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Adam Tamizi Haque

Managing Director

Adam Tamizi Haque

২২ জুন, ২০১৫ ইং ১৩:২২ মিঃ

ঐতিহ্যের পথ ধরেই আজ নিজের অবস্থানে সফল, নিজের মেধা ও মনন দিয়ে প্রতিষ্ঠানটিকে ঢেলে সাজিয়েছেন আধুনিকতার ছোঁয়ায়। বলছিলাম হক গ্রুপ অব ইন্ডাস্ট্রিজের ম্যানেজিং ডিরেক্টর অ্যাডাম তামিজি হকের কথা। সাক্ষাত্কারটি নিয়েছেন রিয়াদ খন্দকার ‘আমি এই প্রতিষ্ঠানের জন্ম দেখিনি, এই প্রতিষ্ঠান আমার জন্ম দেখেছে। হক বিস্কুটের ক্ষেত্রে এই কথা বললে খুব বেশি ভুল হবে না। কারণ এই প্রতিষ্ঠান শুরু হয় ব্রিটিশ আমলে। আমার দাদা চট্টগ্রামে ১৯৪৭ সালে স্থাপন করেন হক ব্রাদার্স কোম্পানি লিমিটেড। আর হক ব্রাদার্স ইন্ডাস্ট্রির শুরু হয় ভাষা আন্দোলনের বছরে, ১৯৫২ সালে। তাই এই প্রতিষ্ঠান বাংলাদেশের সবচেয়ে পুরোনো প্রতিষ্ঠান এমনটা বললেও খুব একটা ভুল হবে না,’ বলছিলেন হক বিস্কুটের ম্যানেজিং ডিরেক্টর অ্যাডাম হক। কয়েক যুগ ধরে সাফল্যের সাথে বাংলাদেশে বিভিন্ন জিনিসের ব্যবসা করে আসছে হক কোম্পানি। এই প্রতিষ্ঠানে অ্যাডাম হকের কাজের শুরু কিভাবে জানতে চাইলে তিনি বলেন, ‘মূলত প্রথম দিকে আমার বাবাই এই ব্যবসা দেখতেন। তবে ২০০২ সালের আগে যখন আমার বাবা সক্রিয়ভাবে কাজ করা বন্ধ করে দেন, তখন ব্যবসা কিছু সমস্যার মুখে পড়ে। বলা যায় প্রায় দুই বছরের বিক্রির সমান টাকার ঋণ ছিল আমাদের। এক কথায় বলা চলে ব্যবসা কার্যত বন্ধ হয়ে যাচ্ছিল। তখন আমি কাজ শুরু করি। ১৮ বছর বয়স থেকেই আমি এখানে ডিরেক্টরের দায়িত্ব পালন করে আসছি। তবে ২০১১ সালে আমাকে অফিশিয়ালি এই দায়িত্ব দেওয়া হয়।’ বাংলাদেশে ব্যবসার এক স্বর্ণযুগের সাক্ষী এই কোম্পানি। চোখের সামনে দেখেছে অনেক উত্থান এবং পতন। সাদা কাগজের কালো দাগে সেই ইতিহাস বর্ণনা এত সহজ নয়। ‘আমার বাবার সময় আমাদের নিজস্ব ডিপো ছিল। আমাদের নিজেদের ১০০টির মতো গাড়ি ছিল। ডিপো থাকলে মূলত যেটা হয় কেউ আর খরচের কথা খুব একটা চিন্তা করে না। বরং সবাই চিন্তা করে তার পণ্য বিক্রি করা নিয়ে। এই ব্যবস্থা সম্ভব ছিল যখন আমাদের টর্চের ব্যাটারির ব্যবসা ছিল। ওই সময়ে এই টর্চের ব্যাটারির অনেক চল ছিল, ঢাকায় না হলেও মফঃস্বলে অনেকেই টর্চ ব্যবহার করত। এখন আসলে দৃশ্যপট অনেক পরিবর্তন হয়ে গিয়েছে। সবকিছু ডিজিটাল হয়ে যাওয়ার সাথে সাথে টর্চের যুগেরও পরিসমাপ্তি ঘটেছে। এখন মোবাইলে অথবা রিচার্জেবল টর্চের ব্যবহার করা হয়। তাই এখন চাইলেও আর আগের মতো ব্যবসা সম্ভব নয়। আমি যদি আজকে বিস্কুট না বিক্রি করি তাহলে আমার প্রতিযোগী আরও ২০০ বিস্কুটের কোম্পানি আছে বিক্রি করার জন্য।’ ডিজিটালাইজেশনের এই যুগে অনেক প্রাচীন বিখ্যাত কোম্পানিই হারিয়ে গেছে সময়ের অতল গহ্বরে। তবে সেই হারিয়ে যাওয়ার খাতায় নাম লেখায়নি হক গ্রুপ। সময়ের সাথে তাল মিলিয়ে চলার জন্য কী কী পন্থা অবলম্বন করেছেন অ্যাডাম জানতে চাইলে তিনি বলেন, ‘মূলত কাস্টমারদের প্রতি মনোযোগ দিয়েছি। প্রশাসনিক ক্ষেত্রে অনেক কিছু অগোছালো ছিল সেগুলোও গোছাতে হয়েছে। আবার আমাদের অনেক পণ্য ছিল যেগুলো মার্কেটে চাহিদা ছিল না সেগুলো উত্পাদন বন্ধ করে যেটার চাহিদা আছে সেটার উত্পাদন বাড়িয়ে দিয়েছি। আগে সাপ্লাই দিতেও অনেক সময় দেখা যেত দেরি হতো। সেই সমস্যাটাও কাটিয়ে উঠেছি। এখন ধীরে ধীরে আমাদের কাস্টমার অনেক বেড়ে গেছে। অনেক নামীদামি কোম্পানিও আমাদের সাথে ব্যবসা করতে আসছে।’ দুই প্রজন্মের হাত ধরে এই ব্যবসা এতটা পথ পাড়ি দিয়েছে। এই দুই প্রজন্মের দিক-নির্দেশনার কোন দিকটায় পার্থক্য ছিল জানতে চাইলে তিনি বলেন, ‘মূল পার্থক্য ছিল নিজস্ব মতের সাথে। আমার বাবার সময়ে তিনি যেটা ঠিক মনে করতেন সেটাই করতেন। আর এখন আমাকে মাথায় রাখতে হয় আমার ক্রেতা কী চায়। ক্রেতা যেটা ঠিক মনে করবে সেটার উপর ভিত্তি করেই চাহিদা তৈরি হয়। আগে যেমন পণ্য দোকানে চলে গেলে যদি বিক্রি না হয় কোনো কারণে সেটা ফেরত নেওয়ার কোনো ব্যবস্থা ছিল না। কিন্তু এখন সেই ব্যবস্থা চালু হয়েছে। আপাতদৃষ্টিতে হয়তো মনে হয় এতে আমাদের ক্ষতি হচ্ছে কিন্তু প্রকৃতপক্ষে এভাবে আমরা আমাদের কাস্টমার ধরে রাখতে পারছি।’ জীবনের অনেকটা সময়ই তার কেটেছে লন্ডনে বোর্ডিং স্কুলে। ষোল বছর বয়সে স্কুল ছেড়ে এর মাঝে কিছু দিন ছিলেন ইংল্যান্ডের দক্ষিণে। এরপর লন্ডনে আবার বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ে ভর্তি হন। তারপর ২০০২ সাল থেকেই পারিবারিক ব্যবসার জন্য দেশে ফেরত আসেন অ্যাডাম। ব্যবসার হাল ধরেছেন বেশ ভালোমতোই, ক্ষতির মুখ থেকে কোম্পানিকে ফিরিয়ে এনে লাভের মুখ দেখিয়েছেন। ভবিষ্যত্ পরিকল্পনা কী জানতে চাইলে তিনি বলেন, ‘খুব দূরের কথা আসলে বলাটা কঠিন কারণ বর্তমানে বাজার অনেক অস্থিতিশীল। তাই ভবিষ্যত্ বলাটাও কিছুটা অসম্ভব তবে আমাদের চেষ্টা অবশ্যই থাকবে সময়ের সাথে তাল মিলিয়ে চলার।’

The Pages Interview To Managing Director Of AT Haque Ltd.

