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Rezaul Islam

Head of Marketing, Bangladesh

People And Stories
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Rezaul Islam

In most organisations, ‘going global’ takes its time - but at BAT, it’s built in our DNA, it is there from the day we start. In my case, I was given the chance to start quite early - from business development in my home market in Bangladesh to a manager of one of our global brands in Iran. I was tested not just because it was a different culture and way of doing things, but also to get my voice heard across the table as well.

After my time in Tehran, I moved onto Pakistan as Area brand manager, straight into the driving seat of the biggest brand changeover in the market. The time there was not just one of extending my boundaries professionally, but on a personal level as well, a true test of resilience. Two years in Pakistan was followed by Japan, a vastly different market context - unlike any I had seen before - I was pleasantly surprised to find out how I could settle in with an ease. 

In the decade, across three dynamic markets, I had the opportunity to truly grow and reach out beyond my home market in Bangladesh, and was glad that I could contribute after coming back, having these experiences under my belt. The biggest lesson I took away from all of this was that resilience comes in all forms, and is actually tested once you really go beyond your comfort zone, change your surroundings and take the challenges head on. Only then can you make the world your own.