Excellent Lady in Enterprise

On this part of “Inspirers” we catalogue excellent ladies leaders in our company world who broke into, what was primarily males’s area, and established themselves as “ladies entrepreneurs” of benefit, imaginative and prescient, braveness, and reliability. By their distinctive work they have been capable of change the notion of girls and their picture and step by step set up their credentials within the enterprise world.

Together with males, The Each day Star, in partnership with DHL, have additionally been honouring these ladies leaders by our Enterprise Award as “Excellent Lady in Enterprise” since 2000. Right here we current them collectively – in reverse order – with the hope that this particular complement will encourage extra ladies to enter the world of enterprise and break the “glass ceiling” that has held again our ladies through the years.

Managing Director of Berger Paints Bangladesh

Rupali Chowdhury – 2020

If ladies need their voices to be heard and supersede all of the impediments that come their approach, they should be assured sufficient to precise themselves articulately.

Confidence grows solely in those that constantly study new abilities, sharpen their present ones, and keep well-aware of the improvements and adjustments which might be taking place not solely throughout the nation but additionally throughout the globe.

Now, something a lady aspires to study is offered at her fingertips. Alongside studying supplies on administration and different related topics, looking on-line articles, blogs, and social media content material are indispensable instruments for a girl to remain forward of the competitors.

That is what Rupali Chowdhury, managing director of Berger Paints Bangladesh, believes a lady must turn into profitable.

She credited her profitable profession to the robust basis she constructed throughout her childhood.

“I used to be raised in a small city in Chattogram known as Patiya. Within the post-liberation interval, a renaissance was happening in Bangladesh, and I additionally felt its impact,” she stated.

Chowdhury centered on extra-curricular actions whereas rising up.

“That interval of my life taught me how one can break the shackles and prejudices. My extraordinarily supportive mom, Shalinata Chowdhury, additionally inspired me to discover my true potential.”

Rupali Chowdhury strongly believes individuals who stay engrossed with cultural and different extra-curricular actions of their childhood finally excel in life.

“At our house, we had entry to an eclectic assortment of books. We really inherited the behavior of studying several types of books from our father, the late Priyadarshan Chowdhury, who was a physician by career, was an avid reader and subscribed to international magazines, together with Newsweek, Instances, Readers’ Digest and Desh.”

“The cultural actions I used to be concerned in helped me know new individuals, continuously develop, turn into compassionate, and hone my interpersonal abilities.”

After finishing honours in chemistry from Chattogram College, Chowdhury did her MBA from the Institute of Enterprise Administration underneath Dhaka College.

“My brother Shyamal Bikash Chowdhury and my husband Abdul Haque impressed me to finish the MBA programme. I imagine that was a turning level in my profession. That MBA programme actually helped me learn to achieve success within the enterprise world.”

She began her profession with a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical and chemical firm known as Ciba Geigy (Bangladesh) in 1984. She moved to the port metropolis after marriage and joined Berger Paints in 1990 as a planning supervisor.

She labored in varied departments of the multinational firm, together with advertising, gross sales, distribution, planning and methods in numerous supervisory capacities, which made her one of many most interesting leaders not solely within the paint trade but additionally all different sectors within the nation.

The entry to the company world was not easy, she stated.

“When you begin working, individuals will solely see how effectively you possibly can cope with vital conditions. Gender would not get that a lot focus then.”

She grew to become the director for operations of Berger Paints in 2004 and managing director in 2008.

Chowdhury served the International Traders’ Chamber of Commerce and Business as president for 2 phrases (2013-2015 and 2015-2017) and was elected once more for the 2019-21 time period.

Berger reached a number of milestones underneath her management, together with the formation of two worldwide joint ventures – Berger Becker Bangladesh in 2012 and Berger Fosroc in 2018.

Throughout her tenure, Berger has diversified to a lot of enterprise segments, together with adhesives, textile emulsions, and printing ink, introduced new applied sciences to the trade and launched environment-friendly, lead-free, and odourless paints.

She considers individuals administration abilities together with purposeful experience as the basics of her management strengths.

“I needed to guide Berger by constructing an organisational construction primarily based on meritocracy.”

Chowdhury stated her dad and mom, siblings, husband, and in-laws had performed an important position in her path to glory.

“Credit score additionally goes to my colleagues and stakeholders within the corporations for his or her splendid assist. I wish to specific my gratitude to our former managing director Masih-Ul-Karim and our former regional director KR Das.”

She stated she can also be indebted to the corporate’s board of administrators and majority shareholders, who gave her the chance to work in numerous capacities.

“I choose ladies to be self-dependent first earlier than getting married,” stated Chowdhury, additionally the chairman and managing director of Jenson & Nicholson (Bangladesh), a subsidiary of Berger Paints Bangladesh.

What surprises Chowdhury probably the most is the absence of girls within the prime positions within the monetary sector.

Many ladies at the moment are working within the prime posts in multinational corporations, however heartbreakingly, a lot of them may need to surrender the job for household causes simply earlier than taking the management roles, she stated.

For a profitable firm, the leaders ought to imagine in placing the appropriate individual in the appropriate place, stated the philanthropist, who can also be an impartial director of Bata Shoe Firm (Bangladesh) and Linde Bangladesh.

The seasoned company chief stated she now desires to present again to society by working with the regulatory our bodies and international entities to extend international funding in Bangladesh.

Because the primary firm within the paint trade, Berger Paints Bangladesh has been persistently attempting to diversify its product vary, she stated.

2020 had been a tricky interval for Berger Paints Bangladesh as a result of Covid-19 outbreak.

The lethal coronavirus slashed the corporate’s gross sales by nearly 50 p.c within the April-June quarter to Tk 228.5 crore from the earlier quarter.

Chowdhury emerged as an awesome chief and led the corporate to offer its painters with over Tk 1.75 crore to assist them recuperate quick from the fallouts of the pandemic.

She additionally made it attainable for Berger Paints Bangladesh to realize 81 p.c of final yr’s gross sales within the April-September interval of 2020.

Chowdhury thanked The Each day Star and DHL Specific Bangladesh for choosing her for the Excellent Lady in Enterprise award.

“Any recognition is a matter of nice pleasure. I’m delighted to obtain the award. I imagine that the award will encourage different ladies to do higher in life,” she stated.

“However I do not contemplate myself as a completed product. I contemplate myself a piece in progress. This award goes to encourage me to maneuver additional past, encourage Bangladeshi individuals and create jobs.”

Proprietor of Ananta Apparels

Qamrun Nahar Zahir – 2019

Visionary entrepreneur Qamrun Nahar Zahir has led Ananta Group from the entrance to assist its annual turnover to cross USD 300 million.

Beneath her management, the group’s export elevated by almost 100 occasions since 1993 when she took cost of the conglomerate after the sudden demise of her husband and founder Humayun Zahir.

Nonetheless, the early years weren’t easy for Qamrun Nahar.

It was a tricky job for her after the passing of her husband to determine whether or not to deal with the budding enterprise or focus solely on the household of 4 school-going minors.

“It was a nightmare for me. I used to be mindless for just a few days after the weird demise of my husband,” stated Nahar who was solely 41 then.

However the strong-willed Qamrun Nahar managed each the household and the enterprise and achieved immense success.

Humayun Zahir had a small garment manufacturing unit with solely 500 employees and some machineries on Elephant Street in Dhaka.

From just a few hundreds of thousands of exports in 1993, Ananta now employs 28,000 individuals throughout its international footprint and has an annual turnover exceeding USD 300 million.

Qamrun Nahar hopes her group will have the ability to export USD 305 million value of attire gadgets now because it has been doing enterprise with famend worldwide retailers and types.

The corporate has the privilege of working with over 20 international giants, together with H&M, GAP, NEXT, Jack & Jones, Levi’s, Zara, Marks & Spencer, and Primark.

Qamrun Nahar accomplished her BSc in biochemistry from College of Karachi in Pakistan and her MSc on the identical topic from Dhaka College.

She had been a instructor in Dhaka Ladies’s School, which was in reality established by her husband and by herself at Dhanmondi in Dhaka.

Alongside along with her educating career, Qamrun Nahar began garment enterprise with just a few work orders at a small manufacturing unit in Dhaka’s Elephant Street and made somewhat revenue.

By this time, she despatched her youngsters overseas for increased research and he or she continued her enterprise with the assistance of her father and brothers.

In 1998, the second got here for Qamrun Nahar when she purchased an outdated garment manufacturing unit in Ashulia, which later modified all the pieces in her life.

“Shopping for the outdated manufacturing unit and making it purposeful was a turning level of my life.”

The previous proprietor of the outdated manufacturing unit was failing to pay some 1,600 employees as he had little work orders.

Qamrun Nahar renovated the manufacturing unit and the US retailer GAP began putting work orders.

“I did not must look again as I had a handful of labor orders and the manufacturing unit was working effectively,” she stated.

In 2000, Sharif Zahir, now managing director of Ananta Group, joined her mom Qamrun Nahar to take the group to its present place.

Now, Ananta Group has eight state-of-the-art garment factories.

Qamrun Nahar, additionally the chairman of Ananta Properties and Ananta Vitality Assets, has a plan to arrange a mannequin city on Madani Avenue on 13 acres of land in Dhaka.

Work of the Tk 2,500 crore mega actual property challenge will come to an finish within the subsequent seven years. 9 towers will likely be constructed which will likely be up on the market.

The chairman of the group has a plan to make use of 3,000 individuals in numerous models yearly until 2025, by which the corporate targets to export USD 1 billion value of garment gadgets.

The corporate has already bought 150 acres of land in Mirsarai to construct one other industrial village at a price of USD 450 million to supply diversified garment gadgets like sportswear, lingerie, and knitwear. The development work of the village will begin by December subsequent yr.

She additionally has a plan to go for a three way partnership with Chinese language or Sri Lankan corporations for the operation of the Mirsarai challenge.

Qamrun Nahar has the plan to make two of her garment corporations public by subsequent yr. She is going to float preliminary public providing of Ananta Denim and Ananta Apparels on the finish of this yr.

She has already signed settlement with international resort chain administration Marriott to function a five-star resort additionally on Madani Avenue.

She additionally goals to open a mixed-use sort five-star resort by 2025 at a price of USD 250 million.

Her youngest baby Asif Zahir, now a director of the group, joined the corporate after finishing his research from Harvard College and Stanford College.

