply chain management due to intermediary complexities. Founder and CEO, Md Moshraf Hossain (Mamun), highlighted the significance of the local footwear market, boasting a net worth of 1.70 billion Taka and securing the 9th global rank with a consumption of 366 million pairs.

Expressing concern about the sector’s fragmentation and dependence on middlemen, Hossain emphasized the inefficiency and increased costs associated with the existing channels between manufacturers and retailers. In response, Run Leather introduces the Manufacturer to Retailer (M2R) supply chain model, aiming to directly connect manufacturers and retailers, eliminating intermediaries for a more efficient and cost-effective system.

Hossain envisions a middleman-free marketplace, leveraging advanced IT solutions to enhance communication and ensure fair pricing for both manufacturers and retailers. Run Leather has already expanded its services nationwide, establishing distribution channels across 15 districts, including the capital city, Dhaka. The company currently employs 65 individuals, with a notable 60% being women, showcasing a commitment to women’s empowerment.

The innovative startup has set ambitious goals for the next three years, intending to revolutionize supply chain management within the footwear and leather industry through IT integration. Beyond the domestic landscape, Run Leather aspires to elevate Bangladesh’s leather sector’s global standing, contributing to the nation’s economic progress through the implementation of advanced IT practices.

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BASIC Bank to Merge with City Bank says Cenbank

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Following the merger of EXIM and Padma, BASIC Bank is now set to merge with City Bank. The decision was reached during a meeting held today (8 April) at the Bangladesh Bank. Sources within the central bank revealed that the merger will be voluntary. This significant decision emerged from a meeting between Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rauf Talukdar and City Bank’s Chairman Aziz Al Qaiser and Managing Director (MD) Mashrur Arefin.

Previously, on 19 March, the board of City Bank received a recommendation to merge with Basic Bank. Subsequently, discussions ensued between the boards of both City Bank and Basic Bank. Officials from both banks engaged in internal discussions regarding this matter. Despite the merger, sources indicate that the two banks will continue to report separate financials for the next three years.

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IHF Hosts 7th Annual Iftar Event, Fostering Stakeholder-Child Interaction

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It’s Humanity Foundation (IHF) recently held its 7th Annual Iftar event at Aloki, located on the Gulshan – Tejgaon Link Road in Dhaka. This yearly gathering, known as the Annual Iftar event, serves as a significant platform for stakeholders to engage with children, gain insights into their experiences, and deepen their understanding of the challenges faced by marginalized communities. The event brought together students from IHF School, sponsor parents, internal and external stakeholders, and well-wishers, all coming together to celebrate the spirit of Ramadan.

The event was inaugurated by Md. Adnan Hossain, Founder and Executive Director of IHF, who expressed heartfelt gratitude to the organizations that have supported IHF throughout its journey. Representatives from various organizations also attended, along with notable personalities from the local community. Hossain emphasized the importance of dedication and support in inspiring hope for a better world, stating, “Your actions are changing lives, and together, we can make education a reality for every child.”

Among the esteemed guests were Clinton Pobke & his Spouse, Deputy High Commissioner of the Australian High Commission Bangladesh; Md Moinul Huq, Citi Country Officer (CCO) at Citibank NA, Bangladesh; Sabrina Islam, Chairman of SSLCommerz; Dr. David Dowland, Registrar of BRAC University; Shammi Islam Nila, Miss World Bangladesh, and many others. They praised the efforts of IHF and encouraged continued support for the cause.

Ahmed Atifur Rahman, Associate Director at Standard Chartered Bank and Advisor of It’s Humanity Foundation, shared his deep connection with the organization’s cause, stating, “Witnessing the progress and impact IHF has made over the years fills me with immense pride. We strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of marginalized communities, and I am honored to be a part of this journey towards positive change.”

The success of the event was made possible through the generous support of various partners, including Aastha Trust, Green Delta Insurance, Uttara Finance and Investments Limited, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Techno Drugs Ltd, RUN Leather, Perfetti Van Melle, Finis, Bengal Express, HER NET, Nestle, Savoy, Limerence Photographs, Holago, and Protibha Flavours.

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Yaana Technologies LLC, Penta Global Forge Strategic Alliance to Create Bangladesh’s First AI Hub

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Yaana Technologies LLC, headquartered in California, USA, and Penta Global Limited of Bangladesh have formed a strategic partnership to establish Bangladesh’s inaugural Artificial Intelligence (AI) Center of Excellence. This significant collaboration positions Bangladesh as a prominent contender in the global AI arena, fostering pioneering research and development aimed at Silicon Valley, the epicenter of the tech industry.

The partnership appears tailored to crafting AI solutions targeted specifically at Silicon Valley enterprises, indicating a focus on advanced AI applications. Yaana is poised to bring its AI prowess to the table, presumably leveraging its expertise in two innovative concepts that Penta intends to explore. These technological advancements might encompass specialized algorithms, software frameworks, or inventive approaches to AI problem-solving.

Penta, on the other hand, will contribute its expertise and manpower in Large Language Models (LLMs) and Machine Learning (ML), a fundamental AI subfield focused on model training through extensive text and data management techniques, utilizing high-performance computing resources essential for intricate AI models. Collaborating with Yaana, Penta will embark on research endeavors, potentially delving into advancements achieved with Yaana’s innovative concepts and their application to Silicon Valley clientele.

Crucially, Penta will play a pivotal role in refining Yaana’s concepts through the preparation of research papers, model training, and crafting Proof of Concepts for the AI models.

In summary, this partnership has the potential to revolutionize Bangladesh’s AI landscape, ushering in a new era of technological progress and garnering global attention, ultimately fostering a flourishing AI ecosystem.

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