Big on Small Screen, again!

Half a decade later, I am back on TV.

In 2010, it was #RideonTheTop on #ETV speaking about “Air Action by Mentos Launch Campaign”.

In 2016, I was invited to speak on the “Digital Marketing in Digital Bangladesh” on #YoungNite of #ATNNews

Felt more like a “coming of age” compare & contrast.
A boy had become a man.
An amateur to an expert.

In 2010, I was thinking creative in advertising working for Ogilvy & Mather
In 2016, I am drawing blue maps in digital services working for Robi Axiata

Still a very much thinker but also a part time blogger. Enjoy!


The PYRAMID Theory: The Golden Rule of Switching Careers

We are all more or less familiar with the term jump ship.
Even if we weren’t, just about each and every one of us has (at some point of his/her career) been involved in it.

A few years ago in a discussion with a few of my colleagues back at Ogilvy, I had presented this theory on “the quickest way to climb the career ladder”. Authentic or not, just about everyone from that day’s discussion have somewhat put it to good use.

The Pymarid TheoryThe idea was quite simple actually. We’ve all read about the great Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs“, we are all aware of how the climb to the top is always saved for a lucky few. What we don’t express is how we all can in some way or the other make it to the top of the game at the end. Considering how the career pyramid has just about the same layers across industries and corporations alike, you’ll notice its only the sub-layering that can be rather broad, leaving the barebone to be mostly same.

So this is how it works,

  • A Midlevel Manager looking after Google Search can switch to a Leadership position at Bing.
  • A Junior Manager looking after Google Search can switch to a Midlevel position at Bing or Lead at a startup like DuckDuckGo.
  • Don’t even contemplate being a Fresher at Google and found a service like Leap2.

From a local perspective it could be,

  • A Midlevel Manager at Unilever can switch to a Leadership position at Marico.
  • A Junior Manager looking after Unilever can switch to a Midlevel position at Marico or Lead at a local house like Akij.
  • Don’t even contemplate being a Fresher at Unilever and found a company of your own like Sumon’s Aroma.

I obviously had envisioned it in terms of advertising agencies in Bangladesh, and my colleague left to join another agency after some time. However I myself didn’t follow my own model and decided on switching industries for my next career move.

Was it right? Was it a mistake? That only time will tell.

Career switching consists of only scope and opportunity cost. Question is…how much?

Journey of the Spirit | The Airport

Toweled up and ready to roll!

So made it to the airport after a bit of getting used to in Ihram. The closest to this in my imagination was a Lungi, and you are right if you imagined a South Indian look for me.

After enjoying Chennai Express thoroughly and being a big fan of Rajnikanth Jokes, I felt and looked like the Mahatma as soon as I was clad in white. Although my not so progressive wife believed otherwise and kept insisting on how my current look and feel is to resemble only piece of clothing you are allowed to wear when facing Allah, the Kafan.

Enlightenment aside I am really excited about the Biman B777s. Being an aircraft enthusiast for life, finally there is a plane to ride that carries the national flag with pride.

Had a bit of an episode with this so-called international SIM service provider Matrix. To my disbelief they gave us two SIMs with 20 Riyals of talk time for FREE! Yes, FREE!!!

I was so intrigued by tier business model I actually told them my job as a telecom professional to get a conversation going. Although the sales reps didn’t know much, they surely did try to rip us off by initially saying the SIMs will cost us 200 Taka each.

But just as every other time in tho trip, wife intervened. She calmly asked, “Aren’t these supposed to be free?”. As I tried to brush her away, clearly puzzled and uncomfortable the guys at the counter yes, “Oh yes, we have that as well”.

So much for earning a cent of Sawab by not trying to cheat pilgrims :p

Well the coffee shop guy was unusually nice though. He offered a 10 Taka discount on a 80 Taka bill. Wife things these are all small bursts of blessings from above.

Let’s wait to see the plane 🙂

Happiness is…

So my Immigration Officer at DAC randomly asked if I was a “Happy Person” or not. Without waiting for a reply, he started sharing a few words of wisdom to an absolute stranger with whom he had no business. His intent seemed unfathomable, reason for picking me pointless yet the message was worth a million. Happiness is not what you aspire to get, its what you make of the things you have!

