Delowar Hossain and Shelly Apa
Momita Flowers
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Delowar, my husband, and I started our journey with Momita Flowers nearly 17 years back. Delowar belongs to a farmer’s family and that is where he got the inspiration to start this farm. He inherited the talent for farming from his father and dreamt to utilize it for the greater good.
While traveling from Sreepur, Gazipur to Dhaka, Delowar noticed there was an untapped demand for beautiful flowers in our local market. He saw an opportunity and grabbed it. I decided to join hands with him professionally and together we started our adventurous journey. That’s how it all got started.
We started our commercial floriculture with Gladiolus flower bulbs. No one in our families believed in the potential of our flower business 17 years ago. We were also made fun of by our family members because they felt we had gone crazy to think that we could earn our livelihood by selling flowers. But we decided to stick through with our dream, come what may. Never once did quitting cross my mind; neither did Delowar’s.
Back in those days, a flower was not acknowledged as a crop by the Government of Bangladesh. That is why florists were at a disadvantage in terms of getting financial access from public and private financial institutions. But we kept plowing through and saw tremendous growth in our business within just a few years.
Over the last 17 years, it is our belief that we have brought many positive changes to the floriculture business of Bangladesh. We noticed very early on that Bangladesh is heavily dependent on imports in this sector. And we decided to change this. By collecting seeds of exotic roses from the Netherlands, we started cultivating them on our farm. To date, we have already sold exotic roses worth 3 lacs taka. And to this day, we are the sole producers of these exotic roses in Bangladesh. Among some of our other notable achievements, we developed the first-ever high-tech nursery in Bangladesh; successfully crushed the misbelief that strawberries cannot grow in Bangladesh and even if they do, they are not up to international standards.
Time and again, we sought consultation from various credible organizations to continually better our understanding. In the process, we also became a part of LightCastle Partners’ accelerator program in 2018 and learned further about business expansion models, marketing strategies, investment readiness; and received exposure to investors and banks.
Just like in every success story, the trials don’t end easily. The Covid-19 pandemic forced us all to go into lockdown in the middle of March 2020 and the lives of many entrepreneurs came to a standstill. Momita flowers was no different. So much so that we saw flowers worth 14 lacs taka getting ruined right in front of our eyes! By and large, we experienced a loss of 40-50 lacs taka.
For any small business owner, this is an amount heavy enough to crush someone’s confidence and courage to continue with their business. But we refused to let go of hope. While our sales were halted for the entire period of lockdown, we took the moment of crisis as an opportunity and started donating Strawberries and Capsicum, two of our high-value crops, to the local hospitals so that they could help the ailing patients. When many corporations were considering laying off their employees to cut costs during the pandemic, Momita flowers took pride in providing rather extra care to the people who worked for us. Not a single person got laid off. Alongside, we continued nurturing our plants with the belief that there lay a brighter future ahead.
We have been successfully exporting some of our flowers for some time now. In near future, we look forward to exporting strawberries, exotic roses, and capsicum, too. Looking forward, we dream of making Bangladesh completely self-sufficient in floriculture so that we don’t have to completely rely on imports. Our aim is to do that by making the difficult cultivation processes easier for us and all other flower cultivators by leveraging advanced technologies. May we live long to see our dreams turn into reality.

Comment (1)

  • Sadia

    Inspiring story!

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