Sunday, May 12, 2013

The (un) importance of labels

Do labels do justice to the complexities of our reality?

I believe the term used to describe me for the last two months has been “chhagu.” A slang term that connotes a supporter of Islamist-leaning politics. Interesting, I thought, given the fact that my lifestyle choices are often in direct contradiction to being a radical Islamist. So, why am I a chhagu? Probably because I did not prescribe to the demand that Jamaat-e-Islami should be banned. Is it not possible that I could abhor religious politics, but could still believe that every citizen in a democracy has a right to his/her own opinion, no matter how opposed it is to mine?
Now that I think of it, I realise that we love to put labels on everything and everyone. At its most basic level, of course it is easy to define someone or something, but this presents the risk that we see only in black and white! In spite of the fact that I’m colour blind, I’ve always believed my life is very colourful. So here I am, spending an introspective afternoon concerning myself with the “labels” that are often assigned to me.
The first, of course, was the debate of Bangladeshi vs. Bangalee vs. Sylheti. I am all three, I thought. I am and always have been a citizen of this country. Tick for point one. My mother strongly claims her Dhakaiya roots, so that’s a tick for point two! My father and his family, for a few generations, have been from Sylhet (although, if we look back further, we can trace our roots elsewhere), so I guess tick for point three. Thus, I am a Bangladeshi Bangalee from Sylhet, to be absolutely precise about the matter.
“Am I a Muslim?” I ask myself. I don’t pray, don’t perform many of the rituals required, and at times do things that are considered “haram.” But I do have faith. I do believe that. Allah is the One, and I believe in His divine powers. So, I believe I am a Muslim.
Then it started getting tricky: “What political beliefs do I hold?” I am a firm believer in a small government with little interference. The classical US Republican standpoint, except when it comes to the Democratic liberal attitudes I have towards personal freedoms of choice - pro-choice, pro-same gender marriage (pro-marriage equality), stricter gun control, etc. Hold on … I am not a voter in the US, so that makes all of these irrelevant!
More relevant is the question of what my politics are closer to my reality? For one, I still hold that a government should have strong boundaries as to where its direct involvement can be – specifically in the areas concerning business. Unfortunately, none of the established political parties in Bangladesh explicitly promote that. So how do I choose?
Most of the time, that choice is made for me. Many label me a “BNP” supporter because of a decision my father took in 1979! He had contested and won an election from that party. But after the 1991 elections, he became disillusioned and left politics altogether.Unfortunately for him, and for me, that label seemed to have stuck. I cannot speak for him, but I am not comfortable with this. While I have great respect and sympathy for the ideals of Ziaur Rahman, I think the “uttaradhikaris” of the party he created have drifted far from the politics he had preached. At present, I cannot claim to be on the same page with them on many points. Neither can the Awami League claim to be the party that it was in 1971, when it sparked the hopes of a nation. The Jatiya Party is a political group that I was opposed to even before I started to develop a political conscience. Jamaat and such parties have no appeal to me because I believe religion is a personal choice. A third force then? While in theory it is a good idea, it really isn’t practical. I think any change in the political landscape of the country has to come from reform of the existing two political camps. Thus, I am a political being without a home.
I am, and have always been, an optimist. I think the future is bright for us as a nation. Ironically, and sadly for me, I am very pessimistic when it comes to the immediate future of my country. Due to our myopic goals, we are creating rifts in society that will take generations to mend.
Labels. We seem to love them. But does it do justice to the complexities of our reality? We are so fast to utilise them that we overlook how inadequate it is to describe the person whom we are labelling, and goes on to reveal our lack of understanding of our own surroundings.
In the end, what is this “Me”? There is only one label that I can truly, without a doubt, say is appropriate for me – a “kachchi biriyani lover.”

