Rokia Afzal Rahman: From Banker to Entrepreneur Extraordinary

Rokia Afzal Rahman: From Banker to Entrepreneur Extraordinary

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“My son had a high fever once. I was washing his head and asking the manager to come home for some urgent office work. As needed, I made the office my home or the home my office.

“I thought to myself, since I have to work hard for my business, let me think big. So I started my business with cold storage. Potato was an agro-based business at that time, which was a good investment. The raw material was there, which was being produced in the country. My life was city-based, but this potato business gave me a strong connection with the villages. My hair was very short, but it didn’t matter when I used to sit in the fields with the farmers, take them. I had a great relationship with him.”

Apart from cold storage business, Rokia Afzal Rehman has expanded his businesses into insurance, real estate and media. After the death of her husband, she has to look after his business as well. But before that, she did not join her husband’s business but did her work independently. In our country, a woman’s business mostly revolves around boutiques, saree shops, eateries and so on, but in 1980, Rokia Afzal Rehman took a loan from Shilpa Bank and started her cold storage business.

She said, ‘I say with pride that in most cases women run their business honestly. They repay their loan on time, pay VAT and taxes. I repay my bank loans on time and hence I have no problem in getting cash loan. As a good manager, a good entrepreneur, I got respect from Shilpa Bank. I am honored to be a prime customer of Janta Bank. I also got the Amcham Award.” Rokia Afzal Rehman believes that she has received these awards because of her hard work and dedication. She said, “I am not afraid of hard work. And I have the support of my family. There was a problem with the power line of Bar Cold Storage and I had to go to Munshiganj to the Executive Engineer there. It was a rough road and I had to travel by boat and rickshaw as well. I have just left a note to my husband, I am going to this place to solve this problem, don’t worry. Such support from family is a big support.”

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