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 Volume 5 | Issue 33 | August 21, 2011 |


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PlayMakers -- the Breeding Ground for Future Marketers

Ovick Alam

With a commitment to inspire and develop talented marketers to take our economy forward, the Department of Marketing of Dhaka University organised an intra-department talent hunt competition titled “PlayMakers” on July 23, 2011. 286 undergraduate students of the department participated in a group assessment, where they had to solve a small marketing case and come up with a rough marketing plan within 15 minutes. Among them 44 participants from different batches were selected from all batches it was a group of diverse and enthusiastic young marketers willing to showcase their skills in front of distinguished personalities from the corporate world.

Participants were then divided into 11 four-member teams randomly; after which, they were given two comprehensive grooming sessions on various areas of case solution, marketing and branding. These sessions were conducted by the senior (current) and ex-students of the department. Moreover, the grooming sessions were a melting pot of diverse batches which provided a great networking platform for the students. After the second grooming session on July 26, the participants were given a marketing case which required them to develop a brand and create a campaign which will redefine the landscape of how people consume coffee in Bangladesh. Students were given only two days to come up with their innovative and practical ideas.

The semi-final round was staged on Friday, July 29; each team presented their ideas in front of distinguished judges from the corporate world. They were Tahmina Ferdousi (Senior Brand Manager of Hair Care, Unilever Bangladesh), Ishtiaq Ahmed (Vice President of Transformation Office, Robi Axiata Ltd.) and Khaled Muhammad Shoeb (Head of SME Collection & Credit Risk Management, Brac bank Ltd.). The judges evaluated all the ideas critically and shared their valuable insights with the participants. The conference hall of Faculty of Business Studies (FBS) was buzzing with enthusiasm as the judges were about to announce the finalists. Scores was close and 5 teams made it to the finals.

The Grand Finale was keenly awaited by all the participants and organizers as it was to be judged by two of the department's famous graduates Rubaba Dowla Matin (Chief Service Officer, Airtel Bangladesh Ltd.) and Muneer Ahmed Khan (Chairman and Creative Chief, Unitrend Ltd). The finalists gave it all they had and managed to put up a great show, the audience was thrilled with excitement during the wonderful presentations and exhaustive 'Q & A' sessions as the judges critically assessed every nook and corner of the plans presented. Each group came up with innovative ideas and comprehensive plans to back them up. The judges enjoyed the session and appreciated many ideas, but they had a terrible time in deciding the winner! The teams were almost impossible to separate, and so, it was a tie! Then the judges called up the two tied teams and asked them to deliver a two-minute extempore speech to convince them. Finally, team 'Euphoria' clinched the title from 'Synectics' with 'BrandFire' securing the 2nd runner-up position. The organising team, consisting of Marketing 12th and 13th batches and headed by Reza Shahbaz Hadi, pulled off a wonderful event. Both the judges were thrilled by the night's experience and urged the department to organise such events more often, after all, it is the breeding ground for future icons like Rubaba Dowla Matin and creative masterminds like Muneer Ahmed Khan.

(The author is a member of the First Runner-up team in this competition)


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