Webinar on “Covid 19 Effects: Are They Changing the Way We Undertake Our Business?”
“Covid 19 Effects: Are They Changing the Way We Undertake Our Business?”
A webinar on the current talk of the world Covid 19 effects was organized on 19th May, 2020 at 11.30am using Zoom online platform.by the Department of Business Administration (DBA), School of Business, Britannia University. The BBA students from 1st to 12th semesters attended the live webinar under the active supervision of the faculty members of the DBA. It was a more than 2 hours long live session including 4 sub sessions of which first 3 sessions were presentation and discussion from the three key speakers and the last 1 session was allocated for question and answer sessions. Three of the successful alumni were invited to deliver their observation and way of dealing Covid 19 effects on their corporate business. This is the first webinar for the School of Business which was turned into an active and very much interactive session between the current students and three alumni of the School of Business.
Honorable Dean, School of Business and Chairman, DBA Prof. Dr. Surajit Sarbabidya made a preliminary introduction by praising about the three alumni as key speakers of the webinar. They delivered their speeches one by one and current students interacted with them with so many queries. The following paragraphs have been set on the basis of the deliveries of the three key speakers and their answers to the students’ queries.
Md. Ashiqur Rahman, Area Manager, KY Steel, KDS Group
Md. Ashiqur Rahman who was a student of BU BBA and MBA 1st batch has established himself as a successful professionals of footwear and thereby steel industry. Beginning his career as Area Manager of APEX he moved to KY Steel of KDS Group. Experiences at two shinning big groups as well as mega brands of Bangladesh in two different industries have given him a unique portfolio with diversified responsibilities at management level. He had glorious record of working for CocaCola Bangladesh as intern during his internship placement. He is the first student of the first batch who moved towards the industrial leadership at this very stage of his career.
Observation of Md. Ashiqur Rahman on Covid 19 effects on his company’s business are as follows:
Md. Ashiqur Rahman skillfully emphasized on the researching and awareness development among the employees, distributors and other stakeholders of his business to cope with the Covid 19 effects. He made his presentation on the webinar topic with before and after phases of Covid 19 effects on his company’s business.
Before Covid 19
1. Anywhere distribution: Before Covid 19, his company used to focus on anywhere distribution of steel products within Bangladesh through its logistic supports.
2. B2B: His Company focused on B2B type of distribution system by reaching the distributor to reach to retailer.
After Covid 19
1. Accept the situation for panic management: Mr. Ashiqur told the story of his company’s positive approach to accept the situation to cope with the crisis.
2. Team management with Safety and Security of employees: Md. Ashiqur highly appreciated his company’s standing for employee care without experimenting on health and safety issues. The ‘Working from Home’ has become a philosophy and current practice in the company’s today’s business operation. As part of it, he stated, his company has launched online training, conferencing, motivation to handle business challenges. According to him, such initiative of his company has tremendously helped in workforce preparation during this lockdown time.
3. Targeted marketing approach: Due to lockdown, targeted marketing approach has been applied by his company on those market segments which are not locked down.
4. Direct marketing: Mr. Ashiqur found direct connectivity with the retailers and customers is immensely benefitting his company during this crisis period.
5. Cost realignment and productivity: One of the most effective strategic decisions which attracted Ashiqur is the realigning of cost through cost minimization approach of his company by reducing maintenance cost, incentive/allowance costs, etc., which are essential for survival during this crisis time. This is helping his company in achieving the expected level of productivity.
6. Survival via penetration: Because of Covid 19 effect when the other companies which stopped their production, he found his company smartly and wisely mitigated those gaps with own production.
7. Focusing on current products rather than innovation: To cope with the dynamic nature of severe Covid 19 crisis, he found his company emphasized on flexibility to avoid uncertain situation and as part of this focusing on current products rather than innovation.
8. Realign customers and other stakeholders’ immediate priority: He stated that through home or, over the office delivery, compensation to retailers who were fined for opening the shop during lock down his company has already achieved a great competitive edge over its rivals in the context of B2B stakeholder management.
9. Supply chain management: By listing retailers in the areas where there is no lockdown, his company is continuing its distribution.
10. Digital Transformation: To remain active and successful in the prolonged period of Covid 19, he found, his company has developed and adopted various automation system for manufacturing, operation and communication including online advertisements.
