Bashundhara Group Chairman Joins farewell Reception for Shringla

Outgoing Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Sunday said Bangladesh is one of the most successful countries of the world.

He specifically mentioned the progress that Bangladesh made over the last 10 years.

Shringla, who is set to leave Dhaka on Monday, made the remarks while delivering his speech at a farewell reception in the city.

The High Commissioner said India, as its best friend and neighbour, wants to see a prosperous, stable and peaceful Bangladesh.

Shringla visited most districts of Bangladesh during his tenure in Bangladesh as the Indian High Commissioner for the last three years.

“I’ve found the people of Bangladesh very generous, hardworking and helpful,” he added.

Awami League General Secretary and Road, Transport Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, outgoing Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan and others business leaders, among others, attended the event.

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Bangladesh people freely exercised franchise in Dec 30 polls: Shringla

Bangladesh people freely exercised franchise in Dec 30 polls

Outgoing Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Friday said people of Bangladesh exercised their franchise in the December 30 national elections in a free and fair manner.

“People of Bangladesh voted for continuity of development,” he told reporters after a reception accorded to him by Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan.

The event was held at The Westin Dhaka in the capital in the evening.
The outgoing Indian envoy said the election was a major event during his three-year tenure in Dhaka.

There were also more important events like the prime minister-level visits of the countries during the period, he mentioned.

Shringla said India and Bangladesh have signed 99 agreements on various aspects of bilateral relations, cooperation and partnership during the last three years.

He added

“Our relations have improved significantly and we’re not only neighbours but also friends and partners,”

Shringla said

What the two neighbours have achieved in their relations during the period is really remarkable.

He said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina for her polls victory.
Calling the victory a landmark happening, Modi said people of Bangladesh voted for development.

Shringla quoted Modi as saying that people have voted for continuation of the incumbent government’s policy and visions of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

About the creditability of the polls, he said: It’s not his country’s concern; rather it’s the concern of the Election Commission of Bangladesh.”

To a question if BNP lawmakers should join parliament, Shringla said: “It’s up to a party what it will do, but as a friend of Bangladesh, I think all those who have won elections should join parliament for the sake of democracy.”

Shringla said Bangladesh and India have seen unprecedented bilateral relations as they have resolved many longstanding issues like land and maritime boundary disputes.

Citing that Bangladesh has granted full market access to India, he said, “We’re happy with the progress the two countries have made and hope for sustainable and people-to-people contact in future.”

Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan welcomed the dignitaries, including ministers, politicians, lawmakers, diplomats, jurists and journalists at the event.

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, LGRD Minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, Railway Minister Mujibul Haque, Prime Minister’s Information Adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, former ministers Dr Dipu Moni and Dr Hasan Mahmud, former state minister AB Tajul Islam, former justice Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik, and Prime Minister’s former press secretary Abul Kalam Azad were present on the occasion.

Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir, his son Ahmed Walid Sobhan, Vice-Chairman Safwan Sobhan Tasvir, Co-chairman Sadat Sobhan Tanvir’s son Ahmed Ibrahim Sobhan, Bangladesh Pratidin Editor Naem Nizam, Daily Sun Editor Enamul Haque Chowdhury, Kaler Kantho Editor Imdadul Haque Milon, Editor Jewel Mazhar, News24 Executive Director Hasnain Khorshed, Kaler Kantho Executive Editor Mostofa Kamal, Foreign Secretary Kamrul Ahsan, Daily Sun Publisher Maynal Hossain Chowdhury, GTV Editor-in-Chief Syed Ishtiaque Reza, Ekushey TV CEO Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, Janakantha Editor Atiqullah Khan Masud, Ekattor TV CEO Mozammel Babu, Jatiya Press Club President Saiful Alam and General Secretary Fardia Yasmin, BFUJ Secretary General Shaban Mahmud, noted journalists Sohrab Hasan, and Ashoke Chowdhury also attended the reception, among others.

Jatiya Party leader ABM Ruhul Amin Howlader and Ziauddin Bablu, lawmakers Shirin Akhter, Abdus Salam Murshedy, Mirza Azam and Enamul Haque Shamim, former FBCCI President Kazi Akramuddin Ahmed, Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokon, Nepalese Ambassador to Bangladesh Prof Dr Choplal Bhusal, RAB DG Benazir Ahmed, DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia, and Prime Minister’s Deputy Press Secretary Ashraful Alam Khokon were also present.

