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On August 19, Professor Tarun Khanna spoke on Developing Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Emerging Economies. The event was a joint initiative of the Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI) and BRAC University, Dhaka.

Professor Khanna spoke at the BRAC centre, Mohakhali, where the audience comprised distinguished Bangladeshi academics, entrepreneurs and university students.

Professor Khanna’s talk focused on the importance of developing ecosystems and the critical role played by entrepreneurs in furthering a nation’s economy. “Entrepreneurs in emerging markets must compensate for limitations of the environment in which they find themselves,” Professor Khanna asserted.  He also added, “the same limitations, however, can be sources of opportunity.”

Illustrating this point, Professor Khanna spoke about two entrepreneurial ventures initiated by his former students at Harvard Business School- Chai Point and Aspiring Minds. Chai Point outlets are tea shops in Delhi and Bangalore which source the best tea leaves from across India and adhere to the highest hygienic standards when preparing tea.

Aspiring Minds, on the other hand, assesses work-readiness through a standardized test called AMCAT (Aspiring Minds Computer Adaptive Test.) During his talk, Professor Khanna also highlighted the importance of students and young entrepreneurs having an ‘entrepreneurial bent of mind.’ and ‘not being risk averse.’

Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb, Vice-chancellor of BRAC University and Professor Rezaur Rezzak, Director of BRAC University’s Centre For Entrepreneurship Development (CED) were also present and addressed the audience.

-By Reeti Roy, India Research Center, Harvard Business School

Media coverage:

Harvard Professor Stresses the Centrality of Developing an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Bangladesh
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Discussion on entrepreneurial ecosystem
Daily Sun

Harvard scholar talks on developing entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bangladesh