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15 individuals, 19 firms keep topping NBR’s honours chart



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The National Board of Revenue (NBR) introduced tax cards more than a decade ago and expanded its associated list from fiscal 2015-16 to recognise compliant taxpayers in various sectors and professions.

An analysis shows that 15 individuals and 19 conglomerates have been winning the recognition as top taxpayers of the country for the past straight six years.

The individuals are Md Kaus Mia, a businessman; Golam Dastagir Gazi, another businessman; Mahfuz Anam, editor and publisher of The Daily Star; Matiur Rahman, editor of the Prothom Alo; Mohammad Abdul Malek, editor of the Dainik Azadi; Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, a lawyer; and Pran Gopal Dutta, a physician.

The individuals also include Drug International’s Khwaja Tajmahal, MA Haider Hussain, Mohammad Yusuf, Hosne Ara Hossain, Rubaiyat Farzana Hossain, Laila Hossain, Palmal Group of Industries Managing Director Nafis Sikder, and national cricketer Tamim Iqbal Khan.


Yesterday, they were among the 75 individuals who were honoured by the NBR for the payment of the highest amount of taxes for 2020-21. The tax administration also recognised 54 companies.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal inaugurated the award presentation event organised at the Officers’ Club Dhaka.

Among the 19 companies are Islami Bank Bangladesh, Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC, Grameenphone, Nestlé Bangladesh, Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company, Unilever Bangladesh, British American Tobacco Bangladesh, Coats Bangladesh, American Life Insurance Company, Square Pharmaceuticals, and Apex Footwear.

The remaining ones are Mediastar Ltd, Transcraft Ltd, Badsha Textiles Mills, Noman Terry Towel Mills, Rifat Garments, SN Corporation, and ASBS.

Mediaworld Ltd, Infrastructure Development Company Ltd, Bay Developments Ltd, Bata Shoe Company (Bangladesh) Ltd, and Lalmai Footwear won the recognition for the fifth consecutive year.


“We are delighted to be able to play our part in supporting the incredible growth-journey of our nation,” said Naser Ezaz Bijoy, chief executive officer of Standard Chartered Bangladesh, after receiving the tax card.

“As one of the longest-serving financial institutions of Bangladesh and the largest international bank in the country, it has always been our mission to serve as a partner in progress to our nation.”

“We are grateful and would like to express our humble recognition of the vital role the institution is playing in Bangladesh’s sustainable development through driving domestic resource mobilisation, by embracing technology and progressive policy formulation.”

AK Azad, managing director of Rifat Garments, says he is feeling encouraged.

“Our exports are rising continuously, so we are honoured to get the recognition for our contribution to the country.”


“I pay tax as I make a profit,” Kaus Mia, owner of Hakimpuri Jarda, told The Daily Star recently.

“I pay tax because it is a good thing to do. How will the state bear its expenses if we don’t pay tax?”

“We remain committed to continuing our contribution towards the economic development of the country alongside providing world-class financial protection to the people,” Ala Ahmad, chief executive officer of MetLife Bangladesh, told The Daily Star.

“Insurance is vital for sustained economic growth, and we are honoured to represent the insurance sector as one of the major contributing sectors for Bangladesh’s ongoing prosperous journey.”

The government’s recognition is a true testament to Unilever’s continuous contribution to the internal revenue of Bangladesh, said Zaved Akhtar, chief executive officer and managing director of Unilever Bangladesh.


“We will continue our partnership with the government and larger ecosystem and fuel the growth momentum and progress toward our vision of a developed country by 2041.”

“We are on a mission to bring real change, improve people’s lives and protect nature,” he added.

Syed Md Aminul Karim, a former member for income tax policy at the NBR, said companies continuing to top the list of the largest taxpayers indicated that they had good corporate practices.

And it appears that they play a responsible role in society, he said.

But a large number of firms with a good amount of income continues to remain outside the scanner of the tax authority for its lack of capacity to dig deeper to assess actual incomes.


“The same is also true for many individuals who earn a lot but show little in their tax returns,” said Karim, now an adjunct faculty of the banking and insurance department of the University of Dhaka.

Recalling his experiences, he mentioned a taxpayer who showed Tk 3 lakh as annual income but was later found to be paying Tk 10 lakh in tuition fees for his children at an international school in Dhaka.

