Vol. 4 Num 288 Sat. March 20, 2004  

The four winners of Bangladesh Business Awards 2003
Business Person of the Year
Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, chairman of the PHP Group, received the 'Business Person of the Year 2003'. PHP (Peace, Happiness and Prosperity) Group has 16 different business concerns. Being the largest manufacturer of flat steel products in Bangladesh, it has started exporting its products to the global market. PHP Shipbreaking & Recycling Industries Ltd exported copper and other products to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and other countries. Some other products of the group are exported to Myanmar, China, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and many African countries. Total exports of the group amounted to Tk 98.27 crore in 2003. Born in 1941 in Narayanganj, Rahman now is envisioning the establishment of the country's first integrated steel mill to produce finished goods (CI sheet) from iron ore.

"Divine blessings combined with hard work, backed by good intention make this miracle," said Rahman while unveiling the reason behind his success before the audience at the award giving ceremony.

Outstanding Woman in Business of the Year
Monjulika Chakma of Rangamati-based Bain Textile was awarded the 'Outstanding Woman in Business of the Year 2003'. Born in 1943 in Rangamati, Monjulika is the first tribal woman entrepreneur in the country, who took bold and unprecedented initiatives to develop traditional looms as an industry. Bain Textile has three showrooms in Rangamati and one in Cox's Bazar. Besides, her products are sold in selected outlets in Dhaka. Around 80 weavers, experts and helpers are engaged in her handloom business, apart from the more than 100 tribal women in four villages who produce handloom products for sale.

"My future plans include establishment of another unit equipped with power looms to increase production volume," Monjulika said at the function.

Enterprise of the Year
MM Ispahani Ltd was awarded 'Enterprise of the Year 2003'. Blessed with a 184 year-old heritage, the House of Ispahani today is one of the most respected business concerns in the entire subcontinent. The company's historical roots can be traced way back to 1820 when its founder Haji Mohammed Hashem moved from Isfahan, Persia to Bombay and started a business that soon expanded phenomenally in both scale and coverage. In Bangladesh, the first branch office was opened in Dhaka in 1888. After 1947, the corporate headquarters of M M Ispahani Ltd was shifted from Calcutta to Chittagong. Today, the company is involved in numerous sectors such as tea, textile, real estate, poultry, shipping and internet services. It has corporate offices in Chittagong, Dhaka and Khulna employing more than 20,000 people.

Mirza Ali Behroz Ispahani, chairman of MM Ispahani Ltd, received the award and conveyed his thanks to the family members and company staff for extending him all out supports in attaining the success.

Joint Venture Enterprise of the Year
This year's 'Joint Venture Enterprise of the Year', went to Coats Bangladesh, where Coats Plc, UK has 80 percent share and the remaining 20 percent equity belonging to A K Khan & Co Ltd of Bangladesh. The company began manufacturing industrial thread in Bangladesh when the market was hundred percent dependent on imports and over the last 12 years. It expanded capacity every year and is now one of the largest dye-houses in the Asia Pacific region. Coats Bangladesh now enjoys double-digit sales growth. On the production side, Coats Bangladesh established its first manufacturing plant in Chittagong in 1990 which now has a capacity of 14 tons of sewing thread a day.

Shafiq Uz Zaman, managing director of Coats Bangladesh, received the award. He acknowledged the supports he got from the ministries concerned, National Board of Revenue, Board of Investment and other regulatory bodies in doing business.

(From left) Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, chairman of the PHP Group, Monjulika Chakma, proprietor of Bain Textile, Mirza Ali Behroz Ispahani, chairman of MM Ispahani Ltd and Shafiq Uz Zaman, managing director of Coats Bangladesh Ltd.. PHOTO: STAR