Published: Dhaka Tribune 6th May 2013

Of lungis and national pride

“Choli ke piche kya hai? (What’s behind the blouse?)” was a song that sent India into a tailspin in the early 90s. The moral brigade termed it vulgar. A lot of us sniggered at the provocative innuendo. I think what was forgotten was the following line that answered: the heart is behind.
I wonder if the members of the Baridhara Society (appropriately BS) ever heard that song.
Their version must be wondering what’s under the lungi? Hmm. Actually, what does the lungi connote? Why did it send a section of the Bangladeshi social media scene into a tizzy? What was so harmful that it required police in riot gear and shotguns to stop a group of lungi clad youngsters from going to Baridhara? But most importantly, why did BS think it was not up to snuff to be worn in their neighbourhood?
I initially thought the ban was so ridiculous that it must have been a publicity stunt by a lungi manufacturer who recently launched a television commercial where it showed Bangladeshis marching with pride in their national dress. Is it our national dress?
I will argue it is the most popular dress. Well, maybe after the sari. But somewhere in our desire to move up the social standing we seem to have abandoned it. So, the higher one goes up the ladder, the more “western” the attire. I find it absurd that in the heat of the summer I have salesmen making calls in full business attire.
I myself did that when I first joined the work force. Matter of fact, I had quite an enviable tie collection. In the initial days I found that if I wore it to a new office, I was ushered into the inside meeting rooms rather than waiting unceremoniously at the common reception waiting area. Within a few years I found myself outside again. It was then that I noticed other salesmen wearing the tie and I was no exception. So I abandoned it in favour of an open collar shirt and jacket.
Back I was in the board room. That’s when it struck me that in corporate Bangladesh, clothes did make the man!
I was introduced to the lungi when I was 12 by my father. I wore it for a few years before going off to boarding school and subsequently university where I moved to pajamas and boxers. I rediscovered the lungi after a trip to Cox’s Bazar where I picked up a few from the Burmese market. Over the last 18-20 years it has been what I slip into as soon as I reach home. Aaahh! As another television commercial said: “Nothing more Aaram!”
I have thought of wearing the garment out in public a few times, but actually never had the guts to. I often wondered to myself why. I still remember seeing a particular celebrity chef who I saw wearing one at a wedding, and thought to myself how well he carried it off. During my high school days in Tamilnadu, it used to be the formal dress. A compulsory attire for weddings and such. But here we rather wear a suit or at best a “punjabi.”
So what is our national dress? Our founding father popularised the sleeveless coat. President Zia the safari suit. President Ershad the achkan. But none are practical for the Bangladeshi weather. The punjabi, as the name suggests isn’t some thing what was invented here. Matter of fact another popular outfit is the Arab robe that is common amongst mostly religious men. Interestingly the Arabs also wear a lungi like garment called the izaar. The lungi can and should therefore be the prime candidate for the position.
Now if that is the case, should we not see a full adoption of it in our everyday work and social life? This is clearly not the case. We have lost our sense of pride and identity, and we have a misguided belief that everything international is “modern.” This is sad - because if “dil” (heart) was behind the choli (blouse) surely our national pride is beneath our lungis! 

Published: Dhaka Tribune 28th April 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Iron Witch

“Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead” reached the number 2 position on the UK music charts propelled by a social media campaign marking the death of former prime minister, Baroness Margaret Thatcher. Whereas, the 1979 song by the punk rock band Netsensibles, “I’m In Love With Margaret Thatcher” only managed 36th position that week. It seems that people love to hate the Iron Lady.

 I was only 9 years old when Mrs Thatcher went to Number 10. I remember that day. My mom turned to me and said something to the effect of: “Now that there is a woman in charge things will get better for not only Britain but the world.” And in my opinion, it has. To understand her one needs to understand the world that she came to power in. Britain and indeed the world was hit badly by the Opec oil crisis of the early 70s. The Cold War was at its bitter peak. PLO, IRA, ETA, FARC and other such abbreviations held the world at bomb point. The Iranian Revolution was a sign of changing times. In Britain one just needed to hear the popular punk music of the time to figure how disillusioned and dejected the population was. “I want to be an anarchist” sang the Sex Pistols. The British economy was in shambles, with trade unionism at its peak. And as the famous election poster created for the Tory Party by the advertising genius of Saatchi brothers proclaimed: “Labour Isn’t Working. Unemployment was at epidemic proportions.

