UTS helped boost my skills and confidence to set up a global business, says tech entrepreneur and Bangladesh-born alumnusTeam YS
Ron Islam’s goal is to make a difference in the world through the tech business, much like his idols Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. The Bangladesh-born entrepreneur, who founded a Dhaka-based technology start-up called Inveitco, says he draws inspiration from great leaders and how they have contributed to the world. “I want to do something for society as well. For that, I have to be capable first. I don't think I'm there yet,” he modestly admits.
Ron, who has been in Australia for almost 15 years, is a Bachelor of Science (IT) graduate from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Soon after graduating, he landed his first job in Canberra with a security software company. Two years later, he moved back to Sydney and began work at a consulting firm, BearingPoint, which was eventually taken over by a Chinese-owned digital technology services company.
In 2014, he decided to take the entrepreneurial plunge and started Inveitco. “We specialise in providing solutions to businesses with web-based applications, website design, and e-commerce,” says Ron.
Practical approach to make students industry-ready
Founded in 1988, UTS is one of the largest universities in Australia with over 40,000 students of various nationalities. Ron says his time at UTS is helping him in his current role in a number of ways. “The first thing is that it improved my English communication skills. It is critical to be confident about speaking and writing in English if you want to do business internationally. Whether it is presenting in the boardroom or pitching to a new client – it’s really important. That’s why I started at UTS Insearch first, as it helps international students prepare for entry into UTS. I did a 12-week English course with them, which really helped me boost my confidence. I got a lot of support from Insearch. These English skills are what I use every day in my line of work. After finishing my studies, when I presented myself in the industry, I was very well-accepted.”
The second factor, and an equally important one, was the chance to gain hands-on experience at UTS. UTS has a practice-oriented approach, where students can get hands-on professional experience even while they are studying. This is one of the key factors that has led to UTS successfully nurturing entrepreneurs for generations. “Most universities only offer theory – and there is no link between that theory and the practical work. So this really makes a big difference when you graduate, as you already have the experience to apply straight away. My course also included the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) exam, which is an industry standard certification,” says Ron.
UTS offers 130 graduate courses and 210 post-graduate courses. According to Ron, he chose UTS because the degrees they offered were very practical. “I believe this is very important as this is the best way to learn.” What’s more, the choice of subjects is also very appealing. Lastly, Ron adds that the university offers internships, which can form a component of your degree itself.
Dreaming big with a focus on giving back to society
Talking about Inveitco’s offerings, Ron, says, “We’re currently working on two cloud-based web applications - one in the health industry, called CentraMOS (Centralised Medical Online System), and another in education, called Ednius.”
CentraMOS is an initiative to digitise health records for the private health sector in Bangladesh. Currently, it is in the testing phase, and Ron is in discussions with companies in the Middle East and Indonesia to take it there also. Ednius is an attempt to create a collaborative platform, where students of all ages can upload assignments, see their results and chat online to get help with their studies.
Last year, Ron opened a Sydney office with an offshore team of 10 employees, and now he plans to return to Bangladesh to further grow his business. The goal eventually, he says, is to offer some competition to the big IT services firms in India, such as Wipro and Infosys - that have so successfully expanded across the world - and make a bigger contribution to society.
“We're going back to Bangladesh to build our base and strengthen our capabilities,” he says. “Once we have that, then we can offer better services to the customers here (in Australia).” He plans to expand his Australian business too, and dreams of one day being able to send talented Bangladeshi consultants around the world to work.
“I dream really big, because even if I only achieve 50 percent, then that’s really good!” he says. “I don’t want to sit down 20 years from now and tell my grandkids, ‘You know what? I could've done that.' I'm sure they will ask ‘Why didn't you do it?’ If I fail now, at least I know that, OK, I’ve tried,” He signs off.
Get more information about UTS and read more alumni entrepreneur stories here.