Two of her daughters are staying overseas. One in all them has been practising gynaecology in London and one other one has been employed in a multinational firm within the US as a marketing consultant.

Social activist Qamrun Nahar can also be a director of Janata Insurance coverage and a former vice-chairman of the United Industrial Financial institution.

The primary vice district governor of Lions Membership, Dhaka and a life member of Gulshan Society, Qamrun Nahar additionally loves studying, travelling, and sports activities. She was born in Noakhali in 1952.

Managing Companion of Asix

Afsana Asif Shoma – 2017

Designing saris along with her mom was a childhood ardour for Afsana Asif Shoma. That knack for creativity together with perseverance helped her to turn into one of the crucial profitable jute items producers within the nation.

Shoma’s firm – Asix – now generates some USD 1.5 million in exports yearly. However the journey was not all plain crusing.

Shoma used to handle her personal pocket cash by adorning clothes for individuals round her and providing in-home tutoring for college kids whereas learning finance at Dhaka College.

With some financial savings and mortgaging a pair of gold earrings at an Previous Dhaka store, she made her entrepreneurial debut by opening a boutique store with a neighbouring aunt.

However she needed to begin anew after getting married in 1994 and shift to Chattogram along with her husband. She opened a workshop in Pahartali to make ladies’s clothes and paint saris.

Shoma named her model – Dalsanea – after a gorgeous lady she had examine in class.

At one level, her husband was transferred to Pakistan. However the decided entrepreneur determined to remain put.

She began educating at Sunshine Grammar College and took a mortgage of Tk 25 lakh from the Micro Industries Improvement Help and Companies (MIDAS) in 2000 to increase her enterprise.

One other hiccup got here within the type of a surgical procedure which her 26-day-old new child needed to undergo. She then put the enterprise on maintain and gave undivided consideration to the kid’s restoration.

Shoma’s worries finally got here to an finish and he or she centered on working the enterprise in full swing in Dhaka.

Because of her husband’s posting she began travelling to India and Pakistan to gather ornamental supplies corresponding to stones and beads.

Quickly Shoma discovered that related clothes ideas have been circling the subcontinent due to the similarities in cultures.

She then tried her luck by exhibiting some jute items in Pakistan as per the solutions of some prime officers of MIDAS in 2007 and 2008.

After getting a very good response, Shoma began producing jute items on a small scale for native company homes. Ultimately she received the scope of sending a consignment to Malta by Alibaba in 2015.

This discovery of export potential inspired Shoma to collect all her financial savings and avail a financial institution mortgage to take a position Tk 50 lakh to arrange her jute product manufacturing unit – Asix – at Khilkhet in Dhaka in 2016.

She grew to become the managing associate of Asix, which focuses on each the nationwide and worldwide markets.

Asix primarily designs and makes house textiles corresponding to cushion covers, mattress linens, mattress runners, aprons, pot holders, oven mitts, tea towels, bar mops, napkins, place mats, coasters, desk runners, towels, bathtub robes, and bathtub mats.

Shoma now employs 50 individuals, spending Tk 5 lakh in salaries and managerial prices, Tk 50,000 as hire for the 5,000 square-foot manufacturing unit and Tk 25,000 as electrical energy invoice on a median each month.

Her native clients embody company homes, banks, and the Institute of Enterprise Administration underneath Dhaka College, serving to to usher in some Tk 5-6 lakh a month.

Prospects from Canada, Japan, Italy, and France additionally take jute merchandise from Shoma.

She additionally goes on common visits to Narsingdi and Rajshahi to put work orders with native design makers alongside going to international commerce festivals, together with Messe Frankfurt in Germany, to enlighten individuals about her enterprise.

Shoma learnt so much from an enormous lack of Tk 35 lakh in her enterprise profession when a Japanese buyer rejected a consignment for a “small mistake.”

She says Japanese clients are very picky they usually spare neither small errors nor something low in high quality. “Lastly, I’m recovering the losses as I corrected many issues to do enterprise with Japanese clients.”

Whereas doing all this, Shoma did train for a time frame at Scholastica, an English medium faculty in Dhaka. She can also be the chairman of Gangchill, a music firm of her husband.

Shoma believes that probably the most tough a part of doing enterprise in Bangladesh just isn’t discovering capital however individuals with the correct abilities.

The entrepreneur now plans to arrange a style designing faculty in Dhaka alongside a materials firm to scale back her price of doing enterprise.

“Solely being profitable just isn’t my motto, I wish to contribute to the financial system. I wish to do higher for the nation and for the individuals.”

She believes that folks bear in mind and cherish a person’s deeds solely when that individual brings welfare to the individuals yr after yr.

She sees a vivid future for enterprise, jute, and Bangladesh, as an increasing number of individuals are tending to disapprove of synthetic plastic items for the sake of inexperienced improvement internationally.

“This alteration of behavior has been and can create alternatives for Bangladesh,” Shoma stated.

Founder and Chairman of Dohatech New Media

Luna Shamsuddoha – 2016

To even personal a pc was uncommon in Bangladesh 1 / 4 of a century in the past, as most individuals didn’t know a lot concerning the trendy expertise.

However Luna Shamsuddoha had a really clear thought when she started a enterprise depending on technological development as a younger entrepreneur in 1992.

At present, Luna’s Dohatec New Media is a number one software program firm in Bangladesh that has fetched worldwide glory. Since then, she has established just a few extra corporations which have all grown from energy to energy.

Dohatec started its journey as an outsourcing firm, primarily doing enterprise with purchasers within the US. It’s now constructing the e-procurement system for Bhutan, competing with main international IT resolution suppliers. It’s anticipated to be inaugurated later this month.

“I really feel proud to be growing software program of worldwide requirements that spreads the popularity of my nation worldwide,” stated the chairperson of Dohatec New Media.

“Know-how all the time attracted me and I like to face new challenges,” Luna stated, narrating her entrepreneurship journey.

The main woman has been honoured with the Bangladesh Enterprise Awards 2016 within the Excellent Ladies in Enterprise class.

Retaining consistent with her perspective in the direction of innovation, Luna shaped Govt Centre in 1985, which primarily made shows for government functions. It was additionally a brand new thought at the moment.

“I borrowed some cash from my husband and began the presentation enterprise; however modified my thoughts in 1992.”

At the moment, she established Dohatec and started content material administration for US corporations. She moved into database administration later.

“After we began 25 years in the past, the chance was super and we tried to capitalise on it.”

In 2007, Dohatec developed Bangladesh’s voter identification registration and biometric matching system for eight crore individuals.

The corporate additionally supplied Bangladesh military with voter enrolment and identification software program. The prototype comprised digital voter entry varieties, together with pictures, and fingerprints.

Now the software program is extensively used for identification, which has additionally helped construct Bangladesh’s popularity, she added.

In each step of life, individuals want their NID playing cards, which means, Dohatec’s creation is in everybody’s arms, she added.

Luna additionally shared her expertise about one other improvement of Dohatec – digital authorities procurement (e-GP). It has digitised the nation’s procurement system; almost one lakh tenders have already been awarded by the web system.

These two creations of Dohatec have helped set up accountability and produce transparency within the nation, and “nobody can ignore it,” the long-lasting woman in IT stated.

The agency has additionally participated in a young to develop Uganda’s e-GP system, which is at the moment being evaluated. Dohatec additionally supplies software program options and companies to establishments, authorities businesses, and companies within the US, Canada, Germany, and Switzerland.

It has e-commerce and e-government options, and the World Financial institution, the World Well being Organisation, and the US Postal Service are on its listing of purchasers.

The corporate at the moment employs round 200 engineers.

“I’m extraordinarily happy with the nation’s younger skills and I’m positive they’ll set up Bangladesh as a digital nation earlier than our expectation,” stated Luna, additionally the vice-chair of the board of trustees at Impartial College, Bangladesh (IUB).

There was a false impression that Bangladesh can not do effectively in tech associated improvements, however now, that mindset has modified. The brand new technology of entrepreneurs are considering for the nation, which is a constructive change, she added.

The corporate helps the federal government’s beginning and demise registration initiatives as effectively.

In 2001-02, Dohatec developed the USA Postal Service’s on-line mail-tracking system with Harte-Hanks Inc, which is one other milestone for the corporate. It’s a totally web-enabled database able to dealing with hundreds of thousands of data in a barcode system.

Dohatec is a certifying authority and points digital certificates, together with identification certificates.

The corporate additionally gained the Bangladesh Machine Readable Visa Undertaking in India that processes 200,000 visas yearly.

ICT is totally one of the best medium for work for girls to achieve success, stated Luna, who’s serving as a director of Janata Financial institution from June 2016. Earlier, she served as director of Agrani Financial institution from 2009 to 2012.

“With out discriminating towards any gender, I can say there is no such thing as a various to studying and turning into succesful.”

She was additionally the founder and president of Bangladesh Ladies in Know-how, a discussion board to empower ladies by expertise and encourage women to check and pursue a profession in expertise.

Luna has given significance to combating violence towards ladies, particularly by ICT. “With out the event of girls, nothing will maintain; that is for positive.”

Managing Director of Mohammadi Group

Rubana Huq – 2014

Rubana Huq has been praised for steering one of the crucial profitable attire corporations in Bangladesh: Mohammadi Group.

On the fifteenth Bangladesh Enterprise Awards ceremony, her title performed out as an inspiration for girls within the company world largely dominated by males. She has been feted for excelling in her skilled life each as a frontrunner and a task mannequin.

The pioneering garment maker, Mohammadi Group, started its journey with just one manufacturing unit in Khilkhet, Dhaka, with 500 employees in 1985.

It now owns eight factories using 9,000 employees. It exported items value USD 70 million final fiscal yr with 15 p.c year-on-year progress.

Rubana joined the corporate as a junior officer in 1995, and it was her dedication and laborious work that elevated her to the place of managing director in 1998.

To start with, three pals had joined arms to arrange the corporate that exported solely USD 5 million a yr between 1985 and 1995. Later, two of them offered their shares to her husband Annisul Huq, chairman and chief government of Mohammadi Group.

Going from energy to energy, Rubana confirmed her managerial and entrepreneurial calibre to take the corporate to a brand new top.

A trailblazer, Rubana is organising a brand new manufacturing unit at Bangla Bazar in Gazipur the place 600 employees can have lodging and will likely be given the possession of the dorms after six years of their keep in change for a month-to-month instalment.

Bangladesh Financial institution helps the challenge with Tk 20 crore in loans at 2 p.c curiosity.

