Iftekhar Ahmed Tipu -Chairman, Ifad Group By: Raju Alim

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Iftekhar Ahmed Tipu is a famous name in Bangladesh’s business, trade, and economic development. In the automobile industry, he is one of the pioneers. His development   initiative leads to manufacturing bus, truck, microbus, pick up the van and the heavy vehicle in our country. By making a vehicle plant, ifad group now able to manufacture heavy vehicles on its own. In his personal life, he is the father of three. He also used to be a writer and columnist. He writes articles in the daily newspapers.  His writing subject is country, development, industrialization, investment, uses of the river and economic planning. He has written six books regarding development in our country. He has published his new book ‘shomoyar chalchitro’ in February Book Fair 2017. Recently this entrepreneur exposed his view on industrialization, invest, employment, poor alleviation and other developing issues.

The aspect of government liberalism of Bangladesh causes rapid growth in Industry, business, and trade – what is your point of view about it?

Iftekhar Ahmed Tipu: First of all we’ve to think that this is no more a political world. Once it was now over. It is an economical era. The country has a strong economy that will be developed faster. Our government is trying eagerly. Entrepreneurs of our private sector don’t have a sack of money. They’ve to invest by taking loans from the banks and also spend their intelligence. The question may arise, how do they dare to take a loan from a bank? We’ve to pay interest to the bank also we’ve to make a profit to sustain. If we want to do that we will have to have a business-friendly environment. We also need a lot of things such as the rule of law must be established, hartal should be prohibited and must have sufficient gas supply. Then the investors may be encouraged to invest. After doing all those things, an investor can hope to make a profit. Observing the business-friendly environment, foreigners will ahead to invest here because they must notice that the country is going to the way of industrialization. They first notice, what the current local business condition is. As well as the local condition of long term investment. The foreigner always looks after the long term investment policy. Creating employment opportunities, preparing to manufacture, spreading it throughout the country and lastly processing for export. Currently, we are not at that stage. Foreigners must-watch local employment. After doing all those things, our citizens will be happy.

What is your investment news?

Iftekhar Ahmed Tipu: right now we’re investing. In Bangladesh, we’re the first who make assembling plants of bus, truck and heavy vehicle. Around 1985, we imported chassis from India. Sometimes we imported fully assembled vehicle but that didn’t help our country economy. Then we started assembling full body in our country. For that reason a lot of supporting institution was established, some provide us paint some provide us Rexene and foam. Day by day their business will be improved and we will be self-dependent.

Regarding the assembly line, there are many small and medium institutions involved. Is it developing the whole industry?

Iftekhar Ahmed Tipu: The government is supporting us and the government alone cannot do it either. All around the world, the government-owned factory is limited. So the private-owned rut have to do. We need not look at the government, we will do it and the government will help us.

The government will do the infrastructure if the private enterprise doesn’t invest then what will be the condition?

Iftekhar Ahmed Tipu: If I say no that will be an injustice. We opened a factory in Ashulia, after that we opened one more in Dhamrai. At first, there was some problem but later it was solved. The government provides us what we need, we have electricity, good road communication and most importantly gas. That’s why we’d courage to do that. Then we brought out an investment partner and bank and let them show that we want to open a factory over here. We showed the projects to everyone just after having completed the foundation. Unbelievably when we launched our factory, lots of people from Dhaka visited to Dhamrai. Even NDTV from India telecast our grand opening along with other print and visual media.

India Times published your news on assembling firm in Bangladesh. Do we go for full manufacture in place of assembling in the recent future?

Iftekhar Ahmed Tipu: Everybody doesn’t understand the art of manufacturing or assembling. It is a matter of strategy. In a private car, there are only two or four-passenger. But in a heavy vehicle like a truck or bus, it’s different. They will have to take a lot of loads like 52 people in a sitting position and 10/15 people in a standing position. If we do any mistake, there will be a disaster. We ahead so far doing everything wisely. Insha Allah, we’ll go for manufacturing soon.

Youth is the future of this country. Ifad group had gone rapidly to every doorstep of Bangladesh. How does it possible within this short period?

Iftekhar Ahmed Tipu: When you go for investing in something,  first of all, you’ve to make yourself clear that I will never eat anything bad or don’t let the people eat anything bad. That should be the business oath. We’ll not produce any adulterated product. If the necessity arises, we’ll stop producing. That is our determination.

Once I traveled to the USA, at that time some people came to me and told me that your food quality is tremendous. We want to bring your product here. I told them to apply. In doing so, I fall in pressure to make an available supply in Dhaka. Thanks to the almighty, now I’m exporting to thirty countries. We’re always best in quality. Not only that we go through different fairs around Europe and the Middle East. Now Ifad’s products are exporting to Spain, Rome, Italy, France, and the UK. This year, we participated in the Dubai fair where manufacturers from sixteen different countries have participated. It is the 2nd largest fair of the world where we participated.

What will be the future project of Ifad Group?

Iftekhar Ahmed Tipu: First of all I have to say that, very few of us can make a factory and we’re running well. This will not solve the country’s problem. We will have to think about the whole Bangladesh. Every step we have to evaluate people in their respective fields of work. An example that once I wrote an article regarding “save the country, save farmers”. If our farmers get the fair prize of their goods, if they fed their offspring and can ensure their study then the farmer’s offspring will be a farmer. It is not possible by me or by you. We don’t even know how to cultivate. We don’t want their son to quit their father’s work and do something else to survive. That may be assassinating for us.

How your children have a role to soared Ifad group higher?

Iftekhar Ahmed Tipu: This is a personal issue to discuss but let me make you clear, all of my children studied from the USA. When they finished their study I told them not to be settled in abroad. Who doesn’t have anything to do in their own country, they try to settle abroad. So you have factories where more than seven thousand workers are working.  They have families. We should keep them on the way of ethics and that should be our goal. We have twenty-seven consumer item and we have also a car plant where we assemble the vehicle. If my offspring may manage the workforce, I think they may have a role to fortify our factory.

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