Back then, women in Bangladesh were confined within the four walls, did all the house chores, and looked after the children. They were blinded from the outside world with no access to the interactions, where entrepreneurship was an illusory dream to the lion’s share of women. However, going by the adage “change is inevitable,” women have evolved to this position where they are now, directly and indirectly, participating in the development of the country. The number is still growing. All thanks to entrepreneurs like Mamtaz Jahan Laboni. In an exclusive interview with The InCAP, Ms. Laboni shared her roller-coaster ride of becoming a prolific entrepreneur.
The InCAP: Ms. Laboni, which identity do you love to give yourself first?
Mamtaz Jahan Laboni: I am a loving wife, a proud mother of two, and an entrepreneur.
What has influenced you to grow up as an entrepreneur?
I am a housewife also; I always take care of my family when my children go to school; I feel alone after doing all the chores. Besides that, I love to cook for my family; from that, I wanted to start my own business with the work I love to do.
What did you want to be as a child?
From my childhood, I have always wanted to become a businessman. I didn’t stop dreaming, and it took time but look! Here I am running my own business. So, don’t stop dreaming.
We want to know the story of starting Labony’s Dine.
In this present time, before the Covid situation, we used to eat a lot outside as my children love it and also for me it is a way of spending some time with my family. But in the restaurant, I started to notice that they ask a very high price for a deficient average quantity food and sometimes quality is also not up to the mark compared to the price. I got very upset thinking about that. I started to think about what I can do. So, I shared my point with my family, and they encouraged me so much that I can start my own business also I have a degree in cooking also. They motivated and supported my dream so much that now I’m running my brainchild, my Labony’s Dine, with pride.
Ms. Laboni, What is your dream concerning Labony’s Dine?
My dream is to serve quality food in a good quantity and at a standard price so that everyone can taste the good food. I want that people taste my food and remember by “Oh, I tasted a very good food from Labony’s dine” that will be an achievement for me. Currently, I am providing catering for office lunch, party/Akht, and birthday orders. If almighty wants someday, I want to see Labony’s dine to arrange bigger programs so that I can feed more people.
What kind of challenges are you facing regarding operating Your business?
Till now not faced so many problems but few as it took me a long time to enter this field; I’m learning to face all this. As I have many competitors. But by the grace of Almighty, my business is doing pretty well.
As a successful entrepreneur, what advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Regarding this, I would like to say that never stop dreaming. Never be embarrassed about your age or “What will people say”. Just gather all the courage you have and start doing it. Because the more you will think, the high chances are you are not going to do it as our society is developing, not developed. Some people will discourage you, but some will definitely encourage you. So stop thinking and start doing it.
Ms. Laboni, do you think that economic freedom is one of the significant ways to women’s emancipation?
Economically independence is a big thing but not the main thing, I believe. If you are mentally weak, then economic independence can’t help you either. But it can play a big role. For every woman, it is essential to be independent both mentally and economically. Economically independent means power; people will think twice before talking as our society is a bit dominating towards women. However, this stigma is changing gradually. Economically freedom is definitely emancipation for every woman out there.