I was born and raised in a family in India where the smell of Agar oil permeates our household. My father raised us through his passion for the Aquilaria trees, its products and by-products. Aquilaria trees and agar wood is imbedded in my soul and I am grateful for it.

I have learned to love the business and the operation of L.A.I.D. Agar wood concerns pervade my thoughts throughout the day. I tend to identify myself with the agar tree.

The company supports the move to preserve the eco­system. We have launched the “Giving Back to Nature” program, which aims to plant one million agarwood trees in Lao P.D.R. As of this present moment 450,000 agar­wood trees has been planted out of the total 1,000,000 agarwood trees. In accordance with the two programmes HSMM group of Companies jointly organized the First Agarwood Development Conference with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Lao PDR. The company is giving away the plant seedling for free to the farmers to plant on their land with a buy back guarantee to improve their livelihood. It would serve to replenish the forest, create employment opportunities for the people and boost the economy of the region.

We have commenced operations for a perfume factory that we expect to launch this year. We see an increasing demand for perfumes in Lao P.D.R, and we will be the first to fulfill this demand. By next year, we expect to export our product to the Middle East, Russia and South Africa.

 The agarwood scent has deep religious significance that transcends into various religions. In the Song of Songs it is the original tree in the Garden of Eden; in the New Testament, the perfume was used to embalm the body of Jesus Christ; in the Koran it is called the scent of paradise.

 Though being youngest family member, it did not stop me from discovering my own niche in our business. With the help and blessings of my brother, Habib Mohammed Chowdhury, I carved my own world in the agar wood and agar wood- products business. I am humbled by our achievement. L.A.I.D is now one of the biggest agar wood and agar wood-products processing and manufac­turing businesses in the South East Asian region.

 We could not achieve our success without the sup­port and untiring help from the people that surround us. My home, the factory, from the smallest member of the L.A.I.D to the most important stakeholders of the HSMM Group, to them all we owe our success.

 L.A.I.D offers opportunities of employment for people of various nationalities. We have wiped national bound­aries and language barriers. We contributed to raising revenues of Lao PDR since 1999, and provided assis­tance in research and technology on agar wood and agar wood-products to farmers and businessmen. As a result, we have been privileged to represent Lao PDR in many trade symposiums and showcases.

 I will remain in humble service for the L.A.I.D family and Lao PDR, which I consider my second home.

Soukthavy Chowdhury (Sadik)

Vice Chairman

HSMM Group of Companies