It was in 1994 that Mahbubur Rahman made his full foray into the world of business, having graduated from Dhaka University with a degree in commerce.
Rahman started with a small buying house, on a humble office space in Dhaka, employing only four. With him at the helm, the buying house became a giant in knitwear trade, employing more than 7,000.
His life was cut short by a fire that swept through his company, Tung Hai Sweaters Ltd, in the capital on Wednesday night. He died from smoke inhalation, along with seven others.
Rahman's business venture Tung Hai Group counts the UK's Primark, Peacock, New Look and Spain's Inditex as its clients, while the annual turnover, according to Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, is upwards of $80 million.
His extraordinary performance yielded him the title of commercially important person thrice, together with BGMEA's Presidential Export Trophy in 2004.
Born in Shuvarampur village of Comilla in 1965, Rahman was “an employer second to none”, according to Mohammad Taher, a worker in one of his five factories.
“Our owner had never missed the deadline for salary payment. He never misbehaved with us. We worked like a family,” said Fatema Begum, another employee.
He was also the managing director of Agrani Insurance Company, and was serving as a BGMEA director at the time of his death.
“He was an elected director, also in my board. He was dedicated to his duties and accomplished all the duties I assigned him. He had no ego in his mind,” said Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, the immediate past president of BGMEA.
Rahman was also the president of the board of directors of Brothers Union, a professional sports club.