Rabiul Alam: Giving New Paths To Inland Shipping & Logistics Business In Bangladesh

Rabiul Alam: Giving New Paths To Inland Shipping & Logistics Business In Bangladesh

Rabiul Alam, Managing Director

Rabiul Alam

Managing Director

Strong growth in external trade in the last three decades has been one of the key drivers of Bangladesh’s economic growth and structural transformation. Considering the country’s geographical connection with the Northeastern states of India and other major countries, Bangladesh should pay greater attention to reviving trade reforms to benefit from growing prosperity in its continental neighborhood. Experienced business leaders are grabbing opportunities to promote the development of trade among neighboring nations and rejuvenate the economy of Bangladesh. Rabiul Alam, Managing Director, Shams Group of Companies is one of them.

Rabiul started his career with Shams Group of Companies in 2007 and worked his way up to become Director and then Deputy Managing Di­rector in less than a decade. Since the very begin­ning, he has been actively associated with strategic planning, investment, and other decision-making processes in all aspects of the management and operation of its shipping, logistics, and other busi­ness operations. His unrivaled leadership skills and passion to take the organization to greater heights soon enabled him to secure the position of Manag­ing Director of Shams Group of Companies.

Leveraging his 15+ years of experience in pro­viding transport and logistics solutions for heavy-lift project cargo, Rabiul is empowering teams at Shams Group of Companies and enabling the 45 years old organization to transcend the boundaries and have a positive contribution to the develop­ment of Bangladesh and its people.

Let’s hear it from him.

It automatically becomes easier to lead when your team is proactive & empowered to perform on their own

Could you tell us about the unique experiences the University of Technology Sydney offers and what did you learn from the campus beyond academics?

It has been a unique experience being a part of the University of Technology Sydney as it gave me access to meet different people from all over the world and learn about their cultures and language. We had the opportunity to experience a multicul­tural learning environment and that has been the biggest lesson I have had from the university. This experience has helped me tremendously in my pro­fessional life; I have a better understanding of how to approach and talk to different people and do business with them in the language they are most comfortable in. University of Technology Sydney has helped me broaden my own mind and become more tolerant of people from different walks of life.

How would you define Shams Group of Companies as an organization and its current position in the market?

Founded in 1978 by HM Shamsuddin, the Chair­man of Shams Group of Companies, SGC is a pi­oneer in the heavy lift project logistics sector in Bangladesh. The Group is the parent body of five companies; MKK Logistics, Three Light Navigation, Sun Shine Business, Shams Shipbuilding & Engi­neering and Synertics; having six branches across the country and over 500 people in the organiza­tion. We have over 120+ heavily heavy lift project logistics equipment which makes us one of the largest asset-based multimodal logistics compa­nies in Bangladesh.

Tell us about your leadership approach. What is the motivation that fuels your daily routine?

Managing five companies and over 500 employees is a huge task; I follow a hands-on approach to lead my team and get on top of things that are happen­ing within the organization. Having to manage a vast range of operations in itself is a strong mo­tivating factor to show up every day and give my best. My love and passion for the industry and my work allow me to be versatile in my leadership ap­proaches – I believe in leading from the front and at the same time motivating and empowering them to enable them to take their own decisions and si­multaneously grow as individuals. It automatically becomes easier to lead when your team is proactive and empowered to perform on their own. Believing in your team is necessary but at the same time, I also believe, as a leader, it is important to believe in yourself to be able to take effective decisions dur­ing challenges and foster smooth operations within the organization.

What is the future destination you are heading towards?

Bangladesh is experiencing an exciting period of economic growth; its geographical connections with India, Nepal and Bhutan, and Northeast Indian states bring a lot of opportunity for us as a logistics company to have regional integration. Currently, we have our operations only within Bangladesh but in the next five years, we will see our company tran­scending the boundary and serving more within the inter-region area.

From a personal front, being the Director and Secretary General of the Nordic Chamber of Com­merce and Industry in Bangladesh, and being a part of the Standing Committee of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bangladesh, an ac­tive member of the Bangladesh India Chamber, the China Bangladesh Chamber and other Business Association bodies, I am playing an active role in dialogues and policy making, and sharing my expe­rience within the industry to better position Bangla­desh and its economy.

What would be your advice for budding industry leaders?

Success is a process and it takes time for that process to happen. Be true to yourself! Believe in yourself! To create a benchmark in their choice of industries, budding leaders must start by having a clear vision for themselves and their businesses. Once you decide on your goal, stick to it and put in the long hard work. It’s very important to filter out the surrounding noise and focus on achieving your goal. It’s a cliche but that is the way it is. There is no other way shortcut way of growth. There is no magic formula! You have to do the hard work and be patient for your turn to come.

Rabiul Alam, Managing Director, Shams Group of Companies

Having a Bachelor of Business degree with a double major in International Business and E-Business from the University of Technology Sydney, an MBA in Management from North South University, Dhaka, and 15+ years of professional experience, Rabiul is successfully spearheading one of the largest asset-based multi-modal logistics company in Bangladesh.

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