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Monday, November 23, 2009

Bangladesh Brand Forum opens Knowledge Center

Bangladesh Brand Forum has recently launched a Knowledge Center with a view to 'advancing the knowledge with the assistance of vast resources of business wisdom'. Read here to know more.

In first impression, I am full of hope that this initiative will work towards showcasing, documenting, archiving valuable business knowledge generated everyday in the growing business sectors of Bangladesh. Its high time that we start celebrating our business heroes, our budding business leaders and start branding ourselves first. To that respect, Bangladesh Brand Forum's Knowledge Center seems to be a good step in the right direction. I am sure knowledge exists not only in the corporate dominated urban settings in Bangladeshi businesses, but it also exists in the rural areas of the country where majority of the Small and Medium Enterprises operate. So an effort to bring this knowledge in a central repository for use by other businesses is no wonder a commendable initiative.

However, like all other things in life, first thing I did when I learnt about this project, was to Google it. That led me to the third party newspapers website from where you get the news report on this. To know more, I thought to check out the Bangladesh Brand Forum's website and experienced 'mild disappointment' with the state of the site there. In my opinion, its equally important to brand this initiative (and the BBF) through strong web presence, which should include interactive and active social media presence too (so that foreign audience know about it too). I could not find any information on latest activities, even information on latest issue of the magazine on the website. A topic for the owners to look into with utmost urgency.

Coming back to the 'Knowledge Center', I think it would be better if we could find out who all are the target audience of this initiative is and how they can participate. Do they need to pay any membership fee to become a member? What facilities will they avail? Also, the vast majority of emails I receive in this blog's email account concern with queries from job seekers, who are frantically looking for employment opportunities in Bangladeshi companies (even in this blog). Not to mention a good number of students who are even looking for part time work opportunities are also there. Will this Knowledge Center somehow cater to unemployed youth, women, students who might be looking for jobs? Or this will be just another 'blue collar' initiative only to cater to the 'corporate elites' of Bangladeshi business domain? Knowledge should be made available to all, in some form or the other, to all who might use it to advance their situation. The ability to pay/subscribe better not be a deciding factor in the long run to make this venture acceptable and popular across all strata of the business audience (students, job-seekers, executives, managers etc.)

Then I am keen to know if this Center will somehow encourage, help entrepreneurs or not? I myself am a private sector employee and have nothing against salaried employment/employees. But I have a special 'Respect Center' in my heart for entrepreneurs, business innovators, leaders. Bangladesh Brand Forum itself being one of this type, might do a great service to those who might be thinking of setting up some sort of a business in Bangladesh, but just don't know how to. BBF's elite panel of business think-tanks might provide valuable guidance and directions to budding business buddies of Bangladesh to help them set up their tiny money making ventures. What do you think?

While its important that we educate our executives the importance of branding, we also should take into account informing those who are in rural settings. So will this Center, in near future, make its service accessible, available to people who live outside Dhaka? Will there be material available in Bangla too? These are perhaps some of the key aspects the drivers of this initiative might consider, incase they already haven't.

Finally, knowledge is multi-directional, where Bangladeshis working abroad might also feed into this process with their ideas, expertise, experience etc. So does the Knowledge Center take into account 'importing knowledge' from Bangladeshi workers abroad?

Well, even if the answer to a lot of these questions is 'no', it does not mean that the initiative is short-sighted in any ways. Rather I am very optimistic that if nurtured well, this might very well turn out to be a center of excellence for Bangladeshi best business practices, case studies, general knowledge etc. So good luck with this.


Anonymous said...

I think all the facts that are mentioned in the write up should be in consideration but it is still questionable how and which way "Knowledge Center" can benefit the people who are really eager to acquire.

duke said...

you have pointed out so slick that is - "In my opinion, its equally important to brand this initiative (and the BBF) through strong web presence, which should include interactive and active social media presence too (so that foreign audience know about it too)."
I admire your thoughts which constitutes such true, strong and bold voices.I still think that when the marketers of bangladesh will realize the importance of search engine optimization. After-all, an awesome post. Thank you.