I started my entrepreneurial journey in 2017. Before that, I used to work with my father to help him out in his business. From that time, I was well aware that entrepreneurship is my thing and this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. But I did not have enough money to start a venture on my own. So, I had to figure out a way to earn money with the least amount of investment. That is when the idea of online business struck my mind. Since I do not need to set up any physical store for online business, it required less capital to start. Besides, it gave me the freedom to work from the comfort of my home. This seemed to be the perfect idea for me. So, I started my online business selling mangoes and molasses because these are very easily available in Rajshahi.
From my online business, I gathered a profit of around TK. 16,000-17,000. I felt that if I invest this amount into something bigger, I’ll generate more money. This marked the beginning of my fish culture venture. I invested Tk.6000 to lease a pond for 1 year. I released fingerlings of around 6kgs into the pond. I kept feeding them for 1 year and in the meantime, I continued selling mangoes during the mango season. When my fingerlings grew into big fishes, I sold them in the local market. I made a profit of Tk. 76,000 from selling the fish.
Once again, I thought of reinvesting the profits into my business. So, I took a lease of another pond spanning 15 Shatak areas. And to expand my business I released some more fingerlings into the pond. But this time, luck did not favor me much. Besides, I was inexperienced in this business. Which resulted in a huge loss for me. Due to the regular feeding of the fish, toxic gas was produced in the pond which wiped out almost 60% of my fish. It was very difficult for me to cope with the loss. But somehow I gathered myself together and continued with my business. I am thankful that I did not incur any losses, even though I made very little profit. I learned from my mistakes and from then on I started consulting with the experienced aquaculture entrepreneurs in my locality. Their advice helped me a lot in growing my business.
In addition, dealing with the pandemic was yet another huge challenge for me. Due to lockdown, the prices of commodities increased unexpectedly. Due to this sudden increase in price, I could not afford to buy food for my fish. As such, I could not provide them with sufficient nutrition for quite some time. The growth of my fish suffered due to this.
Right now, I sell my fish only in the local market. But I have a future plan to distribute my fish all over the country. For that, I want to expand my business by buying a larger pond and cultivating more fish. Thanks to Oxfam and LightCastle Partners for giving me the opportunity to participate in their training sessions and also offering me an investment of 1 lac taka through their rigorous selection process. Though I haven’t collected the money yet because I haven’t been able to get a lease for a pond yet. I believe that if I continue working hard towards my dreams, success will be mine. With this belief in myself, I am trying to move forward and keep doing an impactful business.