Q-1.The Pages: Can you speak a short History about Haque Group of Industries? How did your Father start this HGI journey in Bangladesh?
Answer:
The HAQUE GROUP has started journey as the distributor of M/S, Huntley & Palmers, (The famous British biscuit company), and Union Carbide for their Eveready Brand battery.

My grandfather has established Haque Brothers Ltd. in 1947 in Chittagong. And Haque Brothers Industries started its journey under my father, barrister Tamizul Haque, in the year of language movement, 1952.

I can say that Haque is one of the oldest organizations of Bangladesh. Haque started own biscuit production at 1952 and our carbide company at 1963. Before that time we were engaged in trading business.

In late 70’s we launched Mr. Cookie, the Leading Biscuit Brand in Bangladesh which has earned Monde Selection gold medal. Not only Mr. Cookie we always tried to adopt international products in local market and we launched Bourbon, Chocolate Digestive, Plain Digestive, Cream Crackers, Lemon Puff, Ding Dong Wafer, Pillow Chocolate Chips as pioneering products for Bangladesh.

Q-2.The Pages: Please tell us about yourself? How did you start your journey as a professional?
Answer:
I was born in London, apart from 1 year in American School Dhaka, I spent most of my school life at boarding school in England. At the age of 16 I left boarding school and moved to a tutorial college in London.

After short stay in Zanzibar, Tanzania, I moved to Huddersfield in North England and did a course in catering before working in Hilton hotel in Huddersfield. After that I moved to London, and started University.

Haque was an established brand in Bangladesh during Pakistan times, immediately after liberation the company was nationalized as were most companies of the time. However father of the nation, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was kind enough to order all our properties restored to my father and he continued at the helm of the company until 2011 at which point his ill health and old age forced him to retire and now he is our Chairman Emeritus. From that time I have been Managing Director of the entire group and the company has shown considerable growth during this short tenure, about 1000%.

I am serving Haque as director since my age of 18, however practically working in the company since 2002 only where I first started with the Dry Cell and soap businesses and only in 2011 started to involve myself with biscuit after becoming MD.

Q-3.The Pages: Tell us about current food market of Bangladesh.
Answer:
Bangladesh food industry is growing rapidly. Demands for high-end biscuits and snacks are growing day by day. Once upon a time people were taking only glucose biscuits now a day people are taking biscuits with nuts and chocolate and many varieties of products are being produced as well as imported in the country.

New technologies are being introduced all the time to improve production, quality, yield and cost, as well as product innovation. Control and use of information has become key to increasing distribution effectiveness and coverage. Market structure and segments are becoming very complex. Entry of foreign food products has become easy.
Many companies are coming into the food business with huge investment. Consumers are looking for better quality products in better price. Margin in this segment is not significant, we all need huge volume to survive in this industry. Bank interest rate is very high in comparison to margin which leads to sickness of industry.

Q-4.The Pages: Haque Group is a pioneer of biscuit and dry cell Manufacture in Bangladesh Tell us about the quality of product.
Answer:
Our mission is to improve the quality of families in our operating market area by providing affordably made world class products. If you go to our mission statement it is clear that we are committed to provide world class products to our consumers. And we are always giving this to our consumers. We never compromise with our quality.

To the consumers Haque is a beacon of faith and trust; competitors look upon Haque as an example of brilliance in quality and taste. We have a quality committed manufacturing and support team.

We are producing our products with world class machineries most of them are European.

Strong quality control is maintained in every stage of production. A dedicated team is continuously working to ensure quality product is produced.

