Special Supplement Monday May 19 , 2008

FROM LEFT Vice-President of DHL Express for South Asia RS Subramanian, Chairman of Bengal Plastic Industries Morshed Alam, Managing Partner of Ikebana Nilufar Farooq, Commerce Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman, Chairman and Managing Director of Viyellatex Group KM Rezaul Hasanat, and Country Manager of DHL Express Bangladesh Desmond Quiah pose for photographs at the Bangladesh Business Awards 2007 ceremony at Sonargaon hotel in Dhaka on April 25, 2008.

Hats off to the champions

Sarwar A Chowdhury

Indeed, Bangladesh private sector now comes to the fore as the driving force for the country's socio economic development.

Despite endless natural and man-made obstacles, the sector with a vision, mission and innovation is not only playing a major role in changing the lots of many, but also leading the country towards sustainable growth. And in the spirit of celebrating outstanding successes in the realm of trade, business and entrepreneurship, the Bangladesh Business Awards 2007 were announced on April 25, 2008 at a gala reception at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka.

The beautifully decorated ballroom of Sonargaon Hotel wore a festive look as hundreds of business luminaries, corporate executives, academics, government high ups and dignitaries gathered to acclaim the recognition of the leadership, integrity and creativity in the business arena.

This was the eighth consecutive year the successful businesspeople were discovered and honoured. The Daily Star and DHL co-sponsored the awards aiming at honouring superior performances in the workplace - whether it is driven by an individual or the cumulative result achieved by a group.

Before the final selection of the talents in the business arena for the Bangladesh Business Awards 2007, initial nominations were sought from members of the public. And then, a research team put together dossiers of the short-listed candidates for perusal by an eleven-member jury.

The gala reception began with a spectacular dance and a dashing display of light and sound.

Mahfuz Anam, editor of The Daily Star, lauded the private sector in Bangladesh for its performance and stressed the need for a genuine trust-based partnership between the government and businesses. He also urged businesses to be united forgetting petty rivalry to contribute more to the country.

RS Subramanian, vice-president of DHL, South Asia, told the audience that the award sponsors felt honoured, as they had been able to recognise the talents in businesses. Over the last seven years, many good business leaders have been recognized, he added.

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 award winners for the year 2007.

KM Rezaul Hasanat, chairman and managing director of Viyellatex Group, won the Business Person of the Year award, while Nilufar Farooq, managing partner of The Ikebana, was named the Outstanding Woman in Business of the Year.

Bengal Plastic Industries Ltd was adjudged the Enterprise of the Year 2007.

As two giant screens on either side of the stage displayed brief video introductions of the winners in three categories, Commerce Adviser Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman gave away the prestigious crests.

Despite the excitement of the moment, all the winners were eloquent in their response.

Receiving the award on behalf of Bengal Plastic Industries, its Chairman Morshed Alam said he had to cross a lot of barriers like many other established businesses to reach this stage. He also laid bare his future plan of setting up textile and paper mills.

In her reaction, Nilufar Farooq, the recipient of the Outstanding Woman in Business award, said development of women is closely related with the overall development of a country.

Viyellatex Group Chairman and Managing Director KM Rezaul Hasanat termed the barriers to business as 'also a strength' and said, "If businesses can cross the barriers with honesty, sincerity and quality, they will definitely succeed."

He said like many he also dreams and he wants to get his company listed on the Fortune 500 list.

In his speech, the commerce adviser laid emphasis on 'personality revolution' saying that the country should not wait for a single person to lift the nation. The country does not need a driver, rather many. “It's a multi-driver reality,” he said.

The adviser said statistics of despair is not the only reality. “We should rise beyond this despair,” he said, suggesting the businesses discover their inner confidence, which will make them move forward. “We have to unleash a culture of showing our generosity through these kinds of events,” he added, lauding the efforts to recognize business talents.

Finally, Desmond Quiah, country manager of DHL Express, delivered the vote of thanks.

Photo: Star

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