Transcom Group chairman Latifur Rahman has been accorded the “SAARC Outstanding Leader” award for doing business by upholding moral values and fulfilling the organisation’s social responsibilities.
He received the prestigious award at a ceremony held at the Taj Lands End Hotel in Mumbai on Friday night.
Ravi Dhariwal, former chief executive officer of India’s largest newspaper group The Times of India handed over the award.
Ravi said the organisers were proud to honour an “appropriate personality” with the award.
PepsiCo’s India region chairman D Shivakumar introduced Latifur Rahman at the Banquet Hall where more than 50 top chief executive officers and industrialists were present.
Shivakumar said the Transcom Group chairman set the example of building a business empire through honesty, kindness and punctuality in personal as well as professional life.
The first non-Indian to have received the award, Latifur Rahman expressed his gratitude and said he was overwhelmed to be the first foreigner to have received the accolade.
He thanked the organisers for selecting Bangladesh for the award and added that Bangladesh and India have become true friends and the entire subcontinent can benefit from this friendship.
Shivakumar touched on the family tragedy of Latifur Rahman, referring to the deadly militant attack on the Holey Artisan cafe that took the life of his grandson, Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain, along with 19 other hostages in Dhaka last year.
Recalling the 1 July fateful night, Latifur Rahman said Faraaz and his two friends, Abinta Kabir and Tarishi Jain, lost their lives at the hand of terrorists.
“Faraaz has taught us what friendship really is,” he said. He dedicated the award to Faraaz, saying he was proud to be the young man’s grandfather.
Detailing the selection process of the award, Unilever CEO Sanjiv Mehta, also one of the awardees of the past year, said 50 leaders were primarily selected in each category from out of around 1,500 CEOs from India and abroad.
About selecting Latifur Rahman in the CEO category (abroad), Sanjiv said the Transcom Group chairman always upheld social values and fulfilled the organisation’s responsibility towards the society.
Other awardees in different categories were N Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Group, Harsh Mariwala, chairman and managing director, Marico, Sajjan Jindal, chairman of Jindal Steel, Narayanan Vaghul, founding chairman of ICICI Bank, Piyush Pandey, chairman of Ogilvy, Pawan Goenka, managing director of Mahindra and Mahindra, Hari Menon, founder and CEO of Bigbasket, Jayshree Vyas, managing director of SEWA Bank, and Prof Ashok Jhunjhunwala, adviser of India’s power ministry.
From Bangladesh, deputy CEO of HSBC Bank Muhammad Mahbub-ur Rahman, managing partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers Mamun Rashid and the Citibank’s corporate and investment banking director Shams Zaman, were present on the occasion.