& Finance News
Compiled by SDNP
who win Bangladesh Business Awards 2002
Business Person of the Year
The Daily Star
Syed Manzur Elahi, chairman of Apex Group, received the 'Business Person
of the Year 2002' award. He is one of the pioneers who turned the
loss-making leather sector into a key foreign currency earner. Today,
Apex Tannery and Apex Footwear are worth Tk 600 million and Tk 161
million, respectively, in terms of capital employing over 2,000 people
and exporting Tk 2.3 billion annually. In its attempt to remain
competitive, Apex has repeatedly upgraded its equipment straight from
the gurus in leather technology in Tuscany, Italy.
At the award ceremony, Elahi was his usual eloquent self. He appreciated
the positive role the government has played in formulating the right
policies for the leather sector and highlighted the local value added by
the sector a phenomenal figure of 95 per cent. He thanked his wife for
supporting him to leave a comfortable corporate job and delve into
uncertain initiatives. Despite the admittedly "dirty and obnoxious"
nature of his business, Elahi painted a bright future for Bangladeshi
Outstanding Woman in Business of the Year
Geeteara Safiya Choudhury, chairman of Adcomm Limited, was awarded the
honor of being 'Outstanding Woman in Business of the Year 2002'. She
started her own business in an era when few women dared to venture out
into the entrepreneurial world.
From a small office, Adcomm has expanded today to one of the top-tier
advertising agencies in Bangladesh with the group's annual turnover
amounting to Tk 50 crore and generating employment for about 300. It is
affiliated with renowned international agencies like Bates Worldwide,
and Lowe, Lintas and Partners.
Signage, the digital printing house, Screaming Girl, production house,
Art of Noise, recording studio, and Marka, an ad firm, are all
supportive hands for Adcomm to make it a complete house.
The journey definitely does not come to an end with Adcomm. There are
still many things to be done. "I want to build Adcomm to be recognised
as a world class advertising and communication solution provider",
Enterprise of the Year
Micro Electronics Limited was awarded the 'Enterprise of the Year 2002'
award for its courageous and, now successful, venture of homegrown
electronic products in a market where imported goods have traditionally
been the preferred choice. Shattering all prevailing perception, Micro
has successfully become a worthy name in electronic appliances
generating annual turnover to the tune of Tk 36 crore. Hasina Doula,
managing director of Micro Electronics Limited, received the award with
tearful memories of her late husband Mofiud Doula, original founder of
the award-winning company. She vividly narrated their initial struggles
together in establishing their fledgling enterprise.
Today the product portfolio of the company includes emergency power
supply (EPS), voltage stabiliser, remote control system, road traffic
and railway signalling systems and sodium light. The company's products
have already crossed national borders and are now found in Singapore and
north-eastern states of India.
Joint Venture Enterprise of the Year
The first ever recipient of the newly introduced award category, 'Joint
Venture Enterprise of the Year', was GrameenPhone Ltd. An alliance
amongst Grameen Telecom of Bangladesh, Telenor ASA of Norway, Marubeni
Corporation of Japan and Gonofone Development Corpo ration of USA,
GrameenPhone today boasts 70 per cent market share and 50 per cent
growth rate in profits.
Ola Ree, managing director, GrameenPhone Ltd, accepted the award on
behalf of his management and emphasised that this is definitely not a
one-person success. He mentioned GrameenPhone was the biggest corporate
taxpayer in the country in the last fiscal year and the livelihood of
over 20,000 people are related directly or indirectly to GP. Ree
expressed thanks to the shareholders and attributed GP's overall success
to the professionalism and commitment of the employees.
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Industrial Policy to be placed before cabinet
Reporter, The Independent
Policy 2003-07 will be placed before the cabinet on Monday for its
approval. This was disclosed by Industries Minister MK Anwar while
speaking as chief guest at a seminar on ‘Sick Industries : Causes,
Remedies and Prevention’ yesterday.
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and Centre for
International Private Enterprise (CIPE) organised the seminar in the
city with its President Motiur Rahman in the chair.
Executive Chairman of Board of Investment (BOI) Mahmudur Rahman and
Industries Secretary AFM Sarwar Kamal attended the seminar as special
Professor and Director of Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM)
Dr Sujit Saha presented the key-note paper at the seminar.
Industrial policy and finance bill should be integrated during the
formulation of national budget, Anwar maintained. He, however, laid
emphasis on a regulatory framework in the free market economy.
Citing the example of a huge number of cement factories of the country,
the minister said a quantitative restriction must be maintained so that
the market could not be over-saturated.