“We are yet to tax the incomes from land and flat sales properly,” he said, suggesting tax officials track the expenditure of individuals to assess actual incomes.

Md Kamrul Hassan, chief financial officer of Transcom Ltd, received the tax card, crest and a certificate of honour from NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem on behalf of Transcraft.

He also received the same on behalf of the late Latifur Rahman and his wife Shahnaz Rahman, the current chairman of Transcom Group.


Matiur Rahman received a tax card, crest and certificate of honour. He also received the same on behalf of Mediastar.

Uzma Chowdhury, director (finance) at Pran-RFL Group, accepted the award on behalf of Pran Dairy.

Shykh Seraj, a director and head of news of Channel i, received the recognition on behalf of Faridur Reza Sagar, the company’s managing director.

In the print and electronic media category, Somoy Media and East West Media Group were named as the highest taxpayers.

The finance minister said Bangladesh was doing well in all economic indicators, including revenue earnings.


He requested people to participate more and more in paying taxes to build a Golden Bengal.

Md Jashim Uddin, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, urged the authorities to ensure that tax card-holders were provided privileges as mentioned in the tax card policy.

“We appeal for considering the issue of withdrawal of advance income tax to facilitate business,” he said.

Jashim stressed ensuring transparency and accountability and suggested identifying new and well-off people to increase tax receipts.

“Discretionary powers of taxmen also needs to be reduced to bring new taxpayers under the tax net.”


NBR Chairman Rahmatul Muneem said it would be possible to cut tax rates if an increased number of taxpayers came under the tax net.

“We are working on digitalisation and simplification of rules so that taxpayers can pay tax with ease.” 

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Anwar Group of Industries Organized ‘Induction of Leadership’ program



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Anwar Group of Industries, a leading Bangladeshi conglomerate, celebrated a momentous occasion with the formal induction of its new leadership team.

In a ceremony held at the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), Mr. Manwar Hossain, Chairman of Anwar Group of Industries, officially announced Mr. Hossain Mehmood as Vice Chairman and Mr. Hossain Khaled as the Group Managing Director of Anwar Group of Industries. Additionally, Mr. Furkaan N Hossain, Mr. Waeez R Hossain, and Ms. Faizah Mehmood were sworn in as Deputy Managing Director of Anwar Group of Industries.

The “Induction of Leadership” ceremony on March 3, 2024, marked a memorable and new chapter for Anwar Group of Industries. At the ceremony, Mr. Manwar Hossain, Chairman of Anwar Group of Industries, presented the group’s brooches to Mr. Hossain Mehmood, Mr. Hossain Khaled, Mr. Furkaan N Hossain, Mr. Waeez R Hossain, and Ms. Faizah Mehmood. The ceremony was also attended by members of the Anwar family, stakeholders, and employees.

Committed to empowering its employees and creating a shared vision for the future, Chairman of Anwar Group of Industries, Mr. Manwar Hossain announced a groundbreaking move, all future employees will be made shareholders. This bold initiative underscores the group’s belief in the value of its employees and its commitment to building a sustainable and inclusive future.


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Shark Tank Bangladesh: Meet the Sharks!



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The global phenomenon show “Shark Tank” is finally coming to Bangladesh as Shark Tank Bangladesh. Bangladesh’s top OTT platform, Bongo, signed a deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment to bring the world’s number-one business show to Bangladesh.

“Shark Tank” allows entrepreneurs to pitch their business idea to a panel of investors, known as “Sharks”, who can offer the entrepreneurs cash for a deal if they like the opportunity. Whether it is a prototype of a new product, an existing product or service, or a company looking for a financial injection to grow, the entrepreneurs have to convince the five “Sharks” to invest in their idea and help turn their life’s work into a household name.

Since launching in 2001 as “Money Tigers” on Nippon TV in Japan, the format has become a phenomenal worldwide success. It is produced in territories on every continent under a variety of names including “Dragon’s Den”, “Lion’s Den,” and of course “Shark Tank.” The format has seen Dragons, Lions, and Sharks, all hugely successful entrepreneurs themselves, invest nearly $1 billion through all versions of the franchise across the globe, enabling dozens of companies to grow significantly. Entrepreneurs who have been onboarded into the “Shark” ecosystem have seen massive growth and generated billions of dollars in sales after receiving deals and being featured on the show.

