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Wednesday, October 31, 2007
দেশের দক্ষিন-পশ্চিমাঞ্চলে যাতায়াতের একটি অন্যতম গুরুত্বপূর্ণ বাহন হচ্ছে লঞ্চ। এই লঞ্চ দিয়ে প্রতিদিন হাজার হাজার মানুষ যাতায়াত করছে। যে কারনে এই লঞ্চ গুলো বিজ্ঞাপনের একটি বিশাল মাধ্যম হতে পারে corporate company গুলোর জন্য। শহর এলাকার বিভিন্ন বাসে কিন্তু আমরা বিভিন্ন corporate company-র দৃষ্টি নন্দিত বিজ্ঞাপন পরিলক্ষিত করি। যা ভোক্তাদের হৃদয়ে খুবই কোমল ছোঁয়া দিয়ে যায়। বর্তমানে দক্ষিন-পশ্চিমাঞ্চলে লঞ্চগুলো এত বিশাল সাইজে রুপ নিয়েছে, এক একটাকে সমুদ্রগামী জাহাজের মতোই মনে হয়। আর তাই এসব বিশাল আকার লঞ্চে বিজ্ঞাপন দিলে ভোক্তাদের চোখে খুব সহজেই দৃষ্টিগোচর হবে। জানিনা কেন এত দিনেও মাধ্যমটি কোন কোম্পানীর চোখে পড়েনি। বা এক্ষেত্রে বিজ্ঞাপনে সরকারি কোন বিধি-নিষেধ আছে কিনা তাও আমার জানা নেই। থাকলে ভিন্ন কথা। আর যদি না থাকে তবে corporate company-গুলো তাদের পন্যের বিজ্ঞপনের জন্য এ মাধ্যমটি ব্যবহার করলে আমার মনে হয় তারা একটি খুবই positive result পাবে।
Monday, October 29, 2007
আমাদের দেশে পৃষ্ঠপোষকতার বড় অভাব। আর সেই অভাবের মাত্রাটা সাহিত্য অঙ্গনে একটু প্রকট ভাবেই পরিলক্ষিত হয়। সাহিত্যিকরা যে পৃষ্ঠপোষকতা পাচ্ছে না তা নয়। পাচ্ছে, তবে তা কিঞ্চিত পরিমানে। আর যাওবা পাচ্ছে তা শুধু প্রতিষ্ঠিত সাহিত্যিকরাই। আর এক্ষেত্রে শুধুমাত্র এগিয়ে আসছে প্রকাশকরাই। সাহিত্যিকদের পৃষ্ঠপোষকতা করার দায়-দায়িত্ব কি শুধুমাত্র প্রকাশকদেরই, আর কারো নয়?
এই সাহিত্যিকরাই তো জাতিকে উজ্জিবিত করে, জাতির বিবেককে জাগিয়ে তোলে, দেশকে মুক্তির পথ দেখায়, আলোর পথ দেখায়। আমরা কী ভুলে গেছি আমাদের অতীতের কথা? আশা করি ভুলিনি। দেশের বিগত বিভিন্ন গণআন্দোলনে যেখানে সাহিত্যিকরাই ছিলো অগ্রগণ্য। অথচ আজ সেই সাহিত্য সমাজই অবহেলিত।
আর এই অবহেলিত সাহিত্য সমাজকে পৃষ্ঠপোষকতার দায়-দায়িত্ব প্রকাশকদের পাশাপাশি দেশের Corporate company গুলো কি নিতে পারে না? Corpoarte company গুলোতো আজকাল অনেক চলচ্চিত্র, টিভি নাটক, মিউজিক এ্যালবাম ইত্যাদি বের করছে। তাহলে কেন একটি বই বের করতে পৃস্ঠপোষকতা করতে পারবে না corporate company-গুলো? একটি বই প্রকাশ করতে যদি কোন corporate company পৃস্ঠপোষতা করে, তবে এর দ্বারা তো তাদের Brand image -ও বেড়ে যাচ্ছে। কারণ,তাদের কোম্পানীর নাম বইয়ে যাবে। তারপর company গুলো যদি তাদের লগ্নীকৃত অর্থের দিকটা চিন্তা করেন, তবে সেক্ষেত্রে কোম্পানীগুলো তাদের প্রকাশিত বইটি কোন প্রকাশকের কাছে বিক্রি করে দিতে পারে বা বইটি বিক্রির জন্য মিডিয়ায় প্রচারনা চালাতে পারে ইত্যাদি। তাই আমার মনে হয়না এই পৃস্ঠপোষতার কারনে খুব একটা ক্ষতির সম্মখীন হবে corporate company গুলো। মাঝখানে সাহিত্যিকরা কিছুটা উপকৃত হবে। তাছাড়া এটা কোম্পানীগুলোর Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) এর মাঝেই পরে। আর এই পৃষ্ঠাপোষতার ছোঁয়ায় আমাদের রুগ্ন সাহিত্য সমাজ আবার ফুলে-ফেঁপে উঠতে পারবে বলে আমার বিশ্বাস। তখন সাহিত্যকে পেশা হিসেবে বেছে নিতে এগিয়ে আসবে নতুনরা বা অপেশাদারীরা। আর এক্ষেত্রে পৃস্ঠপোষতার জন্য প্রথম প্রথম এগিয়ে আসতে হবে কিছু Recognized corporate company কে।
আমার এই লেখাটি পড়ে যদি কোন corporate company সাহিত্যিকদের পৃস্ঠপোষতায় এগিয়ে আসে, তবেই আমার এ লেখাটি স্বার্থক হয়েছে বলে মনে করব।
The author can be reached at: email@example.com
Sunday, October 28, 2007
It seems everybody is obsessed with the stock market these days.
