- The Pages: Please tell us about yourself? How did you start your journey as a professional?
Islam- I was born & brought up in the very happening hub of Dhaka city. I always dreamed of having an independent business person. After I completed my Graduation in Accounting from Dhaka University, I lived. From that time I have realized Bangladesh could have lots of potentiality in fragrance & beauty market as until then this market sector was in lack of proper direction. After I came back from abroad, I stared my venture of Bangla Perfumes Distributors Ltd. as a distributor of world famous brand fragrances in a small scale. I started this company in 1998 with a fresh, small and dedicated number of people. So far Bangla Perfumes was the first ever fine fragrance distributor company in Bangladesh. That’s the way we started and even I stared my full professional career in business.
- The Pages:What are the biggest challenges CEO faces today?
Islam-There are couple of challenges can be counted, though the retail sector is booming in Bangladesh but still it’s not properly structured. Our space rent price is getting higher but in compare to this, we are not getting full facilities or supports that are important for creating successful retail business. Still we are lacking world class level brand shops or boutiques doors which are very important tool for the progression of retail industry. We also have less operational hours in the shopping malls as they have weekly holidays. We are in lack of locality wise shopping mall facility which could be very important for consumers due to save their time and energy.
Last but not the least, we still find difficulty to achieve full reliability of the consumers in terms of price and product authenticity. But we are always trying to offer the best quality and genuine products.
3. The Pages:Do you think that the Fragrance & perfume Sector has become saturated enough and left no more room for a new player?
Islam– I am completely disagreeing with this statement. In terms of fragrance & cosmetics market, Bangladesh is still in bloom. Our consumers are getting brand conscious day by day and use of brand products are becoming part and parcel of our life. There are lots of world renowned brands that are still absent in Bangladesh though they have huge demand among consumers. So Bangladeshi market has got huge potentiality and room for business widely open here.
- The Pages:We want to know something about you now. As a top performer or most Senior in Sector. How do you evaluate yourself?
Islam- Right now Bangla Perfumes is distributing 20 world renowned fragrance brands in Bangladesh. Recently we introduced ISSEY MIYAKE fragrance brands first time ever in Bangladesh. We are also in continuous process to bring some very lucrative brands for our customers very shortly. We want to offer the best experiences for our consumers, so our company and our team is working with the motto of full customer satisfaction in our sector.
Personally, I believe there is no limit for success. So we consider ourselves still in the process of learning and developing. We are planning to extend our retail ventures in some other important cities in the country.
- The Pages:How would you assess Bangladesh as a potential consumer zone for perfume industries?
Islam-I have noticed due to the effect of globalization, social network and satellite media, our local consumers are very much well known of brand products. They like to use brand products and accessories. Though, we have many fake products present in the market with cheaper price but we are trying to ensure the best qualities for them. If a customer gets cheated by using fake products, then next time he/she will come to us for using the genuine quality. We feel challenges but I believe, we are quite successful in that as now they rely on us. This potential consumer pool will develop day by day and that would create huge potentiality in this sector.
- The Pages: Kindly tell us about current perfume Retail market of Bangladesh.
Islam-Bangladesh Perfume retail market can be categorized into three ways:
Firstly: Independent perfumeries or brand shops.
Secondly: Perfume shop or corners in conjunction with garments, cosmetics or other lifestyle accessories.
Thirdly: Non distributed cosmetics and perfume shop.
Here perfume retail market is not totally established but it’s developing day by day. As the customers are getting habituated of brand perfumes so we can see real potentiality here.
- The Pages: Do you think the local Lifestyle product & retail sector is booming and what is your opinion regarding this sector?
Islam-From the recent years we noticed that fortunately the local lifestyle mainly clothing and garments based retailer are spreading rapidly. We consider this booming tendency will bring excellent economical benefit for our economy. Our retail market chain will be developed with this trend. But if these retailers added lifestyle accessories, perfumes into their product range, I think the consumers will be more benefited. Some of the important leading fashion clothing brand retailers already started this process and we are working with many of them.But we believe before selling any imported accessories, perfumes or cosmetics, retailer should check the proper channel for distributing it. If we can ensure legally distributed genuine products for our consumers, they will be benefited as well as our economy will also be benefited.
- The Pages: Would you like to tell the reader to your upcoming Offer for Bengali New Year / Pohela Boishakh ?
Islam-We always try to offer exciting purchase benefits for our consumers during the special occasion. To celebrate the Bengali New Year we are offering exciting gift with purchase of any perfume from our retail shops. These gifts are also genuine brand products which are essential in our life for example exclusive travel bags, female bags, scarves, Male/female toiletries bag and many other lucrative items. Apart from that in our retail perfumeries PERFUME WORLD our customers will be gifted with a free travel perfume refill tool along with one time free refill.
- The Pages:What advice would you give the young people of today?
Islam-Our young generation needs to raise their voice against corruption in any sectors of the society and influence on local entrepreneurship. If they invest their enthusiasm and caliber for the development of business in Bangladesh then our economy will be truly benefited. I would like to request all young fellows who are studying home &abroad, they need to bring their ideas for the local business development.
- The pages:You are the person who brainstormed brilliant ideas to promote entrepreneurship. Which of your projects are you very satisfied with and which ones do you think need further improvement?
Islam- We consider ourselves very lucky as we are first to create the total Perfumery chain PERFUME WORLD in Bangladesh. We started our first branch in 2009 and right now we have 10 branches over the important malls and places in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet. The tag line of PERFUME WORLD is Home of Original Perfumes and right now it has become the synonymous of original perfumes.
- The Pages:Where do you see the future of the Bangladeshi perfume market in Global scenario?
Islam – As mentioned earlier with the economic development, some positive changes are coming to Bangladesh market system. Bangladesh has open market economy and our consumers are becoming more interested to use various genres of products. So in the future the demand will increase and Bangladesh is going to be a very good business potential for many renowned fragrance brands that are not yet legally presents in the market.
- The Pages:Tell us something about your family.
Islam-My small family is with my wife and my only son. My wife Sharmin Nahar is related with media and my son Khondoker Ishrak Anan currently doing Bachelors in the Melbourne University,Australia.
- The Pages:Tell us the importance of Fashion & Health in career.
Islam-I completely believe in Health is Wealth. I am always involved in games & sports. I regularly play cricket, badminton & tennis. I also go for regular jogging. I believe health fitness can give us proper stamina and due to food habit normally we take lots of carbohydrate & sugar, so if we do some regular exercise or some sports that can benefit us a lot.
About fashion motto, I don’t like to follow any trend. I like to wear what I feel comfortable according to that specific situation. I have a weakness for watches and I like to wear and collect different brand wrist watches.
Overall, I believe good & presentable attire can give us confidence and strength in our work life too.