|Current region||Chittagong, Bangladesh|
|Members||Haji Mohammed Hashem |
Mirza Ahmad Ispahani
Mirza Mehdy Ispahani
Mirza Ali Behrouze Ispahani
Mirza Abol Hassan Ispahani
The Ispahani family are a Perso-Bengali business family in Bangladesh which owns and manages the Ispahani Group, one of the country's leading conglomerates. Originally hailing from Isfahan, Iran, the family have been settled in Bengal for more than a century.
Haji Mohammed Hashim (1789–1850) the founder of Ispahani group, moved from Ispahan (Isfahan) origins from ancient Ispadana in Persia to Bombay in 1820 and established the business. The family subsequently expanded to include a broad range of businesses stretching from Bombay in the west, to Madras in the south and Burma in the east which until 1937 was part of British India. Mirza Abu Talib Ispahani visited England from the sub-continent in 1799, and the family have maintained a presence and properties in Richmond, London, UK. Many of their descendants were educated at English private schools and top universities in UK.
His grandson Haji Mirza Mehdy Ispahani (1841–1913) moved the corporate headquarters to Madras. He also spent twelve years in Cairo expanding his trade - leather, tea, turmeric; tamarind, peanuts and other produce of India. He opened a branch office in Dhaka in 1888. His son Mirza Mohamed Ispahani (1871–1925) established the Calcutta office of MM Ispahani & Sons in 1900, when a branch office was also established in London.
Mirza Ahmad Ispahani (1898–1986) eldest son of Mirza Mohamed Ispahani joined the partnership in 1918 and established the private limited company, M.M. Ispahani Limited in 1934 in Calcutta along with his younger brothers Mirza Abol Hassan Ispahani and Haji Mirza Mahmood Ispahani. The final move was made in 1947 with the shifting of the corporate headquarters to Chittagong in the newly created East Pakistan where it stands today. The Company continued to operate as a foreign company in Calcutta until 1965 when its operations in India were taken over by the Indian Government.
It was under the visionary leadership of Mirza Ahmad Ispahani that the company rapidly expanded its business. By 1947, MM Ispahani Limited was a large exporter of shellac, kapok, hessian, jute bags, tea and chemicals. In 1948 Mirza Ahmad Ispahani left the family business for public service in Pakistan (which included what is now Bangladesh).
His son Mirza Mehdy Ispahani (a.k.a. Sadri Ispahani) born in 1923, was made chairman of M.M. Ispahani Limited in 1949 and remained in that post until he died in 2004, when his son Mirza Ali Behrouze Ispahani was elected chairperson of M.M. Ispahani Limited and its sister concerns.
The company now has corporate offices in Chittagong, Dhaka and Khulna where it employs over 20,000 people in many sectors such as tea, textile, real estate, crisps, poultry, shipping and internet services.
- Chatterji, Joya (1994). Bengal Divided: Hindu Communalism and Partition, 1932-1947. Cambridge University Press. p. 80. ISBN 0-521-52328-1.
- "The four winners of Bangladesh Business Awards 2003". The Daily Star. 2004-03-20. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
- "Mirza Mehdy Ispahani passes away". The Daily Star. 2004-01-21. Retrieved 2008-02-10.