Q-5.The Pages: How would you assess Bangladesh as a potential manufacturing zone for food and vegetable process industries?
Answer:
Bangladesh still has advantage for being potential zone for food manufacturing. Not only for local market but also we can have a good export processed food from Bangladesh. Many companies of Bangladesh are exporting their products to other countries. Relatively low labor costs are there, but huge cost of land and lack of supply of gas and stable electricity are impediments to growth. We are also trying to set up a new plant, but we have very limited gas supply, and as such it is difficult to move from our existing premises which is already severely overcrowded.

Q-6.The Pages: What is your export plan and which country you already export?
Answer:
We have many export quality products. But as the internal demand is huge, we have to fulfill the demand of our country at first. So we are exporting a little to some SAARC countries.

With the increasing production capacity, we have plans to export more especially to West Bengal where we have an established customer base.

Q-7.The Pages: What is your opinion about the current FMCG market development in Bangladesh?
Answer:
Bangladesh is one of the largest population countries of the world. Despite many infrastructural problems Bangladesh has achieved steady growth in GDP. FMCG market is also growing with the increasing population base. However it is frustrating to see people continuously coming into the biscuit field where there are already 10 large producers, and several hundred small producers.

FMCG Industry is mostly depended on distribution network. Most of the companies are using own field forces for order procuring and engaging distributors for ensuring delivery to traders. It is remotely managed. For further growth ensuring monitoring of TSO performance and product movement is important. This is time to introduce modern information technologies to ensure proper monitoring of product movement and TSO performance.

May be in near future FMCG companies will start their own distribution that is the companies will deploy own vehicles to ensure delivery to traders. FMCG companies will ensure delivery not only to traders but also to consumers. IT infrastructure is becoming strong, so consumers will be able to give their orders for single packets of biscuits directly to the company and nearby distributors or company TSO will ensure delivery to consumers.
This segment is low margin segment thus to make the business profitable companies have to reduce the middle parties as much as possible.

Road transport system has developed a lot so now products move in both urban and rural equally and whole sales system almost out from the scene.

Since consumers’ disposable income is increasing so consumer choice is moving towards value added products.

Q-8.The Pages: Do you think the local FMCG industry is booming?
Answer:
Yes I think local FMCG industry is booming. In this era of globalization; it is becoming easier for companies to get product ideas, getting good quality raw materials, introducing modern technologies, using automatic machineries to increase capacity and improve e quality while reducing labor costs.

The majority of the population has sufficient disposable income for FMCG product purchase, which is helping the market grow. But in this globalization era local companies are straggling with the multinational brands as they are using huge awareness campaigns but local companies are failing to do so as the cost is high for them.

Q-9.The Pages: What’s the secret behind the success of your organization?
Answer:
Haque is one of the ancient companies of Bangladesh. We have a factory decorated with modern technology which are managed by expert working force. We never compromise on quality, while continuously trying to cut costs so we can deliver stable, quality products to consumers in reasonable prices.

Q-10. The Pages: What are its strengths?
Answer:
Our strength is we have a large range of products which can satisfy the needs of people of all segments; beyond ages, economic classes, lifestyle, education, gender, urba- rural, etc. We offer better quality biscuits at a lowest possible price. Our biggest strength is our long heritage of 67 years presence in market. We have well equipped production plants and we have a strong distribution network in field.

Q-11.The Pages: Would you like to tell the reader to your upcoming product?
Answer:
One of our core strength is to bring new and innovative products in local market with local price and world class taste. Very recently we launched CHISCUIT (Chips + Biscuit) which is a cross between chips and biscuit. We have launched it in two segment one in biscuit segment with chocolate enrobing named choco pop and another in chips segment with wasabi seasoning named wasabi pop. However due to continued pressure on our old items we are unable to supply sufficient quantities, so we have to extend our capacity further to supply smoothly.

