Tahera Begum: A Woman in Foundry
This is a woman that shows everyone that a woman's touch is not necessarily tender. She can work with heavy metals and cast them. Tahera Begum used to be a housewife. A foundry is a factory where metals are cast and moulded. She has already made her mark on the foundry scene. Her products are sold all over the country. The reputation of her work is no longer limited to Bogra. And she's made enough money to make herself independent.
It wasn't a smooth ride for her. She started with a mere taka 1,700 that she had saved up. Later she expanded her business by taking loans from the NGO TMSS. Her main raw material was a particular type of hard metal. This metal is melted and then cast into the shape of different objects. Things that are used in daily life. Her capital now stands at taka ten lakhs. She was married into a family of workers. Her husband Arju Mia was worked on a lead machine.
Right now there are 15 workers on Tahera's factory. She has an average monthly revenue of taka 4 lakhs. After subtracting expenses, her monthly profit stands at taka 20,000. The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry awarded her the Best Woman Entrepreneur Award, 2008. At a ceremony held at the Radisson, she was awarded a cash prize of taka 50,000 and a gold medal.
Tahera had started her business in 1995. Observing her tenacity, her husband's boss Ainul Haq Sohel came forward to help her, as did the NGO TMSS. First Tahera bought some goods from Sohel and sold them to stores in the city. Then she purchased a lead machine. She installed it in her home and learnt how to use it from her husband. She started making tools out of metal. She's never had to look back. Now, 15 people work under her.
Her factory is called Arju Iron Store and is located in her home. This factory makes car brakes, drums, slips, liners, rods, brick crushing machines, switch gates, jute mills, rice mills, oil mills, tester mills, mixer mill machines and machinery equipment.
TMSS had helped Tahera very much. They lent her money and they trained her in how to use the machines. With the help of donour organisation South Asia Enterprise Development Facility, TMSS invested taka 50,000 in this business.
This hardworking woman is the mother of two sons. Even though both she and her husband finished only class nine, she wants her children to have a higher education. Both children are now in school. Now she owns her own house. If she can get more loans in the future, she wants to expand her business and employ more people.
(R) thedailystar.net 2008