Md. Habibur Rahman, Rangpur
Habib Traders

I started everything from scratch. I did not have any family business, and also I was not able to continue my studies after class 5. Still, I had to do something for my family, and with that determination, I first got into the rice selling business. With the help of my wife and a micro-loan, my journey began. This was way back in 2001. Now, it’s been 20 years, but I’m still delivering my best without stopping.

After dealing with rice for a while, I also integrated paddy into my business. It did not take much time to make a strong foundation, and that allowed me to add more products to my business. So, I decided to work with domestic animals’ food products. Then, I thought of doing something that would help the farmers while taking my business to the next level. So, from 2006, I started collecting fresh seeds from well-reputed brands and sold them in my locality. I always try to offer the best price for the farmers because it lays a foundation of trust and reliability.

As I did not have much capital in the beginning, I took several loans from banks over the years. In 2006, I took a loan of BDT 2,00,000, and after I cleared my loan, I took another one of BDT 4,00,000. I did not face any problem with the loans as my business was going well. Afterward, I took a hefty loan of BDT 35,00,000, which allowed me to expand the business massively. Meanwhile, I bought many farming lands to cultivate potatoes and other vegetables.

Although I had already captured a large portion of the market because of my competitive pricing and premium quality seeds, I wanted to try new things. That led me to add fertilizers and medicines to my business. So, I had integrated almost every major input that farmers needed to start their agricultural farm. I keep trying new things because I believe adaptability is the key to sustain a business in the long run.

Through the years, I have witnessed and experienced many calamities and disastrous situations, but everything looks pale in comparison with the Covid-19 pandemic. Many entrepreneurs like me have suffered a heavy blow. I usually get back all the borrowed money at the start of the Bengali New Year. However, I could not recover more than BDT 50,00,000 because people don’t have any money in their hands. That’s why I had to take a loan without paying my previous one. I don’t know when I will recover from this loss, but I’m hopeful for the future. 

I still hold the same enthusiasm about attending any training program to gain knowledge as I did in 2001 when I first started my journey. The training seminar hosted by Truvalu and LightCastle Partners was memorable to me because of their hospitality and incredible business insights. Now, the next step for me is to create a strong name in the seed market and make a brand of my own. I want every farmer and entrepreneur to look at their jobs from a socialistic perspective so that we can all grow together peacefully.

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