News | Thursday, 27th July 2017
Entrepreneur Iqbal Ahmed OBE receives honorary doctorate
Recognition for his contribution to business and regeneration
Entrepreneur and business magnate Iqbal Ahmed OBE has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree by Manchester Metropolitan University.
Iqbal was recognised for his outstanding achievements in business and his significant contribution to the economy and regeneration of Manchester and Bangladesh.
He is the founder of Seamark, one of Europe’s leading processors, exporters and distributors of frozen food products.
Iqbal shared his remarkable story at the graduation ceremony at the Bridgewater Hall on Wednesday (July 26), from when he came to the UK as a teenager after fleeing war to becoming a leading entrepreneur.
Today, he has built Seamark into a business with a turnover of more than £60 million, supplying seafood to some of Europe’s largest retailers, with national and international operations in the UK, Europe, Asia and the USA.
He told graduates how much he valued education and had encouraged his children to study at university. Additionally, he rebuilt and supports a school in the village in Bangladesh in which he grew up.
Iqbal said: “Congratulations to all the graduates for their achievement. Today is a big day for all of the parents, professors, lecturers and the members of the University who have all been involved in this long journey.
“As an entrepreneur, business has not always been good but I never gave up, instead I took those times to challenge me, to work harder. They are experiences that made me wiser.
“Before you become successful, expect a fall, but you can always get up. Hard work does not always grant you success but success is always a result of hard work - and not being afraid of getting your hands dirty. Success is also a measure by the number of people who you have helped to create wealth and make themselves successful.”
He added: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you are to live forever.”
Iqbal was born in Sylhet in Bangladesh, before coming to the UK at the age of 15. In addition to his success with Seamark, Iqbal owns Manchester restaurant Vermilion and its wedding hall venue, The Vermilion Hall.
Iqbal is actively involved in organisations across Manchester, the North West region and Bangladesh.
As one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs, Iqbal received an OBE for services to international trade in recognition of his significant achievements in 2001. He is also involved in many charitable activities in the UK and Bangladesh.