- Fourth Bohra Business Expo concludes successfully
By Venessa Anthony
The fourth season of the flagship business project of the Dawoodi Bohras of Sri Lanka, The Bohra Business Expo 2022, concluded on 27 November, with over 70 exhibitors and more than 2,500 visitors participating in this edition of the two-day event.
The expo was graced by former Sri Lankan cricketer Mahela Jayawardene, and hosted many notable personalities over the weekend.
The expo was an accelerator for business owners, who were able to network with potential suppliers, investors, and other stakeholders. Visitors had the opportunity to meet new suppliers and collaborate with vendors, who showcased traditional Bohra cuisine, garments and accessories, household goods, beauty and personal care, electronics, software solutions, and sports equipment.
The expo hosted more than 70 vendors from diverse fields with a special emphasis on women’s entrepreneurship. Commenting on the event, its chief organiser Nafisa Juzer stated: “In today’s highly competitive and complex world, business is no longer limited to selling goods, but about building relationships and providing meaningful solutions.”
He explained that for generations, the Dawoodi Bohra community in Sri Lanka has been at the forefront of the Sri Lankan business fraternity and plays a pivotal role in the lives of millions of Sri Lankans. With their entrance to the local business landscape in 1830, Bohra entrepreneurs started as traders and middlemen. Over the years, they have diversified into various industries, adapting their business models to the rapidly changing markets and demands of consumers, both local and overseas.
“Our expo aimed to facilitate this platform for entrepreneurs to expand their network and businesses while also exploring other growth avenues,” he added. The expo was indeed a place for those interested in discovering and exploring new business opportunities, while also gaining inspiration from and celebrating the success of the Sri Lankan business community.
JFT Group Director Rashida Abdulhussain, a vendor that took part in the expo, noted that since the very first Bohra Business Expo took place, he has had the privilege of having his business presence at the event.
“As the expo grew exponentially, my business grew along with it. This expo has brought me face to face with my market in a way that few other events or marketing channels can,” he said.
Taher Shabbir, who also participated in the expo as a vendor, added: “This expo has been taking place for a few years now and it has gotten bigger and better as the years have gone by. And just like the expo, the exhibitors have also grown throughout the years.”
A novel initiative in this edition of the Bohra Business Expo was the “Made in Sri Lanka” booth, which was the largest singular booth at the expo. It showcased over 15 businesses that exhibited their products manufactured in Sri Lanka for export and domestic use. These businesses ranged from traditional exports such as tea, to books authored by Sri Lankans.
On a closing note, Juzer added that the general consensus at the end of the event was that it had definitely been a really fun and unique experience. The visitors enjoyed browsing through different genres of business and interacting with the owners.
“The expo has had a lot to offer and we cannot wait to host it again next year,” he added.