Work on the brand new manufacturing unit is predicted to start in October. “We’ll make use of 1,000 extra employees to supply woven clothes,” Rubana stated.

The manufacturing unit can have inexperienced constructing certification or LEED that stands for management in power and environmental design.

The group has reached its present standing with none main mortgage from banks, as earnings have been reinvested to increase its footprint.

Rubana credited the garment firm’s success to the feminine workforce that works relentlessly to churn out merchandise to the worldwide patrons’ satisfaction. “So, all entrepreneurs ought to spend money on growing human sources. Our entrepreneurs additionally must take a tough take a look at the individuals working within the factories.”

In her profession of 19 years, Rubana has not solely expanded the garment section, but additionally diversified to different sectors corresponding to actual property, software program, and energy plant. The group distributes Indian STAR tv programmes in Bangladesh.

“I primarily handle the garment enterprise and I’m not concerned a lot within the administration of the opposite corporations throughout the group.”

She stated she all the time incentivises good performers to encourage them. “I maintain common talks with officers and employees. Such interplay between prime administration and employees bridges the hole in communication and ends in increased effectivity.”

On future enlargement plans, Rubana stated the group will spend money on media on a big scale because the prospects are vivid.

Within the subsequent few years, the group plans to increase the garment enterprise by a minimum of 30 p.c and develop its agro enterprise in natural merchandise.

“Simply growing the variety of models just isn’t my goal. My principal goal is sustainability. I need my firm to develop at worldwide requirements so no person can query compliance or the standard of merchandise.”

Swedish retail large H&M is the group’s principal purchaser, taking 60 p.c of its merchandise. Mohammadi Group additionally provides garment gadgets to many different famend retailers and types worldwide.

“Credibility is an enormous asset. My employees are hard-working and I personally go to them and hearken to their issues on the ground and attempt to remedy their issues,” she stated.

Mohammadi Group at the moment runs two main faculties for the youngsters of the garment employees. It plans to open related faculties in all its garment factories sooner or later.

In her 19 years as an entrepreneur, Rubana has worn multiple hat. She was amongst BBC’s 100 excellent ladies in 2013 and 2014. The Bangladeshi entrepreneur additionally writes extensively and is a philanthropist.

Rubana dreamt of turning into a college professor when she was younger. “I didn’t surrender on my goals. I’ve lately accomplished my post-graduation in English from a non-public college.”

“Folks should not surrender on their goals, even within the face of challenges. We should all the time pursue our goals to develop.”

Managing Companion of Karigar

Tania Wahab – 2013

Walt Disney as soon as stated that each one goals come true if there may be braveness to pursue them, and nowhere does it resonate greater than within the case of Tania Wahab, the proprietor and managing associate of Karigar, a thriving leather-based items firm.

Recent out of college, with simply Tk 10,000 in hand and opposition from her household, she set about fulfilling her childhood dream of proudly owning a enterprise. And that firm in the present day, after 9 years, has managed an annual turnover of over Tk 1 crore.

“It was extremely powerful at first. I had no assist from my household and I got here from a non-business background. However I all the time had the energy of conviction in me.”

Her enterprise of selection was a leather-based items manufacturing firm, having obtained a BSc from Bangladesh School of Leather-based Know-how. “The four-year instructional background gave me immense religion,” she recollects.

She purchased a stitching machine, employed a employee and rented a dingy small room for Tk 3,000 at Hazaribagh. And to make up for her non-business background, she spent days on finish on the cluster of leather-based factories within the neighbourhood to study the nitty-gritty of the commerce.

Again then, the vast majority of the leather-based companies would copy designs from a choose few exterior sources, which means their merchandise would kind of find yourself wanting the identical.

Seeing the hole out there, she opted to design the merchandise herself and infuse novelty in them such that they stand out from the group.

Karigar initially targeting company reward gadgets, with Tania Wahab personally advertising the merchandise door-to-door. “I did all of it myself. However I used to be all the time assured that I’d get there.”

Her huge break got here when Japanese Financial institution Restricted commissioned her to make 600 diaries – and there was no wanting again since.

Certainly, her creations have been successful within the company world; a lot that in 2008 she needed to discover a greater manufacturing unit area close by to fulfil all of the orders.

Karigar now employs 20 full-time employees and 100 part-time ones and its clientele consists of British American Tobacco Bangladesh, Gray Dhaka, BASIC Financial institution, Mutual Belief Financial institution, East West College, Chevron Bangladesh, Grameenphone, Sanofi Aventis, and Orion Group.

Reassured by the success of her company reward gadgets, Tania Wahab determined to increase Karigar’s portfolio. She included purses, purses, picture frames, jewelry containers, and leather-based clothes.

In the meantime, she cracked the export market as effectively. Her first direct export went to the UK in 2008, following which she despatched out gadgets to Switzerland, Japan, India, and Cambodia.

“However I’m extra centered on the home market, which is big in dimension,” she stated, including that 80 p.c of Karigar’s merchandise are offered domestically.

Tania Wahab, nonetheless, is disenchanted that the nation’s leather-based trade has not progressed as a lot as she had hoped.

And for that, the merchants are partly to be blamed: they nonetheless choose merchandise made in China, Thailand, and Taiwan.

“However we will make the identical product of the identical high quality. And the truth that we manufacture for the export market as effectively is testomony to our capabilities.”

As for her future plans, she stated she desires to make Karigar a family title and arrange a devoted manufacturing unit full with trendy facilities for the export market.

Chairman of Protina House Made Meals

Masuda Islam – 2012

Masuda Islam’s journey as an entrepreneur started within the mid-Nineteen Eighties, upon completion of her undergraduate diploma. For a short interval, she taught at a college, however the job didn’t gratify her sufficient. She needed to do one thing that might leverage her creativity and the abilities she had picked up throughout her time at college.

And someday that chance got here, when she was in Mauchak market along with her daughter. Her daughter was clad in a frock made by Masuda, which caught the eye of 1 kids-wear vendor. A lot so, that he went as much as her to investigate the place the gown was from.

Upon studying that the piece was all Masuda’s doing, he straightway ordered a number of iterations of the frock for his retailer.

“I accepted the supply on the spot, though I had no more money on me then to purchase the materials and equipment wanted for the a number of frocks. The pay day, too, was a very good few days away. Nonetheless, I made a decision to take the chance,” Masuda fondly recollects.

She borrowed Tk 500 from a relative as quickly as she received house and headed straight to Gulistan to get the supplies. She managed to make 18 attire in whole, which fetched her Tk 1,800 in a single go.

Not solely that, it opened the floodgates for her: she returned house with extra orders, and there was no wanting again since. “It was an thrilling and proud day for me.”

Earlier than lengthy, the enterprise wanted all her time, so she determined to go away her job on the faculty. Nonetheless, it was not sufficient; she needed to name upon further assist to sew the attire, which have been promoting like sizzling desserts.

Empowered by the runaway success of her clothes enterprise, she determined to check out different issues. She noticed that the nation was missing in frozen snacks market, and in 1996, she began her prepared meals enterprise, from her kitchen.

She began off with supplying three frozen snack gadgets to a big departmental retailer at Gulshan. Similar to her attire, her meals gadgets, too, acquired an amazing response.

In 2000, she shut down her different enterprise to focus on her fledgling meals enterprise full-time.

“The dress-making enterprise was serendipity for me, and I checked out it solely as a supply for being profitable – there was no overriding ardour for it. However my entry to the meals enterprise is a special story altogether. I all the time had this need to dedicate myself for social causes, and offering protected meals was the proper approach.”

At present, her agency Protina BD Meals makes 100 gadgets, together with frozen snacks, sweets, bakery, and vermicelli, underneath the model Protina. She employs 26 individuals, and her asset worth stands at greater than Tk 1 crore.

She, nonetheless, continues to produce frozen snacks to Agora and different supermarkets, with all of the gadgets made underneath her supervision at house for high quality management.

Masuda, a mom of two, says juggling a household and a rising enterprise didn’t come simple to her. “All of it might not have been attainable with out the unconditional assist from my husband and household.”

Now that her youngsters have grown-up, Masuda has chalked up grand plans for her firm.

Subsequent in her scheme of issues: provide protected greens and processed carrot noodles.

Nonetheless, she just isn’t aggressive in her enlargement bids; relatively she desires to go gradual.

“I imagine in high quality. If I am going for an enormous enlargement unexpectedly, it could be tough to take care of high quality,” she says.

“I do not wish to compete with others by huge enlargement and gross sales promotion. I wish to compete by increased high quality.”

Everybody who’s engaged in meals enterprise ought to deal with making protected meals, she says, including that she has been working to search out methods to supply pesticide-free greens.

Chairperson of Recent and Protected Agro

Sharmin Hossain – 2011

Whilst lately as 2008, Sharmin Hossain was a full-time homemaker, with no plans in anyway of beginning a enterprise of her personal.

Then the random use of dangerous chemical for ripening and preserving vegetables and fruit grew to become rife in Bangladesh, which led the protecting mom of 4 with a level in agriculture to develop fruits and vegetable on a shared household patch for her household’s consumption. And there was no wanting again.

Motivated by good yields and overwhelming requests from pals and neighbours, Sharmin began contemplating cultivation on a business scale and shortly immersed herself in analysis and improvement.

Then in 2010, with a bunch of pros she shaped Recent and Protected Agro Ltd (FASAL) with the purpose of supplying chemical-free merchandise.

“Now we have established the corporate to deal with the difficulty of shortage of pesticide-free vegetables and fruit,” stated Sharmin.

“It’s a protected vegetables and fruit producing and advertising firm with the ambition of turning into the important thing contemporary vegetable producer, processor, and marketer.”

Sharmin, who primarily manages the technical facets of the corporate, stated by and huge farmers use completely different kinds of pesticides, that are extraordinarily dangerous.

Most of those unsafe and adulterated produces find yourself within the capital the place these are consumed by unsuspecting customers together with youngsters, stated the spouse of a senior police official.

FASAL’s vegetables and fruit are grown underneath protected situations following international requirements like Built-in Pest Administration (IPM) and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).

“Now we have began to work as a bridge in order that the customers get contemporary and protected vegetables and fruit instantly and to make sure that farmers get honest value,” stated Sharmin.

She stated handpicked vegetables and fruit are washed utilizing protected water to get rid of soil and filth, sorted to make these free from rotten and decayed ends, graded to completely different sizes, shapes and weights, and filled with surroundings pleasant supplies to maintain them contemporary and protected.