 Prime Minister Thatcher changed that. True, unemployment peaked under her leadership but that was part and parcel of the economic reform she started. The guiding principal of Thatcherism was smaller government and a freer economy.Your classical Chicago school model. Let the market decide what the people need and want. The government restricts itself to managing money supply and using only macro-economic interventions. One of her most significant contributions was the mass scale privatisation that she pushed. British Airways, telecom, gas, rail etc that were thought to be services that only the government had the resources to provide, were privatised. This was a model that has since been followed around the world.This act took ailing companies that were a strain on the budget and infused them with entrepreneurial professionalism.Not only did the privatised companies become more innovative and efficient but it also showed the business world that they too could come into and succeed in areas that were earlier thought too daunting.

 Regardless of which was Mrs Thatcher’s biggest war - Argentina, the coal miners or the Soviets? One thing is for sure, all of them were principled stands and all three are wars she won.

 She knew that Britain’s pride and identity was in question when Argentina’s military junta occupied the Falkland Islands.Britain sent troops (amongst them the first royal member in modern times to see active military action). Another area of diplomacy was to negotiate the handover of Hong Kong to China where she found a win-win face saving exit.

 With the coal miners it was a battle against trade unions that controlled Britain’s politics and economy. She always believed in reduced government intervention in business. This is where she made a stand. And by standing firm she sent a message that the economy was paramount.Britain went through a socio-economic upheaval due to this but that was a bitter medicine that was absolutely required to save the patient. Britain ended its role as a leading industrial power but reinvented itself into the financial and service powerhouse, that it is now.

 Thatcher was one of the first to declare the end of the Cold War. Along with Ronald Reagan and Michael Gorbachev she was instrumental in bringing down the divide that defined the world for 50 years or so, since the fall of Berlin. With her tempered and passionate logic she helped land the world into more peaceful times. This, despite her leading role in convincing President George Bush Sr to send troops in the First Gulf War. Famously quipping: “This is no time to go wobbly.

I must confess here, one of her biggest failures was the inability to bring peace in Northern Ireland. Maybe she was effected by a failed IRA assassination plot on her. Thatcher was like any other, not without faults: her authoritarian ways, some of her social policy, the reduction of education funding, and of course the infamous “Poll Tax” that marked the beginning of her end.

But in the end Mrs Thatcher left a legacy that still dictates politics and economy across the world. Thatcherism as a principle triumphed. Though people have called it by different names, her true successors was not John Major but rather Tony Blair and in some respects Bill Clinton. Prime Minister Thatcher defined not just centre right politics but politics as a whole. 

I am sad that the witch is dead

Published: Dhaka Tribune 22nd April 2013

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Nazimgarh on The Daily Star Lifestyle page

All text and pictures © The Daily Star

An urban view of rustic treasures

Imagine being perched atop a hill, sitting on a sizable balcony with a cup of tea in hand, gazing on an expanse of green below that soothes the eyes. Having taken in this scene of idyll, you leave the balcony and cross the room, stepping over the hardwood veneer that lends the area a touch of charm and class, and enter the bathroom where a Jacuzzi filled with warm water awaits to coax away your city-bred anxiety.

Such are the creature comforts offered by Nazimgarh Resorts in Sylhet-- unbridled luxury! Started two years ago with its latest and most magnificent addition completed last October Nazimgarh is the ultimate luxury tourist destination in Bangladesh.

The resort, standing on six acres of hilly land in Khadimnagar, just a fifteen minute car ride from Sylhet town, comprises three residential buildings a Villa, a Bungalow, and the Terrace with a total of 49 rooms, all fitted with state of the art amenities, and of which only the Premium rooms are without Jacuzzis; a spa complex that houses a pool and a conference centre for corporate clients; a nightlife centre with a pool table and bar; and two high quality restaurants that serve Continental, Oriental, and Indian food to rival the eateries in Gulshan.

Turning into a narrow road off the highway to Tamabil and Jafflong, Nazimgarh is reached through a winding road that soon leads to a deceptively unadorned gate at the foot of a hill. It all goes uphill from there, literally and otherwise.

Ascending the hill, more and more of this fine resort comes into view. First is the Terrace, a wonderful piece of architecture built in a way that accommodates the contours and elevation of the hill. The Terrace houses 35 rooms, and each and every room looks out through its balcony or sundeck on the lush green paddy fields and clusters of dark green trees that stretch out in the distance beyond the boundary of the resort.

