A night for change makers
From left, Selim RF Hussain, managing director of IDLC Finance; Masuda Islam, chairman of Protina BD Foods; AMA Muhith, finance minister; MA Rahim Feroz, vice-chairman of DBL Group; Abu Sayed, general manager of Nasir Group of Industries (on behalf of Nasir Uddin Biswas); Desmond Quiah, country manager of DHL Express; and Malcolm Monteiro, senior vice president and area director for South Asia of DHL Express, pose for photographs at the Bangladesh Business Awards ceremony at Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka on May 31. PHOTO: AMRAN HOSSAIN
It was an event to recognise the best in business that set inspiring examples for others to emulate.
DHL Express, the world's leading logistics company, and The Daily Star, the nation's most-read English-language newspaper, honoured two individuals and two enterprises at the 13th annual premier business event at Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka on May 31.
The Bangladesh Business Awards have been given to those who have witnessed success and created much-needed jobs to contribute to the economy.
The title for the Business Person of the Year was handed over to Nasir Uddin Biswas, chairman of Nasir Group of Industries. Starting out as a small tobacco trader four decades ago, he now steers a conglomerate that boasts an annual turnover of Tk 2,000 crore and employs over 23,000 people.
Next came the Best Financial Institution category. IDLC Finance, a popular brand for its aggressive business, compliance and ethical practices, bagged the award.
The non-bank financial institution's deposit almost doubled to Tk 2,200 crore in 2012 from two years ago, and credit disbursement reached Tk 2,799 crore from Tk 1,561 crore. In the last couple of years, it cut its non-performing loans to 2.09 percent while doubling the number of branches to 26.
DBL Group, a leading composite garment factory, has landed the Enterprise of the Year award. It now boasts 19 subsidiaries -- mostly in garments, textiles, telecoms and ceramics, with turnover close to $243 million in 2012. The number of employees stands at 15,700.
School teacher-turned entrepreneur Masuda Islam was recognised as the Outstanding Woman in Business for her hard work and success. Starting from scratch, she now employs 26.
She now leads Protina BD Foods, which makes frozen snacks, sweets, bakery items and vermicelli, and supplies to superstores in the capital. Her venture now has an asset value of Tk 1 crore.
The ceremony began with a minute of silence in memory of the garment workers killed in the Rana Plaza collapse in Savar on April 24.
A local musical group later performed a score to pay tribute to Pandit Ravi Shankar who organised a concert in New York in 1971 for Bangladesh.
Separately, other performers sang the famous song, 'Bangladesh' by legendary musician George Harrison, whose joint effort with Shankar brought global attention to the 1971 massacre in the erstwhile East Pakistan.
Over 300 businesspeople, diplomats, bureaucrats, politicians, entrepreneurs, celebrities, civil society members, academics and former award recipients gathered at the event to salute the best businesses and the people behind.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith handed the crests to the winners as chief guest. Malcolm Monteiro, senior vice president and area director for South Asia of DHL, was also present.
Mahfuz Anam, editor and publisher of The Daily Star, said these awards celebrate the greatest achievement of the businesses for their contribution to economic growth and for taking Bangladesh's brand names to the international market.
Desmond Quiah, country manager of DHL Express, said the winners are opening opportunities for Bangladesh in the global arena.
The awards stepped into the 13th year of its journey. The awards were launched to celebrate the country's businesses and the people behind the brands that received no recognition, government or private, for their outstanding achievements.