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Become An Entrepreneur To Change People’s Lives For The Better

Kazi Helal Ahmed
Founder, President & CEO
of International Finance & Development
Corporation (IFDC), New York

 

Kazi Helal Ahmed is a highly reputed and experienced finance entrepreneur involved in the non-banking financial institution industry, and particularly in the international project financing and private equity investment arena. He is the Founder, President & CEO of International Finance & Development Corporation (IFDC), a New York City based global finance and diversified private equity investment firm.

Kazi Helal Ahmed was born in a respectable educated family in Brahmanbaria district of Bangladesh. His father’s name is late Kazi Abul Hashem and mother Johara Begum. He was meritorious from his childhood. After completing SSC from Brahmanbaria High School and HSC from Brahmanbaria College, he was enrolled to the Department of Economics at the University of Dhaka. He completed his post-graduate degree in Economics from the University of Utah in Saltlake City Utah, in the United States, and then received an MBA in Finance from Cambridge University.

Ever since the days of his youth, Mr. Ahmed was highly ambitious with the goal of becoming a successful businessperson one day. He worked hard to achieve his goal and became an indomitable entrepreneur in his youth. As a creative and talented young man, Mr. Ahmed ventured into the business world, ignoring various lucrative job offers. He always believed that even though it is possible to improve one’s life by working in a lucrative job, it is possible to improve the lives of many others by creating employment opportunities and providing innovative goods and services to improve the lives of consumers via setting up and operating a successful business. With this philosophy in mind, this talented and visionary young man started his journey as an entrepreneur by starting his first business in New York City in 1989; He purchased a Gift & Candy Shop in the heart of Time Square, Manhattan, New York City. There is a common saying that “Times Square never sleeps”, and thus, the shop was open 24 hours. In 1990, he purchased City Department Store, a 5000 sqft department store in the Bronx.

In 1992, Mr. Ahmed started a garments buying house in New York and started an import, wholesale and distribution business. At the same time, his family friend, Walid Ahmed, also started a garments buying house business in New York. The two were likely the first Bangladeshi Americans to promote the Bangladesh garments sector in the United States by setting up such garment buying house businesses in New York City. Additionally, Mr. Ahmed also set up a garments buying house in Dhaka to take care of his garments orders. At that time, the concept of a “garments buying house” was new in Bangladesh.

 

At the time, most American buyers did not know about the Bangladesh garments industry. In fact, many did not even know where Bangladesh was on a map. Thus, Mr. Ahmed often took the world map with him to show  the location of Bangladesh on the world map to his buyers. He was able to persuade many top American buyers and convinced them to purchase garments from Bangladesh  including S. Rothschild & Company (one of the largest Outwear-Jackets buyers in USA who owned many top licenses and brands), Age Group (one of the largest women Sleepwear and undergarments buyers in USA who owns many top licenses of top brands), Weatherproof Garments Company (a leading outerwear company a top outerwear brand), Daron Fashion, Free Country, and many more, and his products sold in many of the nation’s top chain departmental stores including Macy’s, JCPenny, Kohl’s, Walmart, Sears, Kmart, BJ and many other chain department stores. He produced for many top branded garments including Disney, Polo Ralph Lauren, US Polo, Hello Kitty, Flora Nikrooz, London Fog, Amerex, and Weatherproof etc. Through his buying house, his American buyers bought large quantities of garments from Bangladesh worth over billions of dollars.

Richard Adjmi, a well-respected leader within the Sephardic Jewish community and CEO of the Age Group, more commonly known as Richie, was the first buyer of Kazi Helal Ahmed’s garments business. Age Group was among those buyers who were buying garments from Bangladesh back when Bangladesh garments industry started its journey. Kazi Helal Ahmed later developed a close friendship with Richie and they eventually became business partners. Richie and Kazi formed Kingstone Development Company, a joint-venture real estate investment & development company, in which Kazi Helal Ahmed was the President & CEO. The firm has successfully developed and sold multiple residential and commercial buildings, retail shopping centers and some of NYC’s most aesthetic multi-family homes in some of the city’s most affluent neighborhoods.