Guess that’s what makes us one of the “Happiest Cities” in this human colony called Earth!
The 10 Happiest Cities on Earth

A Fruity Idea

Another tea time idea sees the light of day…
A tool conceptualized and developed for people of the country who pride themselves as a paradise of fruits.

Fruits of Bangladesh

It allows you to browse by seasons (Bengali calendar)

Fruit Calendar
Fruit Calendar

Or by regions (Bangladesh map)

Fruit Map
Fruit Map

And to the best of my knowledge (you bet), there has been no such initiative in Bangladesh before (except of course Banglapedia). Endorsed and funded by my dear(est) client Tang (a brand owned by Mondelez), this was a pet project of mine which the client bought into.

So type in fruitsofbangladesh and keep exploring!!! Feedbacks are welcome with open arms.

#ShahbagSquare vs. #ShaplaChattar

With the war of words and hash tags heating up on twitter, I thought why not write about @প্রজন্মচত্বর and @বাঁশেরকেল্লা.

The recent tug of war between #শাহবাগ জনতা and #হেফাজত হুজুর has brought the country to the brink of a full-fledged civil war. The success of #ArabSpring has made way for religiously-motivated #BanglaSpring, the lack of accountability on Government’s part has made way for scoundrels like #MuradJung and #SohelRana to flourish further.

Where municipality provides mobile public toilets and traffic police lets major intersections to be used for sit-in protests by Varsity students, law enforcers mount on Madrasah students armed with faith and bamboo sticks at the middle of the night.

Yes, burnt in #Shahbag. And yes, there is a possibility #Hefazot men even burnt #TheHolyQuran.

But why the cadres who chanted slogans in #Shahbag, were firing point-blank at #Motijheel moulanas?

#SaveBangladesh might be a publicity stunt. But #mycountryisburning.

#BlackNight is here, #DhakaSiege will continue…

The entire piece is written with #twitterhashtag as prefix. Sorry, but digital is heavily in the mix.

Where’s our SUPERHERO

I have a 8-year-old nephew who eats, breathes and sleeps Batman,
I have a 30-year-old acquaintance who dresses himself as Random Man,
I am a 29-year-old with t-shirts of Batman, Superman, Hulk and Captain America.

Yes, I am addicted to super humans.

Not so long back I observed something, I thought I would never see again. The rise of the youth, a common cause, the intellects lightening up and unprecedented apolitical participants made Shahbag a part of modern history. In a country that is yet to celebrate its golden jubilee, the People’s Movement was simply spectacular.

I couldn’t be a part of it. Or perhaps never wanted to be in the first place. You see, I was born pragmatic. Whatever seems to good to be true, will always be untrue for me. At the beginning, at least!

Templars of passion turned into politicians, volunteer protestors into veteran policymakers; this movement by one unknown সরকার (Blogger Imran H Sarkar) seemed to be of the সরকার (Bangla for Government).

But as they say in Bangla, এক মাঘে শীত যায়না or in Hindi, Picture abhi baaki hai; there was more to this than meets the eye.

In came Hifazat-e-Islam.

While the Shahbagi youth clad in red and green shouted slogans in rhythmic fashion, the Hifazati boys (yes, only boys) walked relentlessly murmuring zikr wearing all white. We thought Shahbag was the beginning and end of movements in such scale, but the long march of Guardians (হেফাজাতকারী-রা) proved it all wrong.

From mythical times, there has always been a Superhero saving the day at the end. Hercules never got to meet Hitler nor did Achilles meet Akbar; but they all made it to the history books thanks to their extraordinary exemplary actions.

Question remains, who will rise to take action? লীগ, পার্টি or দল?

Wish I could answer, চাইনা এদের মল।

Never Say Die

As the title might suggest, I didn’t have কই মাছ for lunch or used an Energizer in my torch.

Both কই মাছ and the Keep Going motto of Energizer are things of the past. Times when everything would just last. Last for years. Be it a Volkswagen Beetle or an Omega De Ville, the classics simply worked. No wonder they keep coming back every now then.

Today is not the day for reminiscing our golden past, so let me get back on track.

