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Friday, December 31, 2010

Know the BTCL number ? Wannna know the Home Address too ?

This can only happen in Bangladesh ! Yes my friend only in Bangladesh !

I don’t know whether you know about the E-Bill service from the state owned BTCL or not, but today I’ll show you how anyone can see the address or even bill of last month using the E-Bill service from this so riotous service !

Take a BTCL number and log on here

Your Customer ID(Area Code+Phone) : is your BTCL number (For Dhaka its 02XXXXXXX)

And here comes the interesting part

Your Password is Same as your Customer ID (!!!!!)

Rest can be done easily by any layman who know a small bit of Internet !

Click on the Print/View customer Bill from where you can easily get the address !

Not mention, the very Pungta’s can easily change the password so that the actual user would never(!) be able to access their Bill !

Thanks BTCL for keeping our information so safe !

NB: Please change your own password not others !

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Robi gets a Bangla website for itself

Secret cables from @Robileaks confirm the fact that senior management of Robi (erstwhile Aktel) have secretly taken into heed the request from Bangladesh Corporate Blog to have a Bangla version of its website. Irated with the akika from Aktel to Robi, we did give them quite an earful in this post here, which also included a tip to have a Bangla website. Although we haven’t received any note of thanks from senior Robiuls as we Bangalees usually prefer not to acknowledge our sources of inspirations and ideas and generally claim all to be our very own. So never mind.

Hats off to Robi for taking the lead to have a Bangla version of its website, not only as the first Bangladeshi telecom operator to have done that but also the very first Bangladeshi leading brand to have done that I believe. Please let me know if you are aware of any other Bangladeshi companies who have a website in both English and Bangla. Although just having a website in Bangla may not have any direct impact on increasing its popularity and profitability, it goes without saying that those 1. in rural or urban Bangladesh 2. who are more comfortable consuming information in Bangla than in English 3. who want to know through internet more about Robi - would find this initiative to be very timely, locally sensitive and culturally adaptive.

Robi sets an example for companies in other industries too. Say for example if you are an IT company and if you are trying to woo new clients, partner companies in Denmark primarily – then try having a Danish version of your website too. Just having a target market language version of your website will not be a clear cut guarantee for winning new business but somewhere there is this social element regarding languages in business that it creates a first impression if you attempt to communicate or represent your credentials and expertise in the language of your customers. In the end of the day, you will not win any IT outsourcing business if you have a great Danish version of your website, but your programmers and management included are incompetent and unnprofessional.

Its going to be even more important to have business content in local languages available online. Not only will this increase the outreach of that content to an audience who are more comfortable with local languages, it will also push up local language search engine optimisation, which I guess is still in its infancy.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Daily Star Means Business

Its extremely encouraging to learn that the leading English daily of the country - The Daily Star - is going to revamp its business section in an 'exciting 8-page format, from personal finance to heavy industry, from green business to small business, from management styles to real estate, from luxury goods to logistics -- we will be giving you something new to read every day.'

Undoubtedly a very timely initiative by the English daily to highlight Bangladesh corporate, businesses-small and big. Some quick observations regarding their intention when they said we will be giving you something new to read every day. I don't want to sound cynical here but it would help in near future if we allow, enable and encourage followers of the Daily Star to do more than merely 'reading'. In no way the new initiative should be a reinforcement of a passive participation by mere reading the business news. The Daily Star is in an extremely advantageous position to facilitate more interaction, collaborative production from its business readerbase who can contribute to the formation of the business journalism that they are trying to focus on. I would be biased to advocate for more blogging aided with consumer journalism with videos, audio, images, text etc. from its readers who are first hand consumers of products and services of Bangladeshi companies. Please keep in mind that there is a difference between business journalism and business blogging and DS can't expect to do both. Also, it would be interesting to see how the DS takes advantage of digital platforms i.e. websites and social media to propagate its renewed focus on Corporate Bangladesh to make the Brand Bangladesh more visible and much talked about beyond the borders.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Best Air's destiny is, now, in the hands of Destiny! (R U Serious!!?)

Yeah dawg! I'm serious.

When Best Air (BA) was grounded, I never though it'd catch up again, but here it is, making the news once more! Guess who's at the controls now? ummmm..... Biman? GMG?... United Airways?? ... nnnope!!! It's Destiny, yeah bro, that's right. I don't know how many of you do get excited hearing a marketing (low-level) company taking over an aviation company, but I do (a lot)!!

Here's why: Say you are a teacher at a University, and on your recent holidays you want to go visit your cousins in Australia. On the way to Australia, over the Pacific, your jet starts falling due to engine failure, and the decompression has had its toll on the pilots' lives. At that point one of the surviving crews approaches you and asks, can you fly a plane? What would you say? (Lolzzzz)

All that was my thoughts on the taking over of the business. Anyway, if you'd like to read the news that I copied from two newspapers you might actually get some serious news. Hope you've a good week!


