CSR and a new order of business

March 6, 2012

From being seen as mere philanthropy and ‘doing good’, corporate social responsibility is now at the heart of business sustainability and ethical and accountable corporate behaviour
Bitopi Das Chowdhury
CSR or corporate social responsibility has been a buzz phrase for quite some time now. Not a day goes by without it being mentioned, albeit in passing, in daily business discourse. Even during the last decade, CSR was looked upon by big businesses as “doing good” — something that was “extra” to their day-to-day effort of profit maximisation, a great public relations (PR) tool to generate empathy among their customers and favouritism from the powers that be. Not anymore.
Companies today realise Read more

Harmful impacts of cartels on consumers

November 30, 2011

Munshi Abdul Ahad
A cartel is an anti-competitive arrangement between two or more competing businesses. Anticompetitive agreements, particularly cartels, harm consumers in urbanised society, as well as in the emerging countries. In adding together, cartelised industrial sectors lack competition which certainly reduces competitiveness in the long run and may have a negative impact on the overall performance of a country’s economy. Widespread shapes of cartels conduct are: price fixing, market sharing, bid rigging and output control.
Price fixing take places when Read more

How to troubleshoot the economy

November 30, 2011

Sadiq Ahmed
Bangladesh is facing serious macroeconomic challenges and I have written a lot explaining them in a series of articles published in The Daily Star and in The Financial Express. In this new article I am going to write specifically about how Bangladesh could address those challenges while also mobilising substantial external financing in a flexible form that will help both the balance of payments and the budget. This kind of financing will also be helpful in lowering inflationary pressures.
It is fashionable in developing countries to blame the International Monetary Fund Read more

Jute bag prospects in global arena

August 26, 2011

Md Rashedul Karim Munna
Global consumer demand for eco-friendly products has increased in both developed markets (such as Western Europe, the United States and Australasia) as well as new markets with emerging opportunities (such as the Middle East) mainly because of heightened awareness of the ill effects of environmental pollution and global warming.
Large chain stores are also offering alternate bags made of jute or cotton. This proves there is healthy global demand for these products due to the growing awareness of and demand for eco-friendly and biodegradable Read more

Safeguarding citizen’s money

August 19, 2011

Sadiq Ahmed
Banking is an entirely different ball game. When a licence is given to a bank to manage citizen’s money, the government is taking on a huge responsibility. By granting the licence, it is essentially certifying that it has confidence in the enterprise and trusts that the enterprise will safeguard the citizen’s money it mobilises through deposit taking.
In banking, safety is of paramount importance; returns are relatively less significant. Ask citizens whether they prefer a bank that gives 20 percent return but a large probability of failure to a bank that gives 10 percent Read more

Women entrepreneurship and our commitment

August 4, 2011

Tarique Afzal for The Daily Star
“Entrepreneur” is a French word that means “undertake”.
Women entrepreneurship is inherent as they are naturally endowed with the qualities of entrepreneurship. Instincts of a woman generate enormous strength and determination that drive the fear away from them. Entrepreneurship for a woman remains an innate quality and thus is authentic when applied in reality.
In support, the government is relentlessly working to ensure women empowerment, where entrepreneurs will be able to receive Read more

Managing macroeconomy

July 10, 2011

Sadiq Ahmed for The Daily Star
Bangladesh has achieved good economic performance over the past few years. It has successfully managed the transition from the global financial crisis of 2008-10 with relatively modest slowdown in economic activity. Economic growth has recovered and official data suggest that growth is on the upswing. While there is some debate about the magnitude of the upswing, mainly owing to the contentious unprecedented estimated growth in agriculture, there is enough corroborative evidence that economic recovery Read more

Organisational culture

April 22, 2011

Mamun Rashid
From an academic perspective, we can look at the way Edgar Schein, a former professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, defines organisational culture as ‘a pattern of shared basic assumptions that was learned by a group as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way you perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems’. Personally, my favorite definition would be Read more

The organisational machine

February 9, 2011

Sarwar Ahmed
What is an organisation? As you reach for Wikipedia in today’s digital world, you have access to a whole repertory of knowledge for free. An organisation is a social arrangement that pursues collective goals, controls its own performance, and has a boundary separating it from its environment.
An organisation consists of people who are responsible for achieving all the collective goals. To function, an organisation is created with a formal structure that is headed by a leader who should have a thorough knowledge of the Read more

Women and workplace dilemma

November 30, 2010

Mamun Rashid
I recently wrote a piece for The Daily Star business section on our lady colleagues. As usual, I received a few e-mails and phone calls. One of them was from a younger friend of mine, working for a regional conglomerate. He thought I did not do enough justice to the male colleagues, while championing the cause of our lady colleagues.
He felt there are plenty of male colleagues who help the women in the office excel and find a good balance between work and personal life. There are plenty of organisations too that promote diversity at the workplace Read more

A great leap in training

November 24, 2010

Mahmudur Rahman
Technical and vocational education and training has come a long way. Once the mere acquiring of basic skills was considered enough to address the demand for technical expertise. Times and demands have changed. But in an age when emphasis is placed on technical competencies, especially in blue-collar jobs, Bangladesh faces a challenge.
Parents, guardians and students are so wrapped up in the two general education streams of SSC and Madrasah that they do not view technical and vocational education as Read more

The black swan

November 9, 2010

Sarwar Ahmed
It was a chilly April morning when Fakhruzaman, my Bangladeshi colleague who works for Syngenta in Europe, drove me for a sightseeing tour through the idyllic English countryside near Cambridge. We stopped over for some tea and muffins in a restaurant next to a small river. White swans floated on the cold water next to the bank, waiting for wayfarers to throw titbits for them to savour. I was taken aback when I saw a couple with swans, which were black in colour. Until then, I never knew there were black swans.
According to Wikipedia, until the mid Read more

Chindia policy to boost domestic trade

October 12, 2010

Chindia policy to boost domestic trade
Kingshuk Nag
When the G7 was formed in 1976 as a major economic and political group of the seven largest industrialised nations, not even the optimistic of soothsayers would have predicted that 23 years later in Pittsburg, USA, the G20 would dethrone G8 as the primary council of wealthy nations. This shift of power to a multipolar world, which signals the gradual fall of Washington’s influence and the complementary rise of Beijing-Delhi is not without reason as the G20 comprises an astounding 85 percent of the world’s economy and over two-thirds of the world’s Read more

Emotionally yours

October 11, 2010

Sarwar Ahmed
Late at night, my mobile phone beeped with an SMS alert. I was startled and then enthused by the content: Sorry, my mom was around. I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Please don’t get mad at me. Love you too.
Poor thing. She must have been in a hurry to send this text and fumbled with wrong numbers with her mother hovering around.
When it comes to business, we frown on such starry eyed displays of emotions. Business is all about being cold hearted, cool thinking and rational decision-making; there is no place for emotions.
Interestingly, it is exactly the opposite Read more

Our mothering colleagues

October 10, 2010

Mamun Rashid
In the 1970s to 80s, teaching and nursing were the only largely female professions. Things have changed. Women are now also commonly lawyers, physicians, bankers, investment analysts, journalists, economists, doctors, psychologists, consultants, college/university professors, pilots, defence officials, IT professionals and scientists.
Women have dramatically increased their numbers in professional and technical occupations for several reasons — greater educational and employment opportunities, the influence of the western mass media and the growth of Read more

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