Known mainly as a successful businessman and a popular TV show host, Annisul Huq surprised many with his remarkable rise to the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) mayor’s office two and a half years ago.
Even before he became the mayor, he was well known at home and abroad as a leading ready-made garment exporter.
People also knew him from his days as regular TV show host on Bangladesh Television in the early 1980s. Apart from holding tête-à-têtes with many politically significant personalities, he had interviewed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and BNP chief Khaleda Zia before the 1991 election.
Annisul had been a full-time businessman for decades. After his stint in the electronic media, he had established Mohammadi Group in 1986 and had been its chairman since.
After that, he went on to head top business organizations like Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the apex trade body of South Asia.
He also led the country’s top garment exporters’ association, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), and apex trade body FBCCI.
Annisul also served as the president of Independent Power Producers Association – an organization of companies that own power plants in the country and supply to the national grid.
His initiatives touched many lives and helped shape many of the government’s policies.
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Annisul, with no apparent political ties, was a surprise pick for the ruling Awami League for the April 2015 polls for DNCC mayor.
He won the April 2015 election handily to emerge as the first mayor of DNCC.
In the affidavits he submitted to the Election Commission before the polls, he had mentioned having a net worth of $3.25 million, roughly equivalent to Tk30 crore.
Annisul was born on October 27, 1952, in Noakhali’s Kabirhat area to Md Shariful Huq, a government employee, and Rakeya Lutful Huq, a housewife.
He studied economics at Chittagong University, the university's Proctor Mohammad Ali Asgar Chowdhury said.
Annisul and his wife Rubana Huq, who is the current Managing Director of Mohammadi Group, have three children – Navidul Huq, Wamiq Umaira and Tanisha Huq.
Heavily involved in the literary circle in Bangladesh, Rubana also contributes to US-based international daily Wall Street Journal. She is also the general secretary of the Saarc Literary Foundation’s Bangladesh chapter.
The couple’s eldest and only son Navidul is also a director in Mohammadi Group and the managing director of Desh Energy Ltd. One of their daughters, Wamiq, now works at the International Labour Organization in Geneva, Switzerland after completing her studies at New York University and Princeton University.
Their other daughter Tanisha recently completed her bachelor’s in political science and economics form Simmons College in Boston.
Annisul's youngest brother, Gen Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq, is the current chief of the Bangladesh Army.