After completing his education in Civil Engineering, Noman Shaikat started off his business of building bicycles, something that he was always passionate about. Keeping the flexibility, durability and budget friendliness in mind, he experimented with making a bicycle out of jute fibre. His efforts did not go in vein, as he succeeded in innovating the environmentally-friendly vehicle in 2016. The bicycle will not only help the rider in terms of budget and comfort, but also generate domestic business for the country. “Bicycles made out of jute are extremely light. As a result, they are comfortable to ride,” asserts Noman. “I made the bicycle out of my own curiosity and I believe that it can be the pride of our country in the international market.”
Earlier, Noman opened up a workshop where bicycles are repaired and customised. “The idea of starting a bicycle workshop came to me when someone misbehaved with me at a repairing centre,” says Noman. “I initiated my workshop Bikesmith with the thought that we can provide better services with well-behaved workers.”
According to Noman, most good quality bicycles are made of aluminium, steel and carbon fibres, which are quite expensive. While carbon fibres make bicycles lighter, high quality aluminium and steel often have to be imported to Bangladesh from other countries. Carbon fibres are made by only four companies in the world. At the same time, these products have negative impacts on the environment. Keeping those facts in mind, Noman wanted to switch to something that is easily available and budget friendly.
He has made two jute fibre bicycles till now and participated in the second season of the television reality show, Udbhaboker Khoje. The programme is an initiative of Channel i, in association with a2i. “I want to get the vehicle patented first. Then, it will need to go through some tests. After that, I will approach investors in national and international platforms to make more jute fibre bicycles,” shares Noman. “I believe this eco-friendly vehicle will be useful for farmers, and bike enthusiasts, both environmentally and economically.” In addition, Noman hopes to continue making customised bicycles.