Tanvir Ahmed, Managing Director, Sheltech Group of Companies and Director, Envoy Group of Companies, is an inspiration for young entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. His down-to-earth and humble attitude is his most captivating characteristic, and he radiates positivity even when you’re having just a casual conversation.
In a candid conversation with Avenue T this month, Tanvir talks about growing up in an entrepreneurial environment, and taking family business to the next level.
Tanvir completed his schooling from Scholastica, and then went on to complete his bachelor’s from the Kingston University, and master’s the Cardiff University in UK, after which he moved back to Bangladesh.
Being the perfect example of talent, professionalism, dedication and hard work, we asked Tanvir what qualities, according to him, a young entrepreneur should have. To which, Tanvir replied, “Although it sounds like a cliché, there’s no shortcut to success. One must have a thirst for knowledge and learn to adapt to changing situations. Whenever you’re starting something new, it’s always a challenge. All you need is patience and dedication. Your work should be like your child, it grows gradually so you have to be patient with it and give it the right foundation to stand on. Nothing is impossible if you put your heart and soul into it. So dream big, work hard and keep believing in yourself.”
Since the inception of Envoy Group, Tanvir has been brought up in an entrepreneurial environment. He has watched it grow and diversify to what it is now and has always wanted to be a part of it. Tanvir feels that work experience at an early age is of utmost importance. In his opinion, working at a young age helps develop a sense of responsibility and this experience provides countless benefits in the long run.
Apart from all these, Tanvir is also the managing director of Green Textiles and director at Platinum Boutique Hotels, Sheltech (Pvt) Limited, Sheltech Engineering Limited, Sheltech Brokerage Limited, Sheltech Protection Services Limited, Aero Speed International Ltd (GSA Malaysian Airways), and Speedy International Ltd (GSA Rotana Jet).
Talking about his numerous ventures, we asked Tanvir how difficult is it for him to multi-task.
“The trick is not to put all your eggs in one basket. By that I mean, we’ve ventured into many fields and we haven’t just confined ourselves to what Sheltech or Envoy started off with. We identified our strengths. For instance, at Sheltech, we realized one of our strongest aspects is engineering. So, we ventured into industrial engineering, government projects, the hospitality industry, financial institution, aviation industry and so on. All these being said, if you engage the right people and right resources, most of your work is done right there. Allocation of resources and developing the right team is a key factor,” he said.
Tanvir’s take on family business: “For me, I look at where the previous generation has left off, and what can be done to make it bigger. Whatever our forefathers have done is something that we should cherish, and try our best to take it to the next level.”
“Even though there's the burden of being constantly compared to predecessors, the rewards are sweet if one has the dedication to expand it to a more structured industry,” he said.
As we chatted on, Tanvir went on to reveal that he loves taking on challenges. This was evident when he set up an RMG unit in a remote location and a chain of hotels – Platinum Boutique Hotels. He hopes to lead the development of new ventures and incorporate traits of corporate cultures. Using his management expertise, he intends to bring new and innovative ideas within the industry. He is also involved in social and welfare initiatives for the underprivileged, and works closely with a number of NGOs to alleviate poverty.
In the year 2014, Tanvir was recognized as the youngest CIP by the government of Bangladesh at the age of 29, for his contribution in the national economy.
Apart from being a brilliant businessman, Tanvir is a committed and hands-on father who loves spending time with his wife and twins. He is a living example of how to build an empire and simultaneously maintain a healthy family life. If he can do it, we can do it too.
Rapid fire round:
Your motto for success?
Don’t run after money, and try to give back to the community and the environment as much as you can.
My favourite pastime is spending time with my wife and two children. Though I also really enjoy reading -- I try to keep myself engaged in reading most of the time, in fact.
What are you reading right now?
Billion Dollar Whale by Tom Wright – it’s the story of how a young social climber pulled off one of the biggest financial heists in history.
Favourite holiday destination?
Three things you never leave your home without?
My watch, my Kindle, and my cellphone.