--social media strategies for Bangladeshi businesses worldwide
--public speaking on Bangladeshi businesses and social media
--paid product/service/website reviews of Bangladeshi companies
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
About Mark Hillary
Mark has authored a new book on Twitter Features Interviews, which includes case studies that includes many social media elites - including David Cameron, the British Prime Minister. He is shortlisted as the "Blogger of the year" by Computer Weekly, UK's leading technology magazine. However, the results for "Blogger of the year" will be announced on November 29th. So, you have the opportunity of voting for him now at http://bit.ly/markcw.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Just had to state the facts before I get into fiction mode...
Flipping through the weekend newspapers (The Daily Star, Banik Barta and Shomokal for the record), my lazy sleepy eyes roamed across the pages looking for something different, a not so news material. I tend to forget at times, the dramatization that exists in our news presentation in general and how we usually have to downplay the actual publication to get a closer estimate of whats actual.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
If we look further back, there is the great Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi) who believed in ahimsa (total non-violence) and preached, "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind." He was a living legend indeed. In fact Martin Luther King, Jr. himself had once said, "Christ gave us the goals and Mahatma Gandhi the tactics." Such is the acceptance of this Brahmachari that even at this kalyug (modern era/dark times), activists like Anna Hazare take up his non-violent methods to rally against Anti-corruption. Gandhians are still at large in India and across the globe irrespective of race, gender or religion. Idealism is usually the force which drives all progressive change and he had one that won a million hearts (and continue to do so) "Ahimsa Paramo Dharma".
Without further adieu let me get to the point! The enlightened people that you are (reading it) must be knowing about most of what I've highlighted in the above paras. But the irony is that we know the situation, perhaps can dig up a solution but definitely can't execute the desired course of action. Even our greatest leader Bongobondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1971 had called upon his countrymen in a thunderous voice, "Ebarer Sangram Amader Muktir Sangram, Ebarer Sangram Swadhinatar Sangram" (This struggle is for our freedom, this struggle is for our independence), inspiring what would turn into Bangladesh Liberation War. 40 years down the line... we still don't shy away from using it in every possible manner or putting his name and portrait in every possible place. These consecutive acts of mockery by successive governments has left us with no leader at all (at least not without acute controversies).
I grew up knowing Bangladesh is a nation of patriots and survivors that are full of optimism and adaptability. By the time I had grown up... I considered myself stuck in a rat hole of corrupt and uncivilized people who ensure nothing social insecurity and spiraling inflation and has no vision but of their own. Gandhian or not, dreamer or not.... I am just another citizen of Bangladesh. And all I ever wanted to love my country and contribute towards its development. I used to feel miserable at times knowing I probably wasn't contributing where is required the most, politics (more specifically student politics). But then when you wake up from that lucid surreal dream, you realize it is nothing but a pothole (like the ones you scrape through everyday). A pothole in a street that's underwater (sewerage preferably) , a pothole that we try to mend temporarily every now and then... a pothole we must we must fix to move forward!!!
Question is, HOW do we do it? by WHEN? and most importantly WHO does it?
Friday, August 5, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
|Qubee is cutting corners!|
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
‘Crowdmap’ is based on the ‘ushahidi’ platform, the Kenya based technology for development start up which was first used during the post-election violence in Kenya in 2007. Since then, it has been used increasingly after the earthquakes in Haiti, New Zealand, Japan, during the crisis in Egypt, Libya etc. Other than being used after natural calamities and man made crisis, ‘crowdmaps’ – rather ‘mapmania’ is going to be one of the key buzzwords for the year 2011.
For example, take the case of a crowdmap set up for reporting and tracking violence against women say in Dhaka city. Imagine the power it would give to ordinary Dhaka women to report incidents immediately to alert police or social agencies via the crowdmap. It could be a quick call against the shortcode for the crowdmap, or a quick SMS or for even further details, they can always login to internet to report in detail what exactly happened. It would become clearer which areas in the city are more prone to incidents against women thus urging authorities to promptly take measures to prevent such events from occurring in future. Please note that crowdmap doesn’t require internet for interacting with its users – simple mobile or landlines can also be integrated with crowdmap via another useful technology useful for NGOs – frontlineSMS. Have a look at a crowdmap to track violence against women in Egypt.
