Bangladesh hosts inaugural regional project management conference

India and Malaysia signed an accord in April to increase the usage of the rupee in cross-border business. France, a long-standing ally of the US, is also completing transactions in yuan.

The Project Management Regional Conference, organised in collaboration with the PMI Bangladesh Chapter, saw an impressive turnout of 450 project professionals at the Sheraton Hotel in Dhaka.

The conference brought together project managers, industry experts, and professionals from across the South Asia region to share insights, network, and learn from each other with a keen focus on inculcating a resilient approach towards managing projects.

The day-long event, themed ‘Project Management: Architecting Resilience’, was graced by KM Abdus Salam, senior secretary, Bangladesh Parliament Secretariat, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and was attended by delegates from prominent organizations and government institutions, who discussed innovative approaches and strategies for managing projects, particularly in a growth-focused landscape like Bangladesh, said a press release.

The conference commenced with a welcome note by Annesha Ahmed, president of the PMI Bangladesh Chapter, followed by an enriching fireside chat with Dr. Srini Srinivasan, regional managing director of PMI South Asia. In his address, Dr. Srinivasan commended how the country has remained resilient to achieve success saying, “Bangladesh has made spectacular economic progress over the last five years, achieving an average annual GDP growth of 6.4%, surpassing its Asian peers like India, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

The country has been a testament to remarkable achievements in iconic projects, exemplifying the advancements of project management in Bangladesh and setting new benchmarks in both the public and private sectors.”

Annesha Ahmed emphasized the importance of the PMI Bangladesh Chapter and the project management community during their conversation, stating, “The PMI Bangladesh Chapter has been at the forefront of some of the most path-breaking initiatives in the region.

As we work towards the Smart Bangladesh Vision 2041, project managers in Bangladesh have an important role to play in managing budgets, human resources, schedules and leveraging technology to its full potential. It is important for the project management community to come together and innovate strategies that help us achieve these goals and sustain economic and infrastructure growth.”

The keynote address was delivered by Major General Abu Sayeed Md. Masud (Retd.) on the role of project management in mega infrastructure projects led by the Bangladesh Army. MAN Siddique, managing director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited, shared his valuable insights on the Dhaka Metro Rail Network 2030 and its impact on alleviating current mobility challenges in the capital city.  He was presented with the Glorious Project Award for the Metro Rail Project.

The conference also featured a panel discussion moderated by Md Abdullah Al Mamoon, Deputy Managing Director & COO, United Commercial Bank PLC (UCB), on the project management challenges in an emerging economy like Bangladesh with Mamun Rashid, country clients and markets lead, PWC Bangladesh, Syed Mahbubur Rahman, managing director & CEO, Mutual Trust Bank Limited (MTB), and Fahad Ifaz, co-founder and CEO, iFarmer.

Ben Breen, global director of construction and vice president of APAC at PMI, then shared his valuable insights and anecdotes on completing large-scale construction projects in the region. The event also featured an address by Lee Lambert, one of the founding fathers of the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, who reflected on the growth of project management from its humble beginnings to its current status as a globally recognized discipline, and explained how a PMP® certification equips you to enhance your decision-making process, driving you towards success. Attendees had the opportunity to gain insights into the future of project management and its implications for projects and professionals both in Bangladesh and worldwide.

Other prominent speakers at the conference included Geetha Gopal, chief operating officer at Verdana, who addressed the audience on the synergy of resilient leadership and AI in project management, describing how AI can be an enabler but it’s important to be cautious of the overreliance on AI, Russell T. Ahmed, founder & CEO Team Creative and CLASSTUNE and President, BASIS, highlighted how the people of Bangladesh are a major driving force in achieving the government’s vision for Smart Bangladesh by 2041. Other eminent speakers at the event were Farah Kabir, country director of ActionAid Bangladesh and Md Ziaul Haque Bhuiyan, chief of staff, ShopUp and National President of JCI Bangladesh.

A motivational session about leadership in sports was graced by Nigar Sultana Joty and Marufa Akter of the Bangladesh Women’s Cricket Team, moderated by Quazi Sabir, founder of Khelbei Bangladesh; that was the perfect ending for an action-packed event.

PMRC 2023 served as a valuable platform for project professionals, chapter leaders, and business professionals from the region to exchange information on best practices, explore the latest trends and technology, and benefit from thought-provoking addresses by industry leaders across domains, thus showcasing the true power of community.

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