Recent media reports have been trying to raise caution, with reason, about the current bullish trend in the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE).
Much of financial news media focuses on the behavior of stock market prices, so perhaps it’s understandable that people believe that stock market prices are a reflection of real economic performance. However, one thing must be made abundantly clear: the stock market is not, repeat not, the economy (sometimes referred to as the “real” economy) and vice versa. The DSE is not necessarily a barometer of the state of our economy, nor does either one necessarily dictate or inform the other. There is no direct cause and effect relationship between the two. In fact, most of the time, the relationship between the two is at best unpredictable and cannot be reasonably ascertained.
This has important implications for policy makers, market managers, and individual investors. For policy makers, there needs to be a clear appreciation between policies that stimulate the economy and policies that stimulate the market. Even developed nations have made muddled policy decisions by conflating the two.
It is worrying to see journalists, analysts, policy makers, and university professors sometimes muddying the issue rather than clarifying it, getting us all caught in a further web of confusion.
In a developed economy with established and accessible capital markets, one could tentatively hold the proposition that stock market movements may be a leading indicator of what the economy might do in the future since stock prices are determined by supply and demand forces that are dictated by large numbers of informed people who are essentially making a bet on the future performance of a company in the context of the real economy. Therefore, the general stock index of the DSE, the DGEN, is an indicator of the expectations of financial capital, but it moves up and down for a variety of reasons, the majority of which often have nothing to do with the profitability or productivity of the underlying enterprises represented by the stocks (e.g., international trade forces like garment export quotas, etc.) or economic forces like the price of oil.
But we don’t have a developed economy. And our stock market is comparatively small, with a handful of companies that probably account for the majority of the stock turnover each day. Therefore the price movements of a few companies lead to large swings in the aggregate index of the DSE. I’m guessing that the top 10 or 20 companies, or certain volatile sectors like banking or construction, might account for as much as 50% of the turnover on an average day. Furthermore, most of the trading volume is probably due to institutional investors (e.g., banks) looking to get rid of excess capital liquidity. I have no data on this, just a gut feeling.
Also, while I again don’t have the hard data to prove it, I would venture a safe guess that the publicly traded corporate sector (i.e., those that have floated shares on the market) contribute significantly less to national income than the non-corporate sector. By which I mean: agriculture (which contributes upwards of 25% of our GDP and involves 70% of our population), retailers, wholesalers, the service and hospitality industry, the so-called “informal” economy, etc. In fact, I’m guessing that if our entire publicly traded corporate sector were to vanish overnight, strictly speaking, our economy would lose very little income.
Except, of course, the knock-on effects on certain people’s individual wealth (and therefore consumption) and psychology (e.g., confidence) would be disastrous. But that has nothing to do with stock market prices per se, but has to do with the loss of employment and income of many people. In the end, we should ask what percentage of Bangladeshi households have any investment or exposure in the stock market? How many people actually own shares? How many people actually have their savings linked to stock market performance? Again, I don’t have the hard data, but I would venture it’s a very low number.
Sometimes it is argued that stock market activity reflects investor confidence which in turn impacts actual, real investment in the economy. But again, I would venture that the hard data would show very little correlation between the movement in stock market prices and the actual investment in our economy over the last decade or so. The current rally in the stock market, after all, is a very recent trend.
In a developed and well-functioning economy that has a developed and responsive capital market, you could also argue that the stock market helps channel private savings into the economy, i.e., when companies use the stock market to raise capital to fund investment in machinery, employment, growth, etc. But again, how many people channel their savings into the stock market, how many companies are listed on the bourse, and how much does the publicly traded corporate sector contribute to our national income? I may be entirely wrong, but my gut feeling is that it’s not much when compared to our total savings. I would guess most of our savings are in government bonds, bank savings accounts, insurance and provident funds, and cash stuffed in mattresses and our grandmother’s almirahs. I could again be wrong.
