Bangladesh business tycoon Latifur Rahman dies

Staff Correspondent | Updated at 11:49pm on July 01, 2020


Latifur Rahman

Renowned businessman and industrialist of the country Latifur Rahman died at his village home in Cumilla’s Chauddagram on Wednesday.

He was the founding director of Mediaworld, the owning company of English newspaper The Daily Star, and chairman of Mediastar, the owning company of Bangla daily Prothom Alo.

Latifur, chairman of the business conglomerate Transcom Group, died at about 11:30am, Transcom Group director Md Fakhruzzaman confirmed.

He was 75.

Latifur Rahman’s death occurred unexpectedly on July 1, the day his grandson Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain, 20, had died during the 12-hour long Gulshan cafe siege in 2016.

Latifur Rahamn was buried in the capital’s Banani graveyard after his namaz-e-janaza held at Azad Masjid in Gulshan after the Esah prayer.

Latifur was suffering from lung related illness for a long time, according to his family.

He left behind wife, a son and two daughters to mourn his death.

Latifur was born on August 28, 1945 in Jalpaiguri, India, and was raised in Gendaria after his family moved to Dhaka following partition of Bengal.

Different trade bodies, social organisations, cabinet members, politicians, business leaders and eminent personalities expressed deep shock at his death and prayed for eternal peace of his departed soul.

Latifur was the founder chairman of Transcom Group that owns 13 companies engaged in businesses of electronics and electrical goods, foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, tea plantation, consumer goods, trading and distributions, print media and FM radio, currently employing over 10,000 people, according to the website of the group.

At the outset, Latifur went to St Francis School in Dhaka and he later studied in St Edmund’s School in Shillong and Saint Javier’s College in Kolkata from 1956 and returned to Dhaka in 1965.

He started his career as a trainee in his family-owned W Rahman Jute Mills in 1966 and worked as an executive until in 1971.

In 1972, he started his own business with almost empty hand and later in 1973 established Transcom Group and within the next 48 years, his company Transcom Group became one of the leading and fastest-growing diversified business houses in the country.

Along with many awards and recognitions, Latifur received ‘Oslo Business for Peace Award, regarded as Nobel prize for business professionals, in 2012.

He had been honoured with ‘SAARC Outstanding Leader’ award by CEO Awards of India and Lifetime Achievement Award by the UK Bangladesh Catalysts of Commerce and Industry.

He also served as president of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry for several terms. He was also president of Bangladesh Employers’ Federation and director of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Latifur was also a member of the executive board of the International Chambers of Commerce-Paris, vice-president of ICC-Bangladesh and member of BRAC’s governing body.

He was a member of the Bangladesh Better Business Forum and Advisory Committee on World Trade Organisation.

He was also chairman of the Bangladesh government’s Trade Body Reforms Committee and a member of Bangladesh Bank’s executive board.

Transcom Group’s companies include Eskayef Bangladesh Ltd, Mediastar Ltd, Transcom Beverages Ltd, Transcom Distribution Co Ltd, Transcom Foods Ltd, Transcom Electronics Ltd, Transcom Consumer Products Ltd, Bangladesh Lamps Ltd, Mediaworld Ltd, Tea Holdings Ltd, Reliance Insurance Ltd, Transcraft Ltd and Bangladesh Electrical Industries Ltd.

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Liberation War Museum in separate condolence messages expressed deep shock over the death of the iconic business personality.

Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, information minister Hasan Mahmud, Bangladesh Nationalist Party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment minister Imran Ahmed, among others, expressed condolences on the demise of Latifur Rahman.

In a condolence message, FBCCI president Sheikh Fazle Fahim recalled the contribution of Latifur Rahman in trade, business and industry and said that his demise was a great loss to the nation and the country. He prayed for eternal peace of his departed soul.

Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a message said, ‘MCCI is deeply saddened by the passing away of Latifur Rahman, the renowned industrialist and business icon of the country and former distinguished president of MCCI.’

In a condolence message, DCCI president Shams Mahmud said that Latifur made an outstanding contribution towards the development of business, industry and investment as well as employment opportunities in the country with his hard work, dedication, integrity throughout of his life.

Liberation War Museum in its condolence message recalled his contribution towards the establishment of the museum.