Arshi Haider

Chairman, bti Holdings Ltd.

  Success is so much sweeter if it is the fruit of     a relentless pursuit of excellence

Arshi Haider


I am Arshi Haider. Many years ago, fresh out of university with an engineering degree I naively set out to start my own business. I did not have any money nor did I have any idea of what I wanted to do. All I wanted was success and I was totally consumed with this obsession for success. In hindsight I think it was a pretty illogical obsession because there was nothing to support the possibility of my success. No experience, no money, no business idea, does not make a convincing recipe for success.

By the grace of Allah things worked out well and today that company which was started with nothing but a burning desire for success is one of the most successful and respected real estate developers in Bangladesh. Perhaps my naivety was the mojo. With experience I have become a realist and I now look at things analytically. If I had dissected my situation and analyzed it at that time, no matter from which angle I looked at the scenario, the logical deduction would have been to abandon the idea of becoming an entrepreneur. And that is one of the most important lessons of entrepreneurship; In order to succeed, you need raw courage, unbridled optimism and a burning desire to achieve your goal. Doubt and fear of failure is anathema to success.

The success of bti can be primarily attributed to it’s culture. We have agreed upon a set of core values and we very strictly ensure that everyone in the company is totally aligned to the core values of the company. Any new recruit is very clearly told that we are quite tolerant about human errors but totally intolerant about any intentional violation of our core values. As a result of our very strong culture, only those who are aligned to our core values work in bti; non conformists do not last long and thus we have a very motivated team which is united by our core values. “Having the best team” is now an overused cliché. We operate in the same market as so many other companies and employees are free to join anywhere. We engage the same people who were previously in another organization but our culture turns them into champions. Ergo, we can rightfully say that our human resource is our greatest asset.

Many young entrepreneurs (mostly from the real estate industry) contact me and ask me for advice on a vast range of subjects. It seems to me that there is a genuine need in Bangladesh’s corporate sector for senior experienced entrepreneurs to mentor the next generation. With this thought in mind I have decided to write this blog in which I will try to reflect on business management, strategy, leadership and some of the important issues affecting us in business. I am also very passionate about healthy living and am an avid sport enthusiast. Therefore, from time to time I shall also indulge in these diversions which are so important to maintain a balanced life.