The Bonik Barta and the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) yesterday honoured two talented entrepreneurs for their contribution to the economy.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed handed out the Talented Entrepreneurs Award 2016 to Md Akhtar Hossain from Jessore and Md Anwar Uddin Hossaini from Savar at a programme held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.
Akhtar Hossain manufactures parts and pressure plates that are used in imported cars, while Anwar Uddin Hossaini produces leather and leather products.
Kazi Ali Toufique, acting director general of the BIDS, and Dewan Hanif Mahmud, editor of the Bonik Barta, spoke at the event, which was also attended by leaders of various chambers and trade bodies and heads of financial institutions, corporate bodies and civil society organisations.
Hossain started his factory, Enayet Engineering & Foundry, in 1986 with only one lathe machine, a tool that performs various operations such as cutting, sanding, knurling, drilling and deformation.
He has expanded his venture since then and now owns 15 lathe machines. He has three factories, including one in the complex of the Bangladesh Small & Cottage Industries Corporation in Jessore.
His factories produce 35 types of agriculture and motor parts including drums, pressure plate, fly-wheel and gearbox, according to the organisers.
Speaking at the award ceremony, Hossain said the country's top bus service operators such as Eagle, Hanif, AK Travels and Shyamoli are using parts from his factories for their vehicles.
His annual sales in recent years stood at Tk 3 crore.
Hossaini, owner of AIMCO Footwear Ltd, began his venture after completing his tertiary level education.
He bought a closed leather shoe factory in 2002 and started producing leather products with only 10 workers initially. Now, the company employs more than 350 people.
The export-oriented firm earns more than Tk 15 crore in overseas sales annually.
While accepting the award, Hossaini said he would create jobs for 1,000 people and treble his export income over the next five years.
This was the fourth time that the Bonik Barta and the BIDS jointly handed out the awards.
It is undeniable that the contribution of the entrepreneurs has spread across the country, Toufique said.
“If we can encourage them through felicitations, the economic development will accelerate further.”
At the same time, financial incentives and infrastructure facilities have to be put in place so they can flourish, he added.