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Check clients’ backgrounds thoroughly before lending

Check clients’ backgrounds thoroughly before lending

Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan on Wednesday said the bank authorities need to conduct a thorough scrutiny of the backgrounds of loan seekers before granting them any credit.

A careful screening of loan applications and documents submitted therewith will keep the bad loan culture at bay, said the business tycoon.

Ahmed Akbar Sobhan came up with his observations while inaugurating a women’s branch of South Bangla Agriculture and Commerce (SBAC) Bank in the city’s Bashundhara Residential Area on Wednesday.
The chairman of the country’s largest business conglomerate said the liability of classified loans puts pressure on good customers, and ultimately dents businesses as a whole.

If it is possible to prevent classified loans or bad loans from the banking sector, businessmen will reap the benefit, and ultimately the country will keep moving forward.

A couple of years ago, the bank loan interest rate was hovering around 15 to 16 percent, which came down to 9 to 11 percent, he said, adding that if bad loan comes to an end, bank loan rate will remain in single digit.

About the newly opened women’s branch of SBAC, the business tycoon said it a great delight to see the opening of such a bank branch, as this kind of effort would help create new entrepreneurs among women.

“Half of our total population is women. I hope this fourth generation bank will play a pivotal role in generating new women entrepreneurs in the country.”

Narrating the women’s progress in all strata of life, Sobhan said women have showed their potential in every sector that is ultimately helping the country become economically more vibrant.

Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in all indices of economy, and the banking sector is contributing the most towards the growth of the country’s economy, said the seasoned businessman.

In his address, SBAC Chairman SM Amzad Hossain said banking activities are being conducted considering the welfare of the customers which is the motto of establishing the bank.

He also urged the customers and business people to bank with SBAC.

Speaking on the occasion, SBAC Managing Director Md Golam Faruque described the bank as one of the best ones among the fourth generation banks in terms of banking services.

In a bid to create new women entrepreneurs and their empowerment, SBAC established this dedicated women’s branch, he mentioned.

Kaler Kantho Editor Imdadul Haq Milon said the country’s banking sector is going through an unstable situation over the past couple of years.

“We hope that SBAC will not have to face this kind of situation,” he said.

South Bangla Agriculture and Commerce Bank Limited started its operation in 2013 and have 74 branches across the country.

SBAC Chairman SM Amzad Hossain, Bangladesh Pratidin Editor Naeem Nizam, additional Managing Director of the bank Mostafa Jalal Uddin Ahmed and Deputy Managing director Tariqul Islam Chowdhury were, among others, present on the occasion.

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Al-Aqsa Grand Mufti calls on Bashundhara Chairman

Al-Aqsa Grand Mufti calls on Bashundhara Chairman

The visiting Grand Mufti of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Mohammed Ahmed Hossain, paid a courtesy call on Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan at the latter’s house in the city on Saturday night.

During the meeting, the Grand Mufti was accompanied by Palestinian Ambassador Yousef SY Ramadan and diplomats and officials of Palestine embassy in Dhaka.The Bashundhara Group Chairman was accompanied by Managing Director of the group Sayem Sobhan Anvir, Bangladesh Pratidin Editor Naem Nizam and the Daily Sun Editor Enamul Haque Chowdhury.

France Ambassador to Bangladesh Marie-Annick Bourdin and Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Md Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin attended the event.

United Muslim Ummah Foundation Secretary General and Daily Vorer Pata Editor Dr Kazi Ertaza Hassan, Sholakia Eidgah Imam Allama Fariduddin Masud, Bangladesh Press Holdings Ltd Chairman Mustafa Kamal Mohiuddin, Chormunai Peer’s son Syed Rezwan Bin Ishaq, and Maulana Arif Uddin Maruf, among others, were also present.

During the meeting, the Grand Mufti presented a crest to Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir.

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Businesses want continuation of AL govt

Businesses want continuation of AL govt

Top industrialists and business leaders on Wednesday stressed the need for continuation of the Awami League-led government for sustainability of the existing business policy to accelerate private sector growth and make the country’s economic base stronger.

Referring to the growth and progress achieved in every sector over the last ten years under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, they vowed to continue their support by making new investments and creating new jobs.

The business leaders and eminent business personalities were speaking at a business conference organised by Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was present at the conference as the chief guest.

Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan said

Today’s Bangladesh has become a role model before the world for its surprising GDP growth.

Praising the tremendous economic progress made possible by the Awami League government in last ten years, he said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is building a Sonar Bangladesh [Golden Bangladesh] with her visionary leadership.

“Before 2008, businesspeople could not get sufficient power supply due to electricity shortage. But today, businesses are getting as much electricity as they need,” Ahmed Akbar Sobhan said.

“We sought around 400MW of electricity for establishing heavy industries in Mirsharai and the government is ready to provide us with the electricity,” he said to cite an example of the Awami League-led government’s commitment to industrialisation and growth.

Talking about the upcoming national election slated for December 30, the Bashundhara Group chairman urged the business community to extend their all-out support to Awami League for the sake of the country’s development.
Referring to the sheltering of Rohingyas, he praised the humanitarian role of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. “She offered shelter to lakhs of Rohingyas showing the greatest gesture of generosity and humanity,” he said.

Salman F Rahman, private sector development affairs adviser to Awami League president, said the business community is grateful to Sheikh Hasina as she extended cooperation to every business person, irrespective of their political affiliation, to do business freely over the last 10 years.

“The Awami League government has done everything for the people of Bangladesh. Everyone has to admit that businessmen irrespective of their political belief or party can now run their business smoothly,” Salman F Rahman said.

“Many big deals were signed in the country in the last ten years. But businesses never faced any interference as they faced from Hawa Bhaban during the BNP regime,” he said, adding that Digital Bangladesh has become a reality now.

FBCCI president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said the Federation is a non-political organisation and its role is to facilitate business for the private sector and strengthen the country’s economy.

“But the motto of today’s business conference is to seek the continuation of the current [Awami League] government, and the continuation of policy and consistency of growth in every sector,” he said.

DCCI president Abul Kasem Khan urged the politicians to put more focus on the country’s human resource development in the coming days.

BKMEA president Salim Osman said Bangladesh needs the continuation of Awami League-led government one more time for the sake of its future.

Prior to the last national election, Sheikh Hasina pledged to eradicate poverty and Monga (famine-like situation) from the country, said BGMEA former president Tipu Munshi. “And she did it.”

Former BGMEA president Atiqul Islam said Sheikh Hasina has been the guardian of readymade garment sector, country’s largest exporting earner. “She played the key role in improving the wage structure for the RMG sector workers.”

Former FBCCI president AK Azad, who is the chairman and managing director of Hameem Group, FBCCI Senior Vice-President Sheikh Fazle Fahim, Mohammadi Group Managing Director Rubana Huq, BASIS President Syed Almas Kabir, Microsoft Bangladesh Managing Director Sonia Bashir, Envoy Group Chairman Kutubuddin Ahmed, Anwar Group Managing Director Manwar Hossain, BSRM Group Chairman Alihussain Akberali, former BGMEA president Anwarul Alam Parvez, Dokan Malik Samity President Helal Uddin, noted entrepreneur Rokeya Afzal Rahman and many other industrialists also spoke on the occasion.

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We’ll set up mega cultural centre: Akbar Sobhan

Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Abkar Sobhan said on Friday that he has a plan to set up a mega cultural centre with a capacity of 30,000 seats in Bashundhara for the sake of cultural progress in Bangladesh.

The business tycoon expressed his eagerness while addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Diwali Concert in Bashundhara residential area of the capital in the evening.

The Indian High Commission in Dhaka in association with Bashundhara Group and Bengal Group arranged the concert to mark the Diwali in Bangladesh.

He said:

India is the greatest friend of Bangladesh. I’m really proud of joining such a gracious programme on my own land and glad to see the gathering.

The Bashundhara Group chairman asked for cooperation from the ministries concerned and the Indian High Commission in this regard.

Speaking on the occasion, Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Harsh Vardhan Shringla said Diwali represents triumph of good over evils and lights over darkness.

He said it is the festival of lights celebrated by the Indian communities around the world.

It’s been a tradition to celebrate Diwali in Dhaka by the Indian communities and the Indian High Commission for last few years.

“As we would like to involve our Bangladeshi friends in the celebrations, we arrange the Diwali here every year,” he added.

The Indian high commissioner thanked Bashundhara Group and Bengal Group for their cooperation in arranging the concert.