The car stops near the top of the hill having gone round the Terrace to its top, and opposite the Terrace the hill continues its ascent with the Spa Complex built on its apex, similarly constructed around the hill's contours. Sharing the first floor is a fully equipped gym and spa, the latter containing many of the elements that make this a luxury resort. The spa is fully equipped to relieve guests of any stress that is left over from their city existence; a steam room, a sauna, and to top it off, separate massage facilities for men and women.

Climb to the second floor of the complex and you will find a lovely, shimmering pool, with beach chairs lining its boundaries, and a children's pool and Jacuzzi installed along its edge. Right beside the pool is the Hilltop restaurant, serving continental cuisine. Stairs lead to an open rooftop, used as a venue for rooftop parties; ideal events for corporate get-togethers and large family vacations.

From this vantage point, the whole of the resort can be seen in all its glory. To the South can be seen the Villa and the Bungalow, both throwbacks to an old-world charm that sits well with the region's history of British occupation, foreign travellers like Ibne Battuta, and Muslim saints that the town of Sylhet is so famous for. The rooms in the Villa and Bungalow fitted with modern amenities that provide all the comfort guests can desire open out to balconies that stretch across each floor, enabling its occupants to feel at one with their green and tranquil surroundings.

The decor of these old fashioned buildings, especially in the common seating areas, will resonate with anyone who has been exposed to life in tea garden bungalows. The large common seating areas meant to entertain guests in the context of tea gardens serve the purpose of bringing visitors to the resort together in the evenings to watch a few DVDs and socialise.

Down the hill from the Villa and Bungalow sits the Meghalaya Lounge. It has a TV room and bar on the ground floor, and a pool room with a brand new pool table on the first floor. For those who want to stay indoors and enjoy themselves, watching a few movies and challenging each other over a game of 8-ball or 9-ball, the Meghalaya Lounge is the place to be.

Opposite the Meghalaya Lounge, across a quaint, lush green garden with charming benches adorning its borders, is the Garden Bistro. This is the only eatery of the resort that is open to the general public, and it offers a wide variety of cuisine, serving Continental, Indian, Thai, and Chinese food. Each type of cuisine is as delicious as the other; whether it is a rare steak you order or a Tandoori chicken, you are bound to be satisfied.

Another impressive facet of this resort is that at or near every dwelling is a TV room with a big screen TV and a huge collection of popular and recent DVDs, with plush sofa sets that allow guests to curl up and watch their favourite movies in the company of friends and loved ones.

With the resort also offering guided tours of Northern Sylhet's natural riches, guests have a choice between going out to explore the region's treasures and staying indoors to let the mind and muscles relax.

A visit to Nazimgarh Resorts is not a vacation; it's an experience that will make friends green with envy when they spot the palpable signs of rejuvenation in your being on your return to the harsh grind of the city.

For more information on the resort and special offers, please visit

By STS, back from Sylhet
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Exploring Sylhet's riches

It is not all about looking within and staying indoors; a good resort encourages guests to look outwards at the beauty and wonders the region has to offer. So it is with Nazimgarh. Nazim Farhan Choudhury, the resort's owner, wants the resort to be a base from which the natural wonders of Sylhet can be explored.

Northern Sylhet is a treasure trove of natural splendour, and the resort arranges guided tours to many such sites. There is the ever-popular Jaflong, less than an hour's drive from the resort. Across the river from Jaflong are Khasi Punjis (Khashia villages), where guests can catch a glimpse of a different way of life.

Very near the resort is a tea garden, and guests can drive through the garden and gaze upon hills manicured with tea bushes. The tea garden also has a rainforest that is being developed as a national park. Visitors can drive, bike or hike on the sandy roads that wind through it.

Trips are also available to Lawachara rainforest and Madhabkunda eco-park, both ninety-minute drives away from the resort.

Then there is the crowning glory as far as natural beauty is concerned. Lalakhal is a blissfully unspoilt location, and Choudhury has taken it upon himself to develop the spot as a tourist heaven. From their boat station on the Sharee river, some 25 km from the resort, guests are taken by speedboat in the summer, or by shallow draught boats in the winter to a spot where the Sharee river enters Bangladesh from the Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya.

