Managing Partner | Karigar
Starting a business is never an easy task but it gets a lot more difficult when your family is not supportive. Regardless of how easy it is to utter the cliche ‘follow your dreams’, its never that simple in real life. However the success story of 32 year old Tania Wahab has as of now turned into a wellspring of motivation for budding entrepreneurs.
Honored as the Outstanding Woman in Business in the 14th Bangladesh Business Awards, Tania chose to begin her own shop when she was a student of leather technology of Dhaka University. With a capital of just Tk 10,000, she started her small business in leather. It was unimaginably difficult at the beginning as she had no support from her family, however she didn’t give up. She realized that in order to do something, she needed to believe in herself and needed to be headstrong about her goal. That’s how young Tania started Karigar, a brand of customized leather products.
Tania purchased a sewing machine, employed one worker who was capable to make the items, and leased her first shop in Hazaribagh in 2005. Tania has faced her fair share of difficulties during the initial stage of her business; according to her, there were days when she had to walk home as she had no money after paying her workers’ wages. She had to do divide her small rented office in two parts – the front part was used as a showroom and the rest was used as a factory. Karigar now employs 20 full-time workers and around 100 part-time representatives, while its client base incorporates firms like British American Tobacco (BAT) Bangladesh, Grey Advertising Bangladesh, BASIC Bank, Mutual Trust Bank, East West University, Chevron Bangladesh, Grameenphone, Sanofi Aventis and Orion Group. Aside from serving the domestic market, Karigar exported to the UK in 2008 and in the accompanying years Tania did business in Switzerland, Japan, India and Cambodia.