Sharmin stated the corporate has contract growers of vegetables and fruit situated in Manikganj, Narsingdi, Bogra, and Dhaka and at the moment works with greater than 12,000 educated farmers.

All of the contract growers are concerned in common coaching and auditing system, utilizing IPM and GAP requirements.

“These coaching and audits be sure that all FASAL branded merchandise meet the required security laws,” Sharmin stated.

She stated farmer’s coaching is without doubt one of the firm’s core enterprise actions they usually choose farmers after a number of screening course of. The chosen farmers are then given a number of days of coaching.

The FASAL subject officers, who’ve diploma on agriculture, work with the farmers and train them how one can farm contemporary produce by utilizing safer chemical-free inputs.

The corporate collects the agro commodities from the contract farmers at increased costs in comparison with the native market costs, in keeping with Sharmin.

“We typically pay Tk 2 extra per kilogramme over the native market value to the farmers to encourage them.”

Many farmers are eager to affix the corporate’s community to get honest costs for his or her produce. “Farmers wish to be part of our community as it’s going to give them a assured market to promote their produce.”

A enterprise of round Tk 2.5 crore, the corporate at the moment employs round 100 staff.

However the requirement of labour varies in keeping with seasons. For instance, in winter, the corporate hires further employees to deal with the extra output arising from winter vegetable harvest.

Presently, the corporate sells round 50 kitchen and meals gadgets by its eight gross sales centres in Mirpur, Mohammadpur, and Banani areas, with month-to-month receipts of round Tk 20 lakh. It additionally sells the agro-products by cell vans in Uttara and Dhanmondi.

“It goals to start out one other 20 shops in prime location of the capital by December,” stated Sharmin.

“If we will serve just one p.c individuals of the Dhaka metropolis, we’re figures of Tk 100 crore a month.”

Architect and Co-founder of Tanya Karim NR Khan & Associates

Tanya Tazeen Karim – 2010

Seventeen years in the past, she began it with a small funding that might solely purchase her a pc, some stationery gadgets corresponding to tracing paper, drafting pens, and a few books on structure.

At present, architect Tanya Tazeen Karim is amongst just a few ladies entrepreneurs who earned fame each at house and overseas by designing buildings.

Tanya shaped a partnership with a classmate, Nurur Rahman Khan, after graduating from Bangladesh College of Engineering and Know-how (Buet) in 1990. Three years later, their agency, Tanya Karim NR Khan & Associates, was formally registered.

“We began with minimal capital. We couldn’t hire workplace area. We had used a small bed room in my condo as our first workplace in the meanwhile.”

Her main breakthrough got here in 1993 when Tanya and her workforce labored on the interiors of the Beximco Prescription drugs headquarters in Dhaka.

Since then, she has by no means seemed again. The orders began flowing in from multinational banks and different corporations.

The agency’s subsequent breakthrough got here when it designed a residential constructing owned by Annisul Huq, a number one businessman.

Her work additionally includes interiors, landscaping, grasp planning, and graphic designing. All are a part of an effort to make Tanya Karim NR Khan & Associates a one-stop service centre.

Tanya additionally needed to combat different points. “Initially, I needed to overcome gender bias to return this far. Everybody round me thought that I knew nothing.”

“When one noticed that my technical information is sound and I’m able to delivering what purchasers ask for and giving choices on the positioning, the state of affairs modified and respect grew.”

Tanya charges herself as a profitable entrepreneur. “As a enterprise entrepreneur, when it comes to cash, we is not going to say we’re very a lot up within the ladder. However when it comes to high quality of companies, I feel now we have superior so much.”

“Now we have been capable of earn the respect of society and enterprise purchasers. Now we have performed a key position in altering interiors and workplace inside designing. I feel we’re a pioneer in fairly just a few facets,” Tanya stated.

Tanya and her workforce have accomplished some worldwide works. “We designed the Bhutan Telecom constructing and a mosque in India. Now we have additionally labored in Malaysia, China, and Thailand.”

“We needed to compete to win such initiatives. We’re happy with our workforce and works.”

“Our imaginative and prescient is to turn into a world design home that will likely be internationally recognised,” she stated.

Tanya stated structure is without doubt one of the few areas that permit ladies to shine. “I feel professions corresponding to structure and inside designing go well with ladies probably the most in a way that you may design from house as effectively.”

Fifty-seven individuals work for her agency on an everyday payroll, with one other 150 individuals on contract. Tanya stated belief and respect are vital for a long-lasting partnership.

“Now we have constructed a partnership. The premise of our partnership is full belief and respect for one another.”She stated the scope for architects and inside designers has expanded. “After the 90s, the development started to vary, as individuals travelled extra and got here to know the significance of a very good design. The information base of the purchasers has gone up.”

Based on Tanya, sustaining a steadiness between one’s profession and household life is vital. She thanks her sons and husband for serving to her by all the pieces.

“I’ve been capable of keep a steadiness as a consequence of their understanding.”

“My husband, dad and mom, and in-laws have helped me so much. For a lady, such a assist is essential,” stated the mom of 4.

She stated educating helps her to narrate to the youthful technology. She considers educating a approach to give again to the society. “It’s my social accountability.”

Managing Director of Persona Hair and Magnificence

Kaniz Almas Khan – 2009

Not like a lot of her contemporaries, Kaniz Almas Khan confirmed the braveness to enterprise into the sweetness enterprise within the late Nineties. She was decided to be one of the best within the subject.

“Once I deliberate to start out my profession, I considered one thing completely different and massive. That is how I got here to the sweetness trade,” she stated.

Kaniz opened magnificence salon Glamour in a 2,000 sq. toes room at her residence in Kalabagan in 1990, with 9 employees and an preliminary funding of Tk 2 lakh, she borrowed from Micro Industries Improvement Help and Companies (MIDAS).

It didn’t take lengthy for the salon to teem with purchasers. “From the primary day, we tried to offer the purchasers with the very best quality pores and skin and hair care companies, and likewise bridal makeover. Quickly the variety of purchasers went up as there have been solely a handful of high quality salons within the metropolis at the moment,” she stated.

The main breakthrough in her profession got here in 1991 when world-famous model Unilever made her the “model ambassador” for Sunsilk.

This introduced her countrywide recognition as an knowledgeable in hair care and impressed many small entrepreneurs to become involved on this enterprise.

“In 1998, Glamour was changed into Persona Hair and Magnificence Ltd, a 3,400 sq. toes salon on Street 27 in Dhanmondi, with 200 employees. Its space was additional expanded to 11,000 sq. toes in 2002,” stated Kaniz, narrating the story behind Persona.

Over a span of 19 years, she has established a model within the magnificence trade, working two separate corporations – Persona Hair and Magnificence Ltd and Persona Magnificence Care Ltd.

And the model, Persona, has now grown into one of the crucial worthwhile magnificence service offering ventures in Bangladesh with an annual turnover of Tk 14.64 crore and common day by day gross sales of Tk 5.25 lakh.

The corporate employs 1,400 individuals, of whom 1,200 are service suppliers and 200 are company executives. And of the entire workforce, 99 p.c are ladies.

Later, Kaniz initiated a number of ventures, together with spas, gyms, a studio, and a way of life journal.

The corporate launched Persona Well being, Spring Spa, Adams’ for males, and Persona Institute of Magnificence and Way of life. The beautician stated the trade suffers from a scarcity of coaching institutes on magnificence companies.

“The individuals, who’re desperate to work within the trade, lack coaching and abilities. We opened an institute in Dhaka. One or two different institutes have been launched lately, however their quantity continues to be very small, in comparison with the demand,” she stated.

Persona Hair and Magnificence Ltd additionally runs an impartial studio and month-to-month publication “Canvas.”

Enterprise just isn’t all the time simple for Kaniz, as frequent energy cuts usually hamper companies.

Kaniz feels the absence of an affiliation to guard the trade’s pursuits.

In 2004, she launched the “Finest Employee Award” in any respect her salons, the place a meritorious and hard-working worker is awarded each month.

Concurrently, she is concerned in social work like offering coaching and monetary assist to feminine victims of home violence and acid assaults. She usually employs them.

In 2005, she began coaching 25 acid victims from the Acid Survivors Basis and 23 of them now work for Persona.

In 2008, the corporate joined arms with Improvement Help for Background Society, a non-profit organisation, and supplied scholarships to 10 college students from Dhaka College.

She additionally extends her efforts to different social obligations, corresponding to creating consciousness on most cancers and common tax funds.

Kaniz is the spokesperson for the “Cervical Most cancers Marketing campaign” initiated by GlaxoSmithKline and the Nationwide Board of Income.

“I work laborious to make sure top quality service for my purchasers. It helped me pursue my dream to be one of the best on this trade,” she stated.

“Success comes if you end up true to your dream. That is why Persona is profitable in the present day,” stated Kaniz, with a smile.

Chief Govt Officer of Reflections

Sabrina Islam – 2008

Sitting at her Gulshan showroom of Reflections that was actually filled with ornamental glasses, kitchen cupboards, rest room panels, and ceilings to amaze the guests immediately, Sabrina says: “Unavailability of ornamental artwork glasses within the native market prompted me to become involved in such a enterprise.”

“I stumble on the concept of working with ornamental artwork glasses once we have been making ready to construct our home in Gulshan in 1997. We deliberate the home do-ups with etched and stained glasses that weren’t obtainable within the native market then,” stated Sabrina Islam, who emerged because the Excellent Lady in Enterprise for 2008 as a part of the Bangladesh Enterprise Awards collectively given away by The Each day Star and DHL Specific.

Deeply devoted and dependable to artwork and creativity, Sabrina launched Reflections as a small enterprise in 1998 with two employees in a small 400 sq. toes studio at Eskaton.

“Initially I began producing etched glasses and sandblasted glasses. Fortunately, I received an order for doing inside ornament of a home in Gulshan they usually favored it very a lot,” says Sabrina.

“Inside a short while, I began getting orders from people, eating places and company homes,” she says.

“In 2000 we shifted to a 2,200-sft studio on the present Gulshan deal with to widen our manufacturing ranges from sandblasted, engraved, and colored glasses to stained glasses.”

In 2002 Reflections signed an settlement with Stained Glass Overlay (SGO) in a bid to increase additional right into a full-service studio specialising a big selection of designer glass merchandise.