As you make your way through the winding river, with small, green hills lining its banks full of lush foliage, you begin to realise how unspoilt the area is. Coming closer to the spot known as Lalakhal, Meghalaya's mountains can be seen half-faded in the background, almost dissolving into the blue sky. The resort is building a restaurant right at the point where the river bends and makes its way across the border to India.

The restaurant, designed by Jamal Masood-ul-Abedin, is built in the form of olden river steamers, with a large circular front that takes in the bend of the river and provides a wide panoramic view. There is also an observation point on top of a nearby hill that affords an untrammelled view of Meghalaya, and the Sharee river winding its way across the landscape. It is indeed a sight for sore eyes.

There are also plans afoot to build a resort/hotel similar to Nazimgarh at the location. It will be a spot for the adventurous minded; canoes and kayaks will be available. For those who like to trek, there are miles of interesting trails among the hills and the nearby Lalakhal tea gardens. There is also a river beach, where those seeking leisure can lounge and bask in the glory of the incredibly unspoilt vista.

The restaurant at Lalakhal will be completed by the end of this year, and unlike the resort, this will not be exclusive to the resort's guests. It can be reached by road, located 7km from the highway, but the river experience is so much richer. 5 km of the 7 km stretch of road have been developed to drivable condition; the rest should be complete by the time the restaurant opens.

“Whenever people talk of tourism in Bangladesh, it is always Cox's Bazaar, and not much else,” said Choudhury. “But there are so many unexplored and undiscovered sites in Bangladesh. In Northern Sylhet alone there are many places that are left to be explored.”

A large portion of the clientele at Nazimgarh consists of the corporate classes. Choudhury wishes to attract more of the general public so that the profile of tourism in the region is raised, which will have many knock-on benefits, such as increasing local employment.

Therefore, there are lots of reasons to make your way to Nazimgarh besides indulging your need for romance, adventure, and luxury. And if you are in Sylhet, know that there are other places to visit; places like Lalakhal that are yet unspoilt and will please the eye and soul.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Foorti Rewind on Radio Foorti 88.0FM

Just a small note to to tell everyone that I am currently hosting a Retro/Classic Music show on Radio Foorti 88.0FM every Friday morning between 10am-12:30pm BST. So if you want to listen to some great music from 60s, 70s, 80s or the 90s please tune in.

You can also connect up to our Facebook Page at

Foorti Rewind Radio Foorti 88.0fm

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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Tiny business tumbles on fall of WC giants

Here is something from the Daily Star Business Page of 5th July 2010 which quotes me.

Tiny business tumbles on fall of WC giants

Sohel Parvez

It was a gloomy Sunday morning for Kamal Hasan Prince. He displays jerseys of Argentina and Brazil at his makeshift shop on a busy footpath near Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka.

“The excitement among the fans seems to have dwindled after the exit of the two teams," the 42-year-old hawker said.

Prince wanted to clear stocks and slashed the prices of each jersey by 40 percent to Tk 60. A week ago, he sold each at more than Tk 100. These T-shirts have lost their lustre.

“On Saturday morning, I sold a dozen Argentine jerseys. Demand for T-shirts of both the teams was high. Not anymore,” he said.

The slump in demand came with the exit of the two teams in a space of as many days. Bangladesh has been obsessed with the two South American nations in the World Cup (WC) tournament for decades.

Prince was lucky not to have a huge stock of jerseys to clear. But he feared that his neighbour would face difficulty.

“He sold only jerseys to cash in on the world cup. Today, he did not even open his store. I am afraid his losses will be greater than mine,” he said, who has six jerseys remaining to sell.

Fans had adorned houses and cars with colourful flags and wore jerseys and armbands to express their loyalty to their favourite teams, in hopes that they would secure the cup.

The fall of the two soccer giants also cast a shadow over the prospect of television sales in the remaining days to the final on July 11. Electronics retailers placed various promotional offers and discounts to attract buyers.

“We are a bit upset. Market sentiments will ultimately sink due to the departure of the two,” said Mohammad Zane Alam, deputy-marketing manager of Rangs Electronics, distributor of Sony televisions.

He said television retailers log a rise in sales prior to the final match, when these two teams stay on.

