Friday, March 1, 2024

Supermarket pioneer reveals findings

COMMODITY SUPPLY MESS
Supermarket pioneer reveals findings
Kazi Azizul Islam
If middlemen are eliminated and agro-produces from growers reach directly to retailers, prices will remain low — it is not only a public perception, also many economists subscribe to this idea.
But, from his experience of running the operations of the country’s premier superstore chain Agora for the past eight years, Niaz Rahim does not agree to that. ‘Supply chain here is not so simple,’ he says.
In an exclusive interview the managing director of the Tk 1,400-crore Rahimafrooz Group described to New Age how farmers and small traders occasionally even abandon truckloads of vegetables unclaimed in Dhaka’s wholesale markets when they are unable to get the right prices of their produces.
In his opinion, due to the existing disorganised supply-chain, a coconut that costs Tk 7 in the coastal districts sells at Tk 25 in Dhaka.
Niaz also touched issues spanning from the government’s pledge to cut essential prices to the necessity of corporate management practice and corporate social responsibility.
Agora has more than a hundred contract farmers in Jessore under a long-term plan. But, Niaz said, Agora has to sell those farmers’ produces on local market as its procurement department found transporting the vegetables from Jessore often unprofitable.
Niaz detailed some noticeable facts revealed in an investigation by his company, for example why on many days Dhaka wholesale markets sell vegetables at much lower rates than others.
‘When they [farmers or local traders] find that spot prices have tumbled massively and calculate that the proceeds from selling their entire lots may not be enough even to pay their truck rents, they flee penniless abandoning truckloads of vegetables unclaimed,’ Niaz said.
A number of wholesalers at the city’s Karwan Bazar verified the information, telling New Age that such happenings are quite common. When groups of farmers and traders from different parts of the country gather at the city’s wholesale hubs during the peak trading hours, between midnight and dawn, prices often tumble, they said.
Truckers in such a situation go to the wholesale market committee concerned, which traditionally arrange auction of the abandoned vegetables to pay them the rents.
Agora has found that although in the south-western Barguna district fish is much cheaper than in Dhaka, but the sellers in the bordering district find smuggling the fish to India more profitable than sending those to Dhaka, Niaz said. ‘The reasons include lack of proper marketing network and transports to bring the fish from Barguna to Dhaka in a short period.’
Whether it is vegetable or fish or dressed chicken, if processing, sorting and cold storage centres are developed in the production areas and smooth and convenient transportation system is established to and from the end markets, things will improve, Niaz said.
‘Anyway, whatever an individual grower or retailer may think, it makes no sense until required or viable volumes are gathered in facilitated market places and a convenient network of commodity supply chain is developed,’ he observed.
In this regard, the Rahimafrooz chief said, properly utilising the existing government facilities, a public-private partnership could help develop linkage between growers, local markets and end retailers.
For instance, the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation can support farmers with right seeds, soil tests and cold storage facilities, while the Bangladesh Railway and Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation can develop smooth transportation of commodities, he said.
‘River transportation also can make commodity-carrying cheaper,’ Niaz said, adding, ‘Although we are blessed with a huge network of rivers, river transportation of goods has become too insignificant, inviting private-sector investments here has great potentials.’
Niaz termed the pledge made by the present government to reduce prices of essential commodities flawed, because, he said, ‘if supply chains are not managed, price stability is a remote possibility.’
Automobile battery manufacturing is the major concern of the 54-year-old Rahimafrooz. It has stepped into retailing in 2001 by launching Agroa, under the banner of Rahimafrooz Superstores Limited . It has now four stores in Dhaka with a turnover of Tk 115 crore in 2008.
Although sales have grown 20 per cent over the years yet Agora is still not a profitable organisation, as unorganised supply chains of many food commodities have kept all organised retailers in difficulty.
Niaz said some 2,500 items or 55 per cent of Agrora products are food items.

