Md Golam Sarwar
Established in 1998 by Engr. Md. Golam Sarwar, Prantik Group initiated their journey venturing into the field of ship manning and repairing. With time, they steadily expanded their reach into other spheres such as shipbuilding, marine engineering and salvage, offshore logistics, constructing a jetty and slipways, ship surveys, especially the in water surveys, and more. With a vision to build a 'business for Sustainable Development in the engaged areas’, Prantik is diving steadfastly into improving the marine industry and economy of Bangladesh.
The founder and managing director of Prantik Group, Engr. Md Golam Sarwar holds a Class-1 Marine Engineering degree from UK, MBA in Digital Technology Management from Royal Roads University, Canada, Post Graduate Diploma in Maritime Law from London Metropolitan University, UK, and has done a Critical Design Thinking course from MIT, USA. He is a Chartered Engineer of the Engineering Council, UK, Chartered Marine Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology, UK, Fellow of Royal Institute of Naval Architects, UK, Member of Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, USA, and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport, UK. He is also a chief engineer in the merchant marine, with 15 years of experience at sea, turned entrepreneur in 1998, after establishing and successfully running a conglomerate with more than five companies in Bangladesh and beyond. Being a proud recipient of a historical award winning multi purpose cargo vessel plying to and from Bangladesh and the eastern coast of India, he accepted our invitation to an exclusive interview.
Below is an excerpt of Engr. Md. Golam Sarwar's interaction with us.
Take us through your professional background and experiences. What drives you to carry out your daily tasks?
Being someone who has been out at sea for a relatively long time, I have always wanted to venture into challenging jobs in the maritime industry. This is due to the fact I found that business is fun when it is about something that I am passionate about. This gives me the confidence to perform exceptionally and also presents multiple opportunities for me to contribute positively to society by helping those in need. I seek perfection, I seek improvement, and I commit. I dislike confining myself within our country’s boundaries or my current abilities, instead, I focus on expanding both my and the country’s horizon. Whether it be in terms of expertise or feats yet to be accomplished, you will most certainly find Prantik leading and uplifting the maritime sector.
You possess about four decades of experience, What has been your mantra for success throughout the years?
Obviously, the journey was not easy. You might be surprised to learn that I had never seen a trade license before starting my business. I bult this company myself from the ground up. Whatever I do, whether it is for work, leisure, or sports, I am determined to concentrate and persevere. This is why once I set my goals, I make sure to follow through and achieve them. Honesty and reliability are two virtues I always uphold. In my 38 years of professional experience, it has been time and again re-established that the means make conquering the task much more rewarding. My success mantra is “if someone else can do it, I can do it too. If someone else does it, I will strive to do better. I will achieve more today than what I achieved yesterday.” It is not that I compete with others, I actually compete with yesterday’s me to create a better me for tomorrow. This may take a longer time to accomplish goals, but I hold quality above all else. I don’t accept failures; if I face challenges, I don’t give up and instead look for better ways to do it. I consistently challenge myself in order to release my unleashed potential, which in turn improves the services we render.
How would you define Prantik Group as an organization and its position in the market?
Prantik is a well-known entity in Bangladesh and abroad especially in the field of Marine Emergency Response. We have successfully completed 34 salvage operations so far since 2001. Prantik has rightfully established its standing in this field; exceeding those of the same origin, the international groups of PNI Club and Hull and Machinery Underwriters are well acquainted with our work. “Even if others fail, Prantik will not” time and again it is proven true. Prantik Group provides engineering services of global standards to the marine and offshore industry through critical welding, and fabrication work such as cryogenic tanks. We provide welding services mild steel, aluminium, copper, and stainless steel structures. Being the first in Bangladesh to introduce water weights load testing, underwater surveys, offshore services, towage, and salvage, Prantik is proud to announce that we are now building our own jetty and slipways for ship construction and repair, including a bollard pull test of tugs something Bangladesh is yet to have a proper facility for. We have served prominent clients from all around the world such as Hyundai, Posco, Unigas, Obayashi Corp, Toa Corporation, Boskalis, Penta Ocean Construction, Hilong, CNOCC, CCECC, and many more who still continue to trust Prantik.
Tell us about your main products and what benefits clients may expect from your services and solutions.
I would say the “Marine Emergency Response” service. In Bangladesh, Prantik is the first company owners, port officials, and insurers think of when a marine emergency arises. We also provide logistics support and towage services to various mega projects for roads/bridges, power plants, ports, and subsea pipeline construction. We are also implementing Corporate Governance under guidance from IFC, a division of the World Bank. As the owner of 4 class tugs, a project cargo vessel, two salvage barges, and a crane, Prantik continues to contribute to the maritime industry positively.
Tell us about your leadership approach. What are the guidelines you follow as a leader?
I believe in team playing; a good leader is not one who only leads well but one who also listens well. Instead of operating Prantik as the owner, I work as a team player where everyone’s opinions and ideas matter just as much. The guidelines I follow are seemingly rudimentary but are the most fundamental ones: being honest, transparent, and committed. I have worked to make sure the Prantik Family is able to carry out our mission even after my retirement; valuing our employees, rather I say team members, has been key to my leadership approach. Moreover, being the first generation in this business, I am confident in shaping the second generation that will work to improve the maritime industry with its own innovations and methods. They have progressive visions for our impact on society and the environment, and I believe that their early exposure to this industry has played a prominent part.
In light of your strong experience within the industry, what advice would you give to budding industry leaders?
Bangladesh, in my opinion, is a nation of young geniuses. There lies unparalleled potential but lesser opportunities. All aspiring leaders should be honest and transparent about their plans and correctly identify their responsibilities. We all have a responsibility to our country, which is to create more opportunities for the next generation. Always doing your best will give you the confidence and credibility you need in order to have a stable footing in this world. Ill gotten achievements through dishonest means will only give you temporary success if any; real success will come only when you work honestly and give 100 percent in every single thing you do.
Md Golam Sarwar, Managing Director, Prantik Group
Md Golam Sarwar (CEng, CMarEng, FIMarEST, FRINA, MSNAME, MBA) is the Managing Director of Prantik Group. He is a chief engineer in the merchant marine with 15 years of experience and became an entrepreneur in 1998 after successfully establishing a marine conglomerate in Bangladesh and beyond.
Hobbies: Sports – Badminton, Golf, Diving, Spending time with loved ones
Favourite Cuisine: Bangladeshi
Favourite Book: Business management books
Favourite Travel Destination: Mediterranean Europe, South Asia