Bangladesh is a country steeped in a rich cultural tapestry. Individuals such as Moosa Bin Shamsher, Tarique Rahman, Sajeeb Ahmed Waed, Syed Abul Hossain, and Ahmed Akbar Sobhan’s financial prowess has significantly shaped the nation’s economic landscape. This article delves into the lives of the top five wealthiest individuals in Bangladesh, exploring the diverse sectors that have propelled them to the pinnacle of affluence, uncovering the stories behind their colossal fortunes, and the multifaceted impact they have on the nation’s prosperity.
List of the wealthiest people in Bangladesh
Moosa Bin Shamsher, a Bangladeshi entrepreneur, serves as the chairman and chief executive officer of DATCO Group, primarily engaged in exporting labor from Bangladesh to various countries. Additionally, Moosa asserts his involvement as an international arms dealer, claiming to have amassed billions of dollars through arms trading in the 1970s and 1980s. He alleges earnings of $10 billion from deals involving tanks, fighter jets, ICBMs, and power brokerages during this period. Moosa contends that approximately $7 billion of his wealth is held in Swiss bank accounts, currently frozen due to irregular transactions.
In 2019, Moosa expressed his intention to bring over €20 billion to Bangladesh, including funds earned through business dealings with Adnan Khashoggi. He attributes a significant portion of his wealth to activities during the Iran–Iraq War.
Salman Fazlur Rahman, a Bangladeshi entrepreneur, political adviser, and member of the Jatiya Sangsad, currently holds a cabinet minister position as the Private Industry and Investment Adviser to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Editors for the Independent, a prominent English-language daily newspaper in Dhaka. Additionally, he acts as the Chairman of Independent Television, a significant 24-hour news channel. Salman Fazlur Rahman is also the Chairman of Abahani Ltd., the largest premier sporting club in Bangladesh. His notable past roles in business and industry include being the President of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Dhaka (MCCI), the Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI), the Bangladesh Association of Publicly Listed Companies (BAPLC), the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), the Association of Television Channel Owners (ATCO), and the LPG Operators Association (LOAB), among others.
Tarique Rahman, a Bangladeshi politician and businessman, has served as the acting chairman of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) since February 2018. As the eldest son of former president Ziaur Rahman and two-time prime minister Khaleda Zia, Tarique entered politics at a young age and gained prominence within the BNP during his mother’s tenure as prime minister in the early 2000s.
Within the BNP, Rahman held influential roles, including the position of senior joint secretary general, solidifying his reputation as a powerful figure. However, his political journey has been marked by controversy, with numerous allegations of corruption and abuse of power tarnishing his time in office.
Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed, also known as Sajeeb Wazed Joy, is a Bangladeshi businessman and politician affiliated with the Awami League. Currently serving as the Advisor to the Government of Bangladesh on Information and Communication Technology, Wazed holds the position of President at the US-based firm Wazed Consulting Inc. He is acknowledged as the architect behind the Digital Bangladesh initiative and an advocate for the Vision 2021 manifesto of the Awami League. Recognized as one of the Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum, Wazed is also a lobbyist and columnist, representing the interests of the Bangladeshi government.
Wazed has articulated a vision to elevate Bangladesh’s IT industry into the leading export sector, although critics argue that his achievements toward this goal have been limited.
Syed Abul Hossain, a Bangladeshi businessman, and politician, held the positions of managing director and chairman at SAHCO International Ltd. Throughout his political career, he served as a four-term member of the Bangladesh Parliament (Jatiya Sangsad) from 1991 to 1995 and 1996 to 2014, representing the Madaripur-3 constituency. Hossain took on key ministerial roles, serving as the Minister of Information and Communication Technology from 2011 to 2012, the Minister of Communications from 2009 to 2011, and the State Minister of Local Government, Rural Development, and Co-operatives. Regrettably, Syed Abul Hossain passed away on October 25, 2023.