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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 51 | January 13 , 2008|


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BoM participants tough as teak

Mohammad Isam

Hard work always has its reward. For the seven finalists of Battle of Minds (BoM), it was sheer resilience and, in some cases, tremendous amount of determination that paid off during this one-of-a-kind business competition.

It was never easy once the participants, cream of the university crop, decided they would fight to be the best business potentials in Bangladesh.

“I heard of it last year and as I have participated in all kinds of competitions throughout my time at the university, I was more than just plain interested,” said a participant of BRAC University Team, a likable final year business student who was a news presenter at RTV and hence, had little trouble in public speaking. “My parents were quite excited and I valued British American Tobacco (BAT)'s competition a lot so I thought I would give it a try,” he continues.

His performance, like many others at Hotel Sarina on December 29, was noteworthy. But our BRAC University participant admitted that he and his teammates had a tough time selecting their brand that would be the first global one to come out of Bangladesh. They went through several but decided on Aarong.

One of four IUB representatives, told this reporter during the semifinals that they thought they got the toughest subject matter -- effective supply chain to control the prices of essentials. A burning current issue, it really got to IUB.

“It was difficult to start with. You must understand that the retailers and sellers were not giving us the right information. It varied from person to person. So it was quite hard pinpointing it,” added a talented debater and the convocation presenter of IUB for the last few years. But she maintained that her team was quietly confident ahead of the big final where the participants have to be comprehensive with the semifinal subject and are also going to challenge the other six teams.

Meanwhile, East West University had quite a conundrum. They were told to work out a plan through which Bangladesh would win an Olympic gold medal. Which sport? They went through many but finally the team picked shooting and went about their business. One of the team members said that shooters have been doing well over the years in different international meets and 'definitely' has a big shot (no puns…) at winning that elusive gold.

The team from Khulna University had a point to prove. They knew of the challenge to top a predominantly Dhaka-based semifinal line-up. But that was their motivation.

“We at Khulna University emphasise on this competition. We are a giant business school in Bangladesh and were keen to do well in BoM,” said one of the team members from Khulna University. He along with his teammates was asked to give a presentation on reviving shrimp industry of Khulna.

“We looked into the grassroots where the hatcheries are present. We also studied hard after discussions with the local frozen food dealers. We were also keen on knowing their transportation situation,” he added.

NSU had to interview a Bangladesh Biman pilot, among other things, to cover their subject of revamping the aviation industry of the country.

The NSU participant said that the BATB brand was also an attraction. He said of their nightshifts, “We had to do a lot of internet and newspaper research on this matter and even had to stay over to finish the work in time as we were given 10 days to work on it before the semifinal.” He also informed that the team were going to go all-out for the final on the same matter.

Dhaka University's management team had their troubles. There was no specific data on developing skilled labour for international market and increasing the flow of foreign currency. But thanks to some of their teachers and extensive secondary research, they pulled through. One of the participants of the DU team, when contacted also specified that it was their unique approach of setting up a make-believe recruiting agency that got them to the finals.

DU marketing department also had a more than interesting topic. Reviving the railways industry was interesting and challenging to say the least but the team that was confident that it is possible to revive this industry.

Yes, these participants are going to come all guns blazing on finals day and their zeal will take them to further distances in life, it seems.

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