Destiny Group has bought off 80 percent stakes in the troubled Best Air for Tk 150 crore, said a top official of the local airline yesterday.

Best Aviation Ltd, the owning company of Best Air, and Destiny, a multilevel marketing company, signed a share-transfer deal on November 11, according to M Haider Uzzaman, who now acts as the managing director for the airline.

The deal was announced at the re-launch of the carrier last night.

“We were looking for partners to recover from the financial crunch that forced us to be grounded for months,” said Haider Uzzaman who had presided over Best Aviation as chairman before the takeover.

Mohammad Rafiqul Amin, chairman of Destiny Group, said his company wants to help Best Air come out of the crisis it has been facing for the last 21 months.

"Best Air has a ready infrastructure and permission to fly on 17 routes, and this has made us interested," said Amin, also the new chairman of Best Aviation.

"Now, we have plans to purchase three aircraft, including ATR-500 with the capacity of 72 seats, and Airbus-320 with 150 seats," he said, adding: "We hope these new initiatives will help the airline begin a new journey and regain its reputation."

The company started passenger service in January 2008 under brand Best Air.

But within 14 months of its operation, the airline was grounded amid financial crisis resulting from a surge in oil prices on the global market.

Haider Uzzaman said: "The fuel price soared so high that we were unable to bear the losses coming from the increased fuel bills."

"And eventually we were forced to suspend flights to avoid further losses," he said, claiming that the airline incurred a loss of Tk 72 crore at the time it was grounded in March 2009.

Since then Haider Uzzaman had been looking for partners to inject fresh funds to salvage the airline that spread wings to catch a portion of Bangladesh's air travel market of nearly 40 lakh passengers a year.

"We negotiated with many potential investors. Finally we formed ties with Destiny," he said.

The airliner had earlier formed a partnership with Kuwait-based Aqeeq Aviation Holding in March 2007. But Haider Uzzaman claimed that Aqeeq did not invest in the airline in line with the contract.

He said Destiny would pay Tk 56 crore initially. "The rest will be paid within the next three months."

The partnership will help Best Air use the huge marketing and distribution network of Destiny and resume flights soon.

"We are trying to give a new look to the airline by bringing in new aircraft and hiring skilled hands from home and abroad," said Haider Uzzaman, adding that the airline wants to resume domestic flights from March 26.

He said the airline is now in the process of getting a clearance from Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh to resume flights.

"We want to resume our passenger services on Dhaka-Chittagong route from the Independence Day. We also plan to operate two flights a day on Dhaka-Cox's Bazar route from the same day."

It will resume flights to Sylhet, Barisal, Jessore and Syedpur on March 26, Haider Uzzaman said.

The airline plans to open flights to regional destinations such as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Colombo, Dubai, Singapore and Male from September next year.


Best Air will appear in a new shape in March next year aiming to provide better services by world class professionals.

The announcement of re-launching came at a function held at a city hotel on Monday afternoon.

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad attended the occasion as chief guest.

Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Civil Aviation and Tourism Moin Uddin Khan Badal MP, Secretary Shafiq Alam Mehedi and Destiny Group Chairman Mohammad Rafiqul Amin also attended the programme.

Destiny Group recently acquired 80 percent of shares of Best Air. Best Air would operate flight in domestic and international routes by Airbus-320 and ATR-500. The Airbus-320 has 150 revenue seats with 15 business classes while the ATR-500 has 72 passenger seats.

In international routes, it would operate flights to Bangkok, Canton, Jeddah, Kualalampur, Maldives, Manila, Myanmar, Singapore, Ryad, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong through digital fly-by-wear flight control system.

Expert cabin crew from home and abroad will offer modern in-flight services to ensure comfortable fly in the air.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bangladeshi police responding to SMS - Latest science fiction

This is one of the recent technology related development that caught me by surprise – Where you can send SMS to complain to police in Bangladesh. There is no wonder that mobile based value added services in Bangladesh are pioneering, innovative and much ahead of the game in the region. However this one went a bit too far. In a place where its challenging to get help from the police in time even through normal means, expecting that men in shining armour will show up just by sending an SMS is a bit far fetched. Moreover, I really don’t understand why would someone send an SMS to file a General Diary with police when the same could be done more conveniently by just dialling up number.

Foreign development agencies sometimes have a mandate to show impact to their donors. When it comes to technology, may be its too lucrative for them to show a science fiction like project for the local region which might wow the donor and media. It would have helped if UNDP could have looked at the existing systems of policing and thought of how to improve that first. For example, how about a 999 like nation wide number for emergency services such as fire, medical emergency and police related issues? I accept however that there are a few strange socio-cultural snags in Bangladesh which makes it difficult to even get a cab from the streets to make it to go where you want to. And to get help from police in time, without any involvement of bribes and bureaucracies is still a rather utopia. SMS and technology in general may be can’t change basic mindset or the impression towards police, something UNDP need to keep in mind. So lets come down to earth from science fiction like projects such as this and see how we can make basic technology work to provide public services to the common people.