Bangladeshi Flag Rises High in Unilever Future Leaders’ League 2016

Bangladeshi Flag Rises High in Unilever Future Leaders’ League 2016

Team Bangladesh emerged as the Champion and has held the countries pride high by winning the global title of Unilever Future Leaders’ League 2016!  Sajeed Alam, Ayman Sadiq and Ishmam Chowdhury winners of Unilever BizMaestros representing Bangladesh has beaten teams from 29 countries to win the title.

Unilever Future Leaders’ League is a global competition where chosen young minds from across the world compete in global platform. These teams initially are chosen locally by Unilever in each country through case competition.

Unilever Bangladesh runs Unilever BizMaestros, a real life business case competition where Sajeed Alam, Ayman Sadiq and Ishmam Chowdhury from IBA – University of Dhaka won the title in October 2015. In the local round the team hustled against 500 top selects of the country and became the champions. As the BizMaestros Champions, they had the responsibility to represent Bangladesh in the global platform of Unilever Future Leaders’ League 2016 held from 10th April 2016 to 14th April 2016.

From the pool of 4 lac participants from 1120 top ranking universities across the globe this year, top 90 students representing the best of 30 countries participated in the semifinals of the global competition. 

Aiming to enhance Unilever’s attractiveness amongst the graduates, the Unilever Future Leaders’ League (UFLL) was introduced in 2013 with an aspiration of becoming the most iconic and recognizable business competition amongst universities globally. It is a one-of-a-kind, global competition, which serves as a platform for the best and brightest university students from all over the world to showcase their creativity, as they impress our Leaders with their innovative solutions to real-life business challenges faced by Unilever renowned brands, experience world class-coaching by learning from Unilever leadership and business professionals at Unilever and  gain global perspectives through interactions with like-minded peers from different parts of the globe.

Apart from its objective to create mindshare amongst the graduate talent pool, UFLL also aims to develop a talent pipeline for our iconic early careers programs and leverage the students’ creativity and innovative thinking to inject new business ideas into Unilever. But most importantly, through the scale and reach of this global program, Unilever is able to improve youth employability around the world, by providing a unique FMCG experience.

Unilever BizMaestros 2015 Winners- Sajeed Alam, Ayman Sadiq and Ishmam Chowdhury, the trio received the opportunity to experience Unilever FLL by winning the BizMaestros. Prior to flying to London to compete in the competition, they were mentored by Product Group Manager. The entire program is run with the objective of developing leadership amongst youth. 

In the platform of Unilever Future Leaders’ League, Team Bangladesh met representatives from all across the world. The experience was overwhelming for each participating students as they all came together and experienced Unilever for 4 days. During the semifinals, Teams presented their ideas on Sunsilk as to how they can generate and engage the consumer groups more in terms of global engagement. Bangladesh presented their idea and got through the finals by impressing the judges massively.

The best feeling for the team probably was when finalist teams were announced. Bangladesh had beaten USA, Canada, UK, Japan and many more country who are known for producing some great talent. Even more, Bangladesh was the only country from South Asia to go through the finals beating India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

In the run for the trophy, nine strong teams contended; namely – Indonesia, Canada, Nigeria, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Russia, Egypt, Portugal and Italy. Costa Rica became the 2nd runner-up, team Russia became 1st runner-up and with their impressive performance, Team Bangladesh won the grand finale.

Ipshita Fahmin, Leadership Development Manager of Unilever Bangladesh mentioned that Unilever Bangladesh always believes in harnessing the talent and as they believe, the potential of the youth of this country is paramount.  “We often think Bangladeshi students struggle in terms of quality when it comes to global competition, and it is in these global competitions that we can see how Bangladesh can rise high. Our objective is to create the platform for the youth of tomorrow.”

With this aim, Unilever Bangladesh organizes Unilever Bizmaestros every year which provides final year university students in Bangladesh the thrill of real business through competitive activities. Students are required to conduct research to accumulate consumer insight on a real brand of Unilever and then formulate a business plan for the brand.  The winning trio this year were asked to design their own communication material, suggest their own sustainability idea for the brand, and build a “360 degree” plan to build the brand. Throughout this process, the participants also obtained the unique opportunity to be coached and guided by the brand managers of Unilever Bangladesh.

As the winners of Unilever BizMaestros, the trio were coached and then sent to participate in the Unilever Future Leaders’ League 2016.

“The FLL was truly a spectacle. While I had never imagined in my life to be sitting in the same table with Leena Nair, Global CHRO, and to be engaged in sessions from Global Leaders, I was also surprised by the level of humility displayed by them. And my most memorable experience has to be the results announcement. As soon as we heard ‘Bangladesh’, the crowd cheered and it was deafening. It felt like we had won the hearts of people all over the world! Like they wanted us to win, a country called Bangladesh most of them didn’t even know about a few days ago. It was a rare sight, and I could not have been more proud of my brilliant teammates, my country and the people back home we represented” said Sajeed Alam, champion – Unilever Future Leaders’ League 2016.

Winners of BisMaestros have been performing greatly in the global platform of UFLL ever since Bangladesh started participating in 2014. In first year, Bangladesh was amongst the finalists while in 2nd year, back in 2015, Team Bangladesh – Nusrat, Akib and Utsob  won 1st Runner Up position and in 2016 The Bangladesh Flag was hoisted higher than ever by winning the cup, winning the championship!

As the winners of UFLL, The team will now be representing Bangladesh in “One Young World” summit in Ottowa, Canada to be held in September this year.


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