The Mastermind: S.M. Enamul Haque

S.M. Enamul Haque, Executive Director, Bengal Shipping Line Limited

We are delighted to introduce Mr. S.M. Enamul Haque, the majestic corporate abloom of the Bangladesh Shipping Industry. He started his career as a Junior Officer of Bengal Shipping Line Limited in Bangladesh, and now he is the Executive Director of the same organization.

Shipbuilding Industry is an important economic and industrial sector in Bangladesh. Bengal Shipping Line Limited is an immensely well-known and recognized company in this arena. Mr. Haque is none but the innovative and prominent Executive Director of this renowned company. His sense of cognition and the striving story of his life give sincere inspiration.

We reached out to this spanking person to know a little about him, some of which we have shared in the following.

We decorate this feature with two vital portions: “Own Stylus of S.M. Enamul Haque” and “Conversation With S.M. Enamul Haque”.

Own Stylus of S.M. Enamul Haque

At present, I am working with Bengal Shipping Line Limited as Executive Director. Through the years of dedication, hard-working & sincerity, I have learned professionalism to work at any management level. I am serving M/s. Bengal Shipping Line Ltd since August 1987 till date with the entire satisfaction of our management. I started my job as a Junior Officer, and in the year 2018, I have been promoted as Executive Director of this renown organization.

I had the opportunity to visit our company’s ocean-going agency vessel at Mongla port with my late father Alhaj Badar Uddin Ahmed when I am at Khulna town and during that time, I was dreaming of working in the shipping industry. I requested to the honorable group Chairman Mr. M.A. Awwal to give me a job. Thereafter In the year of early 1986, I got the chances from our honorable Chairman. Mr. M.A. Awwal considered my job request and instructed me to go onboard ocean-going vessel MV.AL TABITH as an apprentice to know what is ship before working in the shipping line as I am a simple graduate without extraordinary experiences.

I came onboard MV.AL TABITH at Chattogram Grain Jetty berth where the vessel was discharging cargo wheat in bulk and duty officer instructed me to report the chief officer Mr. Abdur Rahim (12N) for my joining matter. Chief Officer has told me to work every day in the deck as per duty officer instruction. The 2nd day I was called in the ship’s office room wherein chief officer Mr. Abdur Rahim and 2nd Engineer Mohammed Shamsul Alam (12E) were present. 2nd Engineer Mohammed Shamsul Alam asked me to work ship’s deck, bridge, and also go to ship’s engine room and note down each machinery work performance with diary. Everyday Alam Sir inquired about my daily works. I worked with deck cadet Mohammed Borhan (21N) and engine cadet Ishtiaque Ameen (21E). Md. Borhan presently sailing vessel as Master and Engr. Ishtiaque Ameen now settled in Australia. MV.AL TABITH was engaged wheat in bulk lightening operation and load cargo by evacuator machine from mother vessel at deep-sea Kutubdia and discharged the same at grain silo jetty and Mongla port. I have the 1st opportunity to go Mongla by sea passage from Chattogram anchorage to Mongla port, where vessel discharged wheat in bulk by bagging and stitching into barges.

I had been transferred to another vessel MV.AL REZA and joined at anchorage, that vessel was undergoing repair for schedule dry-docking survey. Mv.Al REZA was dry-docked at Chattogram Dry Dock Limited, where I worked very hard and gathered experience of ship’s dry-docking with related surveys. This is the first dry docking of the vessel for my life. After a successful dry docking vessel undocked and go to Indonesia for loading bag cement to discharge at Mongla. Mv.Al REZA arrived/discharging cargo at Mongla, I have the great opportunity came to sail vessel for loading bag cement from Indonesia and to discharge at Mongla. That was the first voyage to me from Bangladesh to another country. Vessel Captain was Md. Amzad Hossain (Navy Retd), Chief Engineer Lutful Kabir, Chief officer Md. Shahjalal, 2nd Engineer Superio Halder, and Additional 2nd engineer Md. Sakhwat Hossain (16E – Managing Director of Western Marine Shipyard Ltd), 2 deck cadet Md. Nuruddin Jahangir and Md. Kamruzzaman (my family friends).

