The 2017 edition of Unilever BizMaestros kicked off with a roadshow at Institute of Business Administration, Dhaka University (IBA, DU) with former IBA students who are now successful managers at Unilever, and Kedar Lele, Chief Operating Officer at Unilever Bangladesh Limited.
The event was inaugurated by Dr. A.K.M. Saiful Majid, Professor and Director of IBA,DU. He greeted the guest speakers and the attendees, saying, “It's wonderful to have so many IBA graduates in Unilever. They have only increased our expectations from future graduates.”
The host of the event, Tasmia Tasbih Nova, Leadership Development Manager at Unilever, started the seminar with a video for Unilever. She then invited Kedar Lele to come to the stage and share his experience of working at Unilever and the different aspects of the type of skills and knowledge required to be a part of the Unilever family.
He said, “Unilever does not have a CSR programme. This is because we integrate socially responsible decision-making criteria within the job responsibilities. Working for Unilever allows you to contribute to the society because we collect our raw materials from small communities and micro-entrepreneurs. Our vision includes developing sustainable business goals (known as the Unilever Sustainable Development Goals), increasing positive social impacts, and reducing our own environmental impacts.” He also talked about what it means to be a successful leader and how the company makes its products available to the masses. After his speech he took follow-up questions from the students.
The host then introduced Zeeshan Rahman, who has been working at Unilever for 8 years, and was part of the first IBA team that won an international competition. He said, “I didn't want to be a specialist at one thing. I wanted to do everything and Unilever gave me that opportunity. Being a part of Unilever also taught me the importance of punctuality, understanding customer perspectives and most importantly, learning to lead myself before leading others.”
Sumayea Tabassum, who works in the Marketing department of Unilever, was then invited on stage. She talked about the assessment process of getting into the organisation and how to prepare for it. She went on to say, “You get exposed to a whole new business environment where you have to motivate employees to get work done. You'll have to go on 'stints' that can stretch upto months and you learn a lot from taking up responsibilities. It's never boring at Unilever.”
Mushfique Amin Mallick came up next and talked about his experience in the Finance department. “I have been a part of this organisation for 4 years now and I've had 6 different roles already,” he said. He also gave some insightful tips on what to do before applying to Unilever.
His speech was followed by Sudipto Saha from the Finance department and a few other recruits who shared their own experience and lessons learned from being a part of Unilever.
With the event nearing the end, the host took the mic from the final speaker and explained the rules and the process of Unilever BizMaestros. “There are 4 rounds in the competition, including the registration round and it will conclude by end of October. We have a minimum 3.00 CGPA requirement because the winning team will get fast-tracked to the finals of UFPL (Unilever Future Leaders Program). Our aim this time is to have a shorter programme with faster growth, more international exposure, more stints and better leadership training and mentoring.”
She concluded the seminar by thanking everyone and encouraging the students to participate in Unilever BizMaestros.