SGO is a world franchise firm primarily based in California and one of many world’s largest gamers within the customised ornamental and architectural artwork glass sector.

Sabrina opened Reflection’s second showroom in Chattogram in 2005.

“This was an vital landmark within the firm’s evolution, and a big milestone within the improvement of the ornamental glass sector of the nation,” she says.

“2008 was one other vital yr for the corporate, as we launched our inside designing part and likewise began franchising ornamental merchandise of wood-iron composite and sturdy life-film merchandise in the identical yr,” she provides.

She arrange a much bigger plant in Mirpur, which is prone to be the principle manufacturing unit of the corporate.

Now Reflections produces seven sorts of glasses – stained glass overlay, conventional stained glass, sandblasted glass, engraved glass, colored glass, etched glass, and bevelled glass.

The corporate is undoubtedly the nation’s main crafted artwork glass producer, designer, and provider because it holds almost 40 p.c of the entire market share. The corporate has 24 staff with an annual turnover of over Tk 50 lakh.

Sabrina’s journey as a working lady began 24 years in the past. She signed up as a voluntary employee at Karika, the oldest handicraft organisation within the nation, in 1975 when she was a scholar of LLB at Dhaka College.

“Becoming a member of Karika was the stepping stone of my profession. After being a regularised workers in 1976, I began to handle the corporate’s advertising, gross sales, and stock, altogether,” she says.

“That point I received intensively concerned with handicrafts and the designers of the nation. Since then, the need to discover the crafts and designs began rising in me.”

In 1977 she was awarded a one-year scholarship for a diploma programme on small enterprise administration from Ford Basis at Washington DC. The scholarship was given underneath the programme of the inspiration’s Decade of Ladies that aimed to empower ladies.

“Throughout the scholarship programme, I discovered enterprise extra attention-grabbing in comparison with practising regulation. So, after coming back from the US, I made a decision to start out my very own enterprise,” says Sabrina. “Then I did my MBA from the Institute of Enterprise Administration at Dhaka College.”

She labored at Karika till 1980, the yr she received married and determined to affix her husband’s enterprise. Her husband was organising a garment manufacturing unit, Harmony, in 1981.

She joined Harmony to supervise the corporate’s gross sales and advertising actions and shortly it began exporting garment gadgets to the US and Europe.

In 1985, she launched Rainbow Kids’s Boutique to promote youngsters’s clothes, faculty uniforms, together with shirts, sweaters and ties, and different private care merchandise. These have been successful among the many city working ladies and well-known kindergartens in Dhaka.

In 1998, Sabrina floated Reflections with an preliminary funding of Tk 2.5 lakh.

She took half in some coaching programmes on sandblasting and conventional stained glass making within the US, Thailand, and India.

She additionally usually sends her workers overseas, primarily to India, and Thailand, to assist them acquire experience and strengthen information in glass artwork.

Now she plans to increase the attain of Reflections and begin exporting her designer glasses initially to the neighbouring nations.

Nonetheless, her efforts weren’t left unnoticed. She acquired the FBCCI Normal Chartered Financial institution Excellent Lady of the 12 months award in 2006. She additionally clinched the Most Excellent Enterprise Lady Award in 2008 in Doha from the third Enterprise Discussion board of the Islamic Nations.

Nonetheless, her enterprise usually faces setback on energy scarcity and unavailability of uncooked supplies within the native market that have an effect on manufacturing badly.

“Outage is the principle drawback that holds again the native industries’ sooner progress. I am unable to afford an enormous generator to beat the losses I incurred as a consequence of electrical energy scarcity,” she says.

She suggests the federal government develop native experience for producing uncooked supplies like completely different colors and bonding supplies for ornamental artwork glass that may make the trade cheaper.

She additionally calls upon the federal government to make sure a greater regulation and order state of affairs within the nation to draw extra ladies to entrepreneurship.

Proprietor of Ikebana

Nilufar Farooq – 2007

Nilufar Farooq’s tiny empire was not inbuilt a day. However her creativity, dedication and dedication to work have helped her dream come true. Gifted with a pure aesthetic sense from her childhood, she had an urge in her thoughts to do one thing particular. She realized the artwork of flower association, opened a small enterprise home, and earned title and fame in a span of 16 years.

Nina is Nilufar’s nickname. When Nina talked to The Each day Star, she spelt out how her ardour for magnificence changed into a career.

In 1992, she together with one among her faculty pals and her ikebana instructor rented a small store at Dhanmondi in Dhaka. They spent even the final penny of their private financial savings. Every of her companions contributed Tk 2.10 lakh. They took the possession of the store at Tk 5 lakh and the remainder quantity was spent for decorations of Ikebana.

The breakthrough got here only one yr after the journey of Ikebana. Throughout the seventh Saarc Summit in Dhaka in 1993, Nina, the managing associate of Ikebana, and two different brave lady entrepreneurs have been awarded the ornament work of the Dhaka Sheraton Resort the place the heads of state and authorities of the Saarc nations have been staying.

“Since then, we didn’t must look again,” says Nina. Her enterprise associate Inu Shamsuddin echoed the view and stated, “Now we’re so busy that now we have no weekends. On daily basis now we have some work orders.”

The third associate was Mrs Zoha who left the nation for Japan after being concerned within the enterprise for round two years.

Nina has accomplished greater than 5,000 initiatives in 16 years. A few of her important works are floral decorations in the course of the state go to of some dignitaries like Invoice Clinton, Yasir Arafat, Prince Aga Khan, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, and Princess Anne.

Nina additionally adorned a number of prestigious venues that embody Bangabhaban, Ganobhaban, state guesthouses, and Worldwide Convention Centre on the Prime Minister’s Workplace (PMO).

Though Ikebana’s enterprise turnover reached Tk 1.42 crore in fiscal 2005-06, it dropped to Tk 87 lakh in FY 2006-07 as a result of nation’s tough political state of affairs. Now Ikebana is housed in a 3,000 sq toes workplace within the metropolis’s posh Banani space and it has drawn a variety of consumers – embassies, banks, company workplaces, industries, and so on. Its enterprise has been expanded to landscaping, indoor pot vegetation, roof gardening, and water fountain.

“Flowers all the time attracted me since my childhood. I beloved to pluck them and make necklaces for my mom, my aunts, and pals. I’d make flower preparations for different individuals who visited our home.”

Nina was born in Kolkata, the working place of her father Luthfar Rahman, a former jute businessman. Her maternal grandfather is famend poet Golam Mostafa.

“My love for magnificence generated in my household. And that love has introduced me into the enterprise with the artwork of flowers. I used to be a listed singer of BTV and Bangladesh Betar within the 70s. Classical music was my favorite. However the ardour for flowers and wonder surpassed my music profession.”

However her maternal uncle Mustafa Monwar (well-known artist) impressed her to an awesome extent by giving her a e-book on ikebana, the Japanese artwork of floral ornament, within the early 70s. “That was a significant affect to go forward with the artwork,” she reminisced.

Nina later took coaching within the artwork in 1973 from the Japan Embassy in Dhaka. She acquired gold medal for distinctive efficiency within the coaching. She additionally acquired superior information on ikebana by distant training from well-known Japanese faculty O’Hara.

She taught ikebana for 10 years on the Japan Embassy in Dhaka and later at a college.

“Ikebana just isn’t a straightforward job. One ought to have the concept of structure for drawing and design,” Nina says, “Many individuals usually ask me whether or not I’m an architect or not.”

When requested whether or not her enterprise profession does any hurt to her private life, she replied within the detrimental saying: “I received married in 1969, earlier than my commencement. I had three youngsters who I took care of with none disturbance of my work.” In response to a different question, Nina stated her husband, who’s now main a retired life after his profitable profession as a chemical engineer, by no means created any impediment for her work, relatively impressed her.

“My pals and family have been astonished to see how I may handle my enterprise after taking satisfactory care of my youngsters,” she says. “However enterprise was in my blood as my father was an enormous jute businessman at the moment,” she provides.

“I’m very disciplined, so is my entire household. I all the time rise up early within the morning and do some work for my household earlier than going to my office,” she continued.

“Nina is loopy for work. I’ve seen only a few guys like her in my life,” Inu, her faculty buddy and enterprise associate stated.

Nina takes the least curiosity in financial institution borrowing. “We choose our small private financial savings to any financial institution loans. As a result of the financial institution mortgage might flip right into a burden for the organisation,” the profitable businesswoman stated.

The flowers Nina’s agency makes use of for decorations are sometimes imported from international nations, corresponding to Thailand and China, on the premise of the calls for from clients.

Ikebana believes in professionalism and is able to render most advantages to its staff. “However I am unable to compromise with the work and high quality,” Nina says.

Lastly, the Ikebana chief couldn’t assist expressing her frustration over the brand new technology’s poor information of the natural world, which takes them away from nature.

Proprietor of Jahan Metals

Jinet Fatema – 2006

She is a self-made entrepreneur. She has been capable of present how gadgets deemed waste could be reworked into exportable merchandise simply by creativity and integrity.

That is Zinet Fatema, one of the crucial modern lady entrepreneurs within the nation. She owns Jahan Steel. And he or she has left a mark of excellent efficiency within the area of business periphery.

Arising her manufacturing unit of metals, tin, and glass supplies in 1998, Fatema began exporting to Europe in 2000. Turning out metallic backyard equipment, bakery utilities, shoeboxes, umbrella and candle stands, vases, jugs and glasses, and bowls, Jahan Steel’s merchandise are uniquely engaging with a country and hand-hewn look.

Born in Chattogram in 1969, Fatema aimed to be a lawyer from her childhood. She stated that she was attracted by the lawyer’s apron throughout her childhood. However I needed to change my imaginative and prescient, whereas I found myself to do one thing alone.

After being married in 1991, her husband Md Zakirul Islam, a handicraft businessman, all the time impressed her to enterprise into enterprise. However more often than not, Fatema refused his proposal, as she meant to start out out on her personal. The door was opened when her husband determined to place down his handicraft enterprise. A self-made and impartial lady, Fatema even turned down a proposal of monetary help from her husband and different relations.

When requested about how she copes with the best failures in her profession, she remarks laughingly that her spirit of sportsmanship motivates her to enterprise into unknown areas which have potential.

She reveals she began her enterprise with a minimal quantity of Tk 1 lakh. At one stage, she may overcome the monetary disaster when one among her patrons got here ahead to finance her enterprise and he or she established a glass manufacturing unit close to Narsingdi district. And her metallic manufacturing unit, established with Fatema’s personal finance, is situated at Uttarkhan in Uttara, Dhaka.

