Shariful Islam Tareq
Sr. Manager, Marketing & Media
Shariful Islam Tareq is a seasoned Marketing and Business Development personality with multi-disciplinary acumen. He worked in the Ride-hailing sector with remarkable achievement and now serving the Real Estate Industry. His journey demonstrates a good map that can be followed by new entrants in the corporate world. Let’s listen to his story today!
My career started by joining my father’s real estate business, Remax Liberty City Limited. My father, alongside a few of his colleagues, had been developing this housing estate in Savar. There I was the Marketing and Sales Manager for approximately 4 years. This helped me a lot to gain experience while working with the land and property-related projects, from sales to handover.
In 2018, there was a boom in the Ride Sharing industry and I decided to join here to be a part of innovation. I joined a newly emerged ride-sharing business named Piickme. After joining formally, we launched the company announcing its launch via a press conference. In the meantime, the app was being developed, which was launched in August 2018. I was assigned to look after the operations of the company, as it was a startup; everyone did whatever they could. I tried my best to play a significant role in making Piickme a highly promising company. I had a big hand in Piickme, from operations to development, and making connections to so many forward and backward linkages industries. Most importantly, I administered all the negotiations with the authorities of BRTA as a representative of Piickme. While being affiliated with Piickme, I had the opportunity to work with multiple platforms which helped me gain experiences in those fields.
Over time it made me realize that staying involved with this business for too long may not be the optimum career choice as the industry was struggling in many ways. Using this as an opportunity, I was advised by mentor Amit Chakraborty to return to real estate, and I came back by joining Rupayan Group On 13th January 2020. I saw there is huge scope of works in Rupayan to contribute to the Real Estate Sector. Currently, I am appointed as a Senior Manager of Marketing and Media in Rupayan Group. This a challenging career but enjoyable to me when I think that I am part of this industry which has an important role in national economy.
Since I am a marketing professional, I analyze the lacking in the sales area of the company and how to overcome them. My goal is to help the salespeople with their development; I work to enhance its brand value in many ways e.g. make documentaries of the major projects and provide those to the salespeople who show them to the clients, understanding my target groups, market demands, customer needs and so on. This allows the clients to virtually see the projects at their comfort. I also do live streams “The Rupayan Show” from the Rupayan Housing Estate Ltd Facebook page to create awareness and inform the customers. Current clients who have already made purchase also joins the live streams, and we talk to create awareness and provide information.
In short, my starting was in my father’s business as a manager then I joined Piickme as a manager, then was promoted to the Head of Business Development, and currently, I am with Rupayan as a Senior Manager of the Media and Marketing Sector. My goal is to bend with the development of the organization alongside my personal growth.
I was born in the Khulna Newsprint Mills Hospital complex, and as a child, I did not dream of becoming a doctor or engineer. My main target was to become an entrepreneur. My father, Md. Rofiqul Islam was the former president of Khulna Newsprint Mills employee’s union for a long time. He is respected and loved among the member of the Employees Union. He is a man of excellence and a true leader through and through. Growing up, I closely observed how he would handle these situations, every morning people would gather around our house and ask or seek help. His approach to all of these allowed me to learn from him; I learned how to be a leader from him. From there, my sole focus was to create a big network as much as possible.
To grow in life, building a good network of people is needed, and that is what I strive to achieve in my life journey. The more people know me, the better and the easier it becomes for me to reach my career goals. For this purpose, the moment I set foot in Dhaka, I got involved with a few volunteering organizations to build up a good network, and for a brief moment, I got involved with a media agency solely for this purpose. I needed a network in that sector so that when I am working there, I will have a few known faces who could support me, or even if I try to start a business, they can come in handy. The main focus of my life journey was to build myself up as a leader as my father did. No matter how many people are subordinates in the company I am in, I will monitor them perfectly and get the job done by all means. The main reason why I could contribute to Piickme was primarily that I had built a strong network since coming to Dhaka. My life journey consists of how I can further develop my career life to make it go smoothly.
Educational and Professional Development:
I completed my SSC from Khulna Newsprint Mills Secondary School and completed my HSC from Khulna Public College; later on, from Azam Khan Commerce College, Khulna, I finished my graduation in marketing and moved to Dhaka, I further completed my post-graduation from Gov. Titumir College in Dhaka.
Since childhood, I have been focused on this aspect of my life, from closely observing my father on how he does things to how I implement what I have learned from him. Starting at my father’s company to Piickme and now Rupayan group, the whole journey was about learning and implementing. All these organizations, these positions, the feats I have achieved were primarily teaching me, helping me build up my networks. All the places I have worked in or am currently affiliated with, I don’t see as my workplace. Rather to me, these are educational institutes.
Wherever I work, it teaches me a lot of things and helps me grow. I try to learn from every situation. Even from juniors and there is nothing to be ashamed about admitting this fact, there are plenty of things that a junior of mine not know, and there are things that he knows but don’t, in certain aspects I can learn from him and implement his ideas to organize something of mine on my own. Wherever I get stuck, I take advice and carry on instead of sitting and thinking. My main point is if I have to learn from someone, I will learn and implement rather than wait around.