Courtesy: www.newagebd.com

Related News

Shwapno opens new outlet in Pabna

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Popular retail chain shop “Shwapno” has opened a new outlet in Pabna’s Sujanagar at Molla Super Market. The inauguration took place at 5:30pm on 30 December, reads a press release. Present at the event were Ahmed Firoz Kabir, Member of Parliament for Pabna-2 (Sujanagar, Aminpur), Chairman Shahinujjaman Shahin of Sujanagar Upazila, ... Read more

Shwapno launches new outlet at Bashundhara

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Shwapno, the largest retail chain in Bangladesh, launched an outlet in the Bashundhara area on Thursday offering a month-long discount with a home delivery facility. On behalf of Bashundhara Group, media advisor Mohammad Abu Tayeb inaugurated the outlet as guest of honour at the Rupayan shopping centre in the residential area, ... Read more

With ‘Face ID’ and ‘Fingerprint’ login bKash app is now more secure, user-friendly

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com bKash app introduces biometric ‘Face ID’ and ‘Fingerprint’ login features to make users’ daily transactions easier and safer. Alongside, exciting new features – ‘Group Send Money’, ‘Request Money’, ‘Savings Marketplace’ and selecting ‘Default Card’ to use the ‘Add money’ service from VISA card to bKash – are also included in the ... Read more

Grameenphone wins ‘Bangladesh Sustainability Excellence Awards 2023’ in Financial Inclusion

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com It was an evening to rejoice and remember for Grameenphone at the Bangladesh Sustainability Excellence Awards 2023, as the organization’s sincere efforts with flagship initiatives GP Accelerator and GP Academy received due recognition. Renowned media house The Daily Star, along with CSR Window, honored the winners at the Bangladesh Sustainability Excellence ... Read more

Banglalink wins the best sustainability award

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Banglalink has won the ‘Best Sustainability Excellence Initiative’ award in the ‘Disaster Response’ category at the ‘Bangladesh Sustainability Excellence Awards 2023,’ jointly presented by The Daily Star and CSR Window Bangladesh. The award is in recognition of Banglalink’s contribution to societal welfare through the innovative integration of an Early Warning System ... Read more

StanChart wins Mastercard Excellence Awards

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Standard Chartered Bangladesh has clinched awards in three categories at the “Mastercard Excellence Awards 2023”. The categories are “Excellence in Mastercard Contactless (Issuing)”, “Excellence in Mastercard Credit Business (International)”, and “Excellence in Mastercard Business (Innovation)”. Naser Ezaz Bijoy, chief executive officer of the multinational bank, received an award from Atiur Rahman, ... Read more

Nagad wins Mastercard Excellence Award 2023

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Nagad, a popular mobile financial service provider in Bangladesh, has clinched “Mastercard Excellence Award” 2023 for its contribution to credit card bill payments. The mobile money carrier has been honoured with this prestigious award as the “Master Evolution”, reads a press release. On behalf of his company, Nagad’s Executive Director Maruful ... Read more

Prime Bank clinches Mastercard Excellence Awards 2023

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Prime Bank PLC, a leading private commercial bank of the country, has won Mastercard Excellence Awards 2023 for Debit Business (Domestic) category. Nazeem A Choudhury, deputy managing director of the bank, and Masudul Haque Bhuiyan, head of Cards & Alternative Delivery Channel, received the award from Dr Atiur Rahman, former governor ... Read more

Zakia Rouf Chowdhury elected as vice chairman of Bank Asia

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Zakia Rouf Chowdhury has been elected as Vice Chairman of Bank Asia Limited recently at the 508th meeting of the Board of Directors of the bank. She has an illustrious business career of more than 35 years in the private sector of Bangladesh. Since inception, she has been holding leadership positions ... Read more

Yamaha celebrates 7 years with ACI Motors

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com ACI Marts is the sole distributor and technical collaboration partner of Yamaha motorcycles in Bangladesh. ACI Motors started its journey in 2007 as a subsidiary of renowned company ACI Limited. In 2016, Yamaha started a new journey in Bangladesh with ACI Motors. At present, more than 116 Yamaha 3S (Sales, Service ... Read more

