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Linking Young Minds Together
 Volume 5 | Issue 45 | July 10, 2011 |


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Young Business Minds

Fauzia Sultana

Photo: Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

Away from the hectic city life, Andalib is spending his weekend at a farm house in Mymensingh. Sipping away a cup of tea and flipping through the pages of his favourite novel Feluda, enjoying the soothing sounds of rippling pukur water and inhaling the fresh aroma from the green all over. But what's different about Andalib's weekend is he spends it at the farm house he owns!

Andalib is a second year student at Independent University Bangladesh (IUB) and owns a poultry farm and fishery called AR Farm House in Mymensingh. His interest towards this business grew since childhood when he used to visit his uncles' farms in Mymensingh. With a little financial help from family and his zeal, he started the business right after completing HSC. Compared to the people of his age, Andalib's philosophy is tad different. He was not ready to spend lot money for education and settle down with a 9-5 job after graduation. He wanted more. He thought, if he invested his time in business besides studies, he could establish it by the time he would graduate. “This business not only made me financially sound, but also created employment opportunities for others.”

Andalib's fishery in Mymensingh. Courtesy: Andalib

The youth are the gift of nature; they are a mine full of zest and fresh ideas. The young want to break free from all shackles of restriction and be independent, intellectually or physically. They also yearn for financial independence. For reasons known or unknown, expenses of young people seem to exceed their monthly allowance while studying at university, maybe because they hangout a lot with friends or because they have loads of notes to photocopy (after bunking classes!). To be financially sound, students either tutor or have part-time jobs. But like Andalib, many university students start businesses of their own. “Entrepreneurship is not just about financial solvency; it is about building status and confidence,” says Andalib.

Shammy Akter, a first year student at Stamford University is a costume designer for dance artists. Shammy is a trained dancer herself and has designed costumes for Shadhona, an organisation promoting dance, a reality show on ATN called Meghe Dhaka Tara and TV serials. “Sometimes a dancer needs to play two or more characters. My costumes are designed in such a way so that they can be altered on the spot,”says Shammy. For now she calls this an 'indoor business', since she runs it from home. However she aims to have an office soon and make it from indoor to outdoor.

Andalib's interest in poultry farming has resulted in the creation of his own farm. Courtesy: Andalib

Freelancing is a popular method of earning among students. There are many people who have marked their positions in the world for their freelance work. With the vision of making a place among the famous freelancers, Pramiti Rahman Khan, fifth year student at the Department of Architecture, Stamford University works as a freelance graphics and web designer. We usually assume that for a successful career everyone should follow the rule “all work and no play”. It was the other way around for Pramiti. Back in college, graphics designing was his hobby. Out of curiosity, he used to participate in online web/graphics designing competition. It was this curious mind that won him the contest for the UI design of an iPhone application. Since then, Pramiti did not have to look back. Alongside the local market, he designed websites for foreign companies including Save the Children Canada and spling.com, a social network of USA. “All I had to do was spend a few dollars to buy the domain and set up my website called studioRidz.com to start the business,” says Pramiti.

If it was the win that drove Pramiti into business, for Murad it was a phone call! Murad is a third year student in the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Islamic University of Technology (IUT), who, along with his friends own a company called Cycore Studio. The company works on motion graphics, presentations and AV making. So far, they have worked for companies like GrameenPhone, British American Tobacco and many more. On asking what got them into this business, Murad says, “It was a phone call from one of the judge's at the university project exhibition, who appreciated our work and asked if we would like to work on an assignment.”

L-R: Gift shop is a popular business option for female students. Boutiques are a preferred choice of business among girls for they can be run both at home and outside.

Many students also start abusiness out of passion or craze. “I ALWAYS wanted to become a wedding planner,” says Anika. “Whenever it was a cousin's wedding or a friend's, I used to decorate the dalas or the gaye holud stage and the idea of starting a wedding planning company sparked on one such occasion.” With just a friend's laptop, her car and no office, Anika and her friends started their event management company, KRI Events. Besides wedding planning, Anika's company also organises corporate and other social events. She enjoys planning weddings because they are more fun and assuring in terms of payments, unlike other events. “Starting the business was not easy, since I come from a conservative family. Moreover my family thought it wasn't wise to leave my job and start something from scratch,” says Anika. KRI Events now runs parallel to her post grad classes in Development Studies in North South University. The company now has an office at Baridhara and has four employees along with its initiators.

The webpage of Save the Children Canada is one the noteworthy works of the talented Pramiti.
photo source: internet

Young Pramiti at work. courtesy: pramiti

If Anika is a wedding lover turned wedding planner, music producer Rafa is no less. When cricket, soccer or TV games were on his friends' minds, Rafa always had music on his. Popular among his friends and other musicians for his talent in music, Rafa made his debut into this business with a jingle and eventually making many more. It was while recording these jingles that he realised the need of a recording studio of his own. So he turned a spare room at home into what he calls a semi studio. “I did not have enough money for the gizmos that I needed in the studio. So I played session music with the other renowned musicians in the country and saved up,” shares Rafa. The all rounder also shares, “Earlier, business in this industry meant having just a recording studio. But now with the emergence of music production in the country, the scenario has changed. Music producers create music along with recording.” He says music production is a thriving business because there are just a handful of producers in the country despite the high demand. Rafa now has a fully developed professional studio called StudioHotBox, the hub of all his amazing creations that we groove to.

The diligent creative team working at Cycore Studio. courtesy: murad

The wedding planner and her team discuss the client's requirements before planning the wedding. photo: kazi tahsin agaz apurbo

Remember the movie Pirates of the Silicon Valley that showed how Bill Gates became world famous? Rakib and Parvez, third year students of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, BUET, somewhat can relate to the movie. “We planned to have a software company for long, but not until we gained enough knowledge and a thorough understanding of the market”, say the two. BrainLinks Soft, the brainchild of Rakib and Parvez's, is a software company that deals with web development and programming, software development and mobile applications. Their clientele are mostly foreigners with whom they come across through freelancing sites. They also share, “So far, our investment into the business was nothing more than time, labour and the monthly internet subscription!”

Rafa's studio, Studio HotBox is the hub of all his amazing tracks. courtesy: rafa

Ask the NSU goers to name the famous dish in their cafeteria, and most would say mejbani gosht and kalo bhuna. BHNR, the café that the NSU students hover around during lunch breaks, is initiated by NSU graduate Kamrul Islam. “While studying at the Banani campus, like many others, I wished to have bhaji porota for breakfast instead of sandwich or burger. So when the campus shifted to Bashundhara, I decided to start a restaurant at the NSU Café that serves Bangla food,” shares Kamrul. The young restaurateur makes sure students are served quality food and wishes to expand his business further.

Restaurateur Kamrul Islam's BNHR has flourished in NSU. photo: kazi tahsin agaz apurbo

With the hurdles and challenges of life in the way, the youth are carving their path toward success. Entrepreneurship is simply a way with which the youth can establish their identity. After graduation, one will have lots of options to choose from. But the question is, whether he or she will work some one else or for oneself to turn a vision into reality, or not.


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