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‘A good leader goes fearlessly with challenges’

An interview with Md. Mizanur Rahman Khan, Founder and Chairman of Sweden-Bangladesh Business Council (SBBC) in Stockholm.

Having a positive outlook for the future, Md. Mizanur Rahman Khan has illustrious experiences that help him work with different people in different environments. He is result oriented and focused on things that move around. Working together with people from all walks of life is fascinating and gives him energy and improves his work.

Khan founded Sweden-Bangladesh Business Council (SBBC) in 2012. He simultaneously runs his own ventures  and works as President and CEO of Bangladesh Business and Mizanur Khan Consulting.

Md. Mizanur Rahman Khan spoke to the Fintech team and shared his various experiences in the business world. Here is the excerpt.

Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you establish Bangladesh Business Association and what were the challenges?

When I was posted as Chief Representative for a Swedish bank in Delhi, I was also holding a position at Swedish Chamber of Commerce in India as director. It was a time when I started thinking about the business relation between Sweden and Bangladesh or other Nordic countries in general. I had the opportunity to meet and network with all Nordic trade councils and Embassies including Germany. It has given me a clear picture that there was huge potential to develop trade and business between Sweden and Bangladesh.

After returning from New Delhi at the end of 2010, I planned to start a Chamber in spring 2011 and ended up with today‘s Sweden-Bangladesh Business Council (SBBC), inaugurated on 21 May 2012.

What are the core things that particularly made you think to create this kind of business?

I worked as a banker for many years in Sweden and I met many types of companies and entrepreneurs. My job in India has given me good knowledge about Swedish export business and  international trade as well as  other bilateral issues with India and other Asian countries. I was also a member of my bank’s Asia regional advisory board which has given me a broader perspective of international business.

It was not any particular sector that was behind the idea of  SBBC. I knew that Sweden had cutting-edge technology; know-how of various export industries, as well as many years of international trade experience, which would be perfect for Bangladesh and its development as an emerging market. I wanted to adapt  similar practices that the  existing Sweden-India Business Council had in order to open doors for Swedish business to Bangladesh and investments  in Sweden.

What is leadership to you? What are the challenges one faces to become a leader in business?

Leadership for me is making sustainable changes and taking things forward together with people. It is all about facilitating others to grow. Leadership also means learning by doing and practice. Becoming a business leader is not so difficult; it depends on what business you are doing, if only you have enough capital and resources.

It may not be so easy as it sounds however. As a business leader, if you want to expand your market share, if your business needs capital or investment, recruiting or attracting new talent to your company while making them feel proud of their jobs and your business, if you need to market and introduce a product, create a champion brand, create value and satisfied customers, then it will require strong leadership with management knowledge. You need to see all the way from strategy to implementation.

A business leader faces these types of challenges all the time to a varying extent depending on what level your business leadership strengths are. Good news is good leaders grow with the challenge!!

We’ll love to hear about your associates in the business areas and clients?

My associates are mostly my network, people with experiences, whom I can trust and who want to create value. My company is a Management consulting one and its main idea is business development. Its focus areas are IT, clean tech and health care. We work with both private and public companies but our priorities are SMEs.

How do customers benefit through your services?

My ambition is to create value and in whatever I do, I look for customer satisfaction.

You are also a chairman of the board at Sweden-Bangladesh Business Council. Please share with us something about this. How can a Bangladeshi  connect you if he or she needs any service from SBBC?

First of all I would like to suggest your readers and your network to follow Sweden-Bangladesh Business Council- SBBC on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/groups/3946451/ and visit our website  www.sbbc.se. This will give them a good overview of our activities. It would also give Bangladeshi companies insight into what Swedish companies and institutions are doing in Bangladesh.

It would be SBBC’s pleasure to be helpful through its network should any Bangladeshi company or institution want to establish their office/business or invest in Sweden. We would like to welcome many Bangladeshi companies within IT, tech and service companies in Sweden.

Recalling your early life, did you think you would be in this position today?

To be honest, no,  I never thought I would. I did know one thing early on that I would want to learn more about leadership and contribute to society even in a minor way.

What are your thoughts about business management and business leadership? Is there any actual difference between them?

This is a huge topic area to talk about. Here I would like to say that Business Management needs good leadership in every aspect and every level of the business organisation. I normally joke with my business friends that leadership is not a job, it is a passion!

If you have any advice for young entrepreneurs, please share through Fintech.

I feel jealous when I meet young entrepreneurs, especially when their driving power and interest to become successful is apparent and that inspires me too in its turn.

Entrepreneurship means hard work! My advice is if you have an idea and you believe in it, then  take responsibility for learning what you need, and don’t expect others to teach you. It is you who needs to take the initiatives and take actions. Only in this way will you solve issues that come up in order to achieve your goals.

It is hard work but not impossible to become a successful entrepreneur, so go ahead and empower yourself.  Some last advice on the way:  it is very helpful to have good mentors who care to listen to your stories.

Thank you very much for speaking to Fintech.

You are welcome.

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