Md. Mizanur Rahman was born in 1973 in Babuganj, Barishal. He has completed his master in Physics from Chattogram University. Aer completing his education, he has joined renowned shoes company called Excelsior Shoes Ltd in Chittagong as Marketing Executive and soon became Marketing Manager. He started his import business by that time and started thinking his own venture. In year 2010, he started his journey and established his first venture ‘Fortune Shoes Ltd’ in BSCIC Industrial area, Barishal.

Footwear Exchange’s ambassador Sakina Islam and Afsana Akther Mimi have talked with Mr. Mizan about his venture, struggles and vision.

Why did the buyer order from your factory? What are specific advantages you have that others don’t?

Buyer should encourage our commitment and dedication to them. A strong supply chain, merchandising and production team help us to ship goods on time. We continuously working for eiciency that help us to be competitive in market, both in price offer and for quality of product.

We ensure One stop service in Fortune Group. We have our office in China that ensure very good backward linkage. We have our own Foam plant, Outsole Plant, Direct Injection facility, PU pouring facility, In-house Printing facility, Lab facilities and Carton and Packaging facilities. I don’t think many factories has those facility under one roof.

How do you manage your business during covid? What are situations now?

We followed strict compliance of health safety for COVID 19. Regular health check by our doctors and nurse. We have signed MOU with Sher-e-Bangla medical College for our oicers and workers. We paid salary and bonus to the workers timely manner, thanks for government Incentive. Now situation getting better but still we are following health safety as usual. We are doing very good and the appreciation in published in “Forbes” Magazine 3 as under a Billion Company (Dec 2020) by maintaining our professionalism. It is the First Shoe Company of Bangladesh that is listed in Forbes.

What challenges do you foresee in the coming days affer covid? What actions are you considering?

We forecast that there might be shortage of orders from Buyers. We are spreading our marketing team to new countries. Like now, we are exporting our product to India and Middle east. There could be price drop as the world economy will be under challenged. We have to be careful about overhead cost. Our marketing team is exploring world market to get new buyers. Aer COVID, there will be obviously some challenges, but we are ready to face the unexpected challenges.

What could be the most important responsibilities as the business owner?

You need to have control of your organization. Good liaison with other government and non-government organization will help you. Ethical business practices are very important as well. Employee need to be trained, acknowledged, and get incentives for their service.

What do you think about overcoming existing drawbacks of Fortune group?

All government oices relating to Footwear export should have its oice at Barishal Division. Pyara Port

You were working for a shoe company before you start your own venture. How did you get your idea or concept for the business / how was your experience in this company?

I have worked with Excelsior shoes Limited before I started my own company. Though I started my own business during my student life where I have imported accessories and some other things. Suddenly my father died, as like other family I had lot of responsibilities for my families. There was no way but taking job for a fix income, but I continued business locally at the same. I believe entrepreneurship is god gifed. Yet you must have determination to be a successful in life. Of course, you must struggle. It’s a lifelong journey. You must work and believe in you that if you work hard you can achieve your target.

Why did you choose the factory in Barishal? What challenges do you have for this location?

We wanted to do something for the unemployment problem in Barishal as I was born there. And we believed that we get workforce as footwear industry’s source of workforce was from southern part of country. We had our confident to turn normal worker into skilled workforce. That also makes us happy as we are contributing the nation by making technical expert and earning foreign currency for our beloved motherland. For our initiative, industrialization is getting decentralized as per the policy of the government.

We are mitigating challenges day by day by government support. Though government encourage for industrial decentralization, still most administrative process needs to be performed in Khulna or Dhaka. Transportation is another issue, hope Payra port will help us in long run.

should develop its port facilities as soon as possible. Government incentives should be continued for footwear industries. In this regard incentives should be at least 18% of total cost in compare to other countries.

Does your company help the community where it’s located?

Apart of taking care of our direct workers and family,
we have taken lot of CSR activities in Barishal every year. Till now we have donated BDT 6 Million for food and medicine of poor people around our factory. We provide support COVID-19 aected lower income people that worth BDT 20 Million.

Where do you see yourself in 5 and 10 years?

In 5 years, we shall continue to increase our Shoe manufacturing facilities so that Customers/ Buyers do not go back from us. Group wants to have 15 production line and want to produce 35000 pairs of shoes daily. We also aiming to enter local market with our own brand. We also plan to have a production unit in Dhaka. Fortune Cable Factory will be established soon as per expansion policy of Fortune Group. Fortune Out sole plant and Aziz Footwear Limited will be established. Fortune group will have its own hospital called FORTUNE HOSPITAL LIMITED near BSCIC. It will augment the Medicare facilities of our oficer and workers.

In 10 years (Vision 2031), Fortune Group will incorporate its own Aviation Wing and Fortune Leather and Footwear University will be built to develop the shoe manufacturing knowledge of the nation.

Any advice for someone who is just starting out?

Since the situation is not yet normal due to COVID epidemic, so my suggestion is, it is not the right time to start a new business. You may wait till situation is improved. To be successful owner of a factory, you must struggle a lot, you should be honest, and you
have to keep your commitment to the buyers. A new beginner must work hard, pass lot of sleepless night and lot of struggle in getting the thing as per his desire. He must keep in mind that in Business there will be loss at times, but he should not loose heart and should not be frustrated.