From left: Managing Director of Acme Laboratories Mizanur Rahman Sinha, Managing Director of Dutch-Bangla Bank Yeasin Ali, proprietor of Jahan Metal Zinet Fatema, Managing Director of Pacific Jeans Md Nasir Uddin, Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam, Vice President (South Asia-International) of DHL Craig Grossgart and DHL Country Manager Desmond Quiah are seen at the Bangladesh Business Awards 2006 presentation ceremony at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel on March 30, 2007 in Dhaka.

The night of corporate luminaries

Md Hasan

To celebrate the outstanding successes in the realm of business, the Bangladesh Business Awards 2006 were announced at a gala reception at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel on March 30, 2007.

Elegantly decorated with flowers and candles, the hotel ballroom wore a festive look as hundreds of business luminaries, corporate executives, diplomats, academics and government officials took part in the recognition of leadership, integrity and creativity in the business arena.

Now in the seventh year into its inception, the awards co-sponsored by The Daily Star and DHL are aimed at honouring entrepreneurship, be it is driven by one individual or by a group.

The gala reception began with an enthralling performance of dance and music.

Lauding the private sector for its massive contribution to the national economy, Mahfuz Anam, editor of The Daily Star, said the sector should be de-bureaucratised to help it play its due role as the 'engine of economic growth'.

Craig Grossgart, vice president, South Asia-International, DHL, saluted the awardees for their extraordinary performance in the business sector.

He said, "I myself feel honoured to have a chance to award the unrecognized but pioneer entrepreneurs and enterprises."

Soon afterwards, suspense rose high in the ballroom when the anchor of the gala function, Mahmudur Rahman, requested selected guests to announce the names of the winners of business awards for the year 2006.

As two giant screens on either side of the stage displayed brief video introductions of the winners in the four categories, Finance and Planning Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam gave away the prestigious crests.

Md Nasir Uddin, managing director of Pacific Jeans Limited, received the Business Person of the Year 2006 award for his enterprising drive, remarkable corporate success and ethical business practices.

Zinet Fatema, proprietor of Jahan Metal, was awarded with the Outstanding Woman in Business of the Year 2006 for playing leading role in promoting use of local ingredients in the households.

The Acme Laboratories Ltd was awarded in the Enterprise of the Year 2006 category for achieving business success while making significant social contributions.

Dutch-Bangla Bank Ltd (DBBL) obtained the Best Financial Institution of the Year 2006 award for its pioneering role in the banking sector and for contribution to the community through corporate social responsibility (CSR).

The winners were all eloquent in their reactions, despite excitement of the moment.

Research and product development strategy should be the secret of success in an enterprise like ready made garments (RMG), Pacific Jeans Managing Director Md Nasir Uddin said, adding that upholding the commitments made by both the sellers and buyers is also a key to running global business.

In her reaction, Zinet Fatema said inspiration from her husband was a backing to her entrepreneurship. She expressed her determination that she wants to go ahead with her present business.

Receiving the award on behalf of Acme Laboratories, its Managing Director Mizanur Rahman Sinha said a good workers-owners relation is the secret of his company's success.

He also unveiled the Acme plans to go global, maintaining pharmaceutical standards and regulations.

Yeasin Ali, managing director of Dutch-Bangla Bank, disclosed that the bank's sponsor directors had decided to share a good portion of its profit with the underprivileged people. "They did not take any dividend in the first five years," he said, adding 'it is unthinkable in the global business arena to do business without corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.'

In his speech, the finance adviser appreciated The Daily Star-DHL partnership in identifying achievers in the world of business and recognizing their role in the country's economic development.

Congratulating the winners, he said economic development has to be led by the private sector.

Mirza Azizul said there is no doubt that the innovativeness of the private sector is laudable, but the production and export base is very narrow.

"In order to find place or compete in the international market we cannot depend on a narrow export basket. I urge the businesspeople to diversify their products," he said, suggesting that the business community should not only concentrate on manufacturing products but also attach more weight to research and technology transfer for diversifying their product-base.

Desmond Quiah, country manager of DHL Worldwide Express, Bangladesh, said good corporate governance, appreciable social commitment and ethical standards were taken into consideration for awarding the businesspeople.

He said the entire selection process was transparent, a short list of candidates was put together by a research team and the final winners were selected by a jury board consisting of eleven eminent personalities.

The DHL country manager thanked everyone for taking part in the ceremony.

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