Bangladesh Brand Forum organized the first ever summit on retail business in Bangladesh, called Bangladesh Retail Congress, held on Saturday, 7th February at Dhaka’s Le Meridien Hotel. The theme of the summit was “Transforming to Sustainable Retail Business” where multiple key-note speakers came to share their valuable insights.
It was a congregation where international and national experts met, marketing heads sat and discussed the barriers they are currently facing, professors shed light on what needs to be done to overcome such barriers, industrialists spoke of Bangladesh’s growth potential and words like ‘sustainable development’, ‘future of retail’, ‘mobile commerce,’ ‘technology’ were used very often. The day long session was a platform to discuss key areas in retail business, the status-quo, to talk about GDP contribution, tax incentives, friendly business environment, to share consumer trends, consumer behaviour, to explore technology and innovation, to urge retailers of Bangladesh to pay heed to customers’ needs, to speak about business strategy to help make the Millennials loyal customers and to help local retailers maximize their value creation and experience upward trending business growth.
Yakeen Gazi, Senior Vice President IT and Logistics of Hypercity Retail India Ltd was one of many amazing speakers who presented. His session was called “Transformation or Disruption IT the Catalyst.” Mr. Gazi reflected on how, if retailers do not embrace change and innovation, their journey would stop short, their growth stunted; they too will be wiped out, like Kodak, for instance, has been. Mr. Gazi warned retailers that they should focus on the what will happen 10 years down the line. Additionally, he urged retailers in Bangladesh to ride on the third wave where consumers are the main point of sale; anywhere consumers are present, that is the place in the 4Ps of Marketing that we have all come across in our basic Marketing course. He also added that the Millennials are the customers of the new retail wave and for them knowing “WHY” is more important. Thus, retailers should concentrate on explaining why their product and services are what Millennials have been looking for.
Another interesting speaker was Mr. Kurnal Rawat, Creative Director of Landor’s Mumbai office. Mr. Rawat focused on “Branded Experience” where he wooed the audience with his passion for typography, visual art and street signs. Mr. Rawat received cheers from females in the crowd when he talked about his own social experiment, where he sold “Love Boxes” at Dadar Railway Station. He portrayed this beautiful yet simple quote by Landor “One on one interaction will always be special. Products are made in factories but brands are created in the mind.” when he wanted to explain to the crowd what brand presence means and its importance. Moreover, Mr. Rawat rectified people’s perception of how design is more than luxury; design means when efficiency meets effectiveness. He said “offline is the new online.” Mr. Rawat mentioned how rapid evolution and high competition exists in the market place and it demands something different; today’s brands thrive as they are agile and brands need to stand for something that connects with the consumers. They need to have philosophy, rethink the value chain and be more customer centric, making efforts to delight customers. The era has come where customers need to be at the center of every decision making. Mr. Rawat included the case study of Asian Paints and Usha, where they have created interactive experiences, reaching the hearts of the consumers, creating memories, leaving lasting impressions.
The Retail Congress was a successful event which parted with a promise that there will be more to look forward to in the upcoming years.