I won’t go into much detail how exactly frontlineSMS or crowdmap work, you can check the links and innovate a service for your locality anywhere in Bangladesh. The key point I am trying to drive home is effective initiatives for Digital Bangladesh will need to come out of closed door seminars and workshops in government offices or posh hotels and from reliance on proprietary software or platforms. Rather than hiring expensive foreign consultants or taking alms from foreign donors on a never-ending basis to devise technology driven solutions for social change, we should explore open source and mostly free technologies such as crowdmaps to include ordinary citizens in various aspects of services which the Government or other social development agencies are mandated to deliver. At present I am involved in a crowdmap initiative for Bangladesh focusing on economic, cultural and social rights of citizens. Power to the 'crowd'.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
Wonder if you would agree or not, but one of the silent pleasures of working in a company in Bangladesh lies in the privilege of ordering someone else (usually the office tea boy/girl) for a cup of tea or a black coffee and getting served straight at your desk when you must be crunching numbers with your open excel spreadsheet or are about to start that all important meeting with visitors. I always had full respect for these support service staff but never realised the luxury they used to offer us until I started working full time outside the country. I guess we carry the culture from our households where we grew up seeing our houses being cleaned, food being cooked and cars being driven by ‘others’ who were hired or kept to do such jobs only. So naturally when we get into workspaces, we could not get over that hard-coded habit of ‘being served’ the little refreshments of another day at work.
But honestly, would you really expect the same treatment when you are outside Bangladesh? May be you would silently miss that, like I do, but would you actually go to the extent of bringing someone over from Bangladesh to execute the same responsibilities? I did come across Jasim, the ‘imported from Bangladesh’ tea boy, here in London while attending a meeting owned by a British Bangladeshi gentleman. Most of the workplaces here have a kind of ‘serve yourself’ policy in designated kitchens, or you might see your hosts preparing your desired caffeine option before the start of any meeting. But to my surprise when my host ordered for some tea and biscuits to a nicely dressed young man, he jumped to his routine duty of boiling the water and pouring the biscuits on the plates for us. As I was being served by Jasim, I could not help asking my host how could he afford to have the luxury of having a tea boy in west London for such a small company as his. He explained rather proudly that he had brought Jasim from Bangladesh to offer him a better life. I didn’t ask in detail how exactly he could bring him over. No wonder he wears tucked in shirts and nice trousers but still ends up serving tea and biscuit to his Bangladeshi master. The other Bangladeshi staff at the meeting, young graduates from private universities in Dhaka, jokingly informed me that they also sometimes call for Jasim Bhai’s services as that is what the norm is in Bangladesh, so they feel good when there is someone else to serve them tea or coffee at work – it makes them feel important and in control somehow.
So there you go, order some tea to Jasim, sip it hot in cold cold London, feel good and empowered and continue working.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Deshbazar.Co.CC is number one source for Bangladeshi shoppers to get discounts, hot deals, special offers, free offers and money savings shopping news from Bangladesh. That site finds the best and latest offers from Bangladeshi market and posts them for public. Have fun and happy shopping!
That website also recommends all Bangladeshi marketers or sellers to inform the site admin about their hot deals. So that the site admin can publish the special offers (consumer promotion) directly from the manufactures/importers/service providers to the target market. Thus Deshbazar.Co.CC could able to communicate to the customers and consumers to let them get the advantage of your latest offer(s).
