Latifur Rahman’s 2nd death anniv today
Today is the second death anniversary of Latifur Rahman, founder chairman and CEO of Transcom Group, a well-known and highly respected business house in Bangladesh.
Soft-spoken and humble, the visionary and ethical businessman passed away in his sleep on this day at his paternal home in Cumilla after suffering from lung-related illness for a long time.
His passing coincided with the death anniversary of his grandson Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain. Faraaz, a student of Emory University in Atlanta, US, was brutally killed by terrorists during the July 1 attack at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan in 2016.
Latifur was the founding director of Mediaworld, the company that owns The Daily Star, and chairman of Mediastar, the owning company of Prothom Alo. The newspapers are the leading English and Bangla dailies in the country.
A respected figure in the global business community, he single-handedly built one of the biggest business conglomerates in the country with his hard work, perseverance, and entrepreneurial skills.
Born in Jalpaiguri on August 28, 1945, he began his education at St Francis School and then went to St Edmund's School, Shillong, in 1956. He also studied at St Xavier's College in Calcutta (now Kolkata).
After coming to Dhaka, he started as a trainee at his family-owned jute mills -- W Rahman Jute Mills in Chandpur -- in 1966. The jute mill was the first jute mill to be owned by a Bangalee in the erstwhile East Pakistan.
He became an executive and worked there until 1971. But the government nationalised industries in 1972 and Latifur found himself in a very difficult situation.
The family also owned some tea estates in north-eastern Bangladesh but after the independence of Bangladesh the price of the produce was less than the production cost.
But he did not give up hope. The same year, Latifur came across a Swiss company and started a trading business. There was no looking back after that.
Eventually, he established Transcom Group in 1981. It is now one of the country's largest conglomerates, with operations in the areas of manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, electronics, beverages, media, consumer, food, and insurance.
Latifur was a member of the executive board of ICC-Paris, vice president of ICC-Bangladesh and member of Brac's governing body. He was a member of the Bangladesh Better Business Forum and the Advisory Committee on World Trade Organisation.
He was also president of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka for seven terms and of Bangladesh Employers' Federation.
Latifur was also chairman of the Bangladesh government's Trade Body Reforms Committee and a member of Bangladesh Bank's executive board.
The business icon was an honouree of "Oslo Business for Peace Award 2012" and was awarded Business Executive of the Year 2001 by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh.
The businessman was also honoured with the "Saarc Outstanding Leader" award and Lifetime Achievement Award which was presented by the UK Bangladesh Catalysts of Commerce and Industry.
Latifur Rahman married Shahnaz Rahman. They have three daughters Simeen Hossain, Shahzreh Huq, (late) Shazneen Rahman, and son Arshad Waliur Rahman.