Md. Nayeem Khan, Rangpur
M/S Nayeem Engineering
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From my early days, all I saw were struggles and suffering. I come from a family where we were constantly facing financial problems. It was truly horrifying for us to live like that. In a situation where surviving was all we could think of, studying was nothing short of a luxury. That’s why I had to leave my studies very early and decided to work as a day laborer. Later on, I got the chance to work at a railway contractor firm at Chottogram.

The reason behind choosing the railway industry as my area of work was my father. He worked at national railways all his life, and I, too, was intrigued by his passion. That’s why, in 1992, I went across almost 600 km from my hometown just to learn how the railway machinery is built. While I was working, I made connections with a lot of influential people at the railways. It was necessary because my plan was to create a business of my own. I discussed my plan with multiple contractors and took advice from them. After 12 years of working under my supervisor, I returned to Saidpur to realize my dream.

M/S Nayeem Engineering was the name I chose for my business. First, I started with supplying the machinery and parts from a third party to the railway corporation. The railways were satisfied with my services, and it enabled me to increase the prospect of my business. I slowly built my business so that I could open up a factory to make the parts myself. Once I got enough recognition and confidence, I opened the factory to produce everything in-house. 

Because of having very little competition in the market, I never had to face any overwhelming tragedy. I, with my 30+ workers, always try to be aware of our surroundings to match the needs of the market. My workers are very loyal to me and give their all to produce quality goods. That’s why they are my first priority. 

Although I never faced any major backlash from the market before 2020, Covid-19 totally took the ground from our feet. We were completely lost. No orders, no railway transport, no production. Everything stood still for months. Banks did not sanction any loan. Still, I did not cut off any workers. I gave them salaries from my own pocket. The loss I faced was unrecoverable, but we had to move forward somehow. And we did.

Now that everything seems normal again, I don’t think I have to suffer that fate anymore. Truth to be told, coming from a struggling family, my current situation is a blessing bestowed upon me from the Almighty. My past constantly reminds me to remain faithful and never lose hope. 

Recently I got to work with B-SkillFUL and LightCastle Partners. They gave some very practical and insightful advice about recovering from the Covid-19 impacts. With their suggestions and some funding, I think I’ll be able to scale up my business more effectively. I hope this turmoiling Covid-19 situation ends soon and all the entrepreneurs get to reach their full potential.

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