Clearly, smart investors should tread carefully when stock prices start exceeding the underlying fundamental value of a stock (i.e., financial statement data other than the trading patterns of the stock, e.g., cash flow, return on assets, capital management, etc. that determine the intrinsic value of the stock).
But you can’t characterize stock market activity as “abnormal” or “unhealthy”. The market simply is what it is. In fact, booms and busts are rather “normal” and to be expected, and such vigor in market capitalization and trading activity might even be an indicator of good healthy markets.
If one were to grossly oversimplify finance, it could be said that finance comes down to two basic and primary concepts:
The first, simply put, is that a taka today is worth more than a taka tomorrow (since you could invest that taka today and earn a return on it by tomorrow). The second concept, again simply put, is that investors can ride a wave of market optimism and invest in questionable securities in the hopes of finding a “greater fool” who they can sell it to in the future.
Of course, the bullish rally will continue as long as everyone keeps believing in greater fools (and maybe become fools themselves). And of course, the bubble will certainly burst one day, it’s inevitable. One can only hope that when the music stops, everyone finds a chair.
Regardless, appeals to rationality and fundamental analysis are probably going to fall on deaf ears. The least of the reasons being that people aren’t always rational and most don’t bother analyzing what little fundamental data is available to us in
I’ve made many claims here in this longish post, and unfortunately without much hard data to my credit. However, I will make one last proposition. You should only be mildly concerned about the state of our real economy just because a few investors are acting in an “irrationally exuberant” manner in the stock market. The “real” economy depends on a lot more than just the returns on financial capital in the stock market.
The time to start worrying is when real signs of economic activity start to slow down, like construction of new apartments, when your corner shop starts closing, or if all of a sudden our myriad and near-identical shopping malls stop selling so much of whatever it is they sell all day. To be fair, that is increasingly evident, let’s not forget that our declining exports, declining local investment, deteriorating law and order, sagging investment climate, etc. are causes for real concern. Most Bangladeshis and the current government should worry less about the stock market and worry more about managing and reforming the real economy with sound policy that provides incentives for productive investment in our economy.
Failing that, maybe in the end we will all be made the greater fools.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Lets have a riddle today. Name two places where you meet a special breed of human beings very often when you yourself visit those places. Hints...this special breed is made in Bangladesh only....the places where you meet them are open to all...whatever privileges you receive, they receive the same, there is not much distinguishing. Any guesses? Well...hell with the annoying scroll down answers to quizzes, let me tell you that that special breed of human beings are the manpower we export from Bangladesh and those special places are mosques and airports.
Now the confession time. I realize whenever I go to pray in a mosque (once in a blue moon) that I really don't bother who the other person sitting around me really is, what he does, his background etc. I just mind my own business with God almighty, keep on thinking about earthly things, quickly finish prayer and disappear. But who knows I still pray shoulder to shoulder standing in a row with many of the thousands and lakhs laborers, who happen to be my own countrymen. My superb career, my dad's wealth, my astonishing apartment and car is equated in the same line with those labor-selling Bangladeshis who are in no way as privileged as I am.
Similarly when I enter ZIA, my 'irritometer' rises when I see a 'herd' of brown colored middle-aged/young men standing in queue, all wearing same colored t-shirts, caps etc. trying to check in the flight for perhaps their maiden voyage to dreamlands. I have noticed this in ZIA and also in NSCBIA in Kolkata, how these 'khet laborers' are treated, they are yelled at to form a queue, not to make noise, not to loiter around, not to get lost etc. I have seen it in so many times in 'desher bari' that the cows or goats of the same herd are marked on their backs, so that the cowboy can distinguish his own from that of others. I don't see much difference how the human herd is handled at ZIA either. To add to my decaying prestige, I realize that I will have to travel for 3-4 hours with these people! Disgusting innit? They snore, can't speak in English with air hostesses, sometimes wear lungis in flight, talk and laugh loudly, such a nuisance. I wish I could somehow rub of my Bangladeshi identity, these people are such a disgrace to my eliteness.
In my office desk, AC room, when I read the pink papered Financial Express that Bangladesh's remittance is crossing the USD 4 billion mark, I feel proud that my country is becoming the economic powerhouse of the region. I read and write thick articles in newspapers, give interviews and formulate strategies on how to bake a bigger remittance cake. However, I keep my conscience shut when I know that these hard-earned remittance is sent by those very 'khet gadha gorur dol' with whom I traveled in that flight to Dubai, or with whom I must have said my prayers wearing the Aarong panjabi at Gausul Azam Mosque. Anyways, who cares as long as nobody knows about it.
