Vol. 5 Num 606 Fri. February 10, 2006  

Salman Ispahani, Citibank win AmCham business awards

M Salman Ispahani, managing director of MM Isphhani, and Citibank, NA Bangladesh have been adjudged AmCham business executive and outstanding American company for the year 2004.

AmCham (American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh) gave away the awards at a function at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel yesterday.

Judith A Chammas, US charge d'affaires in Dhaka, attended the annual business awards presentation ceremony as chief guest while AmCham President Andrew L Fawthrop presided over the function, sponsored by Bangla CAT.

Congratulating the award winners, Chammas said the recipients are recognised not only for financial strength but also for management skills.

She also hoped the economic and social development activities in Bangladesh will continue.

Receiving the 'Business Executive of the Year Award for 2004,' Salman Ispahani said: "I don't think it is an individual award. I don't deserve the award but I accept it on behalf of my fellow colleagues and others of the company."

"We work as a family and we are proud of our efforts outside business," he noted.

MM Ispahani Ltd witnessed tremendous growth in the branded tea business after Salman Ispahani was appointed managing director in 1993. The group's cotton spinning mill has also grown. It supplies products not only to domestic handloom market but also to the country's knitwear export industry.

Receiving the 'Outstanding American Company of the Year Award for 2004' on behalf of the Citibank NA, Mamun Rashid, chief executive officer of the bank, said Citibank, NA is the only foreign bank in Bangladesh running with 100 percent local people.

"The bank has been operating here for a decade, but it is two-century old. Citibank prefers to be different from the crowd and from any other bank," he added.

"We are offering an integrated set of products," Mamun said, hoping to create a stronger platform for financial services.

In 2004, Citibank, NA, the local legal vehicle of the Citigroup, the largest global financial services institution, also received a special citation under the US state department's corporate executive award for its commitment to corporate citizenship, innovation and exemplary business practices in Bangladesh.

In 2005, Citigroup took an outstanding role to establish the 'Global Microentrepreneurship Awards (GMA) programme in Bangladesh recognising several unsung heroes of the country.

The bank is playing a significant role in the country's inward remittance and embarked on a new initiative to give insurance coverage to Bangladeshi nationals living in Saudi Arabia who remit funds to their beneficiaries in Bangladesh through Citibank.

AmCham introduced business executive award for outstanding performance of the top business personalities in Bangladesh in 1997 and outstanding American company of the year award in 1999.

M Salman Ispahani (extreme right), recipient of AmCham 'Business Executive of the Year Award for 2004', and Mamun Rashid (extreme left), recipient of AmCham 'Outstanding American Company of the Year Award for 2004' on behalf of Citibank NA, pose for photographs with (from right) A Gafur, AmCham executive director, Andrew L Fawthrop, AmCham president, Judith A Chammas, US charge d'affaires in Dhaka, Tarique Haque, Bangla CAT director, and Syed Ershad Ahmed, AmCham vice president, at the award presentation ceremony in Dhaka yesterday. PHOTO: STAR