Peta Tomlinson, journalist

After honing his business acumen across a diverse range of sectors, Tanvir Hossain has set his sights on empowering the unbanked population of Bangladesh, estimated to number around 60 million and mostly from low-income backgrounds.

‘The culture of fintech promotes innovation’

Financial inclusion is a priority for developing economies and the increased use of digital payments ensures that a greater proportion of those from disadvantaged communities are able to access mobile money.

‘The culture of fintech promotes innovation, which presents constant learning opportunities to transform products, technology and work processes for a better tomorrow,’ says Tanvir.

Bangladesh is currently leading South Asia in the adoption of mobile financial services (MFS) and, as financial controller at UCB Fintech Company, a United Commercial Bank affiliate, Tanvir is charged with driving its growth.

In 2021, UCB Fintech Company launched MFS app upay, which enables users to engage in a range of financial activities.

UCB Fintech Company

Upay is the digital financial service brand of UCB Fintech Company, a subsidiary of the United Commercial Bank. Since 2021, upay has offered a broad range of mobile financial services, including mobile transactions, utility bill payment, in-store and e-commerce payment, inward remittance, and salary disbursement.

The development of upay is in line with the government’s ‘Smart Bangladesh’ initiative. Building on the earlier ‘Digital Bangladesh’ strategy, Smart Bangladesh aims to bridge the digital divide and bring inclusivity – including financial – to all citizens by 2041.

Ambitious targets include 100% digital literacy, 100% cashless and paperless public services, and an equitable nation where all enjoy equal rights and opportunities, with no marginalised groups.

‘I enjoy guiding and raising the capacity of people working with me’

Motivated by the increasingly agile and competitive nature of digital transformation, Tanvir joined UCB in April 2022.

Safeguarding customers

As financial controller, Tanvir leads three teams responsible for tasks including IAS/IFRS reporting, the rollout of budgetary control, advising on internal management, and ensuring fiscal compliance.

‘I enjoy guiding and raising the capacity of people working with me, as well as those outside the organisation, so they get the right direction to execute any assigned task,’ he says.

His approach is that of a storyteller, highlighting business problems and challenges to various stakeholders in a simple and concrete way, while igniting the cause and the way forward.

Early ambition

Tanvir’s early career ambition was, in fact, to become a banker, starting with an internship at Standard Chartered Bank. He achieved BBA and MBA degrees from the University of Dhaka, majoring in accounting and information systems.

But it was while on the finance team at Grameenphone, a telecommunications service provider in Bangladesh, that Tanvir decided to add a professional certification to his career toolkit, believing that ACCA would help him to ‘stand out from the crowd’.

‘An accountant can be part of organisational organic growth’



Finance controller, UCB Fintech Company

CFO, Somatec Pharmaceuticals

Head of finance, Evaly

Head of finance and accounts, SureCash

Assistant general manager, budget & accounts, finance & accounts, BRAC

Manager, cost and budget – finance & accounts, Social Marketing Company Enterprise

Specialist, internal control-finance, Grameen Phone, Telenor Business Unit

Intern, Standard Chartered Bank, Bangladesh

The first 18 years of his professional life are notable for his rapid progression to senior positions.  ‘My networking skills across the professional community have given me manoeuvrability and an added advantage to make a diversified move.’

Multiple roles

Professional accountants moving into the digital finance space will find an array of roles open to them, says Tanvir.

Redesigning an organisation’s accounting systems to move collections, payments and deductions into the digital skeleton is an important first step, he says. ‘The process from transaction to reporting should be mapped by the accountant in an accurate and concrete way to avoid drainage of economic resources.’

Also inherent in any process in the digital control system is the means to identify fraud risk, and ensure accuracy in financial reporting to support the decision making of different stakeholders.

‘In the digital environment there is a need for continuous process improvement,’ he says. ‘By providing feasibility analysis for each project initiated, an accountant can be part of organisational organic growth.’

Disruptive innovations like AI and machine learning are here to stay, Tanvir observes. ‘But interpreting numbers while making descriptive, diagnostic, prescriptive and predictive analysis should be led by an accountant.’

Career highlights

Committed to guiding and motivating young accountants in developing their professional career, Tanvir was named ACCA Bangladesh’s Advocate of the Year for 2022. His active involvement in areas of capacity development, knowledge sharing and sports has included serving on the organising committee of the ACCA Accounting Day Football Fest 2022, a first-of-its-kind event, which Tanvir says touched all local members, affiliates and future members by creating a vibrant ACCA community.

Tanvir also authors professional insights in Incap Magazine with a view to giving young professionals a familiarity and understanding of current financial and economic issues.

A recent highlight of his ongoing involvement in the accounting community in Bangladesh was the opportunity to lead the ACCA team’s opinion on the proposed Income Tax Law 2022 and successive submission to the National Board of Revenue.

‘My goal is to be a solid business leader and a storyteller with business acumen’

He explains that his varied career experience along with his professional interests underpin his ambition to become a leading finance professional.

‘My goal is to be a solid business leader and, more importantly, a storyteller with business acumen and technical knowledge across the financial and accounting landscape.’

Competitive streak

His interest in sport has allowed him to improve his fitness as well as expand his professional networks. Tanvir plays various sports, including competing in running events.

A daily one-hour walk home from the office each day keeps him physically refreshed and infused with the energy to support his overall wellbeing. He points out that making time for exercise has multiple benefits, including improved mental agility that is key to a healthy professional mindset. ‘This also helps keep me competitive and agile when making decisions in my working life,’ he says.