Rajshahi villagers make fortune over shoes manufacturing


RAJSHAHI, May 12, 2018 (BSS)-Many people, both males and females, have become financially solvent over manufacturing shoes at Kaluhati village under Charghat upazila in the district.

The successful villagers are contributing to boosting socio-economic condition of the nearby areas.

Sohel Rana is now a successful entrepreneur through the business. But his initial stage was not smooth. He had to face many struggles to achieve the present dignified status.

“In the village, most people worked as share croppers or day labourers,” said Sohel Rana recalling his memory of 1990s. The villagers had no land then. They lived in houses of clay and straw.

“I had started this business with Taka 20,000 in 2002 and my capital investment is around Taka 22 lakh at present,” said Sohel Rana, owner of Konika Shoes Factory, while talking to BSS at his shop in the village on Friday.

He has started supplying finished goods to Arang and some other posh shops in Dhaka at present.

Then some 15 people of the village used to sell shoes on bicycle in the Rajshahi city and its adjacent places. But, the mode of business has changed over the years and now they manufacture and sell shoes from their respective shoe factories in the village.

At present, most of the families are solvent and self-reliant. Many families now live in brick homes with electricity.

Many small shoe factories flourished in the village with financial and technical assistance of Small and Medium Enterprises Foundation (SMEF).

Sohel Rana, who is also general secretary of Kaluhati Shoe Industry Owners Cooperative Samity Limited, said the village has around 65 shoe factories employing around 7,000 people and fifty percent of them are females at present.

These small factories produce 2.34 lakh pairs of sandals, both for males, females and children and sell those in various districts every month. “My income has risen. Now I am earning between Tk 6,000 and 8,000 per month,” said Morzina Begum, worker of Konika Shoes factory.

She says many housewives and unemployed youths in the village have changed their lot by making shoes and packets. The shoe manufacturers make a good business during Eid and other religious and social festivals.

SMEF arranges a short course at the College of Leather Institute in Dhaka for the small factory owners learning how to design and make quality shoes.

“I am supplying necessary packets to the shoe factories,” said Anwar Hossain, owner of Anwar Packet Store. He has started his business with an investment of Taka 5,000 and in 2013.

More than 60 women are working in his business and amount of running capital stood to Taka 20 lakh at present, he added.

He says shoe making has become a source of income for unemployed youths and many have become economically solvent through the business.

“We are working here for boosting capability and efficiency of the entrepreneurs for successful business promotion,” said Abu Monjoor Sayeef, assistant general manager of SMEF, adding that initial investment was Taka 46 crore and recovery rate was hundred percent.

All the prospective issues were taken into consideration so that the cherished goal is achieved within near future.

Dhaka Bank Limited (DBL) is working here as working partner and it has invested Taka 60 lakh among the potential entrepreneurs.

“We have another investment proposal of Taka one crore for promotion of working capital,” said Samiul Haque, assistant vice president of DBL.

Masum Billah, manager of SMEF, told BSS that the business volume is now on rising trend significantly and present yearly turnout is around Taka 47.73 crore.

“We are very much hopeful about resolving the existing problems being faced by the entrepreneurs”, he added.