Earlier, Fatema received some expertise of constructing oyster jewelry and another handicraft gadgets when her husband was concerned with such enterprise. However she didn’t assume that her metallic and recycle glass merchandise might be exported.

“I assumed enterprise is a matter of giant funding and large return,” Fatema stated.

Fatema used to go to some worldwide festivals as a part of her husband’s enterprise. Whereas visiting such a good at Frankfrut in Germany, Fatema discovered that some Vietnamese merchants showcased recycle glass and tin made gadgets for export functions. Fatema was shocked to see the easy product at a world honest, which was extensively obtainable within the Bangladeshi market.

Upon returning house, Fatema visited some native glass and tin factories to get concepts concerning the enterprise. With somewhat sum of money, Fatema began her enterprise of Jahan Steel. Her metallic merchandise grew to become common to a few of her international patrons and he or she showcased some native recycle glass gadgets to a different worldwide honest. She was depressed, as she didn’t get any spot order from the honest.

Fatema stated, “It was not very simple for a girl to get international recognition for quite simple and conventional gadgets. However I used to be decided to do one thing within the international market with my quite simple merchandise.”

And over time, she succeeded in attracting patrons and acquired big appreciation whereas her metallic and recycle glass merchandise changed into a worthwhile enterprise. This inspired her to focus on her enterprise as a full timer. Ultimately, Fatema’s metallic and glass gadgets grew to become a preferred amongst her patrons in Europe and the US.

A number of components had drawn Fatema’s attraction to such handicraft: firstly, this was not a subject she was aware of, secondly, she felt that this was an enterprise of one thing distinctive, which includes native and international purchasers.

Fatema is joyful that her household life just isn’t hampered in any respect due to her enterprise, she will be able to stand beside her youngsters in case of their sickness and assist them end their homework, because the workplace is ready up in part of her house.

Fatema’s dedication,ardour, and dedication have made Jahan Steel what it’s in the present day. She has lately began supplying to the native market, though the majority of the merchandise are meant for export. The export marketplace for handicrafts could be very complicated because the style and requirement of customers are all the time altering. By participation in worldwide commerce festivals, Jahan Steel got here in touch with the patrons instantly and receives details about the current traits out there.

Fatema believes that professionalism is the pillar of progress and success. Her organisation is split into 4 sections: advertising, procurement, manufacturing, and export. All of the departments are supervised by respective managers, who instantly report back to her. When recruiting new individuals for her ever-expanding firm, new incumbents obtain hands-on coaching from the supervisors.

Throughout the coaching or probationary interval, candidates are stored underneath commentary for sincerity, instinct, and dealing perspective. In addition they obtain coaching on office security, and first assist amenities are supplied on time, as and when wanted. Gender steadiness is a priority among the many manufacturing unit employees. The metallic part employs 16 ladies and the glass unit employs 150 ladies. A few of the employees are from the minority communities.

Her efforts have been beforehand recognised and awarded by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industries, and he or she acquired the Finest Revolutionary Lady Award.

Proprietor of Orchid Printers

Hasina Newaaz – 2005

Within the early Nineteen Eighties, it was tough for lots of people on this nation to imagine that girls can do severe work. For them to simply accept {that a} lady in her early 30s can run a printing enterprise efficiently was nearly unthinkable.

The younger lady who took on this problem headlong was Hasina Newaaz, who over time has been capable of break numerous norms and alter numerous minds by laborious work and drive. Printing is detail-oriented work and Hasina, being extraordinarily meticulous and honest, has naturally thrived on this subject.

Hasina Newaaz was born in Bagerhat in 1951 in an informed and progressive household. Her father, Mr Abdul Hasib Chowdhury, additionally operated a press. He had concerned her in his actions by taking her alongside to the presses and discussing his enterprise at house.

Hasina realized to imagine in herself at an early age as she was by no means seemed down upon as a woman by her household. She completed her masters in Bangla literature at Rajshahi College in 1974 with stellar tutorial outcomes, and after getting married in the identical yr, moved to Dhaka. Hasina nonetheless considers herself blessed in marrying an individual who’s equally progressive in his views and has supplied unfaltering assist to her through the years.

Whereas settling down in Dhaka within the mid-70s, Hasina severely thought of her profession choices amidst quite a few monetary constraints. As she was anticipating her first baby on the time, she determined to refuse the supply to affix Bangla academy and, as an alternative, invested in a typewriter to jot down to varied worldwide contacts in quest of export alternatives.

A stroke of luck introduced her in contact with a dealer in Hong Kong who used to import stay turtles from Bangladesh in 1977. Hasina bargained laborious with this dealer and finally managed to get a trial annual order of 16 metric tons from him. Being extraordinarily resourceful, she rapidly discovered a bunch of individuals in Narayanganj to usually provide her with turtles.

Hasina nonetheless remembers the trepidation with which she exported her first lot. She continued to do that for a few yr up till environmental protectionists started protesting towards the mass export of an indigenous specie.

Hasina began considering of a second enterprise thought. Once more, coincidentally, she corresponded with a Singaporean dealer who offered Japanese printing presses and, out of sheer curiosity, someday requested him the worth of his presses. Now, at the moment, the presses generally utilized in Bangladesh have been all German ones that have been priced excessive at Tk 8-9 lakh. The Singaporean agent advised her that second-hand Japanese presses price round Tk 2-3 lakh which shocked Hasina and received her dreaming about one among her personal.

After rigorous saving of each taka attainable through the years, Hasina lastly mustered up the braveness to inform her contact to get her a press, which finally reached Dhaka in 1982 at a price of Tk 1.75 lakh. The introduction of Japanese machines noticed adjustments in the entire trade and arrange a brand new approach of printing which was useful to lots of people in later phases.

A number of components had attracted Hasina to printing: firstly, this was a subject she was aware of. Secondly, she felt that this was one enterprise which concerned coping with educated purchasers. From her father’s experiences, she knew this was a worthwhile career and demand for printing would enhance in future.

She additionally realised that she wouldn’t should sacrifice her household life if she engaged on this, as she may simply assist her youngsters with homework and look after them throughout their sicknesses because the presses have been arrange in part of her house. However along with her first press put in, Hasina now needed to battle towards the prevailing bias towards ladies and safe her first work-order.

And this was not a straightforward problem. Each time purchasers heard the individual working this can be a lady, they shied away. Hasina received her first break when she approached one among her husband’s acquaintances and introduced him over to go to the manufacturing unit. Satisfied by what he noticed, this gentleman agreed to present her a small piece of labor. For Hasina Newaaz, there was no wanting again.

Hasina began receiving an growing variety of orders and her popularity for high quality and sincerity unfold, which once more introduced in new purchasers. However as quickly as Hasina discovered her preliminary footing, she adopted a selective technique. She needed to work with purchasers she herself was snug with and ones with whom she wouldn’t have to fret about cost. Her consumer portfolio in the present day consists of blue-chip names like Sq., Orascom, UNDP, Nestle Bangladesh, ACI, and Novartis.

Her set-up consists of eight machines, 100-150 individuals, and an annual income variety of over Tk 37 million. Hasina runs her present methodically and understands the worth of acceptable methods, after having learnt on-the-job and from her multinational purchasers.

The printing enterprise just isn’t with out its challenges. Hasina recollects the infinitely lengthy hours she has spent within the press as machines break down, proof-reading is time-consuming and, as in latest days, electrical energy provide turns into erratic. However Hasina stays resolute in her service. She has by no means fallen behind a deadline and her purchasers have come to depend on that.

Nothing has posed as huge a problem because the electrical energy provide lately, which has pressured her to outright refuse many orders. Revenue ranges on this sector have additionally suffered as competitors and value consciousness have led to costs dropping day-after-day. Hasina is keen about the way forward for printing in Bangladesh although.

“We’re nonetheless working with second-hand machines and nobody amongst us has the flexibility to purchase a world-class piece of apparatus. Moreover, our labour ability and productiveness may enhance phenomenally with coaching,” she says. These enhancements will assist Bangladesh enter the export market that China has conquered.

Having juggled effectively the Herculean duties of a demanding career and residential chores in her early years, Hasina in the present day lives contentedly along with her husband, youngsters, and grandchildren. She is ever cognisant of the significance of girls’s financial self-reliance in her rapid circle and insists that her staff educate their daughters. From her personal expertise, she additionally is aware of that, for a girl, assist from the husband and household performs an important position in the entire success formulation.

Proprietor of Agroconcern

Selina Quader – 2004

It began with an informal passion and real curiosity that, over time, changed into a profitable and export-oriented agri-business.

Selina Quader was born in Jessore in 1947. Her father was a lawyer by career however he took a eager curiosity in gardening that he shared with the remainder of his household. Selina graduated from Jessore Ladies’s School in 1967 and married an agri-scientist the next yr. When her husband, Dr Shaikh Abdul Quader, returned from Germany within the early eighties, he was posted in Chuadanga.

Selina was excited by the massive piece of land that was obtainable inside her house premises and promptly began rising a kitchen backyard. Quickly there was no wanting again. She reinvested all the pieces she earned from promoting her greens into leasing an increasing number of of close by land and grew an growing quantity of produce.

Now, her whole space of manufacturing is sort of 200 acres together with her personal land, leased land, and people of her contract growers in Chuadanga and Thakurgaon. Her direct staff quantity over 200 and her whole turnover reached Tk 25 million in 2004 after demonstrating a formidable progress fee within the final 5 years. Her firm, Agroconcern, works intently with purchasers and contract farmers on each manufacturing and advertising facets.

Impressed by her success, Selina’s neighbours in Chuadanga have additionally joined the bandwagon of vegetable manufacturing – now nearly 6-8 truckloads are shipped day-after-day from the neighborhood for locations in Dhaka, Chattogram, and Sylhet.

With this spectacular efficiency in a beforehand arid geographical area, has come the advantages of financial improvement for all; villagers within the space now have entry to electrical energy, concrete housing, and Selina’s earlier employees themselves have now moved onto their very own lands.

Though Selina’s manufacturing basket features a entire number of gadgets like cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, capsicum, papaya, egg-plant, rice, maize, watermelon, and sugarcane, her largest success up to now has been her potatoes. At first, she grew the seeds herself with the assistance of her husband to supply a spread that’s high-yielding and disease-free. Giant-scale manufacturing ensued in 1990 with the assistance of contract growers.