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
One thing I must say I miss watching are the TVCs by the Bangladeshi companies. It has been quite a while that I have been requesting quite a few movers and shakers in the Bangladeshi brand-wagon to have a central archive of Bangladeshi TV ads online, preferably in YouTube or Vimeo. I had even approached academics who preach branding and advertising to undertake some sort of an internship project for a group of students who might volunteer to setup a dedicated YouTube channel for Bangladeshi companies. I am afraid all these efforts have fallen on deaf ears and our representation and exploitation by Bangladeshi businesses on YouTube remains at best – scattered and unorganised. There are individual efforts by some enthusiastic viewers to take the pain to record and upload online the TVCs mostly by mobile telecom operators, but that too, is not planned, organised or even patronised by any company officially. (you might want to read a related post regarding your company being WEBFFYT).
Now why would I advocate that either Bangladeshi businesses think seriously of maintaining an active presence in YouTube or why should I urge the brand-gurus, business magazines of Bangladesh to consider setting up a centralised channel to feature TVCs from all companies whose ads are being shown in the private and nationalised TV channels in Bangladesh? There are a few reasons.
Firstly, the immediate audience of these ads are not going to be Bangladeshi consumers inside Bangladesh, as they are getting exposed to those ads through TV channels in any case. They should be primarily targeted towards non-resident Bangladeshis and foreign investors, advertising professionals, film-makers, partners etc. who might be interested to know more about 1. what are the latest ads 2. their quality in terms of storyboarding, composing, shooting, messaging, execution etc. or 3. even just to know what a certain Bangladeshi company is up to lately with relation to their products, services and offers.
Secondly, uploading and making available TVCs in YouTube or Vimeo or a certain video sharing website will enable the viewers who are the ultimate consumers not only to comment on those ads but also to share it with their networks through social media and other means if the ad is worth sharing or really funny or controversial. I strongly believe that ordinary consumers can come up with interesting insights and observations about TVCs and we always don’t have to wait for Mr. Know All Ahmed to write reviews in monthly business magazines and business newspapers in Bangladesh. The viewers are the best reviewers too.
Finally this might open up another opportunity for event management companies or corporates who love to give away awards as a means of self-promotion, to actually arrange a crowdsourced best Bangladeshi TV ad award. In this case, the voting can be made open to worldwide viewers and not left on the hands of a jury made of business leaders, teachers, gurus who know each other well and prefer to keep a closed-door community.
So what do you think about this? Please share your views.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
How is your business gearing up for the greatest cricketing event of the world when it kicks off in Dhaka on February 17th? As the cricket lovers from all around the world will either get glued to their TVs, computers and phones to get latest updates from the grounds of the sub-continent and while many of them will arrive in person to root for their favourite teams – how as a Bangladeshi business, you are preparing yourself not only to cash in on the opportunity but also to play some role whatsoever in upholding the local norms, cultures and traditions to the world media, to visitors in Bangladesh and to viewers abroad?
Might be a good idea to steer clear of the controversies and chaos ahead of the big event next month. Already quite a lot of chaos has been reported in relation to clashes for tickets, regarding the event managers of the opening ceremony and their involving Indian celebrities and the more serious concerns about adequate accommodation facilities for the foreign visitors. We can’t talk about all these in this post and neither we are in any position to provide solutions for them. Rather lets stay focused on opportunities. Not in any particular order or preference, some thoughts are as following –
- Reengineer, rename and revamp your menu
If you are in the business of food, takeaways, fast-food or restaurants, how about renaming some key popular dishes in your menu according to the cricketing themes, teams or even players? We already have seen our love for opponent-named dish items when we had beaten Australia and New Zealand in form of kangaroo curry and kiwi bhorta special! So be innovative and go ahead rename your cocktails as ‘Captain Courageous-Shakib Special’, burgers as ‘Tornado Tamim’ or spicy items as ‘Mashrafee Masala’. Possibilities are endless.
- Eat, sip and cheer
Again this goes out to those in food businesses, make sure you have TV screens, large and small, installed and supported by UPS to show matches as they are being played. Quite a great opportunity to lock in your customers to enjoy the match in your restaurants with specially discounted food prices for the duration of the match may be, or for an innings only or even for the first fifteen overs only!
