What it does: pharmaceuticals, agribusiness, consumer brands and commodity products, and retail stores.
Best known for: Advanced Chemical Industries is a diversified conglomerate in Bangladesh and the first to obtain ISO 9001 certification.
Staff stats: More than 9,000 employees.
The good bits: You can negotiate the salary for entry-level roles such as a quality control officer. A management position such as an area sales manager is possible for someone as young as 22 years old.
The not so good bits: The company doesn’t accept female applicants for certain positions. ACI also observes an age limit for some advertised vacancies, which usually disqualifies applicants who are over 30 to 38 years old.
Hiring grads with top marks in: Chemistry and Pharmacy; Accounting and Finance; Communications and Media; Development Studies; Human Resources; Business and Marketing.
Advanced Chemical Industries was founded in 1973 as ICI Bangladesh Manufacturers Ltd after the independence of Bangladesh. The company went public on the Dhaka Stock Exchange in 1976 and adopted the current name by 1992. Three years later, the group listed on the Chittagong Stock Exchange. ACI’s primary business aspects include the following:
ACI manufactures more than 380 products and markets global pharmaceuticals including Arimidex, Atarax, Casodex and Zoladex. The company also engages in the research and development of ‘newer molecules and Novel Drug Delivery Systems’. The group also accomplished a milestone in 1995 when it became the first company in the country to acquire ISO 9001 certification. ACI subsequently obtained EMS 14001 certification in 2000.
ACI Agribusiness oversees the conglomerate’s investments in agriculture, fisheries and livestock. The business unit consists of five smaller divisions comprising animal health, crop care and public health, fertiliser, motors and seeds.
The business division consists of ACI Aerosol and Savlon, the two leaders with an estimated 80 per cent market share of the consumer goods industry. ACI partnered with ‘Dabur India’ and ‘Tetley UK’ to maintain its market-leading position. The company also operates in the commodity food business under its ‘ACI Pure’ brand.
Graduates should register on the company’s career website by creating an account or submitting their CVs. Provide the necessary details and make sure to log in before applying for full-time job listings. ACI accepts interns and you need to complete a form to be considered for an internship. If you don’t see any vacancies, you can still submit your CV for future consideration.
Those in entry-level roles such as quality control officers can advance into an executive position in the quality operations unit. However, you need to have a Master of Pharmacy in Pharmacy or a Master of Science in Applied Chemistry, Biochemistry or Chemistry. The executive role also requires candidates to be not more than 30 years old, which means that you can advance within the company within a few years.
You can also pursue management roles such as the role of area sales manager, even if you’re only 22 years old. A BBA or an MBA will work to your advantage to be considered for this position. An assistant management role also requires a BBA or an MBA in accounting or finance. ACI prefers candidates with CA, ACCA or CFA qualifications.
ACI pays interns an average of BDT 4,000 to BDT 5,000 per month. Median monthly salaries for executives and business analysts range from BDT 24,000 to BDT 26,000. Functional heads earn between BDT 310,000 and BDT 330,000 on average per month.
The company’s preference to hire men for some jobs indicate an uneven ratio between male and female workers. This disparity suggests that there might be more opportunities for men to advance their careers with ACI.
However, the group practises a ‘value-based culture’ that prioritises every employee’s growth and development. ACI encourages employees to achieve their career objectives based on SMART+C principles. These guidelines consist of ‘Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound & Challenging’ goals for every employee.
ACI’s peers in the conglomerate sector include A K Khan & Company, Akij, Ananda Group and Beximco.
The company’s subsidiary, ACI Logistics Ltd, became the subject of an inquiry by the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) in 2019. DSE wanted to find out the reason behind ACI Logistics’ business losses over 10 years from its establishment, which have reportedly affected the conglomerate’s profitability.
DSE then formed a five-member panel to address complaints lodged by different entities, including the Dhaka Bank Securities, according to the stock exchange. ACI Logistics operates the largest grocery store chain in Bangladesh with more than 60 branches. The subsidiary’s losses have reached BDT 18.71 billion since 2008.
Female applicants have limited opportunities to join ACI, but an impressive academic history and extensive work experience can boost their chances of employment. A promotion seems achievable before you turn 30 years old, which is perfect for those with age-related timelines for their careers. However, graduates should consider pursuing further education to outshine their peers. You should do this while you’re still young due to the age limit for some positions.