M. Mosharraf Hossain – the HR Guru
Uring the initial years of a newly emerged independent nation, Bangladesh badly needed a pool of professionally trained and qualified managerial workforce to run the new government and the private sector entities. It was almost impossible for the war-ravaged economy to afford the stupendous task of training executives to run their offices. It was Dr. M Mosharraf Hossain who took up the responsibility of training professionals concurrently with the efforts of the government. Through his organisation, the Chairman and Managing Director of Rapport Bangladesh Limited shouldered the onerous task of training public and private sector executives or managers. The pioneer who established the groundwork of human resources in the country passed away in the morning of , the first day of Ramadan, due to old age complications. He was 71.
Apart from being a trainer on management, Mosharraf Hossain was a social activist, consultant and a prolific writer on management-related subjects. He had declared that the institutional mission of Rapport Bangladesh Limited was "management is our business." Mosharraf had always been in search of quality management and professionalism in every sector. In every event that he organised, he displayed the true meaning of management. The core areas of his training activities were public speaking and communication, team building and leadership, financial management, report writing, training of trainers (ToT), supervisory skills, training methodology and corporate social responsibility.
Experts at home and abroad called him the "Harbinger of Management Development in Bangladesh." About 800,000 trainees and admirers affectionately termed him the HR Guru of Bangladesh. Until his departure from this mundane world, he had the credit of delivering as many as 7000 lectures on diverse topics of management that were heard by eminent managers, businesspersons, and entrepreneurs.
His book, Corporate Management, emerged as a classic document that still guides managers on how to prevent mismanagement in a corporate body. Mosharraf used to believe that the principal causes of mismanagement were the traditional 'thumb rule management' of the first generation entrepreneurs; apathy of the private sector industrialists to training; corrupt practices; and faulty planning that affect the socio-economic discipline. As a publisher-editor, he used to bring out a monthly magazine Management that turned to be a source of guidance for executives in the country. He made substantive contribution to the formulation of the Public Administration Policy of the government in 2001.
Mosharraf embodied the qualities of head and heart. As a Rotarian, he made significant contributions to the HRD of the country. For his devotion and commitment to social services, he was made the District Governor (1994 - 1995), District Trainer (2002 - 2003) and District Coordinator (2013 - 14). In recognition of his brilliant social services, he was also declared the Best Rotarian of the Year 2005. A permanent member of Dhaka Club and Dhanmondi Club, Mosharraf was also a life member of the DU Alumni Association, the Diabetic Association of Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Society for Training and Development.
He used to display a strong sense of self-confidence and self-appraisal, and would cheekily call himself 'success reincarnate.' He proved what Rapport actually meant, as at his initiative and invitation, Nobel Laureate Mother Teresa paid a visit to Bangladesh. Mosharraf used to render consultancy services to global agencies like The World Bank, UNDP, FAO, UNICEF, UNESCO and IFC. With a pacifist outlook, he used his organisation as a platform to bring into unity a host of Pakistani and Indian management experts to share ideas and experiences. With his magnetic personality, he successfully attracted the attention of a host of scholars like Dr. Akbar Ali Khan, Dr. Sa-adat Husain, Sharu S Rangnekar and Prof Khwaza Amjad Sayeed.
It was his forte to give ceremonial recognition to the deserving personalities of the country for their contribution to human resources development and management was his forte, as he would organise annual HRD Award giving ceremonies. The prominent awardees of RAPPORT include SM Shafiul Azam, A M M Muhith, Dr. Shaikh Maqsood Ali, Dr. Akbar Ali Khan, Dr. A Majeed Khan, Dr. Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, Muhammad Khalid Shams, Dr. Sadat Hussain, Ilias Kanchan, Sharu S Rangnekar (India), Ferdousi Rahman, Mahbub Jamil, Dr. Salehuddin Ahmed, Geteeara Safiya Choudhury, Dr. M. Enamul Huq, et al.
Born in 1945, Mosharraf remained a devoted life partner to Momtaj Hossain, who had been extremely supportive and a source of encouragement to him. Father of two children -son Tareq and daughter Anita - he used to draw inspiration from them as well.
French moralist writer Jean de Bruyere has said: "There are only three great events for a person: To be born, to live and to die." Mosharraf has completed all the events. He has now passed to the Great Beyond and now belongs to our memory; a memory that acts as a source of perennial inspiration for those who will remain in the quest of an over-arching management value: efficiency.
The writer is a former secretary to the Government of Bangladesh and one of the Rapport awardees for HRD.