A textile mill started its journey in 1994, thanks to the government's policy on supporting the home textile sector. On April 17, 2000, it made the first export shipment worth $0.6 million.
Now the company has stood as a proud winner of the "National Export Trophy (Gold)" for 10 consecutive terms, including the latest addition yesterday, as the highest exporter in all sectors.
This is the story of Zaber and Zubaer (ZnZ) Fabrics Ltd, a sister concern of the Noman Group, which has won gold trophy for fiscal year (FY) 2016-17.
The government on Sunday awarded 66 companies for their contribution to the export sector in FY17.
Some 29 companies, including ZnZ Fabrics Ltd, Rifat Garments Limited, Badsha Textiles Limited, Envoy Textiles Limited, Akij Jute Mills Limited and Bay Footwear, were awarded gold trophy.
Another 21 companies received silver award while 16 companies received bronze trophy.
However, ZnZ, founded by its Chairman Nurul Islam, began exporting home and specialised textiles from FY07.
"The company was established with the aim of export diversification," said Mohammed Shahidullah Chowdhury, executive director of Noman Group.
ZnZ exports its fabrics to different markets, including the European Union, America, Canada and other North American countries.
The company currently produces 220 million metres of home textiles annually and employs 11,000 people, according to the Export Promotion Bureau of Bangladesh (EPB).
It is one of the largest Bangladeshi conglomerates in the textile and garment sector.
Shahidullah said the group's two other concerns – Noman Teri Towel Ltd and Zaber and Zobaer Accessories Ltd – have also been awarded gold trophy and bronze trophy respectively in FY17.
Noman Teri Towel Ltd and ZnZ Accessories Ltd exported products worth $66.14 million and $10.40 million respectively in FY17, according to the EPB.
"Noman Group has been in the textile business for over 50 years, beginning in 1968. It employs 70,000 people in its 37 companies," said Shahidullah. "In 2013, its earnings from textile and garment export reached $1 billion as the first Bangladeshi conglomerate."
Highest trophy winner group
The highest number of export trophies went to PRAN-RFL Group, one of the largest producers and exporters of agro products.
Five companies of the group were awarded trophies for their outstanding contribution to export in FY17.
According to the EPB, Pran Agro Ltd achieved gold trophy, and Habiganj Agro Ltd bronze trophy, in the agro processing sector. Their export earnings were $46.42 million and $13.48 million respectively in that fiscal year.
Besides, Durable Plastics Ltd and Allplast Bangladesh Ltd got silver trophy and bronze trophy respectively in the plastic goods sector, while Rangpur Metal Industries Ltd obtained silver trophy in the light engineering sector. Export earnings of the three firms stood at $7.13 million, $10.08 million and $7.85 million respectively in the same fiscal.
PRAN-RFL officials said the group employed over one lakh people and exported goods worth $444 million in fiscal year 2018-19.
"We got the awards as our global consumers keep their trust in our brands. We manufacture products that are in line with the consumers' demand. We are very delighted to achieve the best exporter award," said Kamruzzaman Kamal, director of marketing at PRAN-RFL Group.
"The group has a big market in India and the Middle East countries. Our products are now available in Africa, Europe, and North and South America."
PRAN-RFL Group started exporting its products to France in 1997. At present, the group is exporting a wide range of products to 141 countries across the globe.
Winners of multiple trophies
Two entities of Square Group – Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Square Fashions Ltd – were awarded gold trophy.
Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd, the flagship company of the group, has been dominating the pharmaceutical industry of Bangladesh since 1985. Founded in 1958 by Samson H Chowdhury along with three of his friends as a private firm, it is now on its way to becoming a high-performance global player.
The company was named the highest exporter in the pharmaceuticals sector with exports worth $139.63 million, while Square Fashions Ltd's export earning was $16.82 million in fiscal year 2016-17.
Square Group does business in a diverse range of fields, including pharmaceuticals, toiletries, garments, textile, information technology, health and food products.
It enjoys an annual turnover of over $200 million on an average and employs about 3,500 people.
Meanwhile, Meghna Group, another large conglomerate of the country, won two trophies.
The group has business in different industries, including automobile, light engineering (bicycle), cement, packaging and textile.
One of the entities of the group, Uniglory Cycle Industries Ltd, won gold trophy as the highest exporter in the light engineering sector.
The company produces two lakh bicycles annually, and employs 458 people.
Meghna Innova Rubber Company Ltd, which exports tyre and tube, got bronze trophy for exporting $3.68 million worth of products.