About The Atlas Initiative

As a second-generation shipping company owner and ship owner as well, Asifur R. Chowdhury learned a lot from his father, Sanaullah Chowdhury. Sanaullah, a self-made man, worked his way through the shipping industry to become the Founder of Atlas Shipping and the first Bangladeshi Ocean-Going Vessel ship owner. Mr. Chowdhury did something that became in Asifur’s words, ‘his signature move.’ Whenever Sanaullah boarded a ship, instead of heading directly to the air-conditioned plush helm where most owners retreat (Asifur please change plush helm), Chowdhury senior would go “straight to the engine room.”

Dressed in his signature business attire of pressed starched white dress shirt and pants, Mr. Chowdhury would inspect the engine room, the heart of the ship, and know the ship’s condition just by looking at the engine room’s appearance and sound of the ship’s engines. He did not need to talk to engineers, he knew from his many years of experience as a shipping company man.

As a boy, Asifur always studied his father’s way of doing business and began working by his side as soon as he was old enough. Even after receiving his Master’s Degree in International Shipping and working independently to expand Atlas Shipping through Asia, opening up its Singapore office, Asifur always ‘goes straight to the engine room,’ going to the heart of the matter when working on a project or solving a problem. He still does this today and that’s why he is launching the Atlas Initiative, to address the challenges of man-made sea and sea air pollution.
Asifur’s fascination with the sea began years ago. He was inspired by his father’s passion for shipping and his leadership that transformed Atlas Shipping Lines Ltd, a pioneer private sector shipping company into a major player in the industry. Sanaullah’s passion and knowledge passed to the next generation. 

Going out on his own with the blessing of his family, Asifur founded Seatrek Trans Pte, Ltd in 1999. Along the way, Asifur has become a ship owner as well, adding to his charter fleet.

The challenges his father faced are different than the challenges of today. Modern day ship owners are blessed in that as long as they are a competitively priced, quality provider of shipping services, they have a good chance of participating in the global growth of ocean shipping. This well documented perpetual growth is grounded in the fact that world trade is ever on the rise and ocean shipping is its engine.

The Atlas Initiative was created by Asifur and dedicated to his father.
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The Atlas Initiative focuses on the Bangladesh Marine Academy and the Country’s Shipbreaking Industry. Dedicated to the Memory of Sanaullah Chowdhury, Founder of Atlas Shipping