I am no strategists, no policymaker. Out of sheer emotion I feel that there is a need to streamline our greatest source of competitive advantage--manpower. Since we have it in abundance, we value it cheaply, we treat them cheaply, lest 'taara mathay chore boshe'. But when you see clean shining roads of Kuala Lumpur and dazzling malls of Dubai, do you realize how many Bangladeshi hands are behind this? We go and see with awe the wonders of foreign land partially composed by our very own countrymen, who sold their labor to build 'their' countries, so that we can boast of a growing economy. But it goes without saying how mishandled these laborer are by their agencies. Quacks and crooks allure innocent dreams with high cost. I believe there is a need to train these people even before they venture into foreign territories. Train them with the destination country's language, etiquette, basic English. Can we somehow instill the sense of respect in them? I know you would say that its a long process and will take time. But when shall we start?
Strategic migration could be an issue to think about. We can identify the developed countries where there is a shortage of semi-skilled, skilled manpower. Countries other than the favorite destinations such as US, UK, Australia, Middle East, Malaysia. Say Russia, Finland, Norway etc. can be alternate destinations where we can strategically 'push in' our manpower. We can train them, send them there so that they fit the best there and relieve our small land from the burden of over population. I think this would be a win-win for all, the laborers will settle there and keep on being the cash cow of Bangladesh and we, the posh and elite could travel in peace and style and keep on committing small sins.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Only if we could put a hold on our insatiable wants and needs and desire and expectation and complaints. Even yesterday, we didn't have any popular radio in place, now we have a few, and we have already started complaining. Neither do I work for these radio channels nor I am married to any of them, I think its a superb initiative to be the least. I also assume there is plenty of room for growth for these radio channels in terms of their content, quality and standard. But for all these, we need to nurture their efforts and encourage them.
I also sometimes make fun of the Benglish accent of few of the RJs and the way they speak in their intoxicated voice. But it is not fair to generalize the lot. After all, they have just started, they need to adjust to what the market demands and likes. Mr. Chintito also talks about the invasion of Hindi songs in the radio channels. Cultural invasion is inevitable in today's world of globalization, its better to compete head on rather than eliminating competitors. Now if you ask why does not Indian radio channels play Bangla songs, we say its because of the inefficiency of your generation. The 'old is gold' generation could not even penetrate into the music/media industry of West Bengal and now they are lamenting the invasion of Hindi songs into Bangladeshi radio channels. We should also keep in view the immense exposure these channels are giving to 'previously unknown' or 'little known' music talents from Bangladesh who sing in Bangla ofcourse. I am sure these critics would fall short from criticizing even the Band music of Bangladesh, terming it as 'noise'. So if you are in a position not to be satisfied with any dish, why cook for you in the first place.
I assume we have enough bandwidth/frequency in the spectrum to accommodate more private radio channels. We have the lowest number of radio channels in the region. I hope somebody would soon take the initiative to launch 'radio oteet', 'radio gotokal', 'radio yesterday' etc. and play songs from 50s and 60s only so that those who are bothered with 'radio foorti' and 'radio todays' efforts can keep their 'chintas' at bay.
I would rather say that we have got better illusionists here in Bangladesh than any other country has. Our great illusionists can perform such groundbreaking tricks that our consumer rights be disappear forever. May be it is good for our illusionists. But our poor consumers, where would they seek their consumer rights? Don’t they deserve to get their rights back? Of course they do. Who will ring the bell? Should we hire David Copperfield to save ourselves? I am sure it would be the hardest challenge for him to get our consumer rights back to us. Now it is high time to see who wins the battle of the illusion?
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
At least for a long time, we thought delivering news can never be a ”glam” thing. But in comes ETV and a lot of our old notions were thrown out the window. ETV showed how by showing great presentation style, professionalism and most importantly “by doing something new”, you can capture the heart of the audience. But sadly, it has gone one dimensional since then. Right now we are in the middle of a major media boom in our country, but just about all news we see today is an “extended carbon copy” of the ETV style.
So whats the new thingy? Where is the new innovation coming in? Or more importantly do we require to differentiate news?
To take the last question first - hell yeah! When just about 10 channels are fighting for the news viewership, differentiation is the only way they will esnure that audience will switch to their channel for that “extra”. And here’s a cracking example (and also the reason why i talked about going to Canada in the beginning) of how good differentiation can sky rocket the popularity of a news channel.
There is a news channel in Canada which Time magazine said “offers the best international coverage on this side of BBC”. This channel broadcast news to 172 nations with a potential weekly audience of 34 million in US, UK, Australia and other countries. The name of the channel is Naked News.
Their newscasters are like any typical news casters in broadcast TV, but they do offer a “different viewing reason”. With a tag-line “There is nothing to hide” - the newscasters of this channel discuss politics, entertainment, sports - all of them - naked.
Now why would someone watch and rely on news delievered from naked people? Well you have to see it to really understand. But the ratings are sky high and research shows that people believe their news as much (if not more) as any other news channel.
Now i am not saying that the newscasters of our country have to do something that radical to gain TRP, but surely they can innovate. For example, one thing that is always irritating about news is that they dont show much passion. One minute they are showing the death of a young girl and the next minute they switch off to something entertaining - in the blink of an eye and always in the same tone.
