A very exciting part of my visit to Bangladesh was meeting with the team at bracNet, a for-profit internet company that is partially owned by BRAC. I had met Khalid Quadir, the CEO, when he was doing a Reuters Fellowship several years ago at Stanford. In Dhaka, I got together with Khalid several times, as well as meeting most of the bracNet management team.

bracNet has the exciting air of a tech startup around it. So often, I get to see tech companies here in Silicon Valley in their early stages, and you wonder what they will grow up to be. bracNet has so many possibilities in Bangladesh: will they be the Craigslist there? the Yahoo? the eBay? a nicer version of AT&T? They are already off and working on a plan to bring WiMax (the wireless broadband standard) to all of Bangladesh, at the same time they are building commercial website capabilities. They've partnered with Google already, and I'm sure more Valley companies are on the way. 140+ million consumers are increasingly interesting.

Of course, if you can come up with commercial reasons to establish such an infrastructure, then the social sector can take advantage of that to achieve major social goals. I'm sure that's one reason BRAC is involved.


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