Shringla also announced that Bangladeshi singer Mehreen and Indian singers Shankar, Ehsan, and Loy will launch a music album in the upcoming Pahela Boishakh and that would be an India-Bangladesh joint venture.

In his speech, Bengal Group Chairman Abul Khair Litu said this concert has been arranged to create communal harmony in society.

In the concert, Indian musical trio Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa performed to delight the audience.

The award-winning Mahadevan, Noorani and Mendonsa rendered their chart-topping hits at the event.

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Ahmed Akbar Sobhan receives a crest from Terence Hamilton Ireland

Ahmed Akbar Sobhan, Chairman of Bashundhara Group, receives a crest from Terence Hamilton Ireland, principal of India’s famed educational institution St James School, in the city’s Bashundhara residential area on Saturday. Before meeting the chairman, the principal and other delegation members of the institution visited different industrial entities and projects of Bashundhara Group. They expressed their admiration for the success and achievements of the Group, country’s one of the largest industrial conglomerates.

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Bashundhara playing key role in job creation: Akbar Sobhan

Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan has said the business community is working relentlessly for the economic development of the country. 

He said Bashundhara Group, the largest industrial and business conglomerate of Bangladesh, is playing a key role in employment generation and economic progress of the country.

Bashundhara Group chairman was speaking at the Bashundhara LP Gas distributors’ conference titled ‘Swarnali Din’ at International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) in the capital on Thursday.


He expressed the hope that hundred percent of the households in the country will use LP gas for cooking purpose within 5-7 years.


“Bangladesh is the only country where natural gas is used for cooking purpose. This valuable gas should be used in power generation and for industrial purposes,” he said.

Bashundhara Group Vice-chairmen Shafiat Sobhan Sanvir and Safwan Sobhan Tasvir were also present on the occasion.


In his speech, Ahmed Akbar Sobhan said Bashundhara Group first started LPG business in the country with an objective to save the country’s valuable natural gas.


Once people would burn natural gas and wood in a larger way for cooking, but this habit is gradually changing and people are now getting used to LPG use, he added.


“Several companies are now doing LPG business. LPG supply is spreading across the country. But, Bashundhara LPG is the country’s number one brand,” the Bashundhara Group chairman said.


Bashundhara Group is gradually entering various business sectors and the group will continue with its efforts to serve the country and its people, he added.


Bashundhara LPG has won international recognition as a super brand because of its distributors and dealers, the Bashundhara Group chairman told the programme.


“Bashundhara LPG could not have earned the international recognition without the wholehearted support of its distributors and dealers,” he observed.


Terming businesspeople the catalyst of the country’s progress and an associate of the government, Ahmed Akbar Sobhan said business people will help the government lead the country to a developed one.


More than 1,500 distributors along with families from Dhaka, Sylhet, Khulna and Barishal divisions attended the conference.


Three distributors — Shamsuzzaman of Sarah Traders, Jonayed Hussain of Laskar Traders and Ataur Rahman of Ataur Rahman Store — were awarded Yamaha FZ-5 motorcycles, a 125cc motorcycle and gold locket respectively.


The distributors’ conference was followed by a cultural programme. Popular singers, actors and actresses performed at the proramme.


Bashundhara LPG head of marketing and sales Mir TI Faruk Rizvi conducted the distribtors’ conference.

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৫-৭ বছরের মধ্যে দেশে শতভাগ ঘরে এলপি গ্যাসেই রান্না হবে

বসুন্ধরা এলপি গ্যাসের পরিবেশক সম্মেলনে আহমেদ আকবর সোহবান

বসুন্ধরা গ্রুপের চেয়ারম্যান আহমেদ আকবর সোবহান বলেছেন, আমরা এলপি গ্যাসের যাত্রা শুরু করি কারণ, আমাদের দেশের সম্পদ প্রাকৃতিক গ্যাসকে যেনো সংরক্ষণ করা যায়। বিশ্বের আর কোথাও প্রাকৃতিক গ্যাস দিয়ে রান্নাবান্না হয় না। আমি আশা করি, আগামী ৫ থেকে ৭ বছরের মধ্যে আমাদের দেশে শতভাগ ঘরে এলপি গ্যাস দিয়েই রান্নাবান্না হবে।