So if one of the channels train their news casters to show personal enthusiasm, and treat different types of news differently and with lots of emotion and adopt a tag-line like “We feel what you feel” - wouldnt that differentiate that TV channel from the others? What do you think Channel I, N, R, E, and 1?
Shahriar Amin is the creator of the first brand related blog in Bangladesh (http://shammograffity.wordpress.com).
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
From the article:
"Young people say it is no longer worthwhile going through sleepless nights serving customers halfway around the world. They have better job opportunities in other fields. The work is tiring and stressful and offers few career advancement opportunities [...] The complaints come at a time when the Indian information technology sector, which includes companies that run call centers and do other outsourced work like medical transcription and claims processing, is facing a dearth of skilled labor. [...] India faces a potential shortage of 500,000 professional employees in the information technology sector by 2010, according to the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), a trade group. [...] The industry is also facing "intense competition" for workers from the retail and airline and hospitality sectors, where wages are now closer to what call centers pay, said Kiran Karnik, president of NASSCOM."
Apparently some Indian colleges have even banned call centers from recruiting at their campuses. This seems a startling turnaround in recent trends (at least based on the various media reports from the last couple of years).
Perhaps this article is premature, or again perhaps the Indian BPO industry will learn it's first tough lesson about innovating and constant strategic vigilance in the business services sector. Maybe it's not enough to just compete on cost and service quality. And maybe we always knew that anyway. Maybe BPO service providers need to start taking better care of their employees (their internal clients, if you will), develop better human resource policies, and create value for their clients in other ways. It remains to be seen how things pan out and if Indian business leaders can lead instead of follow global trends.
Like the article concludes, maybe the call center phenomena will move on to other countries. The interesting question is, should other countries rush to pick up on the opportunity. Should Bangladesh, IF it were capable of meeting the challenge, try and carve out a piece of any future BPO pie like some have suggested in the local media and even on this blog?
Full article is available here on the Time magazine website.
It happens to be the most popular (most viewed) article on the Time site right now.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Two weeks back, I had the misfortune of discovering and tasting a boiled plastic piece inside my Tandoori Chicken at the Ananda Restaurant at Old Airport. Surely, I didn't pay for it and walked out yelling on the face of the apparently 'repentant' staff at the restaurant. I remember Bukhara introducing a 'see-through kitchen' policy at their premises at Banani. Inspite of surprise raids of Rokonman and his sidekicks, our 'creative' cooking gurus still are cooking up innovative dishes for us to consume and die eventually, while they keep on becoming richer. May be a third-party endorsement similar to CleanScores can put some sort of credibility in our minds, when we decide where to eat and where not to....in the restaurants in Bangladesh.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Citibank and DIGI Telecommunications Sdn Bhd have teamed up to provide a new service - DiGiREMIT - to facilitate the transfer of money from Malaysia to Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines.The new service is designed to simplify the transfer of money by using mobile phones. DIGI acts as a remittance agent of Citibank to its prepaid and postpaid cell phone customers, who can register at any of the 47 DiGi centers throughout Malaysia. The service offers issuance of drafts in Bangladesh payable at over 800 locations, which are delivered between 24 to 72 hours. The registration creates a virtual wallet for the customer to load up to Malaysian Ringgit (RM) 5,000 at any one time. The customer can then remit via SMS anytime or over the counter at designated DiGi outlets, subject to a limit of RM 5000 per transaction. The fee for the service starts from RM 8. Customers will also automatically receive free personal accident coverage along with that. Commenting on this product, Rashed Maqsood, Director and Head of Global Transaction Services of Citi Bangladesh, said: "We are the first bank in Bangladesh to pioneer mobile based cross-border remittance to Bangladesh market. Earlier, Citibank launched web-based remittances from US to Bangladesh through remit2home.com. Our culture in the transaction banking business is that of innovation, leadership & partnership."
What I didn't get here is how Citibank is paying out the money sent from Malaysia to the mentioned 800 locations in Bangladesh. To whom these outlets belong to? Also, when someone from Malaysia is sending the SMS, to which number, to whom they are sending the SMS? Is it a Citibank 'hot number', Grameen Phone number, Banglalink number? They also talk about 'issuance of drafts', who generates it, how it is collected and where are those 800 locations? May be its my limited understanding that I cannot grasp the whole picture, anybody reading this post is welcome to enlighten us. Nevertheless, what I understand, its a huge leap forward in the right direction. Human resource is our largest natural source of comparative advantage and remittance injects life into our forex reserve. I wonder what Grameen Phone is thinking in this regard. With their flexiload retail outlets scattered over almost every corner of the country, could they tie up with say BRAC/BRAC Bank to offer some sort of remittance services to rural recipients? BRAC Bank has already strengthened its competitive position through it SME banking division which has an outlet 'almost in every last mile' of Bangladeshi villages, thanks to BRAC's already established MFI network. Now I can only envisage a tie up between GP and BRAC Bank, to facilitate smooth and fraud-free remittance to throw up a challenge in this lucrative market against Citibank, who are doing very well also in other banking markets.