Prompted by excessive acceptance of those potatoes, she first exported 4 containers in 2000 to Singapore; since then, she has additionally exported to wholesalers in Sri Lanka and Malaysia. Moreover, after three years of analysis, she has discovered a brand new number of tomatoes that may be grown even throughout wet seasons.

Selina plans to supply this highly-demanded pressure in bulk subsequent yr. Constant high quality in all her merchandise is ensured by importing seeds intermittently from European nations and by bringing in international technicians to watch progress.

Selina’s journey to today positively has not been obstacle-free. As is true for all different agricultural produce, she is affected by the middlemen who dominate the provision chain and eat up a bit of the entire margin. Lack of entry to financing can also be an element that constrains her progress potential.

The baggage she must export her produce aren’t obtainable within the native market, they should be imported from China or India, and therefore enhance the lead time concerned. Most significantly, she nonetheless has not been capable of avail of the federal government’s declared money incentive due to procedural delays.

Regardless of these challenges, Selina is set in her future ambitions. She plans to construct additional on her present work of growing improved strains and introducing unique seeds. She is exploring the export potential of her newly-developed tomatoes as effectively. On the identical time, she feels {that a} joint-venture associate within the seed improvement trade for industrial vegetable manufacturing would assist her go a lot additional.

All through her life, Selina has maintained a mess of pursuits and actions. She has been an lively athlete for many of her life and has gained quite a few prizes. Beginning with scholar politics in her faculty days, she has continued to guide and implement varied welfare initiatives.

At present, she takes immense pleasure in the truth that her manufacturing high quality is above common with out using poisonous chemical substances and her seeds are extremely wanted by farmers. In spite of everything, she has been capable of precise a discernible distinction within the lives of a lot of her group members.

Proprietor of Bain Textiles

Manjulika Chakma – 2003

Within the Sixties, when individuals within the hill tracts couldn’t think about beginning a enterprise – and, particularly for a girl, it was completely unthinkable – an indigenous lady got here ahead to point out how peoples’ lives could be improved by enterprise. Her title is Manjulika Chakma – the primary tribal lady entrepreneur within the nation. Born in 1943 in Rangamati, Manjulika took daring initiatives to develop conventional looms in her space and set up the primary enterprise concern of tribal handloom merchandise.

Historically, agriculture had been the principle occupation within the hill tracts area dominated by tribal individuals. The artwork of weaving was taught to ladies as a part of common family chores. In her childhood, Manjulika learnt weaving from her mom Panchalata Khisha. They’d looms of their household, domestically known as “komortant.” They used to supply conventional loom merchandise within the Fifties.

Manjulika says in the course of the Fifties and early 60s, many indigenous ladies in hill districts used to supply garments for their very own makes use of solely. They by no means thought of beginning any business enterprise. So, it was an actual problem for her to take such an initiative.

Manjulika joined Shah Boys Excessive College as a instructor in 1961. Round that point, she considered doing one thing for her fellow weavers. She bought two conventional looms in 1965 and began making use of new weaving strategies whereas persevering with her educating career. Thus, her journey as an entrepreneur started with a capital of solely Tk 500. It was a really tough job, however she overcame all hurdles by sheer laborious work and dedication.

Generally she needed to cease manufacturing due to insufficient capital and uncooked supplies. Advertising and marketing was one other drawback she confronted on the preliminary phases as there have been only a few patrons in Rangamati at the moment. Folks outdoors the hill tracts hardly knew concerning the merchandise. However she did not lose coronary heart. Opening a really small showroom at her residence in 1965, she began promoting her merchandise.

Over time, she succeeded in attracting patrons and acquired big appreciation whereas handloom merchandise grew to become a worthwhile enterprise. This inspired her to focus on her enterprise full time. Ultimately, Manjulika’s Bain Textile grew to become a preferred title in handloom. Presently, Bain Textile has three showrooms in Rangamati and one in Cox’s Bazaar. Apart from, her merchandise together with varied clothes and home items are offered in chosen shops in Dhaka corresponding to Aarong, Prabartana, Karika, Aranya, and Kumudini.

Merchandise have been developed and diversified at Bain Textile contemplating the tastes and calls for of patrons at house and overseas. The corporate has an extended vary of merchandise corresponding to tribal gown (pinon, khadi), shawls, mattress covers, shalwar kameezes, shirts, panjabis, T-shirts, frocks, sleeping robes, skirt-tops, facet baggage, purses, couch covers, napkins, and towels.

Bain Textile earned Tk 4 lakh in 2000 and Tk 6 lakh in 2001 from exports. Round 80 weavers, consultants, and helpers are engaged in her handloom enterprise, aside from the greater than 100 tribal ladies in 4 villages who produce handloom merchandise on the market.

With separate weaving, dyeing, design and tailoring models, and unique showrooms, Bain Textile emerged as an entire enterprise home. Manjulika nonetheless performs a key position in supervising the entire manufacturing course of proper from procuring uncooked supplies like yarn and chemical substances for dyeing, making ready them to be used, and controlling the standard. She is a grasp in making ready vegetable dyes. It is a secret of her success in making her merchandise common.

Within the early days of her enterprise, Manjulika had fund constraints however banks couldn’t do a lot for her because it was very tough for them to offer mortgage to an individual with out collateral. Manjulika didn’t have any property to maintain as mortgage towards financial institution loans. Two native banks got here up with proposals to present her loans however she couldn’t make a cope with them.

Manjulika says numerous adjustments have taken place within the strategies of manufacturing handloom merchandise however they haven’t misplaced their fundamental traits. Conventional tribal looms have been reworked into trendy ones however the merchandise are nonetheless engaging due to their distinctive color and designs that display the wealthy heritage of tribal group.

At a time when native and international markets are flooded with materials manufactured in trendy and high-tech vegetation, tribal handloom with ethnic designs continues to be common with a special style and attraction. Manjulika performed a number one position in popularising these indigenous designs amongst each native and international patrons.

Manjulika’s daring initiative created new entrepreneurs additionally. Her tireless efforts inspired others to start out enterprise of handloom merchandise within the hill districts. Through the years, about 20 to 25 such handloom enterprises have been arrange and showrooms opened the place a number of thousand indigenous ladies are working.

Thus, she has contributed in the direction of employment technology for girls within the beforehand nearly unknown subject of tribal conventional looms. Bain Textile helped the indigenous individuals participate in financial actions and enhance their lives. Manjulika’s work has additionally created a marketplace for ethnic handloom merchandise and introduced them into the world of style. Her future plans embody institution of one other unit outfitted with energy looms to extend manufacturing quantity.

Manjulika’s struggles didn’t come to an finish though she is now a profitable lady entrepreneur. She has been capable of flip her very small initiative right into a reputed enterprise concern. However she couldn’t but open an outlet of her personal in Dhaka as a consequence of lack of capital.

Manjulika gained Shilu Abed Award in 2001 and Finest Profitable Lady Entrepreneur Award in 2002 in recognition of her excellent contribution within the subject of enterprise and craftsmanship.

She participated within the Worldwide Industrial Honest in Kolkata in 2003 and 2004 and Chiang Mai Commerce Honest in Thailand. By participating in these reveals, Manjulika desires to popularise Bain Textile merchandise overseas and enhance export earnings. She all the time feels that collaborating in a good overseas is an effective approach of studying and likewise bettering the standard of merchandise.

Chowdhury Chairman of Adcomm

Geeteara Safiya – 2002

She is any person who may have been a very good columnist, a profitable journalist, or, possibly a lecturer in a very good college – however she needed to strive one thing completely different, Geeteara Safiya Chowdhury, chairman and managing director of Adcomm Restricted, was born to be an entrepreneur – a particularly profitable one.

Born in 1946, Geeteara accomplished her Honours and Masters in English from Dhaka College in 1967 and 1968. After her marriage to Nazim Kamran Chowdhury in 1969, she moved to Karachi along with her husband and joined “She Journal” – a progressive journal for girls selling ladies’s rights and points amongst different issues – as a senior editor.

This was by no means an alien subject for Geeteara who had loved writing essays and tales since early childhood along with her first story showing within the “Younger Observer” – youngsters’s web page of the then Pakistan Observer – when she was in kindergarten. Quickly after, she had began writing within the youngsters’s pages of various newspapers and magazines just like the Pakistan Observer, The Morning Information, The Statesman (printed from Calcutta), and others.

“My dad and mom all the time advised me that I must pursue a profession and be economically impartial. My father, AFM Safiyyullah, geared me in the direction of journalism,” says Geeteara, granddaughter of scholar Dr Muhammad Shahidullah.

Whereas working at “She,” Geeteara interviewed well-known political leaders however felt restricted in her skill to precise her views. Disenchanted, she felt that she had no freedom of speech and it might not be attainable to proceed her career in journalism. Throughout her tenure there, Geeteara additionally did some free-lance copywriting for just a few promoting businesses. When the journal administration determined to carry out a full East Pakistan difficulty, she travelled to Dhaka and met potential purchasers and businesses. She was given a Tk 7,000 goal which she simply surpassed by managing advertisements value Tk 25,000. As soon as once more when her husband was transferred again to Dhaka, she left her job at “She” and got here again.

“Whereas I used to be being choosy and picky in deciding on a profession monitor, I used to be supplied a job in one of many main promoting businesses Interspan, which is now referred to as Interspeed. I took that up. Little did I do know that inside three months, I’d climb up from being a copywriter to normal supervisor to government vice chairman. After two years at this company, I left over a distinction of opinion with my boss.” Some purchasers who labored with Geeteara at Interspan inspired her to start out a brand new firm.

With numerous trepidation and pleasure, she began Adcomm on July 4, 1974 with six individuals in a small room and an funding of Tk 10,000. However it was not a straightforward job. She needed to handle a financial institution assure value Tk 50,000 for accreditation with the Sangbadpatra Parishad however she had solely Tk 3,500. She rushed from financial institution to financial institution as they have been asking for Tk 50,000 deposit or collateral. She needed to present her ornaments as collateral however the banks wouldn’t settle for that. They have been asking for a chunk of land or property for this objective. “Lastly, after arranging Tk 10,000 from relations, a managing director agreed to present me the financial institution assure given that the payments can be channelled by the financial institution,” Geeteara recollects. Moreover, there have been basic issues with promoting.