Highlights of Achievements, Merits, and Other Honor:
In July of 2019, the government provided the ridesharing business license for the first time in Bangladesh. After following all the rules and regulations for all this time, we applied for the license, and Piickme was the first in the industry to ever achieve this license. This is the biggest achievement of my career life. I had a really big hand in this, and I prepared the whole team to achieve this award. This was covered all kinds of media. Helping Piickme to be the first company in Bangladesh to be the first one ever to achieve the license was my biggest achievement.
Besides this, I have quite a few articles written on the Ride Sharing business, which are highly informative. Then there are two awards which achieved back in college that I am fond of. One of them being for Recitation of Patriotism Poem, and the other was for reciting the Adhan.
As for honor, when I was still affiliated with Piickme, Daffodil International University invited me for a program named Ride Sharing Business; all the business students were invited to that seminar. There as one of the key spokespersons, I gave a brief on Ride-Sharing Business. I was asked some notable questions regarding the operations of the business, which I answered.
Hobby and Other Interests:
As for hobbies, I don’t have much to tell you about. Back in the day, I would do volunteer work as my hobby, but now being this busy, I don’t get the time. The only thing I like doing in my free time these days is to increase my network of people, reach out to people I already know, ask about their well-being; basically, I keep in touch with them. This is like a hobby to me, if by definition of hobbies is something you enjoy doing on your own and this is what I enjoy doing. Outside of this, I seldom listen to classical and folk music, plus music related to patriotism. And lastly, spending time with friends during off times is one favorite way to pass the time.
From the corporate perspective, I would like to say the Housing sector yields apx 8.5% of its contribution to the national GDP. Back in the day, agriculture had the most influence on the national economy. But as per forecasting, it is safe to say that alongside Agriculture, the RMG sector is also catching up and will go toe to toe with agriculture. About 1.5 to 2 crore people are directly or indirectly involved with this sector for their livelihood. And this is tied to the real-estate sector, with 200 to 300 other industries are tied with backward and forward linkage. With the housing industry, the rod, cement, all of these other industries are linked. Their livelihood depends on us; if we don’t make buildings, those industries will just stop.
Based on this, it is safe to say that the housing industry is in high demand right now. The main focus of my corporate perspective is that for building long-lasting housing, the government has to work side by side with the private sector to know the demand of the type of apartment and keep a record of who wants the apartments. And what is the current situation of the economic state of those people? Keeping the needs of the lower middle class in mind, the government and the private sector have to work together and work accordingly to solve their accommodation problem.
Own Life Philosophy:
Regarding my work life, I have kept it divided into short-term, mid-term, and long-term segments for my development. I have goals set that I would love to reach for each year. I have a plan for knowing what to do and when. And how rapidly I can reach those goals. Besides this, I am a strict believer in realism. I believe it better to set goals and work towards them rather than to dream foolishly. I have a set of goals that I am striving to achieve. Besides this, I tend to keep a to-do list of all the things I need to get done and of all my commitments, which for me is a sure successful way of maintaining a balance between work and personal life. This allows me to be aware of the commitment towards my family and also my work.
Personal and Social Responsibilities:
While being affiliated with Piickme, we did all sorts of volunteer work to create awareness and for topics regarding road safety. We did this in the major hubs of Dhaka city. One of the memorable events of that time was the Road Safety event where we worked at different points in Shyamoli, College Gate, Asad Gate, and lastly in Kakoli.
I also did some volunteer work with the Mohammad Sharif Foundation for some time. I worked as an advisor and showed them improvement points. In the first wave of the pandemic, we helped a hefty amount of people. I also contribute to a foundation named, Moyurponkhi Foundation that is dedicated to the welfare of street children. Alongside these, I try to contribute and help however I can to some more small-scale foundations of a similar category. Therefore 4 days straight, a team of 20 people worked to create Road Safety awareness by spending 3 to 4 hours there working.
I have to say one thing Affordable Living. Sure there is demand for luxurious apartments, we make quite a lot of those. But we have to keep in mind that there are still a lot of people who want an apartment within their affordability. This is causing a lot of problems in the housing sector. To solve all of these problems, we need to focus on affordable housing. The housing industry has to shift its focus to the lower middle class. For the real estate to solve these accommodation problems of the lower middle class, they need to move forward with affordable housing of the housing industry rather than luxurious apartments.
Anyone who’s a fresh graduate or just completed HSC should determine which sector they should work in, they should start deciding and set goals from the get-go. They should whatever it takes for them to grow their career. They should try to get some sort of training in the chosen fields. They should also prioritize market research. This applies to all departments. Alongside that, a proper idea of what the market price should be and currently is. They should be informed about the geographical aspects of the business. A business should not only know the price of a product but also the origin of it and some more details. Alongside this, a piece of very personal advice to those who are starting would be not to dream rather set goals and work accordingly to reach those set up goals.