Friday, October 12, 2007
If you are an ex-mayor and an ex-head of police department of New York city, you would say an emphatic yes. Crime can be stopped by being innovative.
In the early 90s crime in New York city was on the up like the popularity of an attractive cheerleader. It was everywhere. Everyday there was mugging, killing, gang warfare, rapes. It was a crazy time in the vicinity of Time Square. Then all of a sudden the crime rate dropped. The question in every thankful lip was what happened.
Well what happened can be explained by a theory called “Broken Windows” theory, which is the brainchild of criminologist James Q. Wilson and George Kelling. They argued that crime is the inevitable result of disorder. If a window in a house is broken for a long time, when people simply walk by it they will think that none cares. Soon more and more windows will be broken and that sense of anarchy will spread from the house to the streets. In terms of crime, it means
1. Simple petty crimes like drawing graffity in walls and groping can lead to violent crimes like killing during mugging.
2.Crime is contagious just like fashion.
Rudolph Giuliani (Mayor), David Gunn (Subway director, New York Transit Authority) and William J. Bratton (Head of Police) applied this “Broken Window” theory in New York city. What they did at times seemed more puzzling and trivial than logical.
The police chief traveled in subway trains for hours looking for clues for minor crimes
He focused on minor crimes like people who traveled without fare, people who just pop-up during signal to wash the window of the cars and demand money, people who peed in the streets etc.
He focused on efficiency like getting mobile police vans. Rather than taking the criminals to the police headquarters, he took the quarters to the criminal – and thus saved a lot of time, which the police officers used to crack down more criminals
And it worked like magic. The means may be confusing, but the results are fantastic. None thought crime rates would drop in NY, but it did. So what do we learn from this example that we can apply?
Minor crimes leads to violent crimes. So if we can put an end to minor crimes like peeing in streets, groping girls during shopping we can put a brake on more violent crimes
It is not needed to crack down every criminal. You just need to send a signal that the Police is alert and patrolling. That alone will put off the criminals
Even with limited resources you can be very effective. By being innovative and efficient, even with limited budget and resources we can make headway against crime.
Shahriar Amin is the creator of the first brand related blog in Bangladesh (http://shammograffity.wordpress.com), where he disburses and discusses brand related knowledge for the benefits of Bangladeshi business and students.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
What is a Blog?
Web logs, or simply blogs, are online journals that are frequently updated. Posts appear in reverse chronological order on a common web page. New content can also be read through RSS readers provided through sites such as Blogspot, Blogger, Bloglines, Feedster, NewsGator, or My Yahoo! Blogs.
What is the Blogosphere?
This popular term refers to the total universe of blogs and blog-related web sites.
What is RSS?
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication technology. RSS feeds allow Internet users to receive updated content from blogs or news sites in real time.
What is a Feed Aggregator or RSS Feed Reader?
RSS feed readers, or aggregators, are programs that check for, download, and organize new content from blogs and news sites, which is delivered through RSS. Users do not have to consume their blog content via an RSS reader, because they exist on regular web pages, written in HTML. However, many users find getting feeds of blog updates via an aggregator to be more efficient than checking blogs without knowing whether or not they have been updated. It has been described as TiVo for the web.
What is Podcasting?
Podcasting, which derives its name from Apple's iPod and "broadcasting," allows users to subscribe to audio programming that is automatically delivered to their computers. Some podcasts are professionally produced, like talk shows and music broadcasts, while others are less formal daily diaries and running commentary between friends.
In general, the company views personal websites and weblogs positively, and it respects the right of employees to use them as a medium of self-expression. If you choose to identify yourself as a Feedster employee or to discuss matters related to our technology or business on your website or weblog, please bear in mind that, although you and we view your website or weblog as a personal project and a medium of personal expression, some readers may nonetheless view you as a de facto spokesperson for the company. In light of this possibility, we ask that you observe the following guidelines:
1. Please make it clear to your readers that the views you express are yours alone and that they do not necessarily reflect the views of Feedster. To help reduce the potential for confusion, we would appreciate it if you put the following notice – or something similar – in a reasonably prominent place on your site ( e.g., at the bottom of your "about me" page):
The views expressed on this website/weblog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.
Many bloggers put a disclaimer on their front page saying who they work for, but that they're not speaking officially. This is good practice, but may not have much legal effect. It's not necessary to post this notice on every page, but please use reasonable efforts to draw attention to it – if at all possible, from the home page of your site.