Richie’s family known in New York as the famous “Adjmi Family”, is known as an influential and wealthy NYC-based family. The Adjmi family is leading the fashion industry, real estate and retail industry in New York and all over USA. Through Richard Adjmi, Kazi Ahmed  developed a strong relationship with the Sephardic Jewish business community and various other influential business communities in New York City and built up partnerships in various large scale business ventures with them.

In 1998, he set up a garment industry in New York named Monarch Garments. After a year of operation in 36th Avenue, Astoria, he moved Monarch Garments to Manhattan’s Garment District. He made many top branded garments locally in New York, as well as in Bangladesh.

In 2001, Kazi Helal Ahmed founded International Finance & Development Corporation (IFDC), in which he also serves as President & CEO. Mr. Ahmed was always passionate about the private equity investment and international project financing industry. He believed that via building a financial institution, it would be possible to build strong relationships and cooperate with many private and Governmental institutions across the world and create large amounts of employment and economic opportunities via providing the appropriate financing for large projects to flourish. IFDC is a private financing company approved by the New York State Banking Department and has authorized representatives in more than 50 countries worldwide.

 

IFDC and its affiliates invest in various industries including hydroelectric power, wind and solar power, gas & oil, government infrastructure projects, housing sector development, student housing, hotels and resorts etc. The company has extensive experience in capital management and large-scale infrastructure projects funding worldwide, particularly in projects valued at 100 million to 10 billion USD. Kazi Helal Ahmed has tirelessly been working to expand the group’s funding activities globally.

Additionally, Kazi Helal Ahmed made a JV partnership with one of the nation’s largest hotel groups in the United States. Pacific Pearl Hotels (PPH) Mgt formerly, known as American Property Management Corporation (APMC), is a JV company of IFDC. PPH/APMC is one of the top 10 ranked and leading hotel management groups in North America. PPH has acquired over $3 billion USD of hotels and resorts throughout the U.S., Spain, and Mexico since its inception. PPH currently owns and operates 35 hotel properties encompassing over 6,500 rooms throughout the United States. In addition to a successful network of independent hotels, boutique properties and resorts, PPH’s hotel flags have included Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt Regency, Le Meridien, Double Tree by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Radisson, Crown Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton,  La Quinta, Best Western, Park Plaza, and Country Inn & Suites.

In addition to large-scale project financing, IFDC also participates in small to mid-size business finance solutions via one of its portfolio companies, IFDC-Capital Funding, in which Mr. Ahmed serves as its President & CEO.

Mr. Ahmed is also the Chairman and CEO of Prime Industries USA Inc. Prime Industries is a New York based U.S. FDA registered manufacturer of antibacterial products such as antibacterial hand sanitizer, antibacterial hand soap, antibacterial dish detergent and antibacterial all-purpose cleaner.

In 2001, he founded Millennium Holdings Ltd., a JV hotel investment and development company in Bangladesh. He persuaded Hilton Hotels Corporation to open Dhaka Hilton Hotel and he signed a 20-year hotel management contract with Hilton to manage and operate Dhaka Hilton Hotel.

Mr. Ahmed is married to Sabina Kazi. They are a happy couple residing in New York City and are the proud parents of their son, Jamie Kazi. Jamie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Pace University located in Downtown Manhattan. Jamie leads a career in public policy and politics and is considered a rising star in New York’s Democratic Party. In 2017, he was nominated for the Manhattan Demmy Award as “Young Democrat of the Year”. Jamie currently holds the position of Legislative Director at the office of New York State Assembly member, Hon. David Werpin, and was formerly the Deputy Legislative Director at the office of New York City Councilmember, Hon. Adrienne Adams, and Treasurer of the Manhattan Young Democrats.

Kazi Helal Ahmed says, “to achieve something, one has to dream first and then work hard to materialize it in a planned way.” Kazi Helal Ahmed is a legendary entrepreneurial personality and has contributed to revolutionizing the investment and project finance sector in various countries around the world. Mr. Ahmed is proud to be Bangladeshi-American and believes that Bangladeshi immigrants are a “bridge” between the two countries. He is also optimistic about the economic prosperity of Bangladesh.

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