stand tall or naught

birds flock, fish school and SQ tribes...

By leveraging the fact of life of natural grouping, SQ visions to build an organization that would thrive on its tribal culture. After all, we all have a common story – SQ. The story of SQ, its attitude and the way it conducts its business are part of this segment. It's all about what we are, not what we have.

Journey

It is often the idea of challenging the status quo that powers you forward. That idea, complemented with self-belief and a positive spirit, saw the birth of SQ in 1993. Almost on impulse and proving the adage true - life can and does begin at forty - Muhammad Ghulam Faruq left the comfort of his job at The World Bank/FAO to tread the uncertain path of entrepreneurship.

Armed with confidence, determination, and the ability to think big, Faruq rented a space in Dhaka and pioneered a modern knitwear manufacturing business with only 160 machines. SQ, which quite simply is Superior Quality, was set on motion. The business lived this portrayal to the core, and soon the yields that came out of it, earned standing and were favored by the high street retailers.

The drive continued and resulted in further expansion of knitwear and accompanying yarn and piece dyeing facilities. In time, SQ ventured into much awaited product diversification - Lingerie and Shirt.

Two decades on, Bangladesh has matured as an apparel sourcing destination and SQ has evolved as a brand for the article. The journey carries on, bringing in the new generation to sustain continuity…

Way of Life

slogan

SQ's tagline of four simple words defines its attitude. If something is worth doing, then it is worth doing well. SQ is humble enough to acknowledge that it is not invincible, but arrogant enough to state that if it cannot stand tall in what it takes up, then it will not pursue it. SQ was born with the name Superior Quality and we will settle with no less.

Delving deeper into the fundamentals of our tagline stand tall or naught, one can truly understand what SQ stands for. The stance of a man who stands tall essentially represents that he is proud of what he is doing or has accomplished. Here at SQ, we believe in being the best at what we do but only if it means doing it in the right way.

While commercial goals are integral to success, success for us is not only what we accomplish but how we accomplish it. This is where our naught comes in. For us to achieve victory, the aftermath should never result in victims.

SQ's way of life is engraved in every aspect of the business. Yes, we want to stand tall but never at the expense of what we believe in. To be able to tower over the rest, we want to take the tall stance and that within itself is gratifying enough.

Brand

brand brand brand brand
 

SQ is a known name and a brand itself in the clothing sector both at the local and international stage. While products have life cycles, brands can transcend time when managed well. The brand "SQ" is defined as a set of timeless customer benefits rather than particular product and services. Our corporate dictate is to unceasingly innovate and upgrade products and services to keep the brand fresh and relevant to make our business sustainable.

Following our dictate, SQ is re-branding itself this year. We have refreshed our logo and the look. We will now adhere to a new tagline - stand tall or naught - which is essentially our way of life here at SQ.

A lot of effort was put into redesigning our corporate look. Starting from the colors to the fonts, everything was revisited. We wanted to come up with something that highlights our tagline and our way of life. The corporate look, which is everything from our wallpaper, website, signage, billboards, communications and stationaries, will have an identifying texture. This texture is a graphical representation of the peak of a mountain towering over rest of the world, standing tall and proud.

Board

The board, steered by the founder Muhammad Ghulam Faruq, comprises the natural team - his family. Being a family business the board is fearless in taking decisions and emotionally honest in expressing opinions. For them, solidarity and speed is the key. The board assesses and sets the directions of the business. It empowers the leadership teams to build their strategic competence, set standards and defines the core values and culture of SQ.

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Muhammad Ghulam Faruq

Your interest in SQ is appreciated.

While as an entrepreneur I have always been comfortable being challenged regularly, choosing this career path was completely irrational, to the nearest few, since the odds of succeeding were minimal. I do not come from a business family, not my masters in Agricultural Economics nor my 15 years of bondage with the World Bank, shaped any stage for treading this uncertain path of SQership.

I went ahead, believing in Peter Drucker's quote that "The best way to predict the future is to create it". The same believe got me thus far in my cross-national marriage with Salima, foretold to be a failure 30 years back. The advantage I have as a founder and leader of the business - I am not a genius. Geniuses can be sometimes a threat for an organization as that may suppress others' skills and ideas. Leading by values is central to me. It is empowering, and I think much more motivating. Rather than burden our folks with excessive controls, I inspire them to make decisions and to act based on values.

Two decades on, I have breathed through the evolution from SQ's start-up to growth and to its maturity along with my life, which as the adage goes; Started at Forty in 1993. The journey continues, bringing the new generation on – the three sisters.

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Salima Bensaid

As a Moroccan national and Vice Chairman of the Group, I am the glue that holds the Faruq empire together. After graduating from Paris University and completing a fellowship with the International Monetary Fund in Washington, I moved to Dhaka in 1983. Before joining the group in 2006, I worked as the Vice Principal of Bangladesh International Tutorial (BIT) for a long 17 years.