“There have been no huge manufacturers at the moment. Companies used to arrange occasional dietary supplements on February 21, March 26, December 16, and do principally public relation jobs.” As well as, aside from the 2 corporations, Bata and Glaxo, which had pushed her to start out a brand new enterprise, only a few different corporations have been keen to work with a brand new agency the place a lady was the CEO. “Once I despatched firm chiefs my enterprise playing cards, they talked to me very politely however didn’t wish to give me jobs. Regardless of these setbacks, Adcomm was ready so as to add Fisons, British Oxygen to its consumer listing,” she provides.

In 1977, a multinational firm requested promoting companies to submit designs for his or her merchandise and, after scrutiny, chosen six – by the way, all six have been from Adcomm.

“However the turning level for Adcomm was Fisons. It was greater than a consumer and helped us develop. In reality, each model of Fisons was particular and helped the agency transfer a step ahead,” Geeteara admits.

Fisons and Lever have been rivals in some classes so though the latter was , it was not attainable for Adcomm to offer companies to Lever. The conflict-of-interest difficulty got here to an finish when Lever took over Fisons Toiletries; “I used to be crying on the handing over ceremony. For me, it was like I nurtured a daughter who received married and goes to her husband’s home and I’m additionally along with her,” she recollects.

Lever then supplied Adcomm the chance to work with its manufacturers therefore offering the second turning level for Adcomm. “Fisons helped us to study inventive works, how one can develop and construct our confidence however we learnt professionalism and advertising experiences from Lever.”

From a small workplace, Adcomm expanded to turn into one of the crucial profitable promoting companies of the nation with the group’s turnover amounting to about Tk 50 crore and producing employment of about 300. It’s affiliated with famend worldwide businesses like Bates Worldwide, and Lowe, Lintas and Companions. With enlargement and diversification, she made her entrepreneurial journey extra thrilling. Signage, the digital printing home, Screaming Woman, manufacturing home, Artwork of Noise, recording studio, and Marka, an advert agency, are all supportive arms for Adcomm to make it an entire home. Other than studying the commerce, Geeteara additionally acquired just a few early and essential classes on skilled values.

“There isn’t any shortcut to success. Values which might be nonetheless the important thing to a profitable profession embody punctuality, self-discipline, and dedication.” In her enterprise sphere, Geeteara by no means compromised on high quality. She labored laborious, however on the identical time, was trustworthy in offering companies to purchasers. In her private life, she mends her inventive power by rising roses, taking lengthy walks, and caring for her cat, Benson.

“There’s much more to be accomplished. I wish to construct Adcomm to be recognised on the planet as a world class promoting and communication resolution supplier. I like my work. It is my ardour,” she feels.

The manufacturers Adcomm constructed – Peops Gel, Genisol, GMG Airways, Agora, Wheel Patriotic – are her main achievements. “In reality, the manufacturers we constructed are like my infants,” says Geeteara, mom of two youngsters – son Farhan and daughter Keya. She by no means ignored her household obligations – “I used to return house from work and helpthem with their homework.” From a really early age, her youngsters began coming along with her to the workplace, particularly throughout their holidays.

A careerist, Geeteara is without doubt one of the main ladies entrepreneurs of the nation. She acquired “The Main Ladies Entrepreneurs of the World Award” sponsored by IBM, Fortune Journal, United Airways, Dior, Chase Manhattan and managed by Star Group, a US-based firm in 2000 for being one of many main ladies entrepreneurs of the world. In the identical yr, she additionally acquired the Priyadarshini Award from the Federation of Indian Ladies Entrepreneurs in Delhi.

Her success story just isn’t solely a matter of nice pleasure for herself and her colleagues at Adcomm, however can also be a supply of inspiration for Bangladeshi ladies who intend to enterprise on their very own.

Proprietor of Satraang

Rehana Kashem – 2001

A self-made entrepreneur, Rehana Kashem is among the many only a few profitable ladies within the nation who not solely constructed her personal enterprise but additionally has been capable of entice her relations to assist her to develop the corporate.

As a typical housewife, she beloved to make handicrafts like cushion covers, napkins, tea-pot covers, desk mats, and bedlinen in her spare time. Her neighbours favored her work and sometimes requested her to repeat the designs for them.

Appreciation from others impressed Rehana to assume a bit greater. She began her enterprise in 1983 with a capital of solely Tk 6,000. Her gross sales ranged between Tk 5,000 and Tk 7,000 monthly on a median at this stage. As demand for her merchandise grew, she employed round 12 ladies.

The yr 1990 was a milestone for Rehana. As a result of it was then that she expanded her space of labor and gave her efforts a business face. Other than retail promoting from her home, she began to produce merchandise to completely different common boutiques in Dhaka. Saatrang’s turnover quickly rose to round Tk 30,000 monthly.

The primary contract she acquired was from the well-known store “Bhushon” at Adel Plaza Lalmatia. Impressed by her works, the proprietor of Bhushon positioned orders for punjabi. That was the start. Later, many retailers within the metropolis together with “Bunon” received in contact along with her. From family merchandise, she moved to attire.

By then, it was getting extraordinarily tough for Rehana to manage up with the rising demand. Her husband Md Abul Kashed Khan, an worker of a non-public firm, all the time prolonged a serving to hand to his spouse. However now, he resigned from his job and devoted full time to run the enterprise.

Khan took the obligations of sustaining accounts, procuring uncooked supplies, and likewise serving to Rehana in designs and enterprise supervision. Rehana, who accomplished junior highschool training, has a really supportive household that helps her with the quite a few obligations of working a quickly rising enterprise.

Her two daughters-in-law, Shamima Khan and Najma Karim, helped her with designing and supervision. She additionally accomplished a coaching course on advertising in 1990 and a enterprise administration course in 1994 from the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Company (BSCIC). One other milestone for Saatrang got here in 1993, when it began producing “three-piece” attire for women and her gross sales multiplied shortly.

Rehana believes that sincerity, laborious work, and enterprise sense are among the will need to have qualities for achievement in any endeavour on this age of powerful competitors. I preserve my product costs cheap and really a lot throughout the restrict of the middle-class patrons,” Rehana stated.

“However plagiarism is so rampant lately and others usually copy my merchandise. That posed a brand new problem and now we have to work laborious for newer designs and high quality merchandise.”

She feels that preserving costs inside her goal group and producing high quality merchandise for them have been the principle causes for which she didn’t face a lot competitors from others.

Rehana additionally took half in native festivals and meenabazars simply to advertise Saatrang. She participated in a good at Shaheen College in 1992. “My merchandise have been so common that I offered apparels value Tk 60,000 on a single day,” she recalled.

She contacted Micro Industries Improvement Help and Companies (MIDAS) and after evaluating her enterprise, the organisation granted her Tk 2 lakh mortgage with out collateral. Because of the mortgage, Rehana elevated the variety of stitching machines from 18 to 37. The quantity of mortgage with out collateral now rose to Tk 5 lakh. She didn’t face any drawback in repaying her mortgage to MIDAS and is kind of assured that if she applies for a much bigger mortgage subsequent time, she is not going to be refused.

The variety of employees in Rehana’s Dhaka manufacturing unit is now round 50. There are 4 sections within the manufacturing unit that features embroidery, tailoring, block print, and dye. Principally, Saatrang specialises in all sorts of modern style traits like block print, tie and dye, applique, and each hand and machine embroidery.

Retail promoting from her home continues to be persevering with and Rehana’s main manufacturing goes to some 20 wholesale patrons in Dhaka, Chattogram, Sylhet, Rangpur, and Moulvibazar. Rehanafeels there are many scopes to increase her enterprise and he or she has many issues to do.

“Within the early days, I used to supply completely different attire and different handicraft gadgets and most of them had good demand out there. However issues are altering very quickly. Folks have turn into extra style aware. Now I produce completely different gadgets preserving in thoughts patrons’ demand.”

Apart from retailing and wholesale from her house-cum-factory at Adabar, Shaymoli, Rehana is without doubt one of the main sellers of MIDAS Mini Mart at Dhanmondi and Bailey Street within the metropolis.

“There’s all the time an excellent demand for my merchandise,” she stated.

“A significant a part of my patrons consists of foreigners and Bangladeshis dwelling overseas are additionally within the listing of my patrons.”

She began producing handmade quilt final yr. “I feel handmade merchandise all the time have excellent demand out there,” she added.

Proprietor of Aakor

Salina Akhter – 2000

Salina Akther represents the indefatigable spirit of an entrepreneur. Defying all sorts of household engagements a lady can have, she runs a worthwhile organisation which provides high-quality handicrafts to completely different model retailers within the metropolis.

Enterprise is unquestionably in her blood. When Salina Akther was a scholar of sophistication seven in 1980, she first dreamt of turning into an entrepreneur.

She began a poultry farm at her residence in Dhaka. It was a really small endeavour, completely insignificant little question with solely 4 chicks in a cage. However Salina had an enormous dream and along with her relentless effort and laborious work, she managed to reach flourishing her enterprise right into a 1,500-chick poultry farm by 1992.

However then she was confronted with a lot of household difficulties. Her father died, her baby was going to highschool, and he or she needed to give extra time to the household. It grew to become fairly tough for her to handle medicines, meals, and likewise marketplace for the eggs. On prime of all the pieces, her faculty exams have been knocking on the door. So, with a heavy coronary heart, Salina needed to liquidate her enterprise.

The following three years, she was busy along with her research. After finishing her training, she began considering of doing one thing productive, that on the identical time would give her the scope to earn her livelihood and profit the society.

Salina began her entrepreneurship afresh after going by a coaching course at MIDAS. Beneath partnership with one other woman, she began handicraft enterprise in 1995 with some monetary help from her uncle.

Salina opted for beginning handicraft enterprise as she thought this is without doubt one of the areas the place she may apply her creativity and modern concepts. At present, she makes a very good enterprise, supplying merchandise to completely different famend boutiques within the nation.

As her uncle’s cash proved too little to make an enormous push, Salina utilized for monetary help from MIDAS and acquired a Tk 1,50,000 mortgage for her enterprise Aakor, which she has already paid again. Now she has utilized for one more mortgage from MIDAS and can also be planning to take a mortgage from Karmasangsthan Financial institution to increase her enterprise. Now her personal capital has reached Tk 10,00,000.

Aakor produces quilt cushion cowl curtain, mattress cowl and sheets, saree, gown, and punjabi. The corporate’s whole gross sales in 2000 was Tk 15,00,000, which is Tk 4,00,000 up from the 1999 sales-figure