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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Jamuna shows us the future on Bashundhara's land

I really didn’t know how to react to this. Whether I should be proud of it, should boast about it, or should lament over it. This claims to re-introduce Bangladesh to the global map. This stands tall and big on 41 Lac sq. feet floor space, international food court accommodating 3000 food-lovers, all local and foreign famous brands, 22 line bowling center, 7 halls in the movie multiplexes, health club for 2000 people, 5 big autrium (wonder what this is) and 7 voids, different swimming pools for men and women, own electricity producing plant of 45 MW, car parking facility for 5000 cars, theme park for 2500 children and many more.

Perhaps even a blind man would even read what I am talking about here, similarly even a blind man cannot afford to miss the gigantic presence of the so claimed ‘biggest shopping mall of South Asia’, like the Taj Mahal is to India, the Great Wall to China, the Pyramids to Egypt, the TVCs were comparing it to a man made wonder for Bangladesh…lets give it up for..The Jamuna Future Park…no where else in the world…but in our very own Dhaka…the city of the 21st century, the megapolis of Asia…well…a bit of exaggerating in the last part, got understandably carried away. But Jamuna Group claims that the Jamuna Future Park (JFP) would be our ‘shob ghotonar thikana’…so who knows if it could be also claimed that that day is not far away when Dhaka would become ‘shob ghotonar thikana’ for the residents of Asia…like Singapore, Hong Kong, KL etc. The group claims in its website that “Jamuna Future Park will stand as a symbol of national pride, prestige, progress and economic development of our country as like as the Twin Tower in Kuala Lumpur of Malaysia.” Well, enough of blabbering…the harsh truth is, Dhaka is not anything closer to that yet, nor there seems any correlation between the setting up of the mammoth shopping mall and Dhaka’s becoming an iconic city in the region.

Remember the time when they used to call Dhaka the city of mosques, then they called it the city of rickshaws. Has the time now arrived to call Dhaka the city of shopping malls? Shopping malls which are stuffed with pretty much same products and bored vendors? Shopping malls which are crammed with not so many buyers but more happy wanderers? If we all are happy with it, or even some are happy with it, perhaps its worth it huh? But I doubt how many of the shops in the Bashundhara City are seeing profit and are very happy with the proceedings. Nevertheless, perhaps from the entertainment point of view, the city dwellers might get the chance to experiment with something new at JFP.

However, what aches me is the fact that a city which lacks even the basic infrastructures in terms of traffic management, sewerage, urbanization, green space, even parking lots, has started boasting itself to be hosting the largest shopping mall of the continent. Is it ironic, sarcastic, funny or is it natural? I know very little, and understand even less, so you tell me. I know this much when two big corporates like Bashundhara group and Jamuna group lock horns, they need to outplay each other by establishing flashy shopping malls in a crammed city such as Dhaka. Good for them.

Sometimes I hear people blaming the UK based Sylhetis, that even though they have so much money, they end up spending it in building lavish bungalows, mosques, community centers in the Sylhet region back in Bangladesh. They lament why they don’t invest their pound power in establishing schools, hospitals, roads and culverts. But in the same note, you could also argue why such big corporates of Bangladesh are investing crores and crores of taka in setting up dazzling shopping malls and why not in establishing business incubators, an IT park for the IT industry of Bangladesh or something which might look a bit more responsible? Well, probably the increased number of shopping malls indicates increased demand in middle class consumer power huh? Sometimes theories of economics are really tested in Bangladesh.


Anonymous said...

...establishing schools,uniz or investing on I.T , nd that will do our responsible rich ppl from our counrty ? . . They will never do it as their desire and needness will never end up,they will wrap up themselves with money but not gona invest in perfect sector.,as we r far beyond from our sense ,humanity and responsibilty . just pray to ur GOD that HE might blessed them with sense. We all know how we r "pizza hutt or kfc te boshe khete parbo but window diye dekha jay rastay 1ta lil boy dying in hunger,we ll juz observe dat but wont give our meal to dat lil guy " dat how we r . .and every1 of us is responsible for this.

qTzaman said...

JFP – may become the largest shopping mall in this region. But, Do we need such a gigantic shopping mall in Dhaka? Let's take a look back to Bashundhara City, what actually had happened. Most of our Bangladeshi Businessmen, do not prepare a business plan before investing on any venture. Bashundhara was developed with a concept that this would be the central shopping plaza for the people living in its surrounding – i.e. Dhanmondi, Lalmatia, Elephant Road, Tejgaon, Moghbazar , Mohammadpur etc. - in reality that had not happened. Rather, Bashundhara Shopping Mall became a standard to follow, following such 'huge' structural establishment our ever creative and competitive businessmen have started to develop newer Shopping Plazas along the Mirpur Road. Can you imagine what it would mean to earn positive return on investment if we have such close competitors playing in the same area with the same customer base?