2. Be careful to avoid disclosing any information that is confidential or proprietary to the company or to any third party that has disclosed information to us. For good measure, consult the company's confidentiality policy for guidance about what constitutes confidential information.
3. Please remember that your employment documents give the company certain rights with respect to concepts and developments you produce that are related to our business. To avoid conflicts or discrepancies, please consult your manager if you have questions about the appropriateness of publishing such concepts or developments related to the company's business on your site.
4. Since your site or blog is a public space, we hope you will be as respectful to the company, our employees, our customers, our partners and affiliates, and others (including our competitors) as the company itself endeavors to be.
5. You may provide a link from your site to the corporate website. However you will require permission to use company trademarks or reproduce company material on your site.
6. Finally, please be aware that the company may request that you temporarily confine your website or weblog commentary to topics unrelated to the company (or, in rare cases, that you temporarily suspend your website or weblog activity altogether) if it believes this is necessary or advisable to ensure compliance with securities regulations or other laws.
Our policy is an adaptation of Groove Network's published policy. Here's a quick summary from Charlene Li of Forrester Research:
1. Make it clear that the views expressed in the blog are yours alone and do not necessarily represent the views of your employer.
2. Respect the company's confidentiality and proprietary information.
3. Ask your manager if you have any questions about what is appropriate to include in your blog.
4. Be respectful to the company, employees, customers, partners, and competitors.
5. Understand when the company asks that topics not be discussed for confidentiality or legal compliance reasons.
6. Ensure that your blogging activity does not interfere with your work
Thanks to Adnan for sharing this.
Monday, October 8, 2007
VoIP was kept like an attractive juicy apple hanging from a tree. We all knew about the nutrient value of the apple, we tried...but we could not control our temptation, so I ate it, you ate it, everybody ate it. Now when the BTRC Gods came to the Eden Gardens to take a stroll, they found that the forbidden apple had started to decay, thanks to Bangladeshi mobile companies, ISPs, large conglomerates (like KDS Group) and to other 'entrepreneurs'. So the Gods decided to unleash their wrath. GrameenPhone is counting 168.4 crore taka as fine to BTRC, admitting 'its involvement in illegal call termination activities'. Industry siblings like Aktel, BanglaLink are also expected to confess their 'sins' and embrace divine punishment. Too bad for the new GP lead, starting the office with a public apology to the government for the 'mess created previously'. Nevertheless, what else could have you said other than a polite and honest 'sorry'.
So the question arises, who is right? the doctor or the God? If the doc says that the apple is good for health, why God doesn't let me eat it?
How many people of our country buy painting or creative works? Its minuscule compared to how many people buy it globally. Who says Bangladeshi aspiring artists need to sell to Bangladeshi buyers only? If we get rid of this notion and apply the wonderful world of World Wide Web in the selling process, it can really do wonders for the aspiring artists of the Art College.
Introducing marriage of IT and Arts to create a promotional website for CharuKala Institute. When a student at CharuKala Institute enrolled then s/he will get a user ID and password from the Institute to access the website and upload his/her portfolio on there. This way each and every student would get a chance to upload the images of his/her works. Then there would be option for adding price, postal change (FedEx, DHL, UPS local EMS and so on). When someone would purchase something then the amount could be divided in two parts. XX% of the total income could go to the owner of the art work and the rest YY% could go to the account of CharuKala Institute as a service charge or so.
Globally web 2.0 sites like Flickr are doing wonders for the art and photography world. We can replicate the same model here.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
In our country, to move from one city to another city bus service is one of the major transports. What we do is just purchase the tickets and ride on the bus. But when occasions/holidays come, we see the real rush. People even don’t get a single ticket sometimes, not to mention the problem of standing in long cues and not getting tickets. What if we change this process to make the thing easier?
Introducing membership system in transport business. Each member will get an ID number. So that people can book their tickets over the net or through SMS. People even don't have to come to the office and stay in line to book tickets. This idea will help the company to implement the power of technology to satisfy the customers. Another thing that can be done for is to add a “mileage” option. If it can be done 50000 miles up in the air, it can be done in the road and highways as well. Regular travelers can be offered an extra ride without paying for the trip. This offer will motivate the travelers to get this advantage. Thus the company will get more loyal customers.
So why won’t you take this chance and be the very first one to evaluate such services to be the best transporter?
Speculation has always been a part of trade and investment. To some extent, it forms the basis of business and investment plans made by small traders as well as giant corporate bodies.
But what if speculation turns into a wild-guess devoid of even the slightest logic? The end result could be disastrous for those who are subscribing to such speculation.
Can anyone explain any justifiable reason for the investors' craze over the shares of the debutantee in the market for the last couple of days in the bourses?
The market, actually, was agog with speculative prices of the issue in the banking sector well ahead of its debut trading day. Some said its opening price would be between Tk 500 and Tk. 600. But they were proved wrong. Because of huge buying pressure, it started with a price of about Tk. 700 and soared to Tk. 850 at the close of the debut trading day.