Shooting for the much-anticipated show is scheduled to kick off on February 12th, after having screened more than 2,000 companies to select the best businesses. Producers from Sony, Arch Dyson, and Kevin Hyland, who have helped supervise and produce versions of the show around the world, will be present in Dhaka to unveil the Sharks and oversee the first few days of the shoot.


After a long wait, the panel of Bangladeshi Sharks is ready to be unveiled. The investors, aka Sharks, are all business leaders in their own right and are excited to hear the pitches from the innovative Bengali entrepreneurs.

Robi is the “Title Sponsor,” Startup Bangladesh is the “Powered By Sponsor,” Tally is the “Co-Sponsor”, Prime Bank is the “Banking Partner,” Olympic Foodie Instant Noodles is the “Snacks Partner,” Sunquick is the “Beverage Partner,” Yellow by Beximco is the “Wardrobe Partner”,  Kloth Studio is the “Style Partner”, Holiday Inn is the “Hospitality Partner”, Inn Star is the “Pre-Pitch Interview Room Partner”, Euro Vigil Security Services is the “Security Partner”, Raw Exposure is the “Photography Partner”, Live2Web is the “Backstory Partner”, Chows is the “Restaurant Partner”,Miniso is the “Gift Partner” and Concito is the “PR Partner” of Shark Tank Bangladesh Season 1. Deepto TV will broadcast the inaugural season of the show while it will be streamed on Bongo.

Shark Tank Bangladesh Season 1: The Sharks

Sami Ahmed

Startup Bangladesh


Sami Ahmed, Managing Director and CEO of Startup Bangladesh Limited (SBL), a Government Venture Capital firm, spearheads seed-stage and growth-stage startup investments. He is committed to helping empower the local startup ecosystem and has dedicated his career to helping improve the tech landscape in Bangladesh.  Previously, he advised LICT and held pivotal roles in Bangladesh’s IT-ITES Industry and BASIS. His influence extends to the Government and private sector. With a background in computer science from the University of Texas, Austin, he leverages US experience to foster Bangladesh’s ICT growth. Recognized for shaping digital policies, Ahmed’s return to Bangladesh signifies a commitment to societal and national progress, solidifying his pivotal role in the country’s startup ecosystem.

Nazim Farhan Chowdhury


Nazim Farhan Choudhury is a serial entrepreneur and a feminist. He is also the Managing Director of Adcomm Holding Group which has investments in Advertising, IT, Hospitality, and Media. They have also been active investors in the Bangladesh startup scene for over a decade. The most prominent of their investment is in one of the top 3 advertising agencies in Bangladesh.  With stellar clients like Unilever, Akij Ventures, and a host of top brands in the country, Adcomm over the last 50 years has been a powerhouse in the advertising communication space. The group’s IT companies GraphicPeople, SoftwarePeople, and The Kow Company are amongst the country’s top ITES exporters, employing over 600 people. The group’s Nazimgarh Resorts runs two luxury resorts in Sylhet. Choudhury’s involvement in the start-up ecosystem has been proven by an enviable string of investments including Aamartaka, HandyMama, and Babuland among quite a few others. Choudhury is also an active mentor and is involved in voluntary organizations like the Jaago Foundation as a founding trustee.  Choudhury’s commitment to innovation and excellence cements his influence in Bangladesh’s business community.

Golam Murshed


Majesto Limited/Ex-Walton

Golam Murshed,  currently the Managing Director of Majesto Limited is a dedicated business leader who has left an enduring mark on Walton, a renowned conglomerate, over a decade-long career, where he helped catapult them into a multi-billion dollar company as the Managing Director. His commitment to excellence, innovative production, and assertive marketing strategies have positioned him as a prominent figure.Murshed’s exceptional leadership, coupled with his expertise in technology and product management, empowers him to navigate dynamic market landscapes effortlessly. His dedication to innovation and industry leadership is now poised to revolutionize the furniture industry.

