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The power company

Article - December 16, 2011
Formed over 50 years ago, Rahimafrooz has grown from a family business to a government partner, and will soon be a billion-dollar concern
Founded in 1954 by Abdur Rahim, Rahimafrooz represents a remarkable success story. Mr Rahim was not a rich man when he started his company, but it has grown steadily (and recently spectacularly), now exporting to 44 countries around the world, with a turnover of $275 million (£177 million).

The company employs 2,000 workers directly, and provides work for another 20,000 indirectly. Over the past 10 years, growth has averaged 27 per cent, making the company’s Vision 2015 mission to become a billion-dollar business a realistic proposition.

While it has recently diversified into consumer electronics and retailing, the production of batteries has always been Rahimafrooz’s core business. This has led to the company’s interests in supplying power for telecoms, railways, power stations, electric vehicles, ships, buoy lighting, fork lifts and many other areas. Its automotive division alone produces over 200 varieties of batteries, made in the largest battery manufacturing plant in South Asia.

Rahimafrooz takes pride in the fact that all materials used are manufactured in Bangladesh to ISO standards, and that it is active in environmentally responsible schemes for battery collection and recycling. Indeed, its green credentials are typified by its long-standing involvement with solar power: thanks to company and the government’s efforts, Bangladesh has the largest penetration of small-scale solar energy solutions in the world, with over 1.2 million homes fully utilising solar power.

Son of the founder, and company director Niaz Rahim recently announced a new venture: “We have set up a 50 megawatt power plant in Thakurgaon. This is the first time the government has allowed the production of power from the private sector.”

Mr Niaz is also confident about the future for business in his country. “Decisions are now being made in a more timely manner. The government is focusing heavily on power resources and infrastructure development right now which is important, and which is going to help move Bangladesh forward as a nation.”