By Nicholas P. Sullivan
Bangladeshi villagers sharing cellphones helped construct what's now a thriving corporation with greater than $200 million in annual earnings. yet what's the lesson for the remainder of the area? it is a query writer Nicholas P. Sullivan addresses in his story of a brand new form of entrepreneur, Iqbal Quadir, the visionary and catalyst at the back of the construction of GrameenPhone in Bangladesh.
GrameenPhone—a partnership among Norway's Telenor and Grameen financial institution, co-winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize—defines a brand new method of construction company possibilities within the constructing international. You Can listen Me Now deals a compelling account of what Sullivan calls the "external combustion engine"—a mixture of forces that's sparking monetary progress and lifting humans out of poverty in nations lengthy ruled by way of aid-dependent governments. The "engine" contains 3 forces: information technology, imported through native entrepreneurs expert within the West, sponsored through foreign investors.
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Additional resources for You Can Hear Me Now: How Microloans and Cell Phones are Connecting the World's Poor to the Global Economy
In 1975, Sheikh Mujib, who had returned to govern after being released by his Pakistani jailers, was murdered along with his entire family (save his daughter Sheikh Hasina Wajed, who was in Germany at the time, and is now leader of the Awami League, a political party). ) After Mujib’s murder, the military took control of the government. Bangladesh was free, but it was also a cauldron of poverty and corruption, with no connection to export markets and no way to earn foreign exchange. When the war ended, Quadir returned to boarding school in Jessore (where the students played baseball and read copies of Time magazine in the library) and finished in the top 10 of the 100,000 Bangladeshi students who had taken the tenth-grade certificate exams.
In a few seconds it displayed the name of a local network operator, GrameenPhone. That was gratifying, because I had come to Bangladesh to visit Iqbal Quadir, who had spearheaded the design and development of GrameenPhone. I had heard so much about this company and its seemingly mystical success in a land that was once virtually phone free, it was reassuring to see how quickly the carrier popped up on my American phone. Reassuring and amazing—that you can travel from the richest country in the world to one of the poorest, from a country with one of the highest telephone penetration rates to one with one of the lowest, and use the same phone.
In addition, where there are abundant foodstuffs, as in Bangladesh, the cost of living is quite low. The poor have no mortgages and no debt, because banks (except for microfinance institutions) don’t lend to them. When people are buying very small quantities and sharing goods, $2 a day goes further than seems imaginable from a Western perspective. In the form of local currency, it’s typically worth four or five times more in purchasing power than its dollar equivalent. Inclusive capitalism spreads wealth.