Kazi Mahboob Hassan

R Ventures PLC

Kazi M. Hassan, CEO of Robi’s digital ventures arm R Ventures PLC, drives the company’s digital growth, collaborating with partners to enhance customer experiences. With an MBA from Oxford and FCCA qualification, he chairs ACCA Bangladesh’s Member Advisory Committee. Previously, Kazi led international strategies at logistics giant DELHIVERY, advised a2i on restructuring, and held key roles at local Telcos. He supports Bangladeshi startups, mentors entrepreneurs, and attracts foreign investments, contributing significantly to the country’s tech ecosystem.


Samanzar Khan

AKS Khan Holdings Ltd

Samanzar Khan is the Managing Director of A K S Khan Holdings Ltd, an investment and operating company that aggressively identifies and acquires companies in which it can leverage its strengths to generate superior earnings or market value. She is the eldest daughter of Mr. A K Shamsuddin Khan, Chairman of A K Khan & Co. Ltd. A Barrister by qualification, she graduated from the London School of Economics. She founded Bonex UK Ltd in 2008, marketing unique fire-fighting solutions in the UK and Europe. In 2010, she returned to Bangladesh to become the CEO of A K Khan Healthcare Trust, a non-profit founded by her father to enhance healthcare in Bangladesh. A decade on, she now manages a diverse portfolio of companies across different sectors ranging from healthcare, agriculture to education.

Fahim Mashroor


Fahim Mashroor is Managing Director of, the most popular online job searching platform in the country. Fahim founded Bdjobs 23 years ago in 2000. Currently the company has over 300 members working in the 10 offices across the country. It is the first tech company that got valued by a global tech company. In 2015, SEEK Australia purchased its 25% share at a valuation of 25 Million USD. Fahim Mashroor has been investing actively in different tech startups in software, logistics, fintech and eCommerce. For his innovative contribution in the tech industry, Fahim has received a number of prestigious awards such as Best SME entrepreneurs by SME foundation and ICT Personality of the Year by ICT ministry

Ahmed Ali

TISTA Science and Technology Corporation

Ahmed R. Ali, Founder and Chairman of TISTA Science and Technology Corporation, grew the company from a small operation to a thriving multimillion-dollar enterprise, emphasizing hard work and excellence. Inspired by Top Gun, he joined the military to fund his education, excelling as a radio frequency engineer. Transitioning to IT security, Ahmed founded TISTA, overcoming challenges with determination to take his cyber security firm to a several thousand crore annual revenue company which he built from the ground up. Raised by Bangladeshi immigrant parents, he values giving back to the country and honors his heritage through TISTA’s name. Ahmed’s story reflects resilience, service, and a commitment to impact.

In addition to these Sharks, several other high-profile female entrepreneurs will be joining the Tank. Their names will be shared soon.


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Telenor to sell Pakistan telecoms unit for $490 mln



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OSLO, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Norway’s Telenor (TEL.OL) said on Thursday it had agreed to sell its Pakistan unit to state group Pakistan Telecommunications (PTCA.PSX) in a transaction valuing the unit at 5.3 billion Norwegian crowns ($490 million).

The Norwegian group has been restructuring its Asian businesses, building bigger units in Thailand and Malaysia via local mergers, and had said it hoped to decide on a solution for the Pakistan business by year-end.

“We also tried to do a merger in Pakistan but we didn’t manage to get that, and when we saw this wasn’t happening the second-best alternative was to arrange a sale,” Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke told Reuters.

“It was a combination of not getting the structure in place, and value. So we found a sale was better for our shareholders,” he added.


Telenor Pakistan, launched 18 years ago, has 45 million customers.

Pakistan Telecommunications’ share price rose 8.3% on Thursday, while Telenor’s was up 1.1% at 0837 GMT.

In the first nine months, Telenor Pakistan contributed 2.6 billion crowns in service revenue and 1.4 billion crowns in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to the group.

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals, and the aim is to close it during 2024. The sale was not estimated to have a significant impact on financials for 2023, Telenor said.

Telenor’s remaining Asian portfolio consists of stakes in Grameenphone in Bangladesh, CelcomDigi in Malaysia and True Corp in Thailand, with close to 160 million customers combined.


“Telenor Asia will remain an active owner for the three market-leading businesses which make up our Asian portfolio,” said the head of the company’s operation in the region, Petter-Boerre Furberg.

($1 = 10.7403 Norwegian crowns)

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