An array of agricultural machinery produced by a creative entrepreneur of Pabna is making a significant contribution to the overall agricultural development of different northern and south-western districts of the country.
The success story of Md Al-Amin Malitha, who during the last few years has produced a set of machines to grind rice, wheat, mustard and pulse all by himself, is not only fascinating but also an exemplary one for the new entrepreneurs coming from the diploma engineering sector.
In 2007, Al-Amin's father, Abul Kalam Malitha, set up a workshop with a Tk1,20,000 welding machine at Mental Road in Chhatiani area of Pabna town, taking a Tk1 lakh loan from an NGO. In his workshop, he used to repair various damaged machinery of different factories of Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation's (Bscic) industrial city of Pabna.
Malitha did not have any employees at his workshop. Al-Amin, who obtained his diploma in engineering from Pabna Polytechnic Institute (Vocational), used to assist his father in repairing the machines while he was still a student.
After completing his studies, Al-Amin started working at the workshop as a mechanic, and after the death of his father in 2011, he took over the business.
With his education and perseverance, the business continued to flourish. At one stage, one welding machine was not enough, and he bought another one spending Tk2.5 lakh in 2013. During this time, Al-Amin started repairing various types of vehicles powered by shallow engines.
In 2014, another welding machine was added to the workshop which, by the time, had seven employees. In the same year, Al-Amin rented a plot at Bscic industrial city for the workshop. He shifted his workshop in 2017, after constructing a permanent building there. The total cost for construction of the building and purchase of another state-of-the-art welding machine was Tk1.5 crore.
The self-trained inventor
Through the internet, Al-Amin used to get ideas about agricultural machinery from different countries, including China. Spending hour after hour, he used to learn in detail how to make and use those machineries.
At last, in 2018, he succeeded in making a mustard oil grinder all by himself at his workshop.
Being inspired by his first venture in machine production, Al-Amin then built a rice threshing machine which received tremendous response from the buyers. Employees of his workshop started selling the electric and diesel-powered devices by going to the farmers' doorsteps. At first, the machine was priced at Tk1.5 lakh. Now, it is being sold for Tk2 lakh.
Apart from the nine upazilas of Pabna, Al-Amin started getting buying orders from different northern and south-western districts of the country.
The success continues
Al-Amin and his team have also built wheat-grinding and wet rice-grinding machines for making cakes. The prices of these machines are not very high, they range from Tk70,000 to Tk80,000.
Al Amin's creative ventures have also resulted in the production of pulse-grinding machines and straw cutting machines for cow feed. The prices of these machines are Tk1.5 lakh.
Md Al-Amin Malitha said, "I have come so far by working day and night with my own hands at the beginning of the organisation. Although our family suffered from poverty when my father was alive, now those days are no more."
"I do not have to work with my own hands now as there are 22 employees in my workshop presently. I did not have to take a new loan from the bank. I hope to buy a big land soon and build everything on my own," he added.