From streets sales to entrepreneurs extraordinaire

Monirul Islam . Jashore | Update:

During their hangouts as university students, the three of them had decided that once they graduated, they would not take up any jobs. Rather than working for anyone, they would offer jobs and employ others.

Ruhul Kuddus, Al-Mamun and Towhidur Rahman, the three friends were MBA students at Islamic University. They dreamt of having their own business.

The dream came true when they started a readymade garment industry in Jashore. They named it Rat’s Eye. RAT is the acronym of their first names- Ruhul, Al-Mamun and Towhid.

The brand Rat’s Eye manufactures t-shirts and polo shirts and has already become popular in the local market. They have reached markets in Qatar and India as well.

During a visit to the factory, about 15 young people were seen busy making winter wear. Some were stitching and others were packaging the the finished products.

The office is next to the factory. There were five persons working in the marketing and accounts sections. Some of the employees are still students studying in different colleges.

Abu Rayhan works full-time in the accounts section of Rat’s Eye. He is a second year student of finance and banking at Jessore MM College. Another employee, Suman Kabir, a postgraduate student of the same college, is working in marketing section. He said, “We are working as a family in this company. There is no discrimination between owners and workers.”

One of the entrepreneurs, Al-Mamun told Prothom Alo about how it all happened. He said they were friends since childhood. They studied in same school, college and university.

“Things were not smooth initially. We used to go shop to shop peddling t-shirts. The shopkeepers acted as if we were selling stolen goods,” he said.

“Still, we did not give up.” he continued, “We ran into losses the first year. Now, we sell Tk 800,000 to Tk. 100,000 worth of t-shirts every month. We make a 5 cent profit.”

Mamun told Prothom Alo that they were short of capital at the moment.

Another one of these three entrepreneurs, Towhidur Rahman, said they have invested Tk 3.5 million now.

“We did not take any money from our families,” he added.

Before starting the business, they used to sell export quality t-shirts and leather bags brought in from Dhaka by a friend.

Another one of them, Ruhul Kuddus, said that their products were now being sent to the Qatar market as GL Band. They exported 12,000 shirts in two years.

They sell their products in the Indian market under the brand name 'Black Feather'. Ruhul said they were preparing to export their t-shirts to France soon.

A local brand ‘Art Fort’ is buying tees and polos from them too. Rat’s Eye also sells wholesale products in various local markets of Jashore, Dhaka, Khulna, Satkhira and other places.

The company has employed at least 20 youths of Jashore. Their factory and office is located beside the Michael Madhusudan Government College. Therefore, college students are also getting part-time job opportunities here.

FBCCI general member Humayun Kabir visited the factory recently. He told Prothom Alo yesterday, “The three of them are doing very well. They have all their legal papers in order. Another 25 to 30 young people also have jobs there. They can do even better with proper patronage.”

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