S.M. Enamul Haque with his beloved family

The vessel on her way to load port Indonesia. Al REZA arrived in Singapore for bunkering. After completion of port formalities, laborers commenced bag cement loading, and a total of 4 days was required for loading 14,000 Mts of bag cement. Loading completed and sailed for Mongla Bangladesh, on the passage from Indonesia to Mongla sea was very rough (it was monsoon season) vessel was heavy rolling, pitching, I was feeling awful, vomiting with little blood during the whole passage. The vessel has arrived Mongla and discharged bag cement, and it took 14 days to complete all cargo. Capt. Amjad Hossain Sir asked me to sail again for similar voyage, but I was not agreed due to seasickness. During my apprentice period, about 1 year, I have not paid any money from the office.

Upon successful completion of apprentice on board MV.AL TABITH and MV.AL REZA then I joined Bengal Shipping Line Ltd in the year August 1987 as Junior Officer with a salary of BDT 1,750 and started job with coastal vessel handling & stevedoring department. My service at Sea for 1 year as well as shore made me confident in enhancing my knowledge & skill to serve in the shipping line.

Our honorable Managing Director Mohammed Abdul Malek (Marine Chief Engineer) has joined as technical superintendent of Bangladesh Bulk Carriers Ltd and starting office ‘Palm View’ building ground floor. In the year 1988, our Managing Director Sir, started ship owning with 1st ocean-going vessel Mv.Al Rahman, I had been promoted as Asst. Manager and transferred to ship owning department & served Ship owning department and also looked coaster department and stevedoring department. During devastating cyclone on 30 April 1990, our vessel Mv.Al Rahman was grounded near Marine Academy with full load bagged Urea, which bound for discharge at Calcutta, India. For salvaging Al Rahman, its entire bagged Urea was unloaded into barges. For refloating vessel MD sir, Engr. Shamsul Alam sir and underwriter company surveyor held continue meeting and made various plans. After taking all precautionary measures finally, Al Rahman successfully re-floated, and re-load bagged Urea from lighter vessels and sailed for Calcutta, India, and discharged her cargo there. The total salvage operation was a great experience.

Our fleet has been increased 2nd vessel Al Mohammed, thereafter one after one 3rd Al Shams, 4th Al Quamar and 5th Al Marzan. In the year 1994, I have visited Bombay to supervise the Al Mohammed container loading operation. Chartered by SDS Bombay and vessel carried Container and its route was Bombay, Mombasa, East London, Durban, and return to Bombay. During my 1st overseas trip/visit have gathered a lot of experience. We have operated our vessels worldwide trade, and MD sir has considered and appointed many boys as deck and engine cadets and given them scope to work onboard vessel and to build up their bright carrier, believe all of them are now either Master or Chief Engineer. Due to the serious falling of the shipping market, our management has sold out all vessels. Now I am looking full shipping agency/operation, coaster, and stevedoring department.

During my tenure of the services, I gathered notable knowledge and experiences in the shipping lines. But shipping is a significant sector, and it is tough to say I knew shipping because every day new things are coming.

My stylus remains incomplete if I don’t mention some names of those who are highly respectful and most admirable personalities regarding my service life.

  1. Honorable Group Chairman Sir Mr. Mohammed Abdul Awwal – without his kind consideration and giving the job, I can not reach the good position of the organization as ED.

  2. Honorable Managing Director Sir Mr. Mohammed Abdul Malek – without his kind continuous support and cooperation, it would be hard for me to promote as ED.

  3. Chief Engineer Mohammed Shamsul Alam Sir – from 1986 till today, I have learned so many things which will be very difficult to explain.

  4. Chief Engineer Abdul Wadud – I had learned so many things when he was Chief Engineer of our vessel awa Engineer superintendent of the office.

  5. Chief Engineer Aminul Hoque

  6. Captain Mohammad Ali

  7. Captain Rafi Al Zabi (late)

Conversation With S.M. Enamul Haque

The InCAP: What do you find the most important things about the journey from a Junior Officer to an Executive Director in the same company?