Though I was skeptical about the idea of my husband leaving the comfortable and secure life at the World Bank to start his own business, I always respected and supported his initiatives. In order to align myself with him, I took one for the team by leaving my job and devoting my time to both the business and my kids. In my opinion, it was worth the investment as I hope they will continue to build on the future of the business. So far, I have done my duty for this generation and it is time to pass on the baton to the next.

I want to believe that if I did not follow my own professional career, I am the person behind the continuous success of SQ. It is said that behind every man there is a woman but in this case, I am not behind my man but standing right next to him in all of his endeavors.

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Boutaina Faruq

Hello, I am Boutaina Faruq and, as you can see, we have been given this unusual task of writing our own introduction. So here goes..

Being the eldest daughter in the family, I was the first among my sisters to become a member of the board. After my A levels, I moved to UK to study Accounting and Finance at the LSE, but ended up completing my course as an external student from Singapore. Throughout my studies I have been a part of SQ's life, contributing wherever possible.

Now that I have joined the company on a permanent basis, I see how SQ is in a league of its own. At the moment, my first job at hand is launching SQ's own retail brand. There are times that I am at awe when I think of this corporate world that my father has created. He has also set up the path to immense growth and it is up to us, the next generation, to take it there.

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Soukaina Faruq

It's been quite the experience growing up in a business family. Don't get me wrong, I love it. So much so that I grew up telling everyone that I wanted to grow up to be my father's secretary, sitting in his chair that seemed like a throne back then. With that in the back of my mind and joining the board after turning 18, it has given me all the confidence that I need in order to continue into my higher studies.

As I am set to study Social Science in university, it will ideally give me a well rounded education which will open more than a few doors for the future. Even though it is nice to know that these doors represent other job opportunities, my passion truly lies here, in SQ.

Being a third cultured kid, it's fairly easy to pick up new languages, new perspectives and new opportunities, something I would love to bring to the table when I join SQ. I have had the privilege to learn English, Bengali, French, Arabic and even teaching myself a bit of Swedish. I've made my bed as a multilingual citizen, so now I have to lie in it.

If you look back I have painted a picture with the opening of "doors", the mention of a "chair", as well as use of a "bed" - the bare essentials of a home, just as I call SQ my home.

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Amira Faruq

As the youngest member of the family, my educational and vocational achievements are far fewer than everyone else's. Most significantly, I am yet to become a member of the board as a result of my age. Nonetheless, I doubt that anyone will deny that I have been more than forthcoming in voicing my opinion, no matter how controversial.

As my years in High School come to a close, the future of my education is fast approaching. While my vision differs greatly from that of my family's, I am still unsure about the path that I want to pursue. One thing that remains certain though is that whatever my future holds, will be ultimately decided by me.

In a business driven family, emotions and arguments can often get involved in our discussions. It is my determination and strong-will however, I believe will be my greatest attribute, if I am so privileged to contribute to SQ, in what is now still an uncertain future.

board

Click on individual board members to read what they have to say about SQ

Organogram

Distinctly corporate, the below structure broadly illustrates the hierarchy layout, business sharing and operational responsibilities of the Board and the Leadership teams of SQ Group.
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Chief Executive Officer : As an ambassador of the Group's core value and culture, the CEO sets expectations and holds others accountable for living the organizational values and culture in their respective areas.

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Core operations leaders : The core operations are commanded by the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of their respective business units. As breadwinners, these leaders work as a team and are jointly responsible for all activities from order taking to delivery and maintaining the desired profitability.

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Leverage teams : As the wind beneath the wings of core operations, the leverage teams serve the critical needs of all key business operations. Embedded with the core operations, these teams are a distinct competitive edge for the Group as well as the customers.

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Shared services groups : The corporate shared service is a strategic move to better support the business with consistent approach from a centralized place. As the business continues to expand and diversify and the Group gains experience, more standardization will take place and more sharing will follow.

organogram

Leadership Team

The leadership team consists of a strong combination of national and international recruits. It is designed to provide SQ the capacity necessary to profitably compete in global business. The team appreciates and enjoys the distinctive work environment created by the family in business.

ARUNA MUTHUMUNI
ARUNA MUTHUMUNI Chief Executive Officer
SQ Group
ALOKE BAGCHI
ALOKE BAGCHI Chief Financial Officer
SQ Group
WARISUL ABID
WARISUL ABID Chief People Officer
SQ Group
SENTHIL SELVAN
SENTHIL SELVAN Director, Operations
SQ Group
M. SARATH PADMASIRI
M. SARATH PADMASIRI Chief Operating Officer
SQ Hues Ltd
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