Zakaria Swapan is the Founder and CEO of iPay Systems Ltd. He oversees the entire infrastructure and functionality of the company. Considered a visionary in product building efforts, Mr. Swapan is acknowledged for ground breaking efforts in driving the growth of information & communication technology. With an extensive background in Computer Science and global range of professional experiences, Mr. Swapan is blessed with the rare combination of his career portfolio as a prolific writer, editor, public speaker, expert facilitator and entrepreneurial leader.
Working diligently and effortlessly in the fields of IT and innovations from the 1990’s in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Mr. Swapan’s expertise knows no bounds. His exposure even expands globally with an incredible career in Silicon Valley. He worked as a software engineer and later technical marketing engineer at global IT and networking company, Cisco Systems. He later served as product line manager in Avaya Inc., Santa Clara. He published a book which he authored named SIP TRUNKING under Cisco Press.
Mr. Swapan was ahead of the game and niched the role of the now booming IT industry in Bangladesh. Right after earning a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science & Engineering, he designed & developed “Bengali Word Processor” and “Spell Checker” for MS Word under Windows Operating System, when he worked as a software engineer at Bangladesh Open University.
He co-founded several entities in Dhaka, Bangladesh. His ventures always ensured time and again, that it provides services that are customer-focused and performance-driven. In every entity, he led and motivated teams comprising of more than 350 employees. Some of his earlier ventures include BangladeshOnline (ProshikaNet) and Ranks Telecom Ltd where he served as co-founder and COO. Through these ventures, he led campaigns to popularize internet in Bangladesh. He introduced the first online-ISP (via Satellite) in Bangladesh, when people of the country did not even know much about internet.
His notable key achievement included partnering with BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), wherein Bengali news was broadcasted over the internet for the first time in BBC history
Currently, he is the CEO and founder of two upcoming and already popular ventures. He founded Priyo.com in 2011, a progressive Bengali based internet portal and news media company to cater to the local Bengali readers. It was one of its kind that boosted several other news media platforms on the internet in Bangladesh. Priyo.com features pop cultural news, local interest stories, political and cultural commentary all in Bengali. It caters to primarily more than 250 million Bengali speakers and is always listed as one of the top 5 websites in Bangladesh till date. Priyo.com serves more than 5 million users and receives more than 20 million page views in a month.
He founded and currently serves as CEO of iPay Systems Ltd starting in 2015.The company has introduced the first online payment platform with an e-wallet named iPay in Bangladesh. It commercially launched in March, 2018, running fruitfully with more than 1 million downloads and onboarding more than 3500 credible businesses within a short span of time
As if all that was not enough, Mr. Swapan’s incredible work does not stop there! He is an amazing author of about 20 books that includes 15 science fiction books and 5 novels. Some of his notable authored books include
- ‘Right Click’ – a book on Information Technology
- ‘Mathematics and More Mathematics’ – Co-authored with Zafar Iqbal (popular Bangladeshi science fiction author, physicist, academic (Prof. of SUST) and activist
- Science Series-1: ‘Universe and the Earth’
- Children’s Book: Internet for Kids
- Officially translated Hillary Clinton’s 2003 memoir Living History in Bengali.
He served as columnist and editor of several media publications both on traditional and online media. He contributed more than 500 articles. The publications include Prothom Alo, JaiJai Din (Online column), Daily Star, The Monthly Computing, the Monthly Computer Jagat and lastly, Priyo.com.
He promotes International Math Olympiad since its initiation and organized the 1st National Computer Programming Contest (NCPC) in 1998 for the first time in Bangladesh. It was introduced to educate and advance skills of software developers in the nation. Government of Bangladesh still continues the tradition by hosting NCPC events annually since then.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from BUET in 1994 (Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology), a well reckoned engineering university of Bangladesh. He has completed a Master’s Degree from Texas A&M in 2000.He holds dual citizenship of both Bangladesh and USA.
Mr. Swapan loves to give back to society and his efforts to digitalize systems and society in Bangladesh has been tremendous. With this, he continues working hard on and striving for free internet and cashless society in Bangladesh.