In a conversation, Minhaj Ahmed, Deputy Managing Director at Ahmed Food Products (Pvt.) Ltd. divulges on the challenges the Bangladeshi food industry is facing, its future and what it takes to become the youngest entrepreneur in the food industry.
You are the youngest entrepreneur in the food industry. Can you please share with us about how it all started?
It all stemmed from my aspiration to replicate my father’s successful career. He has been my mentor and the inspiration behind becoming the person I am today. His persistence and hard work have taken this company to the pinnacle of success. My father embedded a unique way of learning and understanding of business fundamentals from a very young age. He encouraged me to discover the answer to my curiosities by myself and explore the world around me. It helped me to become self-reliant and made me confident to make my own decisions. I started coming to the office when I was doing my undergrad which gave me an early start to my career and helped me to prepare myself for the challenge I would later take on life.
Ahmed is one of the most popular food product brands in Bangladesh. What has been the biggest strength of the company that enabled it to maintain its position among the consumers?
Ahmed is one of the oldest companies in this FMCG industry that always keeps faith in its customers. We are dedicated to meet the demands of our customers through uncompromised quality and adherence to international standards.
Can you please share some details about how quality and hygiene is maintained at Ahmed Food Products (Pvt.) Ltd?
Ahmed always follows International standards from farm to fork. We follow Good Agriculture Practice (GAP), Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), Good Handling Practice (GHP), Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), ISO standards and BSTI standards. Every stage of our product is tested to meet the quality by following the standard criteria and maintain hygiene which is very important in this food industry.
Over the years, the company has won several awards and acknowledgements for its excellence in quality management and CSR activities. Can you please share details about some of them?
Ahmed Food has been awarded numerous times throughout its journey for its performance and excellence and CSR activities.
Ahmed Food Products (Pvt.) Ltd. is the only company in Bangladesh with eight consecutive BIZZ awards. The acknowledgements also include THE BIZZ 2012, Peak of Success 2013, Beyond the success 2014, Be a legend 2015, Glory 2016, Triumph 2017, Pinnacle 2018 and Victorious 2019 award for Excellent in Quality Management from World Confederation of Business, Texas, USA.
Best Food Company from Bangladesh Business Award 2014-2015 awarded by Robintex Group & MIRROR. We have also won the
Business Management award 2013 award for Excellence in Business Management from Global Business Corporation, USA.
From your experience, what are the challenges that exist in the Bangladeshi food and beverages industry? What kind of government assistance can help the industry overcome those challenges?
There are numerous challenges that the industry is facing which might impede future growth. The challenges range from high-interest rates, poor communication and infrastructure, utilities and government tariffs and regulations. The current government has been very supportive of the local businesses over the last decade and things have changed for the better, however, more support is required if we want to ensure the sustainability of the sector.
This sector is highly dependent on imported raw materials and we face a lot of barriers in the process. Our current system requires a complete overhaul as it’s riddled with legal and logistical complications.
We are grateful to the government for its initiative to accommodate the process under a “one-stop-solution” under BIDA which will enhance our business environment. Finally, we need to set up an agricultural zone exclusively for the food industries under one umbrella with help from the government.
Are there any goals that you want to achieve with Ahmed Food Products (Pvt.) Ltd?
Ahmed Food’s main goal is to never compromise with quality and not only lead the market but ensure a place in every consumer’s heart by providing best quality hygiene food. Also maintaining the position of the market leader and sustaining it.
As the proverb by Les Brown goes ‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.’ What I believe, my destination with Ahmed Food is not on a specific level. My dream with this company is to set the name of this organization in every nation of this world and reach the topmost position possible for any organization. I want to expand my business while sustaining the value and reliability of the brand. Ahmed Food Products (Pvt.) Ltd wants to provide the best quality food and substantial employment for the youth across Bangladesh, it wants to play its part in the socio-economic development of our country.