UAE: How this Dubai expat emerged as one of the most successful Bangladeshi entrepreneurs globally

The story of a non-resident Bangladeshi family establishing and running the famed perfume company Al Haramain and its successful subsidiaries

By Sandhya D'Mello

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Published: Thu 18 Apr 2024, 9:36 PM

Family businesses, today, thrive on the realisation that the wealth of experience and tangible assets they have accumulated over generations needs to be protected and deployed further for future expansion by sticking together as a unit and working towards the combined growth of the enterprise. Following this pattern, Munira Rahman, a bright and ambitious Dubai-based businesswoman attributes her success to her father Mohammad Mahtabur Rahman, chairman and managing director, Al Haramain Group.

Munira, the chief marketing officer and director of Al Haramain Group, represents the third generation of the group. She was mentored by her father, and her brother, Mohammed Emadur Rahman, vice-chairman, Al Haramain Group.

“Our father is our inspiration. We have seen how he worked day and night to establish the business and brought it to the present level. As a career-oriented professional, I draw my inspiration from him,” says Munira, who joined the family business after completing her studies.

Munira is the second among five children and the eldest of four daughters. After finishing her studies, she joined her father’s business in the marketing department, that required a lot of upgradation.

“When I joined, Al Haramain Group’s business had been dependent on the traditional in-store sales and marketing channels although the world had by then entered the digital era. So, we had to kickstart that journey,” said Munira.

“I started working from the desk level, got hands-on training and experience, and currently head the marketing operations of the Al Haramain Group of Companies, which includes more than twenty companies with diversified interests in fragrance and perfumery works, tea production and trading, healthcare, education, banking, and finance.”

Al Haramain Group traces its roots to the Holy City of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. It was established by Munira’s grandfather Kazi Abdul Haque and spearheaded by her father, Mahtabur Rahman, who developed it into one of the largest producers of oriental perfumes, Arabian oudh and bakhoor.

Emadur Rahman and Munira both studied modern marketing and management techniques. She acknowledges that her father’s mentorship and brother’s consultation on certain matters influenced her a great deal, shaping her work and leadership for a greater role in the management of the business.

“We are incorporating the next-generation technology into the business management to maintain our company’s leadership in the industry. We started the e-commerce to help the business grow. We have also initiated social media marketing, digital public relations, digital media marketing as well as artificial intelligence in target marketing,” says Munira.

Although the business was first established in the Holy City of Makkah by her grandfather, the business really started to grow and accelerate when Mohammed Mahtabur shifted his headquarters to the UAE — first in Dubai and then in Ajman, where the brand’s main manufacturing, processing, bottling, packaging, distribution and logistics operations are consolidated under one roof.

“The UAE is a great enabler of entrepreneurship. It is a land of opportunity that helped my father to expand the business. It is due to the great and visionary leadership and the business-friendly environment that we achieved this success, which wouldn’t have been possible in any other country,” says Munira. “We understand this fact very much and that’s why my father and our family are very much grateful to the nation’s dynamic leadership.”

The brand enjoys strong support from the Ruler’s Court in Ajman and receives guidance from Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman, who is keen to see Al Haramain Group grow and create employment opportunities in Ajman.

Today, Al Haramain Group owns more than 20 businesses, has presence in 15 countries and employs more than 100,000 professionals across the world.

Mohammed Mahtabur Rahman and his family members are shareholders in a number of financial institutions and apart from owning one of the largest oriental fragrance manufacturers in the Gulf, they also own Al Haramain Tea Co. Ltd. and Al Haramain Hospital Pvt. Ltd.

From modest beginnings, Rahman has emerged as one of the most successful Bangladeshi entrepreneurs globally. His road to success is a source of inspiration to many Non Resident Bangladeshis (NRBs), especially the younger generation engaged in business.


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