Transcom Chairman Latifur Rahman Passes Away
Businessman and Transcom Group Chairman Latifur Rahman has passed away. He was 75. Latifur breathed his last at his village home in Comilla’s Chauddagram around 11 am on Wednesday, confirmed Transcom’s General Manager Faisal Hossen. He was suffering from different old-age complications for a long time, said Faisal.
Latifa's body was taken to Dhaka later in the evening, he added. A namaz-e-janaza was held at the Gulshan Central Mosque, formerly Azad Mosque, after the Esha prayers.
Afterward, he was laid to rest at the Banani Graveyard at 10 pm. Latifur was born on August 28, 1945, in Jalpaiguri, India. He is survived by his wife Shahnaz Rahman, a son, and two daughters. Four years ago on this very day, his grandson Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain was killed in the Holey Artisan cafe attack in Gulshan.
One of the oldest and biggest groups of companies in Bangladesh, Transcom is a conglomerate and a local agent for international brands — businesses that include beverage, pharmaceuticals, electronics, foods, tea, distribution, newspapers, and radio channel, among others.
Latifur, who established Transcom Group in 1973, was the founding director of Transcom-affiliated Mediaworld Ltd and Mediastar Ltd, which own and publish the country’s leading newspapers The Daily Star and Prothom Alo, respectively.
From zero to business tycoon
The renowned businessman Latifur started his career in 1966 as an intern in his family-owned jute mills in the Chandpur district. He worked as an executive in the mills until 1971. He established Transcom Group in 1973 after W Rahman Jute Mills, the major earning source for the Rahman family, was nationalized in 1972. In the 1980s, Rahman became the sole importer and distributor of Nestlé products in Bangladesh. In the 1990s, he bought Smith, Kline, and French, a US-based pharmaceutical company, later known as Eskayef.
The companies under the conglomerate includedEskayef Pharmaceutical, Transcom Beverages, Transcom Distribution Co., Transcom Foods, Transcom Electronics, Transcom Consumer Products, Bangladesh Lamps, Transcom Cables, Tea Holdings, Transcraft Ltd, and Bangladesh Electrical Industries Limited. The annual turnover of Transcom Group, which has over 13,000 employees, is around Tk3,900 crore. Transcom is also a major stakeholder of Reliance Insurance Limited, National Housing Finance, and Investments Limited, IDLC Finance Limited, and Pubali Bank Limited.
Leadership and awards
Latifur was a former president of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka (MCCI), a position he held for seven terms. He was also a member of the Governing Body of Brac and a former president of the Bangladesh Employers’ Federation. He was Vice-President of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Bangladesh. Latifur was also chairman of the Bangladesh government’s Trade Body Reforms Committee and a member of the Bangladesh Bank’s executive board. He was honored with the “SAARC Outstanding Leader” award and Lifetime Achievement Award which was presented by the UK Bangladesh Catalysts of Commerce and Industry. Rahman is an honouree of “The Oslo Business for Peace Award 2012” and was awarded Business Executive of the Year 2001 by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh.
Political, and business leaders condole
Condolences have been pouring in from all over the country expressing shock and sorrow at the death of Transcom Group's founder chairman Latifur Rahman. Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, Information Minister, and Awami League Joint General Secretary Dr. Hasan Mahmud, and BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir expressed profound shock upon hearing the news of Latifur Rahman's death. In separate messages, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin, Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad, and State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Md Enamur Rahman prayed for the eternal peace of the departed soul and conveyed deep sympathy to the bereaved family.