On the second day of its trading on Tuesday, the Trust Bank share prices recorded yet another jump to reach Tk. 914 apiece. It might even go higher in the next few days.
The same thing happened with the stocks of some other banks, power companies and mutual funds in the recent months.
The investors seemingly are no more interested in fundamentals and dividend yields of the companies listed on the bourses. The investors, who go to bourses almost daily, are more interested in right or bonus shares. They have their own calculations on this issue. If a bank or a non-banking financial institution or an insurance company has a low level of paid-up capital, it would have to issue right shares or bonus shares to raise the same in line with the requirements set by the central bank or the regulatory body for insurance companies. So, the investors are banking on the issues having the prospect of offering right or bonus shares.
The entry of substantial amount of funds, both black and white, has made the market a fertile ground for speculative trading. The stock market in Bangladesh traverses in its own orbit. The rise or fall of the greenback or the growth prospect of the global economy or even the positive and negative development in domestic economy does not have any impact on it. It has, in most cases, remained immune from outside developments. This could be because of the virtual absence of foreign portfolio investment in the local market.
For instance, the economy is now in a difficult phase because of soaring inflation, dwindling business confidence and a slowdown in investment situation. The banks that generally run after clients to receive deposits are now in deep trouble with excess liquidity of over Tk 140 billion. The IMF has recognised the troubles facing the economy. Adviser for the Asia Pacific Department of the IMF Thomas Rumbaugh during his recent visit to Bangladesh predicted "slower than normal" economic growth during this fiscal.
But the negative developments in the economy do not have any bearing on the share market. Indices have been rising continuously except for brief pauses. The market capitalisation has already reached the all time high level of Tk 626 billion. Old and new investors have been crowding the offices of brokers at the Dhaka and Chittagong stock exchanges. And the crowd is bulging with every passing day. The cautionary notices circulated by the management of the bourses on their websites are going unheeded by investors.
A bubble, it seems, is in the process of building up. The market regulator, the management of the bourses, stock brokers and investors-all of them-- are enjoying the rally and might feel like dismissing outright such an observation. But it is high time for them to give a dispassionate look at the issue.
At the moment too many investors are chasing too few shares, leading to abnormal hike in prices of the latter. One way of neutralising the situation, to some extent, remains to be the immediate initiative to offer new stocks to the investors.
It will be worthwhile here to mention the government plan to offload shares held by it in a couple of oil marketing companies and offer shares of a number of public sector entities, including the Biman Bangladesh Airlines and the Telegraph and Telephone Board, through their corporatisation to the general investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission and other agencies concerned should also try to woo more private sector companies, including the foreign ones operating in the country, to go public. However, without right kind of incentives, the profit-earning foreign companies might not be willing to expose them to general investors' scrutiny.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Bangladesh is land of FCs, (A-Z)FCs are almost everywhere...California Fried Chicken, Miami Fried Chicken, American Fried Chicken..name any place..we have it here in Bangladesh. Nothing much to do about the branding anomaly, KFC was brought as KFC itself, following the 'good response' from next door Pizza Hut. However the privileged ones amongst us will be able to either confirm or contradict the fact that there is a huge difference in taste in what we eat at Pizza Hut/KFC in Dhaka and what we ate/eat at say Bangkok, London, Delhi or elsewhere. Those possessing subtle tastebuds would comprehend how much we eat true pizza and fried chicken at KFC/Pizza Hut and how much of brand name and 'experience' we eat there. I remember sipping 90 taka glass of coke at erstwhile Wimpy, the glass filled half with ice-cubes and rest cola. Nevertheless, the 'experience' that I was sitting at Wimpy and having a good time during my dog years was too good to let go. So I didn't want to let go and keep coming, as I was starved to eat in a 'brand' food outlet, as they show in movies and 'as they do in the West'. So Wimpy and the likes came to feed me cheap junky food which I pay for to eat. Thank you Wimpy, thank you PH and thank you KFC.
If I were Transcom Foods & Beverages, I would have been a happy lot. I know that with so much little variety in the KFC menu, I am driving wanna-be happening citizens just to come and be allured by the smile of the spectacled smiling white man. Good that Rokonuddoula need not pry on our kitchens, because we are 'Transcom'...and hold it..'we are KFC and Pizza Hut', people in Bangladesh yearn to eat here, so keep off and keep your quality check with yourself. If the hungry Dhaka crowd are willing to pay for eating what I make, what is your problem? If we are able to give the 'brand savvy', status-concerned Dhakabashis a glimpse of 'bideshi' fast food, what is wrong in that? Well, we really don't know and don't care what is right and what is wrong. Who knows Ronald McDonald might be next in the pipeline and we should save money to eat the 2nd hand burgers and fries there.