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‘Patience Is the Prerequisite to Be an Entrepreneur in IT Business’

An interview with Rezwana Khan, CEO of Star Computer System Limited

Rezwana Khan/Photo: Alamgir Hossain

Rezwana Khan, the iconic figure of young entrepreneurs and tech people, has been dominating IT industry for more than 16 years of practical experiences. She started working with her company and has been doing Professional Consultancy for leveraging ICT to support different industry and Government agencies. Her expertise includes strategic planning and growth, technology upgrade, business process analysis, team building and change management.

Successfully Ms. Khan has so far implemented Enterprise, e-Governance, HR Resource and Capacity Development related projects over the years. Her focused area of specialization is managing enterprise level projects, consultancy and HR Development services for Tech industry. Graduated in the country’s leading academic institution North South University with Computer Science, Rezwana also took degree from Canada and Hong Kong also.

Rezwana talks to Fintech team and shares her vast knowledge over HR and tech services. Here is the excerpt for Fintech readers.

You are working with IT business. What are the challenges you are facing being an entrepreneur?

Being an entrepreneur challenges are common things. I have been facing them and trying to mitigate as well. Every entrepreneur faces so and the challenges in ICT sector or services the foremost challenge is an access to finance. Suppose, a bank can give better facilities with the collateral for other industries and however for IT Industry as we provide services more so banks are not valuating the services or solutions like they do for manufacturing industry products or construction works. We have to do lots of negotiations and also to prove that an ICT company can get bank facilities with collateral. Over draft amount normally banks offer us less than other Industry as well. I am only here talking about finance facilities with collateral not even talking about without collateral facilities banks are giving to boutique, saloon, or restaurant. ICT companies can also apply to these collateral free loans but honestly still I haven’t heard any company received such loan for his/her IT company. Secondly, in IT sector, we need high skilled resources and this is a very big challenge for ustill now. Thirdly if any competitor practices unprofessional activities to get projects then it is obviously a big challenge for us.

Actually, the financial problems can be solved if the banks come forward to evaluate us. They need to do the valuation of our sector with expertise. Our central bank is very positive about collateral free loans. However it is the scheduled banks who implement this. I hope new Entrepreneurs can easily get collateral free loans under ICT sector.

You know this company belongs to my father but it is not a bed of roses to me. There are many people working here who are experienced and senior to me, no doubt. Earlier, they didn’t want to engage me in an important program or project. They might not have faith on me or their intention was to talk to the chairman of the company, not to me. Gradually, I got to manage the system on my hand after loads of struggling periods. Actually the prominent weapon of a business is to have patience and dedication. As I said before, problems will be there but we need to adhere to the faith of the commitment.

Tell us bit about your service.

Well, we do basically enterprise application development and implementation. That is ERP and we normally work with multinational iNGOs, distributor companies, multi nationals etc. ‘Managed services’ is one of the biggest wings of our company. We usually provide high skilled IT resources placement and manage software development, infrastructure, maintenance services to different clients. Moreover, we have capacity development and professional training wing and we have doing this for more than 20 years. So many prestigious training projects we have done so far for donors, funding agencies, government and others as well. We are working with cyber security like penetration testing, vulnerability testing and also we do IT consultancy where we do IT road-map or business process analysis and re-engineering.

How customers are benefited through your services?

Easy solution is the maiden phrase for making customers benefit. In fact, our responsibility is to make a solution easy and effective which we do through our services so that the clients’ life become ease and can be more efficient and effective even if it is a project. A project always has a goal or an objective or even a scope and we have to finish it. You always have to understand the clients’ requirement since we work with the services and solutions.

Rezawana Khan/Photo: Alamgir Hossain

You were talking about ERP. You have also a product called ERP Optima. Tell us more about this.

Yes, I have mentioned already that we work with enterprise development and our home grown ERP which is called ERP Optima. This has been giving the service to iNGOs, distribution sector etc. Modules are basically as per the operational and production needs. Actually, all company needs few common modules for ERP but the major difference is what your company usually does, I mean operation. So the operation or production module business process is different as per Industry. Say for example, RMG production is not the same like pharmacy or construction. Even the construction is not the same like real estate. So each Industry has its own process of production and operation and there remain differences. That is why each business needs its domain extents. These are very important matter but however, the common modules normally we sell more is finance and accounts, supply chain as inventory and procurement, HRM and sales and all these depend ontheir  business operations.

Do you have any plan to increase your products? What are coming next?

Oh yes, of course. ERP is a continual improvement product and we always have to upgrade. Other than that, we are working on new products or application for health sector which will be a public application and besides I am working with another venture company with AR, VR etc. With another of my tech venture we are also moving for international markets like Myanmar, Brunei, Cambodia and others. I must say, the service of Star Computer System Limited is well defined. The company has its own level of services. So let us do other ventures under other umbrellas.

You are also the Secretary General of Bangladesh Women in Technology (BWIT). Tell us briefly about this. 

This is actually a forum for the tech women. Our main goal is to grow, to connect and to network. It is a forum for tech women. We have three categories of members, these are for entrepreneurs, corporate and professionals. We have categorised the members in this way so that Tech entrepreneurs, corporates and professionals can be our members and can get benefits. We work along with our government, policy makers, association etc.

Where do you want to see SCSL in next five years?

Since a long time our company is in the market. We want to be a global Company with international benchmark in terms of our products, services and resources.

Thanks a lot for giving your time to us.

Thank you too.

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