He said the regulatory system in the country was still weak. "Our main
weakness lies in the process of carrying out a feasibility study prior
to setting up of an industry," he said.
The government is aware of this situation and initiated measures to
address the problem and sick industries rehabilitation and revival cell
was created in 1991 headed by Industries Secretary, he said.
He, however, opined that the government alone cannot rehabilitate the
sick industries or sort out their problems, he added.
Responding to a query of a participant, the minister said the process
was underway to amend the relevant laws to strengthen the Bangladesh
Standard and Testing Institute (BSTI). Former President of DCCI Rashed
Maksud Khan identified lack of working capital as the main hindrance to
open an industry. Industrial parks should be established in the country
to expedite the pace of industrialisation, he said.
Dr Sujit in his paper suggested the plunging trend of growth in the
manufacturing sector and its negligible share in the job creation should
be reversed for a fast turnaround of the sector.
The contribution of industry sector to GDP was 15.58 per cent in the
fiscal year of 2001-02 and growth rate was only 5 per cent in the same
fiscal, he said.
BSS adds: The participants pointed out a number of issues including lack
of project viability, market planning and management skill, high bank
interest rate, frequent change of government policies, lack of
co-ordination among concerned government departments, political unrest,
and over saturation of particular type of industries as major reasons of
Several speakers said NGO interventions in private sector with their
exemptions caused an uneven competition in the market. A number of
entrepreneurs demanded a stable and sustainable industrial policy like
the fiscal policy of the government if needed with endorsement of
They also called for developing industrial data bank for entrepreneurs
and enforcing quantitative restrictions on imports and stop cross border
smuggling saying that even the advanced economies too were not so open
to frustrate their domestic industries.
Presenting the keynote paper Dr Sujit Saha of Bangladesh Institute of
Bank Management suggested a number of preventive measures through
changing macro-economic policies and their effective implementation,
tariff rationalisation, motoring of saturation in industrial sub
sectors, development of linkage industries, expansion of market base
through increased export and creation of enabling environment through
maintaining law and order.
The paper also suggested several curative measures for the already sick
units including constitution of project rehabilitation cells by banks,
remission of interest rates and launching dis-investment process in
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Govt offloads 11.75m shares of seven companies
BSS, Dhaka, The Independent
The government has decided to offload a number of 11,748,815 shares of
seven companies, which is 60.19 per cent in its ownership, for operating
in the country's capital market.
The companies include Zeel Bangla Sugar Mills Ltd at Dewanganj, Shampur
Sugar Mills Ltd, Rangpur, Reinweek Jageshar and Company Ltd, Kustia,
Bangladesh Moonspool Paper Manufacturing Company Ltd, Narayanganj,
Osmania Glass sheet Factory Ltd, Chittagong, Padma Oil Company Ltd,
Chittagong and Eastern Lubricants Blenders Ltd, Chittagong.
A press release issued yesterday by the Privatisation Commission said
the government will sell these shares to the public through the
Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) and other brokerage houses.
The government will offload 63.52 per cent or 38,11,050 shares of Zeel
Bangla from its ownership, 88.54 per cent or 88,26,800 shares of Shampur
Sugar, 66 per cent or 1,32,000 shares of Reinweek Jageshar, 28.17 per
cent or 78,070 shares of Bangladesh Moonspool, 51 per cent or 1,78,500
shares of Osmania Glass, 50.35 per cent or 24,67,150 share of Padma Oil
and 65.92 per cent or 6,55,245 shares of Eastern Lubricants.
Government was holding total 19,521,120 shares of these companies, which
include 60 lakh of Zeel Bangla, 50 lakh of Shampur Sugar, 2 lakh of
Reinweek Jageshar, 2.77 lakh of Bangladesh Moonspool, 3.5 lakh of
Osmania Glass, 49 lakh of Padma Oil and 9.94 lakh of Eastern Lubricants.
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Meghna Energy gets ISO certification
Meghna Energy Limited has achieved the ISO 9001-2000 certification for
its quality management system standard with regard to the management of
10.9-MW gas engine power plant at Rupganj in Narayanganj.
The company, a joint venture subsidiary of Rolls Royce Power Venture, UK
(RRPV) achieved the Certification from Det Norske Veritas (DNV), Holland
on conforming to its quality management system standard.
Cosmos Energy Services, a partner to RRPV, UK is performing the
operation and maintenance (O and M) services of the plant, which
exclusively caters to the entire electricity needs of Scancement
Meghna Energy is the first Captive Independent Power Producer (CIPP) in
Bangladesh and Cosmos Energy Services is the first organisation in the
country to attain ISO 9001-2000 Certification in respect of O and M of
Captive Power Plant.
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