Shiful Islam Started His Career At Tk 700 Monthly Salary, Today His Company Rimy Plastic Industries Brings In TK 10 Million A Year. This Is His Story.

Shiful Islam Started His Career At Tk 700 Monthly Salary, Today His Company Rimy Plastic Industries Brings In TK 10 Million A Year. This Is His Story.

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This story is made possible in part by our friends at IDLC Finance Limited. IDLC helps SME entrepreneurs to focus on their business and grow by ensuring smooth financing and other supports. Learn more about IDLC SME Loan here.

Shiful Islam, the proprietor of Rimy Plastic Industries, was born and brought up in Shatkira. He came to Dhaka in the year 1992 even before completing his intermediate education in search of a better life. That year he started working for a plastic products manufacturing company called Everbright, now known as Poly Plastic. After working there a couple months, he switched to Sunshine plastic where he worked for the next seven years.

“I started at a salary of TK 700 a month, ” says Shiful. Managing a life with that small money was beyond difficult, “we used to live in a small room, eat the same vegetable every day and walk to the office in order to save money.”

After working for seven years at Sunshine Plastics he decided to try his own luck in business. “I have always dreamt of doing something on my own,” says Shiful, “after working for seven years I said to my employer that I wanted to start my own business and left the job.”

Upon leaving the job, Shiful went to his village to bring a small capital of BDT 65,000 which unfortunately got stolen along with his entire luggage on his way back to Dhaka. That was a devastating experience. “I didn’t have enough capital in the beginning, says Shiful, we used to get a very small salary and it was almost impossible to save from that after paying all the costs.” But that did not stop Shiful.

Later, he managed a small capital of BDT 12,000, hired 4 people and prepared a dice for making a few products. But making a few products was not all, you have to sell it. When it came to selling, many of those who had until then encouraged Shiful were not willing to cooperate. Luckily, his friends were with him. With their help, hard work and persistence he managed to overcome those early challenges.

A few months into business Shiful managed to design and manufacture a bathroom water mug that quickly became a customer favorite. “The sales were extraordinary. We sold more than 600 dozens of products in a short period of time”, says Shiful. That was the beginning of good days for Shiful but that was not the end . In association with IDLC Finance limited, we bring you the story of Shiful Islam.

“I started at a salary of TK 700 a month, ” says Shiful. Managing a life with that small money was beyond difficult, “we used to live in a small room, eat the same vegetable every day and walk to the office in order to save money.”

Future Startup: When did you come to Dhaka? How did you start Rimy Plastic Industries?

Shiful Islam: I was born and grew up in Satkhira. I came to Dhaka in 1992 even before completing my intermediate and took a job as a supervisor at Everbright, a plastic producer now known as Poly Plastic. I worked there for a few months and then joined Sunshine Plastic as a sales manager where I stayed for 7 years.

After working for seven years at Sunshine, I felt that I had done enough of the job, I wanted to do something my own and that’s how the idea of starting a business came to my mind.

I didn’t have enough capital in the beginning. I managed to put together a mere 12,000-taka as capital, made a dicing machine and hired 4 people. That’s how Rimy Plastic started.

Today we are a team of more than 80 people making 120 different products and have around 100 dicing machines in 3 factories with a yearly turnover of more than TK 10 million.

Patience is one of the most important things in life. If you want to do business, you must be patient, it takes an unnaturally long time to build a business. Moreover, it involves challenges and difficulties that most people would want to avoid.

What were the major challenges you faced in the early days? What are the challenges now?

The first 3 months were quite rough. People who previously encouraged me to start the business and promised that they would purchase products from us didn’t keep their word and it cost us dearly. But my friends helped me a lot. They supplied raw materials on credit and helped with distribution.

Then, there was another period, during 2013 and 2014, when we had experienced a sharp fall in sales. The competition was also on the rise. That’s when I came to know about IDLC SME loan and applied for that loan. Luckily, I was selected along with 9 other plastic manufacturers which helped us a lot in reinvigorating our operations.

Our primary challenge now is to ensure products that are of high-quality, eco-friendly and in line with international standards. Competition is another big challenge. We can overcome it if we get the same patronization that the banks provide to big name brands.

I didn’t have enough capital in the beginning. I managed to put together a mere 12,000-taka as capital, made a dicing machine and hired 4 people. That’s how Rimy Plastic started. Today we are a team of more than 80 people making 120 different products and have around 100 dicing machines in 3 factories with a yearly turnover of more than TK 10 million.

Rimy Plastic Industries

Rimy Plastic Industries

How do your promote and distribute your products?

We don’t, can’t promote our products at the scale that many of our mainstream big competitors are capable of doing because as a business we are small and our profit margin is relatively low. We do have plans to do large-scale marketing, i.e. TV commercials, digital marketing and newspaper advertisement, as soon as we manage to reach a satisfactory profit margin.

A significant portion of our products goes to wholesale market in Chawkbazar, Imamganj and Midford, which is our largest distribution channel. Apart from that, we also supply to retailers in Khulna, Rajshahi, Dinajpur, and Chittagong. Currently, we have over 100 retailer distributors all over the country.

What are your plans for the next 10 years?

We want to build a lasting business that is capable of competing in the international market. Going forward, we want to focus on increasing our production capacity and building a strong distribution channel.

What advice would you give to people who are just starting out?

Patience is one of the most important things in life. If you want to do business, you must be patient, it takes an unnaturally long time to build a business. Moreover, it involves challenges and difficulties that most people would want to avoid.

Be passionate. Throughout my life, I have spent all my waking hours building this business. There is nothing more dear to me than this work.

Finally, if you are patient and honest to yourself, you can achieve almost anything life.

We want to build a lasting business that is capable of competing in the international market. Going forward, we want to focus on increasing our production capacity and building a strong distribution channel.

Interview by Ruhul Kader, Transcription by Rahatil Ashekan, Nezam Uddin contributed to this story, Image by IDLC Finance Limited

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