The Story of Rosy Begum Building A Textiles Company From Scratch And Rebuilding Her Reality In The Process
At 3 o’clock every night, a middle-aged lady walks into a building, all alone. In the large hall room of the building, 196 electric powered looms run twenty-four hours a day to produce hundreds of tons of saris every week. Sacrificing her sleep and comfort at this hour of the night, the lady supervises every machine and its operators personally and scrutinizes every step of the entire production system at least twice a day. This energetic, hardworking lady, Rosy Begum is the owner of this large sharee producing factory, Sakib Textiles, which supplies sharees of different qualities to some of the largest Sharee sellers of Bangladesh.
The rough beginning
Rosy Begum, this awe-inspiring woman entrepreneur, started her life in a very traditional Bangladeshi way where, as a married woman Rosy was expected to spend her life doing all the household chores. Her in-laws were garment producers, who at the time owned some handlooms and a few electric powered looms, which they used to produce a limited quantity of Saris and lungis to earn their livelihood. However, before Rosy’s advent to this family, their business suffered a sharp decline. Most of their handlooms were sold off and workers were released. As a result, Rosy, daughter of a well-off family faced extreme poverty.
“It was a time of extreme hardship. My in-laws used to insult me as they felt that I was a symbol of bad luck for them. One day, failing to bear the sufferings, I went to my elder brother’s place and asked him to lend me some money. I promised him that I would return it by establishing a business of my own,” says a sad Rosy while remembering those difficult days.
Journey towards a better tomorrow
With this borrowed money Rosy bought eight old electric powered looms and hired two workers. Rosy and the two workers, worked day and night to produce sharees. “I employed my husband to buy threads, laces, dyes and all the raw materials. We, the three workers used to produce the saris and give those to my husband to sell at the local market,” says Rosy.
However, she faced great difficulty in finding the appropriate customers and her limited production capacity was also a hindrance for earning an adequate profit. So, still Rosy was struggling hard to keep her head above the water.
“I was completely ignorant about loans and financial services. When one of my acquaintances told me about IDLC’s loan, I was afraid to take it because I didn’t like loans and borrowing money. However, seeing no way, I took the chance and applied for the loan. And, that became the turning point of my life,” says Rosy.
“I got a loan of 20 lakh taka and with the cash I bought ten electric powered looms with greater production capacity. I was also introduced to the wholesale customers who can buy all my products at a profitable price,” adds Rosy.
Thus Rosy’s wheel of fortune started to run. Rosy, in her business, applied the method of manufacturing more with limited profit. This method earned her a lot of wholesale customers which helped her business to grow rapidly. For an average quality of Sari, Rosy only makes five taka profit and for a high-quality Sari, she only secures ten taka profit.
After the dark
Today, Rosy has three shades of the production facility, employs 100 male and female workers, produces 8 thousand pieces of saris a week and every month from only average quality saris Rosy earns at least three million taka. She also earns a lot by selling extra fabrics and other residue raw materials to the wholesale market.
Her husband now assists her in managing finance and accounts while Rosy supervises the production line, manned by a hundred skilled workers working 24 hours in two shifts. “Thanks to Allah I have cleared all my loans. I work day and night. In this country, women are not secure but I only fear Allah. I’m not afraid of anyone and anything else. I pray to Him regularly so that I can lead a life with dignity,” says a content Rosy.
Without struggle and sacrifice, nothing can be achieved in this world. For seven years I could not sleep for a moment. Relentless hard work and uncompromising determination is the only way to do a good business
“I’m grateful that we have come this far, but when I look back to my past it still hurts like yesterday,” says Rosy when asked about her struggles and challenges. Today Rosy has a lot of helping hands, a manager who looks after the growing business but there were days when she only slept for 2-3 hours a day and worked restlessly throughout the days to keep her business running and her dream alive.
Even these days, Rosy’s daily routine is simple: she wakes up at around 3:00 am in the morning, says her night prayers, and then starts her work. The work continues till 10:00 pm, sometimes 12:00 am and then she goes to sleep for the remaining hours of the night only to begin her next day at 3:00 am again. This, however, has proved to be a routine for success.
Rosy’s hard work has paid off well. With a well-educated son and daughter, and husband by her side she is leading a content life but it took half of her life to come here.
“Without struggle and sacrifice, nothing can be achieved in this world. For seven years I could not sleep for a moment. Relentless hard work and uncompromising determination is the only way to do a good business,” says this inspiring lady.