A returnee migrant spending five years on food study-cum-working in food factories in Cyprus, an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean has ventured a business at rural area in Bangladesh with experience gathered abroad.
With practical skills and strong internal willingness, the golden son of the land has introduced fast foods with exotic taste and flavours for the local consumers.
The brand restaurant ‘Wrap & Roll’ is now capable enough to prepare 35 varieties of various fast foods and snakes with Greek, Italian and Indian styles at Bhagalpur, Bajitpur in Kishoreganj district, about 100 kilometers away from the capital city of Bangladesh.
The consumers range from the staff of the government and non-government organizations to the doctors, medical students and pupils of local high school and collages.
Noton Khan, the pioneered entrepreneur returnee migrant, has been managing Food shop since 2010 with dedication to gradually improve his enterprise.
He had obtained the diploma in food and hotel management by completing 30 month study and worked in various restaurants more 30 months in Cyprus. Backed home in 2008, he tried to run restaurant at Elephant road but could not sustain.
Later he opened fast food shop in his own locality in Bhagalpur and gradually improved the business.
Apart from 35 varieties of fast food items including Sandwich, Burger, Snake, he sells Cold Coffee in last winter. Greek, Italian and Indian styles of fast foods are available at the café.
Noton Khan, father of six year old child and husband of a government school teacher, cherishes a future plan to open school to educate educated youths how to be self employed by own initiatives.
In Cyprus, he had good and bad days returned home with vast experiences, innovative skills and hard-earned remittances. The returnee migrant has been contributing to the nation.
During his times spent in Nicosia, the capital city and its adjacent areas, as inexperienced migrant at oversea destination he had to gather knowledge about exotic people, food, culture and languages.
Mr Noton was born with surname Khan at famous Khan Bari, at Bajitpur in Kishoreganj.
At the age of 29, he had migrated to Cyprus with student visa intending to study Hotel Management. As foreign student he was taught Greek and English as foundation course.
Overcoming many obstacles, he finally started for Cyprus in March of 2003 when Gulf war was going on. After landing in Nicosia airport, he found that brokers of different colleges were receiving their selected students from Bangladesh and receiving two semester tuitions in cash.
There was port entry visa in Cyprus and Bangladeshi many students were found entering the country with study purpose, he said.
So-call Boro Bhai (brokers) helped the newcomers to get admitted at colleges in Cyprus, he said.
“I did not get time to phone at home informing my reach,’ he said, adding that March month was the Winter in Cyprus and temperature was felt Minus 4 degree.
“Over a week I reached in Cyprus, my known person came to visit me as he was busy with jobs to survive and did not have enough time.”
He took me at a fast food restaurant and fed me a "toasted sandwich."
"The rented (mess) room where I would stay was places for 22 persons. All of them were students engaged with odd jobs to continue their studies."
By turn the inmates were bound to cook foods and were asked to bring essential cooking materials from market which was little bit away from the dormitory. "One Day I was bound to cook rice for 22 people."
As all of the money with me was already spent, the time demanded to earn money to live, he explained.
‘I found a Sri Lankan Lady who helped to find jobs at Farms in the remote village in the host country.”
“The job in the farm meant that working in the place where big sized goats were reared and cared.”
“My job was destined to clean excreta of the exotic goats, he said adding that he was able to earn 30 pounds in three days.
He could properly understand that earning money overseas was too hard.
By working a week in the village in Cyprus from planting tomato saplings to goat caring, he had to earn 140 pounds, a big amount for him as newcomer. He found that in Rural Cyprus Jobs were very hard and local people were not usually doing such works. Student migrants were hired to do such odd jobs.
Later Noton Khan found jobs in the grape orchard and was able to spend time with the Cyprus family, he said. It was a fine time for him.
In overcoming odd days, he was able to manage part time job in ice-cream factory in Nicosia. He was dedicated and promised himself that working in Greek Fast Food shop, he would not leave it until he became a Chef.
“In my Cyprus life no job leaves me rather I had to leave many jobs to change and get better one,’
With an interview with Migrationnewsbd.com, he made an unrest appeal to the government to set targrt to send more skilled workers abroad by providing proper training and turning them competent for foreign jobs.
‘Bangladeshi unskilled workers get wages half of the skilled workers from Philippines,’ he observed.