We are a small team working 24/7 for only one mission, to Make Well-being Universal. This sounds audacious but it is the core of our company. We are trying to build the software enabled infrastructure with which we can provide medical services to people in remote areas, where many of them are suffering from lack of proper medical advice.
Recently we have had a trip to the villages in Kishoreganj and Netrakona where we work, and we wanted to check if and how our effort is making people’s lives easier. For me, the trip was part of my mandatory orientation into the company (every team member, even engineers, have to spend time on the field). It was exciting for me because I always was a couch potato and in my entire career I never had to go into the field to see the real context where my software would be used.
As a maker of software it was a fantastic opportunity for me to prepare the groundwork and see the whole process in front of me. I wanted to get a holistic idea. Instead of being a boring or orthodox business trip, it became an unconventional melting pot. We were from different backgrounds, shared our stories and dreams together by a bonfire, had hundreds of kilometers of journey together, cooked amazing meals, etc. – the whole trip was festive rather than a traditional official trip! It didn’t feel like work at all!
We started on Friday morning, and also had guests with us. Maysun, a data and tech consultant, traveled all the way from New York to understand how we work and advise us on our tech strategy. There were Oliver and Afia, friends of our colleague Ahmed, and Risalat, brother of our “Dreamer” Rubayat bhai. Oliver never let us get bored with his amazing sense of humor and unearthly voice for songs. There was a wedding party going on in our office building, which also doubles as our accommodation for the team and visitors. Lots of people, festive environment, lights and the peace and quiet of a Mofoshshol town — that ambiance can make anyone happier. Even though we were preparing for the next day’s field trip, we got the chance to watch a beautiful sunset from the roof. After dinner we played some board games and had Adda together.
Next morning, we first went to Tarail and then Damiha, where two of our telemedicine centers are located. Ahmed showed me the the whole process of delivering “happiness” to our patients. The Rural Medical Practitioner (RMP), as our franchisee pharmacist is called, was nice and cooperative; our territory officer Belal, who I met for the first time, was a highly capable person in maintaining communication and operation. The sheer amount of work needed to do the whole thing in a smooth way — I could appreciate how much work Rashed and his team does for us.
The communication of those areas was very primitive. There were two types of vehicles available – manual rickshaw and battery powered rickshaw. Life is slow there, even though the living style changed much in last couple of decades, people are getting education, power supply and now with our effort they are getting medical service. I could almost visualize every remote area of Bangladesh getting such service. How wonderful that would be!
After visiting two field sites, on the way back we stopped by a field with an unearthly view. All of us were city people – how could we miss the chance of enjoying such pristine rural beauty? So we sat by the road and Addafied until sunset.
After a long tiring day, back in our rooftop we grilled burgers and chicken and arranged a bonfire. Ahmed and Oliver made our night with their songs. We all went to sleep late into the night with a tired body but a mind fully recharged.
Before heading back for Dhaka next afternoon, we even had a meeting with the DC of Kishoreganj to inform him of our work, and he wholeheartedly blessed our operation and wished us success. We had done loads of work even though we were having fun at the same time. A quiet place and charming environment acted as a great enabler for work. I can almost imagine sitting under a banyan tree in one of my next visits and writing code – that would be a new experience not many engineers can claim to have done!
It’s a journey to build a great dream, and we are building that dream. Day by day, we can see that people are buying into our vision. We are actually changing the world in a greater way. This is more than a job, it’s a mission. It’s a task which matters for all of us. And the revelation struck me as well as inspired me. I could feel that we are on the right track. A lot of work has to be done and there is a long way to go. This is not a sprint, it is a marathon.