“So far, our sales are fine. But it may drop below expectations,” said Mahbub-ur Rahman, director of operations of Butterfly Marketing Ltd, which sells LG televisions.

The world's biggest tournament also boosted demand for projectors to view the matches on large screens in open spaces. Industry insiders said the sales of projectors would also drop.

However, companies that have promoted their products by taking advantage of the fact that thousands are hooked on to their television screens are more or less relieved that their spending was worthwhile, as the teams made their exit almost towards the end.

“I think the World Cup's impact has been quite substantial. The exit of Brazil and Argentina has come at the fag end and I don't think it will have much impact on advertising spending or its effectiveness,” said Nazim Farhan Choudhury, managing director of Adcomm Ltd.

“If Argentina and Brazil left at the beginning, there would have been a big impact, as many would have turned off their TVs,” he said.

With a few matches remaining, Choudhury said it would not have a major impact on viewership and thereby, would help advertisers fulfil their objectives.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bangladesh: The Next Generation Report

A recent survey initiated by the British Council looks at the Youth in Bangladesh and their attitude, aspirations, hopes, concerns and pessimisms. This in-depth survey gives a very interesting reading into the minds of the largest demographic in Bangladesh.

I do hope the leaders of our nation take heed to what we have to say...

Description from British Council

Bangladesh has young people in abundance. We are at once one of the world’s most populous and youngest countries: 61m of our 150m people are under 18 years-of-age.

Commissioned by the British Council, this ‘Next Generation’ report marks a defining moment for Bangladesh. For the first time, we have a snapshot of what Bangladeshis between 15 and 30 think, feel and hope for. We have a picture of their interests, how they spend their free time, and what or who influences them.

There are grounds for optimism: 79 percent are interested in development issues: 70 percent think the country is headed in the right direction. Our youth have a clear identity, are happy (despite overwhelming poverty) and are dedicated to their country and families.

There are fears too: 60 percent fear corruption will worsen; 71 percent are concerned that climate change will result in thousands of displaced people across the country; and an overwhelming majority (78%) fear that the gap between the rich and poor will widen in the next five years.

A Generation Ready to Serve

Above all, this is a generation that wants to get involved: a striking 98 percent want to take part in social work. But in reality, 70 percent don't.

Population projections suggest that in every decade up to 2050, more than 30m young people will achieve adulthood, entering the job market, or starting to raise families.

A country can view each successive generation as a problem – or as a unique opportunity. How we use this ‘youth dividend’ will be critical to our future development.

To use this human capital effectively, our leaders need to listen to the hopes, aspirations and voices of these younger generations – not just today, but tomorrow, and the next day. Each of these 30m individuals, decade by decade, is a potential asset for Bangladesh.

Where young Bangladeshis are given the opportunity, they rise to the occasion, selflessly devoting time and energy to community service, contributing to finding solutions for the daily problems of their neighbourhoods.

Viewing our Young as an Economic Asset

Rather as micro-credit fuels economic development from the ground up, each individual who exercises active citizenship is an asset who builds our communities and improves our livelihoods.

Today, Bangladesh needs a national debate on how we utilise the social and human credit at our disposal. Our proposal is that this debate should result in a youth charter which embodies the hopes, aspirations and rights of our young people – and maps out a path to how they will be realised.

Join the debate and play your part in shaping the future of Bangladesh.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Youth are Calling : Are We Listening?

Published on the 5th June edition of the Daily Star

98 and 74. If I am asked, I would say these are the two figures that sum up the mood of Bangladesh’s youth. A staggering 98% of them believe that they should be involved in social work. On the other side of the coin 74% of them are not interested in politics.

Through out the report, Bangladesh: The Next Generation, there are figures that highlight this dichotomy in thoughts and deeds of today’s youth. At one end there is the optimism and the desire to do good, but on the other the apathy and belief that they don’t count. This in a nation whose history has mostly been molded by its younger citizens. Be it the Language Movement of 1952 or the political charges of 1969, ‘71, or ’90. Youth led and the nation followed. This current government should acknowledge the fact that in the last general election the first time voters (almost 35% of the electorate) by and far put their stamp next to the candidates of the ruling party. This went against conventional wisdom of the day. But the young had spoken.