- A win for Bangladesh, a win for the food-lovers, shoppers and mobile users
Don’t wait for the politicians and governments to flood our players with accolades and awards incase we steal some thunder during this world cup, you can do it yourself from your business perspective, you can do it early on and by rewarding not the players but their numerous supporters and fan from around the country. Announce early on through your websites, social media pages, or put up a banner and print in your menus that you will offer free meals or free drinks all throughout the following day of a historic home win! This might be your gesture to show gratitude to Tamims and Shakibs incase they bring some much needed glory for the nation form the cricket war fields.
In the same tune, if you are a retailer, the world cup offers you a great external hook to offer discounts for a day, week or based on a match by match basis to your customers. Its just a matter of how you show your brand to be completely drenched in the world cup rain and how passionately you want to share this spirit with your customers.
Finally, the mobile phone companies can always offer their subscribers free minutes or free SMSes incase Bangladesh wins, so that the good news can be shared faster and wider among friends and families at home and abroad.
- Freebies with every wicket, freebies with every six
Again this idea might work on a match by match basis and can be limited to the day of the match only. You can announce beforehand that every time Bangladesh is playing a match, every time an opponent wicket falls or everytime a Bangladeshi batsman scores a six, you offer a free coke to all who are present in your restaurant at that moment.
- The glorious cricketing moments in DVD
We’ve talked about this before in an earlier post. No occasion will be as great as this to finally showcase in the form of a DVD/CD the historic winning moments of Bangladeshi cricket and make them available for purchase or as prize items competitions in your points of sales, business premises.
- Patriotic marketing and patriotism merchandising
A great occasion yet again to print out t-shirts, mugs, key-rings, wrist-bands, stickers, photoframes etc. with the Bengal tigers on it. Even better that if you are a charity or as part of your corporate generosity towards the development of the sport in Bangladesh, you can decide to donate either the full or a certain percentage of sales to skills searching, developing initiatives for Bangladesh cricket.
- Tourism and sightseeing – if a festival doesn’t exist – invent it and have fun!
There is no doubt that travel agencies and the tourism board of Bangladesh are gearing up to woo the foreign sports tourists to various scenic locations of Bangladesh. Many among this group might actually arrive in the sub-continent with a view to not only enjoy great games of cricket but also to make a touristic discovery of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the same breathe, which is certainly a good idea. It might not be the best idea to compare tourist attractions of Bangladesh with other countries as we have what we have and we can change things overnights, merely can try to improve them over time. Something we can certainly do is to innovate rituals or activities at or surrounding our tourist locations and relate them to cricket in such a way that even after the world cup finishes, we can continue with the trend and festivities years after years.
For example, how about a beach cricket tournament in Cox’s Bazar? The format of the game, rules, prizes etc. might require a whole different post but the key idea here is to innovate something unique which doesn’t exist as a tourist attraction related to cricket anywhere in the world- or certainly not in the Indian sub-continent. We have the longest unbroken sea beach in the whole world stretching 120 kilometres. A fun to watch 20-20 cricket match at every 5 kilometer of the stretch over a period of 2-3 days might draw enough participants and tourists alike to visit each location for the fun of it, and thus discover the unique beauties of the coastal Bangladesh in a different sporting way.
- The cricket bat of best wishes
Although a bit late for this may or I am not entirely aware if anything similar have already taken place- but it would be nice if a massive cricket bat could have travelled to all district towns of Bangladesh where the fans could have signed in their support for the home team. If travelling to each corner of the country sounds improbable within a month then atleast visiting the divisional headquarters would be nice. In the end of the day, the world cup in Bangladesh will be more about the fans and lovers of cricket than about the players themselves. So the common public have every right to be a part of this festivity from outside the stadiums too.
So just some random thoughts here, let me know how you are preparing for the fun with the bat and ball next month.