Ever since I picked up my first Android, I started going grey.
Yes, smartphones are a wonderful evolution of connectivity solutions.
And yes, I won’t last a day without it.
But the burden of battery life is at times too much.

Carrying a charger every time you go out, keeping a power pack close by or simply buying battery cases are just a few of the preventive measures we take to last through the day. Yet it’s almost instinctive for us to check the battery life after every use.

Add the stress of a smart phone running out of juice to our everyday life in Dhaka, and you are left with a nightmare of the worst kind. If not for hours of power cuts, the hours spent in traffic will get to you. And as Murphy says, it gets you on the worst of days.

Tired of expecting a fix that would improve my iPhone’s battery life and frustrated after trying out all the tweaks (80-20 charging rule, No GPS, reduced Screen Brightness etc.), I was giving up till the idea of a backup phone came along.

Don’t know about others, but I guess it’s a necessity to maintain two numbers in Bangladesh. Be it the official vs. personal number issue or the pursuit of ultimate value, we are all stuck with multiple numbers. And since the rise of Dual SIM smartphones is still at a nascent stage (at least with regards of top-of-the-line makes), more and more smart phone users are stuck carrying two phones 24/7.

The idea was simple. Just the way behind every successful man there is a woman, behind every smart phone is a backup কই মাছের প্রাণ phone. ইলিশ is a delicacy, but I needed something cheesy (cheap & desi).

Thanks to my eccentric curiosity, I didn’t have to look far.

Walton has been a superbrand in Bangladesh lately. Following the footsteps of value brands like Konka and Singer, Walton has established itself as the undisputed leader of white goods in the market. I regularly followed their Facebook page. And just as I got tired of seeing my phone die on me every other day, I came across this…819244_497807170283429_1031345858_oThe 50 day standby was really difficult to digest. I work in advertising and yet I never fail to constantly remind myself don’t go for flashy advertising. But the idea of a phone that lasts for 50 days, was simply too much to overlook. Icing on the cake was its retail price of Taka 2250 / $29. It was a deal that took me back to those days of indestructible Nokia, when handsets and handguns were of same quality and lasted the same.

I was always aware of the market these phones catered to. In fact I remembered this ad of Marathon Series by Micromax which had caught my attention a few years back. Didn’t pay much attention since both my earlier phones (SonyEricsson W810 & Motorola EX115) lasted days. But I guess with the onslaught of battery-hungry smartphones, the market for long-life basic phones was hitting a high as well.

The idea turned into a plan. I was decided on buying a phone that would last, last so long that even the OCD-ed me would forget to charge it. As luck would have it, I was going to visit Basundhara City (unless you missed it by chance, the biggest mobile market in town) in a few days and the chance of making my plan a reality was knocking at the door.

Walking in with my colleagues, I looked like a man on a mission. I’ve been there many times before with the sole purpose of buying a new handset, but never was I on the lookout for something so different from what I had. The Walton store was a hard find and the news there was heart breaking. The wonder phone was still in its womb.

It wasn’t practical to go back after a week and I had to have my কই that very day. I looked around. From Maximus to Kingstar, Symphony to Samsung every brand was now in contention.

But it was a bright yellow retro that caught my eye. It was as simple as it could be. Stood out like a stork. And would cost me half of the Walton (cheaper than a Walton, beat that!!!).

I saw the price (Taka 1299 / $17) and rest is history.

Getting home, I preached of its seemingly never-ending battery life. The retro looks got enough attention as well. But the real test was when I put its marathon battery to test.882853_572741909410469_948310917_oBelieve it nor not, its been a fortnight and the battery still has two-thirds left. Flashy advertising does work after all…

2013-03-22 01.01.44
My two-week old Micromax X103

Last but not least, I got my brother hooked on to the idea of this and he is putting his Symphony B45 to test. Even as Nokia tries to take back the basic long battery-life market with its $20 Nokia 105 phone, these immortals are not gonna die out soon…

UPDATE: Finally after 20 days of use, I have put my phone to charge. God bless, Micromax. Nothing like anything.

2013-09-05 11.40.16-1
The best long-life basic phone one could have, easily!!!