Walton boosts TV exports to Denmark, Ireland

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Bangladeshi global electronics brand Walton has boosted up its exports of television to Denmark, Ireland and other European countries as the demand of Walton television goes high in those countries in recent times, according to a press release. Walton Global Business Unit’s Vice-President Syed Al Imran said that Walton has been ... Read more

Mutual Trust Bank launches privilege centres in Dhaka

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Mutual Trust Bank Ltd recently launched its two revamped privilege centres in Dhanmondi and Uttara celebrating “MTB Retail Fest 2023”. Syed Mahbubur Rahman, managing director and CEO of the bank, inaugurated the centres as the chief guest, said a press release. Privilege Banking customers enjoy a wide range of exclusive benefits, ... Read more

Prime Bank Investment launches PrimeInvest

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Prime Bank Investment Ltd (PBIL), a subsidiary of Prime Bank, launched PrimeInvest, a comprehensive discretionary product suite that aims to foster access to investment for individuals and institutional investors. CQK Mustaq Ahmed, chairman of PBIL, inaugurated the product at its head office in Banani in the capital, said a press release. ... Read more

Midland Bank strikes deal with Bangladesh Bank

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Midland Bank Ltd recently signed a participation agreement with the Financial Sector Support and Strategic Planning Department (FSSSPD) of the Bangladesh Bank for availing refinance facility in US dollars. Liza Fahmida, director of the BB department, and Md Ahsan-uz Zaman, managing director of Midland Bank, inked the deal at the BB ... Read more

National Bank signs deal with Bangladesh Bank

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com National Bank Ltd has signed an agreement on “Financial Inclusion Credit Guarantee Scheme” with Bangladesh Bank, aiming to boost financing to cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises (CMSME). Manoj Kumar Howlader, director of the credit guarantee department of the central bank, and Md Mehmood Husain, managing director and CEO of National ... Read more

foodpanda and Toffee: Doubling Up on Benefits for Customers

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com foodpanda Bangladesh partnered with Toffee of Banglalink Digital Communications Ltd, a digital streaming entertainment app, to enhance the experience of Toffee subscribers by offering them exclusive foodpanda discount vouchers. An agreement has been signed between Toffee and foodpanda on this partnership on Thursday, reads a press release. Through this partnership, any ... Read more

US-Bangla gets recognition of IATA

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com US-Bangla Airlines, one of the largest airlines in Bangladesh, has become the first domestic private airline to be recognised as an International Air Transport Association (IATA) airline. By 2023, 18 airlines in the world have achieved accreditation as IATA Airlines, among which US-Bangla is one, reads a press release. Although several ... Read more

Emirates crowned as 2024 APEX World Class Airline

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Having mastered the guest experience and providing exceptional customer service, Emirates was recently named a 2024 APEX World Class Airline winner at the 2024 APEX/IFSA Awards, held in Long Beach, California. Emirates is one of just eight airlines globally to achieve this accolade, reads a press release. Emirates also received a ... Read more

LAYS launches campaign with Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar and Taskin Ahmed Tazim

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com Lay’s, one of the world’s most loved potato chip brands under the PepsiCo umbrella, has launched an engaging campaign featuring Bangladesh cricket stars Shakib Al Hasan, Taskin Ahmed and Soumya Sarkar as its brand ambassadors. Together, this dynamic trio will play essential roles in the upcoming Lay’s campaigns, endorsing the brand ... Read more

1,000 can win bKash World Cup Quiz everyday

Business Desk : dhakamirror.com A thousand winners can get Tk50 each everyday by participating in the bKash World Cup quiz. By answering 3 simple cricket related questions in the shortest possible time and making a transaction through bKash app one can win the prize. The quiz competition will continue till October 25, reads a press ... Read more