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The powerful Partex name

Article - November 13, 2012
Established in 1959, Partex Holdings is today a leading conglomerate comprising more than 20 companies across diverse industries
More than 50 years ago, Partex founder and Chairman M.A. Hashem initially set out to make his way in the business world as a tobacco trader with the small amount of money his recently widowed mother could afford to give him.

With time his business grew and by 1971, when Bangladesh declared its independence from West Pakistan, his tobacco warehouse in Chowmuhoni was packed full, thereby placing him in an excellent position to grow his business exponentially. A move to Chittagong, the commercial capital of Bangladesh, brought greater success and a subsequent diversification into imports of various consumer items and building materials – two much sought-after groups of products in the newly formed nation.

It was in Chittagong that Mr. Hashem founded M/S Hashem Corporation Ltd. and quickly became known as a trading tycoon. However, this sharp-minded businessman realized that imports were merely a temporary solution to a permanent need and decided to make the switch to manufacturing. He went on to pioneer several industries of national importance in the newly established Bangladesh.

By domestically producing the same products his company had been importing, he would create the basis of a small new business empire that would bring greater value to the Bangladeshi economy, more jobs for local workers and greater self-sufficiency for the nation.

In the 1980s, Mr. Hashem moved his business to Dhaka and purchased Star Particle Board Mills Ltd. from the government on auction, which he turned into a profitable company. Thus was born the Partex Group.

Mr. Hashem began setting up new industrial units and diversified his business across multi-dimensional sectors both at home and abroad. With other business colleagues, he founded two new banks – City Bank Ltd. and the United Commercial Bank Ltd. – and Janata Insurance and Phoenix Insurance.

Partex’s other companies are market leaders in nearly all sectors, including food and beverages, plastics, fabrics, yarn, cotton, sugar, paper, jute, shipping, furniture, real estate, media, education, services, and IT, among many others. It has been Mr. Hashem’s missionary zeal and unflinching commitment to quality, honesty, values, ethics and service that have taken the group to its present heights.

Working in a competitive environment of free market economy, the Chairman has played a pivotal role in promoting private sector entrepreneurship with new innovative ideas and translating them into action. Congruent with the Millennium Development Goals and guided by Mr. Hashem’s vision, Partex is one of the largest conglomerates in Bangladesh today.

“Ours is a free market economy. And the private sector as the engine of growth plays a key role in establishing the basic industrial base. We have been trying to play the role and contribute to the making of our GDP,” he says.

Having come from a modest background himself, Mr. Hashem has not forgotten his social responsibilities. He is closely involved in various social, religious, cultural, educational, humanitarian and healthcare related activities. For example, he has established a good number of mosques, orphanages, clubs and philanthropic institutions. He is also the founding President of Noakhali Diabetic institution.

Together with some friends and colleagues, Mr. Hashem established North-South University, Bangladesh’s first private university and currently ranked number one in the country. He also founded M.A. Hashem Degree College in Noakhali.

Partex Holdings, along with Partex Star Group, are enormous yet still maintain the family-run appeal. Indeed, Mr. Hashem’s five sons have all proven their worth as heads of different subsidiaries in the holding and group: Rubel Aziz is Chairman of City Bank Ltd., Showkat Aziz Russel is Managing Director of Partex Denim, Aziz Al Kaiser is Vice-Chairman of Partex Star Group, Aziz Al Mahmood is Managing Director of Danish Condensed Milk Bd. Ltd., and Aziz Al Masud is Director of Partex Group.