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Thursday, July 5, 2007

Fairs, fair fairs, fair fear, farewell fairs...

'Baro mash tero parboner desh Bangladesh', we had long been the land of mosques and NGOs and festivals and now we are the land of fairs as well. Windmill is going to arrange 'All University Fair 2007' on 5-7th July at BCFCC Dhaka. Who are we going to have as 'traders' in the fair? International not universities but their 'representatives', local universities, recognized (!) institutions and foreign education 'counseling' centres. So we are going to have a whole bunch of representatives and counselors to showcase once again how education industry is a booming lucrative market--moneywise. Quality of education? Authenticity? Job prospects? well well well....I am asking too much am I not? Just get yourself enrolled in the British American University of Chittagong, Dhaka Branch located at Kalabagan where you will have to spend two years of your student life in Penang, Malaysia too and finally graduate as an international graduate. So much eyewash to milk that money out of your dad's pocket!

Tale of another fair...sorry..they labeled it as 'Mart'...'Annual Financial Mart' be held in Dhaka in end August. Who can participate? Banks, NBFIs, Stock Exchanges, Allied industries etc. The objective is to promote various types of financial products offered by the companies. This is supposedly to be something first of its kind in Bangladesh. The 'Mart' will be arranged by a company called White Shark Communications. I wonder why they call themselves White Sharks...are the White Sharks the deadliest under sea? and our friends want to become the deadliest on ground...w.r.t. event management industry? Well, they know better. But I wish this fair a success as I believe it will help create awareness about different financial instruments available in Bangladesh. But when there is too much of the same thing, we become confused and need to compare to take an informed decision. Windmillers and White Sharks, can you offer us a mechanism by which we can compare what the traders are going to offer at the fair? I know we have to do a bit of window shopping, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to compare among universities in terms of their number of faculties, facilities, research strength, campus placement rates, courses taught, costs etc. and compare among FIs/NBFIs regarding their huge array of financial products? Think about it.

So from 'shui to submarine' we are in the line of arranging fairs for everything under the sun. Good for city dwellers, the couple can have a day out with the kids, collecting pamphlets, brochures as they loiter around stalls, eat hawai mithai, sip coke and go back home with a handful of leaflets (later to be dumped into the round folder in the corner of the room). Good for Windmills and White Sharks, Black Sharks and other creatures under/above the sea, they make some good bucks and make a name for themselves. Who will make sure that the true target audience is reached and they are genuinely benefited from fairs such as these?

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