Icons of Achievement

Chairman of PHP Group
Mohammed Mizanur Rahman
Business Person of the Year 2003

Proprietor of Bain Textile
Manjulika Chakma
Outstanding Woman in Business of the Year 2003

Chairman of MM Ispahani Limited
Mirza Ali Behrouze Ispahani
Enterprise of the Year 2003

Managing Director of Coats Bangladesh Limited
Shafiq Uz Zaman
Best Joint Venture Enterprise of the Year 2003


Laurels for ace achievers

Shahnila Azher

In the spirit of celebrating outstanding successes in the realm of business, the Bangladesh Business Awards 2003 were announced on March 19, 2004 at a gala reception in the Dhaka Sheraton Hotel. Elegantly decorated with flowers and candles, the Winter Garden ballroom took on a different air as hundreds of business luminaries, corporate executives, academics and government officials gathered to recognise the often-ignored stories of leadership, integrity, and creativity in the business arena.

Now in its fourth year after inception, the essence of The Daily Star-DHL co-sponsored awards is to honour superior performances in the workplace - whether it is driven by one individual or is the cumulative result achieved by a group. The anticipating group of audience attending the event did not have to wait long before the names of the 2003 winners were revealed. The evening of March 19th began with an enthralling display of dance and fire - a spectacular performance by a 4-member local troupe that immediately gained everyone's admiration. Soon afterwards, orchestrated by a compere, winners from prior years came up on stage to announce the names selected for this year's awards. As two giant screens on either side of the stage displayed brief video introductions of the winners in the four categories, Finance and Planning Minister M Saifur Rahman gave away the prestigious crests. The rest of the night belonged entirely to these four achievers.

Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, chairman of PHP Group, received the "Business Person of the Year 2003" award for his enterprising drive, remarkable corporate success and ethical business practices.

Manjulika Chakma, proprietor of Bain Textile, walked away with the "Outstanding Woman in Business of the Year 2003" award for playing a leading role in promoting the use of indigenous products in the worlds of household and fashion at both home and abroad.

M M Ispahani Ltd was awarded in the "Enterprise of the Year 2003" category for achieving business success across numerous sectors while continuing to make significant social contributions.

Coats Bangladesh Ltd received the "Best Joint Venture of the Year 2003" award for playing a pioneering role in export-oriented industrial thread manufacturing and infusing the latest management and technological practices into their local set-ups.

Despite the excitement of the moment, the winners were all eloquent in their reactions. M Mizanur Rahman said PHP is actually an acronym for Peace, Happiness and Prosperity. "Divine blessings combined with hard work, backed by good intentions can make miracles," he explained as the reason behind his success.

Manjulika Chakma mentioned her dream project of collecting and highlighting the everyday items used by indigenous people - ranging from jewellery to clothing to household products. She said her immediate future plans are to increase her production and export volumes.

Mirza Ali Behrouze Ispahani, chairman of M M Ispahani Ltd, described the original vision behind the century-old company to be the one that is still driving it forward - the importance of investing in both the economic and social development of the country.

Shafiq Uz Zaman, managing director of Coats Bangladesh, retrospectively appreciated the tremendous support his company has received, over the years, from all government entities, customers, and the local joint-venture partner, A K Khan group. All four winners were profuse in expressing their gratitude and appreciation to their employees and family members.

In his speech, the finance minister appreciated the role of The Daily Star-DHL partnership in identifying achievers in the world of business and recognising their role in the economic development of the country. He emphasised the need to highlight the conventionally ignored industry sectors, acclaim the performing entrepreneurs and encourage the newcomers in order to establish benchmarks of excellence in trade, industry and commerce.

Desmond Quiah, country manager of DHL Worldwide Express, Bangladesh, said good corporate governance, appreciable social commitment and ethical standards form the basis of these awards.

DHL Bangladesh Managing Director Anselm Quiah thanked everyone for taking part in the award ceremony.

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