Latifur Rahman (Shamim), 75, passed away in his sleep at 11 am this morning in his paternal home in Cumilla.
His Namaz-e-Janaza will be held this evening at the Azad Masjid after Esha prayers. He was suffering from lung related illness for a long time.
He was founder chairman and CEO of Transcom Group, a well-known and highly respected business house of Bangladesh.
He was founding director of Mediaworld, the owning company of The Daily Star, and Chairman of Mediastar, the owning company of Prothom Alo, both leading English and Bangla newspapers of the country. He was a driving spirit behind establishment of The Daily Star.
Transcom Group deals with beverages, electrical and electronics products, pharmaceuticals, fast food, snacks and breakfast cereals, print media, FM radio and tea plantations.
Transcom Group’s companies include Transcom Beverages, Transcom Electronics, Eskayef Pharmaceuticals, Transcom Foods, Transcom Distribution Company, Transcom Consumer Product and Mediastar.
Rahman was a member of the executive board of ICC-Paris, vice president of ICC-Bangladesh and member of Brac’s governing body. He was a member of the Bangladesh Better Business Forum and Advisory Committee on World Trade Organization.
Rahman was also president of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka for seven terms and of Bangladesh Employers’ Federation.
He was also chairman of the Bangladesh government’s Trade Body Reforms Committee and a member of Bangladesh Bank’s executive board.
Rahman was an honouree of “Oslo Business for Peace Award 2012” and was awarded Business Executive of the Year 2001 by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh.
He had also been honoured with the “SAARC Outstanding Leader” award and Lifetime Achievement Award which was presented by the UK Bangladesh Catalysts of Commerce and Industry.
Rahman started his career in 1966 in his family-owned jute mills in 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 nationalised in 1972. In the 1980s, Rahman became the sole importer and distributor of Nestlé products in Bangladesh. In the 1990s, he bought Smith, Kline & French, a US-based pharmaceutical, later known as Eskayef.
He was married to Shahnaz Rahman. Together they have three daughters Simeen Hossain, Shahzreh Huq, (late) Shazneen Rahman and a son, Arshad Waliur Rahman.
He was an iconic figure in the business world of Bangladesh and respected by business leaders at the international level. He was renowned for his honesty and ethical business practices. He was loved and honoured by all those who came in contact with him.