My Point is, you shall find the same Cat's Eye or Monsoon Rain or Anjan's in these shopping centers offering the same product in similar price range. Why on earth we need such stiff competition among ourselves in such close neighborhood? I would really love to hear answers for this question.

By the time, JFP gets into full swing in its operation, we shall have a good number of shopping malls grooming around it and along the road to rampura from joar shahara.

When we compare Dhaka with Kualalampur, we need to think do we have a Putra Jaya? When we compare Dhaka with Delhi, we need to think do we have Cannought Place? When we compare Dhaka with Singapore, we must remember Singapore City is the Capital of Singapore, but our Dhaka is the Capital of Bangladesh not the capital of Dhaka. JFP surely shall create job opportunities, but Can those jobs play any positive role for our development.

Murshed said...

I believe that JFP shows how we are developing in our real estate's clear picture of our investment you think how much people will be employed for this project, i don't know the figure but it will be in the meantime the shop owners will not be benefited as they are i will request the prospective shop owners think before act.plz work according to very very very good planing

Anonymous said...

The root of the problem lies in our attitude... If one businessman get success in Cement, you will see 50 others joining the club within a year... this is what is happening... ppl donot want to be creative.. Jamuna group could easily invest in a IT Part or in Ship Building or in infrastructure. We really donot need such a shopping mall. I think about 30% of the Bashundhara city shops are still unsold... and with JFP I estimate ... about 40-50% shops will remain unsold... Diversification is what needed from our business Leaders....

Anonymous said...

its a very good step indeed...amra Thailand, Kl, Singapore jete pari, oder mall dekte pari, okhane shopping korte pari, r khali afsos korte pari... Gausia, New market, Baitul Mukkaram er gondi charte hobe....amra
onno desh a gea oder joulushota dekhe aha,,,uhu kori..r jokon e nijeder desh a kew agay ase...tokon e bilashita nea kotha boli...JFP will create a good job oppertunity as well as business demand for forward and backward intigrations. atleast 1000 manush er tooo kormo shonsthan hobe?? tai ba koijon kore??? we need this types of mall in other major cities also... and private company is not bound to build school, moshjid,madrasa, road, bridge...y is government for? Putrajaya is made by government..also Twin Tower made under direct supervision of Dr. Mahathir....amra vacation pele Thailand,KL dour dai...keno?oder bilashita dektay, DUBAI jai keno? camel er broast khete??? boro kotha ..amader desh a amon mall r o howa uchit.that will create image as well as work force...govt ase desh er sharbik unnotir jonnoo...

Anonymous said...

Man you do not get it. Sing/KL/Thailand did not make malls first and then become developed. The shopping malls are sign of development not source of development. We oppose JFP as BD do not need shopping mall rather we need infrastructure so that ppl can do business. Investment in infrastructure could create 100 business opportunities where a mall create 1000 jobs and most are low-paid salesperson job....

U reason Sing/KL/Thailand has malls, tourists go there say AH UH and those are developed economy and so we should have malls. Very lame one man! Do you think any foreigner would travel bd to visit JFP??

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you. Building Aisa's biggest shopping mall in Dhaka is like wearing a Hugo boss suit for a poor man living in hard poverty. This is an imbalanced decision made out of personal clashes between two people...this is not at all an wise investment.

Anonymous said...

To the person who said, Sing/KL/Thailand has developed economy, it's utter bull*****.

Thailand's economy is more developed than BD's but Thailand is not a developed country on par with UAE, Qatar, Switzerland or Sweden.

The foreigners that go to shop in Bangkok or Singapore are from neighbouring and poorer countries.

Bangladesh can also attract shoppers from neighbouring but poorer countries if Jamuna Future Park intends to do that, but it doesn't have to do it. It depends on their own decision, their own planning.

They are private investors, they chose to invest in what's good for their own businesses. Provided it's not immoral, against the law, or commits harm to the society in general, or other similar negative attributes can be attached to JFP, why should anybody attack this plan?

Infrastructure building is the job of the government, I don't get why others are moaning about Jamuna Future Park or Bashundhara City's owners not building infrastructure.

It's the government's job.

Anonymous said...

Bangladesh needs landmarks and business Icons that impact the psyche in a positive note.

This is a good sign of progress. Unfortunately the planning is horrendous. There is 1 narrow 2 lane road for the entire mall and to top it off this is the only road into the residential area behind it.
Bad planning is typical for Bangladesh. It does not cost any more to spend a little more time to plan better.