Md. Jahidul Hasan, Senior Executive, Solar Electro Bangladesh Limited, National Distributor of Xiaomi
Md. Jahidul Hasan who was a student of BU BBA and MBA 3rd batch commenced his session by delivering his speech from the perspectives of mobile handset industry. Mr. Jahid has a very good record of working for good mobile handset brands and gained immense experience from his part time job and internship at Smasung during BBA student life while later on he joined as full time at Samsung and subsequently he joined his current organization Solar Electro Bangladesh Limited which is the national distributor of Xiaomi, a fastly rising popular mobile handset brand.
Observation of Md. Jahidul Hasan on Covid 19 effects on his company’s business are as follows:
1. Growth of mobile handset business: Md. Jahidul expressed his positive outlook regarding the growth of mobile handset business even though Covid 19 effect as smart phones have been one of the main and mostly used devices for online based communication during this very lockdown situation.
2. Achievement of reliability: According to him, Xiaomi mobile handsets for their unique and best performing features have become the most reliable portables to connect today’s business and their customers in their daily operations and activities.
3. Growing need of new hiring: He also expressed his observation on growing job opportunities as his company requires more people in handling the rising demand during Covid 19 situation.
4. Innovation: He stated that it was the concentration of the company on innovation which has given Xiaomi substantial competitive edges over its arch rivals.
5. Resume of office operation with all health and safety measures: Mr. Jahid appreciated his company’s stand in emphasizing ‘Safety Precautions’ of the employees. After a long period of lockdown time his company has resumed office operation since May 10 with all health and safety measures with social distance protocol to prevent Covid 19 effects on the employees and customers.
6. CSR: His company has recently made a contribution of around Tk. 20 lacs for CSR during this Covid 19 effects.
7. Job opportunities: He expected BU BBA graduates will be able to avail the job opportunities in his company with their credible performances.
8. Promotional event: The marketing promotional event ‘Jabbor Jackpot’ is expected by Jahid to be one of the successful campaigns for his company in this current crisis period.
Golam Hasnine, Field Marketing Executive, Japan Tobacco International
Golam Hasnine who was another student of BU BBA and MBA 3rd batch began speaking from the perspectives of tobacco industry. Mr. Hasnine has a very dynamic record of working for multinational and No. 1 paint company Berger Bangladesh as intern during his BBA study. For his excellent performance his internship period was not only extended by the Berger but also he was offered to join as executive with its promising dealer. However, he had had mindset to move towards service oriented sector and joined as full time official at bKash, the No. 1 mobile banking company of Bangladesh. His successful performance opened new opportunities for him in the Bangladesh subsidiary of the international market giant in tobacco industry, the Japan Tobacco International. He joined as Field Marketing Executive in the Japan Tobacco International in the last year. His diversified portfolio has established himself as the successful business professionals in a couple of years.
Observation of Golam Hasnine on Covid 19 effects on his company’s business are as follows:
1. Marketing without Advertisement: Mr. Hasnine focused on one such aspect of tobacco industry which confines the respective companies’ marketing efforts to a great extent and that is the ban on tobacco advertisements. Even though this severe limitations he found that his company has proved its worth in doing business in before and during Covid 19 effects due to their strategic approach.
2. Challenging time: He described the current effect of Covid 19 as the most challenging time for his company’s business. Such effects very severely affected business volume of the tobacco industry including his company. He emphasized on merchandising as one of the key tactic of his company’s survival during this tough time.
3. Refocusing distribution: He stated that his company refocused on channel of distribution. One of such refocus is to prompt reply over the phone order from the retailers. Since all shops are not closed in those areas where there is no lockdown, his company prefers to go for free territory wise distribution.
4. Working from Home: Due to social distancing and other restrictions during lockdown his company has given utmost priority on health and life as safety first measures.
5. More connectivity through online: According to Hasnine, his company’s communication activities have been more active at online platforms side by side of the conventional mode. Now, he and his team members are using several online conferencing platforms for regular report submission, meeting, conferencing, communication, etc.
6. Skill development tips: Mr. Hasnine equipped the BBA students with so many skill development tips of which his advocacy for using LinkedIn Learning and Course Era are noteworthy. He advised the students to stay at home and utilize this lockdown time for their knowledge and soft skill development using various online resources.
The webinar was chaired by the honorable Dean of the School of Business Dr. Surajit Sarbabidya, hosted by Lecturer Mrs. Tania Akter, coordinated and supervised by the faculty members 1) Mr. Md. Saddam Hossain, 2) Mrs. Khaleda Akter, 3) Mrs. Farzana Tabassum, 4) Mrs. Fatema-Tuz-Zohara.
The webinar ended with vote of thanks to the students and faculty members by the honorable Dean of the School of Business Dr. Surajit Sarbabidya who assured to organize webinar series in the upcoming days to enrich students’ knowledge and skill base.