Engr. Md. Shafiqur Rahman is a renowned textile engineer, well established businessman, popular leader and successful organizer. He is the president of newly elected 14th Central Executive Committee of The Institution of Textile Engineers and Technologists (ITET). He is also the Chairman of Textile Engineering Divisional Committee of The Institution of Engineers (IEB) for the term 2015-2017 and Three times Chairman of the standing committee of The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI). As a businessman he is the Managing Director of HAMS Group. Recently Textile Focus editor M A Islam Riyadh had a long conversation with Engr. Shafiqur Rahman regarding his glorious carrier in textile business, textile community, leadership and local and international textile business. Some key points are mentioned bellow for Textile Focus readers.
Textile Focus: You are with ITET from the very beginning. Can you please brief on the background of ITET and you involvement?
Engr. Shafiq: ITET was formed in 1984. Bangladesh University of Textiles (BUTEX) was basically a weaving school which was at Narinda, Dhaka in 1957 and it was shifted to Tejgaon, Dhaka. In 1957 Bongobondhu felt the necessity of textile education and he arranged to build the textile college with his own initiative. For a long time it was textile diploma. On that time senior students started a movement for B.Sc. Engineering degree and with their hard effort the diploma degree termed into B. Sc. Engineering in 1980 under Dhaka University. In 1984 some leading textile engineers felt the necessity to form a professional organization for textile engineers and finally ITET was formed. On that time I was student and worked with our seniors to form ITET. After my graduation I become the member of ITET as per the rules. At the initial stage I was not that much active at ITET due to my professional career and business. In 1996 for the first time I participated at ITET election as executive member and elected with highest votes. That time I tried to involve myself from my position at the activities of ITET. In 2006 I participated at ITET election as Secretary General from Bongobondhu Textile Engineers Association (BBTEA) was elected. It was 11th Central Executive Committee.
Textile Focus: What is your personal feelings for textile community?
Engr. Shafiq: Personally I am very much grateful to textile community. I was a medium grade student and strong in organizing capability from student life. I feel that I have to play some significant role for textile community as this community has given a social and business status. For this I started to own the organization from heart. For direct involvement with local politics I have a very close contact with Ministers and leaders which helped me to accelerate the movement for Textile University declaration. Finally in 2010 the government declared Textile Engineering College as Bangladesh University of Textiles. In 2013 during 13th Central Executive Committee where I was as Senior Vice President we achieved separate division for textile engineers in IEB. I was Vice Chairman of first committee and now the Chairman. I always try to be involved in any positive activities for the betterment of the textile community.
Textile Focus: You are speaking about BCS cadre for textile engineers in different seminars and meting. How you want to achieve this?
Engr. Shafiq: Yes, this is a matter of prestige of textile engineers. It’s high time to move for this issue. Textile engineers is an essential part of our national economy. So, for any policy planning and execution for textile industry I think textile engineers can play a significant role. Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared our RMG export $50 B by 2021 whereas now we are at $ 28 B which is far away from the target. We need to work together in this issue. I strongly believe that if textile engineers are engaged in government policy making body and different official activities of government in textile related issues, more practical and prospective result will come out.
As Chairman of IEB I discussed this matter with honorable minister, government high officials and related professionals. They all are positive regarding our proposal. A proposal is on the way of Prime Minister’s office. It will take time but we are hopeful that we will get some result within a very short time.
Textile Focus: From a textile engineer how you become a successful industrialist? What si your suggestion to textile engineers who want to be entrepreneur?
Engr. Shafiq: I came of a teacher family and there was no one involved in either business or politics. I am the first in my family as businessman and leader. I did never think that I will be an industrialist. Whenever I was in private job I thought that I need to do something. I started from a little stage and gradually increasing my capacity. At present we are expanding. As I am a textile engineer it’s very easy to grebe the latest technology and textile processing, which is an advantage for me. At present in our industry almost 8000 workers are working. We are gradually expanding. Hope we will be able to contribute more to national economy. I will suggest to the textile engineers to start business after gaining some practical experience by doing job. I believe if textile engineers come to business they will do better than any other from other discipline. Now textile engineers are entrepreneur of many textile industries. A textile engineer know how to save the cost and add value to the product.
Textile Focus: You are a textile engineers, industrialist and a leader-in which name you like most?
Engr. Shafiq: This is a good question. I am personally involved with so many activities. I was involved in different organizations form the student life and I also involved with Bangladesh Awami League. I was also member of FBCCI standing committee. I was the founder president of Bangladesh Export Oriented Garments Washing Industries Owners Association. I am actively involved with such professional organizations. I always think myself as member of textile community and I feel proud as textile engineer. My passion is to support textile engineers whatever it is for promotion, getting good job, accidental cases, financial assistance etc. My office is always open for textile engineers. For this I enjoy my identity as textile engineer a lot.
Textile Focus: You will stay for next two year and what key issues you want to work on in next two years?
Engr. Shafiq: All the members of our 14th Central Executive Committee were involved in student politics and they all are very young, energetic and promising. I am blessed with a talented cabinet members. We all are committed to do some significant developments. Some of the key issues we want to work on-
- Land allocation for ITET.
- BCS Cadre for textile engineers.
- Support the textile engineers for their rights.
- Work with BGMEA, BKMEA & BTMA as their supporting body.
- Some knowledge seminar in different issues
- An International Conference for the textile engineers.
- Valid members’ database.
- Launch Youtube Channel for watching ITET activities
- Active Joy Employment Department.
- Regular publications with ITET updates.
There are also regular activities i.e Annual Picnic, Family Day, Iftar & Doa Mahfil, Sports and Cultural activities, generate fund for sick and disable textile engineers, those are our regular events.
Textile Focus: What is your stand for ITET membership?
Engr. Shafiq: We have work to this issue a lot. Normally general members don’t renew their membership once it is expired by membership fees. But I believe once the members are privileged they will continue their membership in the long run. In the upcoming day we will try to prefer our members with extra care so that they are inspired.
When ITET was formed only textile education was provided by Bangladesh University of Textiles (Former College of Textile Technology) and the constitution of ITET was formed based on that. But now the scenario has been changed. There are a lot of textile education Provider Colleges, private universities, institutes etc. Every year frequently textile graduates are coming and they are entering at the industry. Still there questions regarding the quality of textile education of some universities and colleges. We recently has a meeting with University Grand Commission (UGC) Chairman Professor Abdul Mannan and informed him regarding the quality of education. We ensured him that if any assistant required we the textile engineers will help him. 14th Central Executive Committee will work on it, how to be united and members. Actually we all want to work together for the betterment of the textile industry of Bangladesh and textile engineers as well. In that case diploma textile engineers are also very important part. We will work on those area to form a healthy member base so that we can raise a voice for any positive and logical issue locally and internationally.
Textile Focus: Thanks you your time.
Engr. Shafiq: You are welcome for any issue related to textile industry and textile engineers.