S.M. Enamul Haque: It is a really very long journey for me as a Junior Officer to an Executive Director in the same organization, and it is my 30 years sincere hard work in the various shipping sector. It will be achieved due to my patient in my long service period. During my career, I have seen many changes in business and organization: closing, new openings, and opportunities. I have to learn new things. Set your mind that it’s new, maybe hard also will make mistakes. So long you don’t give up and try to correct mistakes, success will be yours. It would be best if you had waited patiently and not give up. So long it is clear that you are trying, anybody will accept. When you are born, you had to learn everything, so will new things. It’s useless to compare yourself with anyone. Always believe you can make things happen for the best.

As far as we know, your first cruise experience was not good at all, and you have seasickness also. How could you balance the job in such a way? Where did you find that courage?

After my graduation, I got the best opportunity to work on an onboard ocean-going vessel as an apprenticeship to learn the ship activities; actually it was not easy to get such an opportunity for any person. Yes, I felt seasickness during vessel Mv.Al Reza passage from Jakarta, Indonesia to Mongla with bagged cement, which the month of June. It is tough to explain my feeling because other ship’s officers and seaman will continue their job onboard vessel adjusting situation for a bright future.

Mr. Haque, you were unpaid for a year at the beginning of your career, how did you motivate yourself during that time?

Yes, I have unpaid during my onboard apprenticeship period, but to build up a bright carrier in the future, I was continuing service on board without any remuneration. My starting was very tough, but today after 30 years of service, I have received recognition.

What “Bengal Shipping Line Limited” – experience do you want to write in your biography?

I am working Bengal Shipping Line Limited, which is a reputable organization in the shipping sector of Bangladesh. It is considerably active in Chittagong (Chattogram), Mongla, Payra Port, and our presence activities can be felt worldwide due to our involvement with several reputed shipping organizations globally. At present, we are representing various Ship Owners / Principals. We have earned recognition for our services and expertise globally. The group clearly has a dynamic and inspired Management setup. As a result, we have a highly qualified and well-trained staff.

Bengal Shipping Line Limited (BSL) is a dependable organization in shipping related services and transportation of goods both locally and internationally. BSL commenced business in the mid-50s and floated as a limited Company in 1962. The founder Late Khalilur Rahman was a leading business personality in Pakistan. The company started businesses in shipping agency, stevedoring, lightning, and other related services. The business activities diversified into management and chartering.

During my tenure of the services, I gathered enough knowledge and experiences in the shipping lines. But shipping is a big sector, and it is very difficult to say what I knew shipping because every day new things are coming. I’ll try to write down my entire cruise experiences in my biography.

What advice do you have for new employees?

My advice to the newcomers who are really interested in working in the shipping sector – love your job first, positive attitude, work sincerely, strictly maintain punctual office timing and always respect your seniors. During your work, please try to create a homely atmosphere with other colleagues in the office premises. You will not be right 1st time, correct yourself, you can do it if you try again. During the correction, you have gained something, and that is the real skill, and you own it. It’s visible, and you don’t need any certificate for this. Your attitude will prove it all. All you need is patience, and try to keep yourself out of your comfort zone.We want to know your specific action regarding the development of the Bangladeshi Shipping Industry.

I’m just an envoy of this sector. Global shipping market is growing up very fast due to the transportation cost is cheaper than any other form, and a big volume of cargos can be transported from one country to another with a reasonable freight. Bangladesh’s shipping future will be excellent coming the year due to many ocean-going vessels Owners are Bangladeshi. The world market is affected by many regulations. Coming in force also fierce competition, you have to understand and prepare to face it. Local shipping will grow to cover the increased volume of trade being cheaper and time-saving that by road. Deep draft ports will bring more volume, and inland ships have to support the same. We are determined to remove all obstacles regarding Bangladeshi Shipping Industry.

Mr. Haque, many people follow you as an icon of leadership. Say something to them.

I came from a very simple family but always believe that to do work long term in any good organization, which requires the ability to work under team management with responsibility and with a positive attitude, which is confident to do the job at any management level. I faced many challenges during my tenure of services. To build up a suitable carrier up to management level requires hard work, supervising capacity of any work in the organization, which must be in a legal and honest way.

Thank you so much, Mr. S.M. Enamul Haque.

My pleasure. Thank you very much to all of you.

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