A fruit vendor because the Nineteen Nineties, he discovered luck and revenue in promoting dates. In 2010, he arrange his distinctive ‘solely dates’ store, which grew to become widespread sufficient to promote round 150 kilograms of dates day by day throughout peak season. Right here’s an up shut and private take a look at Shahidul Islam’s dates enterprise

19 June, 2022, 01:15 pm

Final modified: 19 June, 2022, 01:23 pm

Shahidul Islam, proprietor of Madina Dates Home, was certainly conscious of individuals’s curiosity about his retailer and was genuinely pleased with it. Picture: Masum Billah


Shahidul Islam, owner of Madina Dates House, was indeed aware of people’s curiosity about his store and was genuinely proud of it. Photo: Masum Billah

Shahidul Islam, proprietor of Madina Dates Home, was certainly conscious of individuals’s curiosity about his retailer and was genuinely pleased with it. Picture: Masum Billah

My thoughts was blown at first sight of the shop. 

I’ve seen many shops that promote dates. However this explicit retailer was clear and well-lit, with shiny glass jars of dates geometrically organized. It was like a cadence and the jars have been glistening. 

Madina Dates Home is situated a couple of yards previous the little Jamuna river bridge, heading into the Naogaon city. 
Totally impressed, I needed to be taught the story behind this retailer. 

“I’ve by no means seen an exquisite dates retailer like this earlier than,” I instructed the proprietor, hoping to open up the dialog. “As a result of there isn’t any retailer like mine anyplace,” proprietor Shahidul Islam, a bearded aged man, gave me a straight-forward reply.  

Because the dialog progressed, I realised that the aged date vendor had a way of humour.  He was replying to my curiosities with light-hearted responses and peals of laughter. However it didn’t cover the truth that Shahidul was certainly conscious of individuals’s curiosity about his retailer and was genuinely pleased with it. 

“Individuals all the time take images of my retailer. And many individuals from Dhaka take dates from my store,” he stated. 

If solely you would see the way in which he sits in his retailer with shiny jars throughout. It virtually regarded like just a little kingdom of dates the place Shahidul is the undisputed king. 

In between crowds of consumers and gross sales, we continued the speak. 

An thought for higher livelihood 

Picture: Masum Billah

Photo: Masum Billah

Picture: Masum Billah

“I’ve seen in Dhaka and Bogura that shops preserve dates within the open. The dates get soiled and dusty that approach. Since my store is beside the primary street, there is a matter with mud,” he replied once I requested why he sells in jars when others promote dates both within the open or in cartons. 

“Generally folks contact the dates with their unclean arms. Many shoppers hate this. It’s not like everybody performs ablution earlier than touching the dates.

Do they?” Shahidul quipped. “You’re a tasteful man. Will you purchase from a carton the place folks contact dates with unclean arms?” 

So Shahidul Islam, partly taking the hygiene issue into consideration and partly as a result of it is a distinctive advertising technique – that might probably draw extra prospects – designed the shop on his personal. 

“I have not seen anybody else promoting dates in glass jars as I do. I assumed if I put them in clear jars, it could create an environment. Nobody taught me this. This got here from my expertise,” he stated.

I had been struggling a lot with my enterprise, however I wasn’t reaping the advantages of my arduous work. Pay attention rigorously,” Shahidul, a person who additionally launched himself as a loyal Muslim, stated, “I used to ask Allah to indicate me the way in which. Then I obtained the concept that if I may embellish the shop properly, I might get extra gross sales.

I did not borrow the concept from others.” And the concept labored.  

On an everyday day, he sells round 50 to 70 kilograms of dates, whereas in Ramadan, he sells as much as 150 kgs of dates per day. 

Shahidul has many loyal prospects from Naogaon and from the skin as properly. He stated that his prospects come right here from throughout as a result of they’ve religion that he’ll provide good high quality dates even when it prices just a little larger than common shops. 

“We kind out the most effective dates from the opposite ones. I’ve workers to do that. And I promote the most effective ones at the next worth than the opposite ones. Any fruit that is available in a carton is available in totally different sizes and qualities. 

I am going to Dhaka myself and purchase the dates after inspecting them. I all the time attempt to purchase the most effective dates. I could make extra revenue promoting you unhealthy dates. However right here, it’s not like in Dhaka the place prospects buy one thing from a spot and by no means return to complain, even when the fruit is rotten. 

I’ve a everlasting store, and the locals are my prospects. They are going to come again if I promote them unhealthy dates,” defined the dates store proprietor.  

Story of a date lover  

Shahidul did not promote dates from the beginning. 

Within the Nineteen Nineties, when he began the enterprise, he used to promote fruits like apples, oranges, lychees, and so forth. He used to ferry the fruits to varied locations.

It required loads of arduous work, but he did not make a lot cash. Making ends meet was troublesome. After promoting blended fruits for 20 years, in 2010, he determined to promote dates and solely dates.  

Why? This fruit is just not as perishable as different fruits. He can retailer them over time and promote them. “Dates are a wholesome fruit, and other people throughout Bangladesh love this. 

Search for any grocery store; you will note all of them are promoting dates. It is vitally widespread. And a particular retailer only for dates like mine makes it extra enticing,” he stated. 

Dates modified Shahidul’s life for the higher.  

“Promoting dates at the moment, I can earn an honest dwelling that I could not do if I remained caught to promoting every kind of fruits,” he stated.  

Shahidul has 4 workers at current. It’s now a uninteresting season for dates as a result of that is the highest season for summer season fruits like mango and Naogaon is flourishing and on its approach to changing into the highest mango producer in Bangladesh.  

However in peak season, he has to make use of as much as 10 employees. He had one retailer earlier than, however he had so as to add one other retailer to increase the scale of his outlet. 

And what number of types of dates does the shop carry? “My store has not less than 20 to 25 variants of dates. For instance, Ajwa and Maryam. Each these dates have totally different classes. There may be Irani Maryam, and the Saudia Maryam, which has 5 to 10 variants. Maryam alone has variants that promote from Tk400 to Tk1,000,” Shahidul replied. 

One of many highest-priced dates in his retailer is an Egyptian Medjool variant that he sells at round Tk1,500 per kg. However the costly variants promote much less. His top-selling dates are priced from Tk200 to Tk400 per kg. 

Shahidul, nonetheless, is just not solely a mere date vendor. He’s a date fanatic. 

He brings the dates from Dhaka. However he isn’t comfortable about it. 

“I want I may immediately purchase from Saudi Arabia and Dubai, discover the most effective dates on this planet and convey them right here,” stated Shahidul. “However it requires some huge cash. I haven’t got the luck to try this, nor do I’ve a lot cash.” 

In his private life, Shahidul Islam is a father of three. Each his daughters and his solely son are married off. “My son will take over this enterprise after my retirement. Why would not he? This enterprise is much better than different companies. 

He’ll make this a greater retailer and make a greater dwelling,” stated Shahidul.

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