Latifur wins Business for Peace Award | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 18, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 18, 2012

Latifur wins Business for Peace Award


Leading businessman Latifur Rahman has won the prestigious 2012 Oslo Business for Peace Award for maintaining commitment to social responsibility and ethical values.
This is the first time a Bangladeshi businessperson has received the prize, which is considered the most celebrated recognition in the business world. An independent committee of Nobel Prize winners in peace and economics chooses the award's recipients.
The sponsors of the prize -- the Business for Peace Foundation, Oslo, and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) -- announced the names of the recipients yesterday.
“We congratulate you with the exceptional appreciation you have thus been given by the Award Giving Committee, and we are truly proud to have you in the exclusive group of Business for Peace Honourees,” the Business for Peace Foundation said about Latifur Rahman, chairman and chief executive officer of Transcom Group.
Mahbubur Rahman, president of ICC Bangladesh, announced the awards at a press conference at the Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in the capital.
“The award is the highest distinction given to a businessperson for outstanding business worthy accomplishments,” said the president of ICC Bangladesh.
The Business for Peace Foundation, formed in 2007 to promote relationship between business and peace, has been awarding seven businesspersons from across the globe every year since 2009.
This year's other six winners are: Ibrahim Abouleish (Egypt), Anil Agarwal (India), Eduardo Eurnekian (Argentina), Dr Vladas Lasas (Lithunia), David W Mac Lennan (USA), and Reginal A Mengi (Tanzania).
The seven honourees will be presented with the awards at the 2012 Oslo Peace through Trade Summit on May 7 in the Oslo City Hall, Norway. The summit entitled “Essences of Trust in Business Today” will feature keynote speeches from renowned personalities.
In 2010, the award's recipients were Ratan Tata of India, Francis Yeoh of Malaysia, Stef Wertheimer of Israel, Roberto Servitje Sendra of Mexico, Venkataramani Srivathsan of Nigeria, William Rosenzweig of USA, and Emily Cummins of UK.
Phenomenal success in business and strict ethical and responsible business practices have helped Rahman win this prestigious award.
Transcom that started off with tea plantations in 1885 is now one of the country's largest conglomerates comprising 16 public and private companies. Having an annual turnover of more than $350 million (nearly Tk 2,800 crore), the group employs over 10,000 people. Transcom Group paid Tk 551 crore (over $60 million) as tax, duty and VAT in 2011.
Rahman has set up new enterprises and worked them up through the ladder. All his enterprises are now leaders in their own spheres -- be it newspaper, pharmaceuticals, printing, electronics or food industries. His group posts around 25 percent growth a year.
“I am very humbled and proud,” Rahman said in his instant reaction. He said it has been proved that business and ethics can go side by side.
“If you try business with some ethics, it is possible.”
He urged the local business community to be more disciplined, ethical and responsible.
The Transcom Group chairman also has high hopes of Bangladesh's business potentials. Businesses here are growing and will expand further in the next 10 to 15 years, he said.
Rahman is the chairman and CEO of Transcom Group, vice president of ICC Bangladesh, and chairman of Nestlé Bangladesh, Holcim Bangladesh and National Housing Finance and Investments.
He is a director of Linde Bangladesh (formerly British Oxygen) and member of the governing board of BRAC, the world's largest non-governmental organisation.
Transcom is the local business partner of international brands like Pizza Hut, KFC, PepsiCo and Philips. Leading Danish insulin manufacturer Novo Nordisk has also chosen Rahman's pharmaceutical company Eskayef as the sole manufacturer of its products after China and India in Asia.

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