We have already launched another exclusive biscuit named Choco Nutty- which will offer both chocolate and nut taste and flavor. In near future we will also bring some newer concepts for Bangladesh like center filling biscuit and many more to come.

Q-12.The Pages: Where do you see the future of the Bangladeshi FMCG industry in Global Market?
Answer:
Bangladeshi FMCG industry is growing rapidly. Many companies are operating and playing in the market like multinational companies. Products are now international quality of many companies. Many companies already started operating globally. I think future of Bangladeshi companies is very bright in global operation. In sha allah we will also go for globalized operation in future. However there is always a risk that the Indian giants will enter and further cannibalize our local market.

Interview by- M Tauhidul Islam Apu
Editor The Pages.

Interview of Adam Tamiji Haque

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Managing Director's message

 

Over the years, we at A.T.Haque group have successfully created a remarkable reputation for our organization by establishing unrivalled quality, standard and reliability in all our product by using the state of the art technology and best practices. Central to this achievement has been our drive to exceed our customers and stake holder’s expectations.

Today, as our business grows to shape new horizons for both our own people and the communities which we serve, we remain committed to our philosophy of producing best quality products which matches with the highest international standards, developing mutually beneficial partnerships with our customers, investing in human capital, and maintaining our stance as good corporate citizens.

Having taken steps towards creating a market for good standardized products at affordable prices, our expansion projects are in full swing and will bring increase annual production of biscuits to three fold. Moreover we have invested heavily in high technology machines to make world class wafers, cookies and biscuits. By 2020 we aspire to be the leader in Bangladesh when it comes to biscuits and bakery. Moreover as a strategic move we would also continue to explore markets of confectioneries, snacks, soaps and other products which synergize with our product line.

As a premier player in the region’s biscuit industry with ambitious growth plans in a competitive market environment, we have embraced the task of re-branding ourselves externally and internally, in order to prepare for all our future endeavors. We inherit a rich heritage and goodwill and march ahead creating footsteps behind us for our competition to follow…

At the same time we remain committed to our ethics, culture, values and to our employees who are the backbone of this organization. We strive to create a happy organization and a happy country.

Career

We live by our core values of Haque-Integrity, Personal Ownership, Teamwork, and Excellence. A.T. Haque Limited is a place to learn, grow and contribute for improving the quality of life of people. At A.T. Haque Limited we attract individuals who drive positive change, focused on performance and accountable to achieve results, collaborate with teams and with customers and consumers and who demonstrate their positive spirit and energy. A career at Haque will lead to a better working environment, equal employment opportunity, competitive compensation package, training & development from renowned overseas & local professionals etc. We believe, our employees are our most valuable asset and we foster such an organizational culture so that our employees can get the opportunity to grow. We also believe in work life balance, empowerment and delegation to ensure job satisfaction. We have a value based culture where dignity of the individual is the highest priority. We want your enthusiasm, energy and passion in our culture to support the growth of A.T. Haque Limited. We have competitive salary, benefits and fair work environment where you will be able to unleash your potential. Due to a large number of applications, only short listed candidates with minimum criteria as mentioned will be called for Interview/Written exam. The company reserves the right to amend the decision regarding the recruitment or selection. We are looking for the people who have excellent academic and family backgrounds. Plain and simple, we invite you if you are the best with the finest mind and an aim to attain the greatness and won’t settle for the stereotype. Internship The idea of the internship placement is to provide bright students with useful work experience opportunities either during or on the completion of their degree studies, but before they enter the workforce. Internships are a proven way to gain relevant knowledge, skills, and experience while establishing important connections in the field. Internships are also a way to get your feet wet and find out if a specific field is something you could see yourself doing as a full-time job. A.T. Haque Limited, being one of the renowned business organizations in Bangladesh has taken steps in attracting fresh graduates to do internship from countries reputed universities. Today’s students are future leaders keeping that on mind, Haque provides internship facilities to the talented and bright students of the reputed university with an intension to absorb them in the company for any suitable position in the future. If anybody interested for internship in our company, please send your CV in this email address  [email protected]