Stories in EnglishFowzia Healthy Food Products
আফরোজা সুলতানা, ঢাকা
Fowzia Healthy Food Products

My emergence as an entrepreneur was in 2014 when my husband had to leave his private job due to sickness. Although the opportunity was always there for me to start a small business, there was never any need. However, after my husband left his job, he encouraged me immensely to open up a business to become financially independent and support the family. I knew how to make good yogurt while being raised in Tangail, the land of sweets. So, I began my journey as a businesswoman only with yogurt and named my enterprise “Fowzia Healthy Food Products’’ after my daughter.

We then started to look for super shops to sell our yogurts. Shawpno, the super shop chain, evaluated our products and hosted them in the Mohammadpur branch. Our first batch of production got positive responses from the customers. However, being the first business person in my family, I did not know anything about running an enterprise. I didn’t even know that we needed a trade license! So, we finalized the legal formalities and collected all the documents. After that, Agora was the next company that took an interest in our products, but we had to maintain some guidelines as they are more strict with their policies. Without getting a separate space only for production, they would not allow our products in their outlets.

So, we rented an office to make it our main production house and also ensured that our products were perfectly hygienic. I had to rent a deep freezer as well to accommodate more yogurts. After we ensured we followed every protocol, Agora listed our products in 4 of their branches. To our utter surprise, in the first month, we managed to sell TK. 65000 worth of yogurts. We did not expect we would receive such positive feedback from the market. It encouraged us to look for more opportunities.

The next few years were quite good because there were not many competitors out there, and we just maintained our quality without any compromise. But because of the Covid-19 outbreak, the last two years were very different for us. Our business had to suffer a lot due to the pandemic. We did not have any vendors to supply our products. We had to let go of some of my staff as well due to a massive drop in our sales. However, we did not give up. Rather we diversified our sales by bringing in new products such as Borhani, Mozzarella Cheese, Chom Chom, Rosogolla, Tofu, etc. We started online delivery and got tons of orders for our diversified products. While we lost capital in making new products, we are hopeful that we will soon recover from the loss.

“Corporate Connect 2020 Conference and Business Fair” hosted by WeConnect and LightCastle Partners allowed me to learn many entrepreneurial skills and marketing strategies. I was also the 2nd runner-up at the pitch competition. It was a very helpful and joyous experience for me. Now, I plan to bring more products from the rural area which do not get enough exposure. I want to make those products available in the city with proper packaging and marketing. If I get an investment or funding, then I will be able to realize my dream.

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