Bangladesh ranks the lowest among 58 economies in the world with the highest population of female workforce according to the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2020. In other words, the country has proven to be an extremely difficult platform for women to thrive in the world of business. Reasons for the lack of progress include social, cultural and financial constraints that are imposed upon women from an early age. That being said, every once in a while we come across incredible stories of even more incredible women that shatter gender stereotypes and prove data wrong.
Shiuly, 55, can be best described as a woman who makes things happen despite having odds stacked against her. She married early after completion of her board exams and moved to Dhaka in the year 1987 where her husband opened a small retail shop for electrical accessories in the Townhall cluster market of Mohammadpur called Bikrampur Electric. She was involved in the electrical business from day one and acquired fundamental knowledge about the industry and the art of trade while running a small boutique business of her own.
Their modest life came to a screeching halt with the sudden and untimely demise of her husband due to a cardiac arrest. Shiuly was a widow with three children and found herself struggling to make ends meet in a constant state of financial uncertainty. Her son-in-law took over the operations of the electrical shop and soon demanded that he be handed the ownership of the business. Knowing that such a transfer of ownership would only further worsen her financial condition, Shiuly decided to get hands on involved in the management of the shop and that was when her life turned around.
Electrical cluster markets and the electronics industry of Bangladesh in general is a heavily male dominated economic space. The mere concept of a female business owner turns heads and raises eyebrows. Not to mention, the challenges associated with operating and owning a retail outlet for electrical accessories is astronomically greater for a woman than a man.
Shiuly was not only battling to survive but to also vouchsafe the last remaining emblem of her husband’s dream. The journey ahead was filled with one stumbling block after the other. She was struggling to raise capital to ensure smooth operations of her shop. Suppliers of imported goods as well as local manufacturers were unwilling to place their products in Shiuly’s shop. Those that did refused to supply goods on credit which is a general practice in the cluster markets. They believed that a woman did not have the expertise, experience or repertoire of skills required to sustain a business let alone make it succeed.
Shiuly did not pay heed to her naysayers. She rose to the occasion and worked diligently in her shop day and night to ensure financial independence for herself and family. Energypac Electronics was among one of the very few local manufacturers that believed in her capability and supplied goods to her shop. The support of well-wishers coupled with Shiuly’s relentless determination has made it possible for Bikrampur Electric to survive and succeed in the highly competitive Townhall cluster market. She is highly valued by her clients and has garnered a wonderful reputation among fellow business owners in the cluster market. Her shop has a wide collection of LED Bulbs, Switch Sockets, Circuit Breakers, Extension Sockets, Ceiling Fans among other electrical accessories.
Shiuly credits her mother for being a constant source of comfort and support in this long, arduous and bumpy road towards financial stability and independence. We at Energypac Electronics are inspired by her story and proud of our association with Bikrampur Electric.
“নিজের মনের কথা শুনুন, নিজ ইচ্ছাকে প্রাধান্য দিন। বাহিরের মানুষের কথা না শুনে নিজের উপর আস্থা রেখে এগিয়ে যান। “- Shiuly”