আজ বৃহস্পতিবার রাজধানীর ইন্টারন্যাশনাল কনভেনশন সিটি বসুন্ধরায় (আইসিসিবি) তে বসুন্ধরা এলপি গ্যাসের পরিবেশক সম্মেলন ‘স্বর্ণালী দিন’ অনুষ্ঠানে এসব কথা বলেন তিনি। অনুষ্ঠানে বসুন্ধরা গ্রুপের কর্মকর্তারা, ঢাকা, সিলেট, খুলনা ও বরিশাল বিভাগ থেকে আগত পনেরো শতাধিক পরিবেশক ও তাদের পরিবারের সদস্যরা অংশ নেন।

অনুষ্ঠানে অতিথি হিসেবে আরও উপস্থিত ছিলেন বসুন্ধরা গ্রুপের ভাইস চেয়ারম্যান সাফিয়াত সোবহান ও সাফওয়ান সোবহান। সম্মেলনে সেরা পরিবেশকসহ (২০১৭-২০১৮) অন্য বিজয়ীদের হাতে পুরস্কার তুলে দেন চেয়ারম্যান আহমেদ আকবর সোবহান।

আহমেদ আকবর সোবহান বলেন, আজ আমরা আন্তর্জাতিক সুপারব্রান্ড হিসেবে স্বীকৃত। এই কৃতিত্ব আপনাদেরই। আমি নিজেকে ধন্য মনে করি আপনাদের সঙ্গে সম্পৃক্ত হতে পেরে। আপনাদের সহযোগিতায় আমরা যেমন এক নম্বর হয়েছি তেমনি আপনাদের সঙ্গে নিয়েই শক্তিশালী এক অর্থনীতির দেশ গড়ে তুলবো। ব্যবসায়ীরাই দেশকে এগিয়ে নিয়ে যাবেন এবং অর্থনৈতিক পরিধির আরও ব্যাপকতা বাড়াবেন বলে আমি বিশ্বাস করি।

অনুষ্ঠানটির সভাপতিত্ব এবং সার্বিক পরিচালনা ও তত্ত্বাবধান করেন বসুন্ধরা এলপি গ্যাস লিমিটেডের হেড অব মার্কেটিং অ্যান্ড সেলস, মীর টি আই ফারুক রিজভি। তিনি মাঠ পর্যায়ের কর্মকর্তা ও পরিবেশকদের সঙ্গে সু-সম্পর্ক বজায় রাখার মধ্য দিয়ে বিপণন ব্যবস্থা আরও শক্তিশালী করার আহ্বান জানান।

এ প্রসঙ্গে মীর টি আই ফারুক রিজভি বলেন, যারা দীর্ঘদিন ধরে বসুন্ধরা গ্রুপের সঙ্গে ব্যবসা করে আসছেন তারা অবশ্যই জানেন শুধু ব্যবসা নয়, সবার সঙ্গে সুদৃঢ় সম্পর্ক স্থাপনে বসুন্ধরা বদ্ধপরিকর। পরিবেশকদের সব ধরনের সমস্যা সমাধানে বসুন্ধরা গ্রুপ আন্তরিকভাবে কাজ করে আসছে এবং ভবিষ্যতেও করবে।

পরিবেশকরা তাদের পরিবারসহ উপস্থিত হওয়ার পাশাপাশি বিভিন্ন বিনোদনমূলক আয়োজনে অংশ নেন। তাদের অংশগ্রহণে এ পরিবেশক সম্মেলন এক আনন্দঘন পারিবারিক মিলনমেলায় পরিণত হয়। বাড়তি আনন্দ হিসেবে যোগ দেন জনপ্রিয় চিত্রনায়ক ইমন, চিত্রনায়ক রোশান, চিত্রনায়িকা ও টিভি অভিনেত্রী নুসরাত ইমরোজ তিশা, টিভি অভিনেত্রী ও মডেল মিম চৌধুরী, টিভি অভিনেত্রী হুমায়রা হিমু, চিত্রনায়িকা জলী, সঙ্গীতশিল্পী লিজা, বিশিষ্ট টিভি অভিনেতা সিদ্দিকুর রহমান।

সেই সঙ্গে বিনোদনমূলক গান, গ্রুপ ড্যান্স পারফরম্যান্স, কৌতুক পরিবেশনা, ডিজে শো ও র‌্যাফেল ড্র অনুষ্ঠিত হয়।

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