It may not be over simplification to say that “Digital Bangladesh”, the desire to see War Criminals tried and a rejection of the previous government’s notorious greed, had lead the youth to jump on Obamaesque “Dinbodol” bandwagon that the Awami League promised. But since taking absolute majority in the Jatiya Sangsad and forming a government, have they done much to reward this massive potential vote bank?

Initial suggestions of a close bond were there. Young ministers like Dipu Moni, Sohail Taj, Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and Barrister Taposh seemed to be AL’s new face. A new generation of leaders to whom the reigns were being passed on to. Digital Bangladesh too was being fleshed out to be more than just a slogan on a manifesto.

Then things went wrong. Taj left in a huff claiming his authority was being undermined. AL’s youth wing Chattra League (BCL) started showing that they cared more about financial gain than addressing issues of the youth. Digital Bangladesh started to become butt of jokes as on-again-off-again policies and power shortages kept people guessing what that term actually meant.

Overall, AL government like those of the past, have failed to consistently connect with the youth. Issues of education, employment and empowerment have been left unaddressed. The Next Generation Report picks up on this. While 87% of the youth are enrolled in education programs, they don’t believe the education they are getting will get them jobs. Or will play a significant part in getting jobs at any rate. They think bribery, nepotism and connections are needed for a decent job.. This makes 41% of them wanting to take the first plane out of the country in search of better education, jobs,and opportunities.

Digital Bangladesh too has failed to deliver so far. True that it is a decade long journey and not an over night miracle, but the government has failed to articulate what this actually means for the youth. 73% of the younger population has mobile phones, but only 15% uses the internet. This is a shame because Digital Bangladesh over anything else can deliver us to the promised land. But only if we absorb the youth into the movement.

Youth need education. Education that will give them the skill sets to succeed in today’s economy. That means knowledge of English and Maths. And that of creativity, logic and research. Quite unlike the prevalent learning by rote. It means young migrant workers becoming plumbers, mechanics, welders, cooks and drivers, and not merely low paid manual labourers.

Youth need jobs. Not low value adding agriculture jobs. But jobs in factories and offices where they can put to use their intellect and industry. Today we hold the agriculture sector as sacred cow. But it is time for us to take a knife to that. Given our ever growing population and the pressure it brings to land usage, we cannot expect to solve our employment needs through this sector. Instead of an acre of land that can productively employ say 20 people, we need an acre of factory floor that can employ 20,000.

Using technology one can leapfrog the stumbling block of education content and delivery; we can create knowledge jobs in ITES (IT enabled services - i.e., graphic design outsourcing) and other techie industries like pharma; we can activate millions of points of entrepreneurism through e-commerce and exports.

How do we do it? Quite easy. While we wait for the larger more grandiose plans to pan out, do two things. Firstly empower e-commerce, not through a few monopolistic chosen ones, but by allowing anyone to make and enable transactions. Remember there was a Bangladeshi in the team that made Pay Pal. And secondly make bandwidth cost free (or at least ridiculously cheap) for end users. The lethal combination of the two will generate massive innovations, which in-turn will facilitate commerce to boom.

Youth need engagement and empowerment. It is not good enough any longer to just pay lip service to the youth. Be mindful, they constitute a good 70+% of the electorate. A figure that for the next few elections will only increase. Today one in five youth say they have no national role-model. The question for any leader should be how do I find a place in their mind. That is through engagement. BCL’s my-tender-is-bigger-than-your-tender ways may have lead AL to disown them but it shouldn’t be an excuse to disengage from the youth altogether. In fact, the exact opposite should be done. Connect at every opportunity. Bring in youth leadership into the party grassroots. Use the desire youth have for social work to activate them there. Encourage and promote young leaders to raise to the top. The absolute top. Induct more of them into the cabinet and party presidium. India’s Congress Party with the eye into the future has transformed the Youth Congress as the heart and soul of the party. Anyone who is interested in succeeding as our next leader, needs to earn one’s spurs. And that can be done by changing the minds of 76% of the youth who think that they have little or no influence over government decision or were unsure of their capacity to influence.

The youth of Bangladesh have spoken yet again. But are we listening?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bangladesh’s Advertising: Gazing into the Crystal Ball

This article appeared on the supplement commemorating Bangladesh Brand Forum's Commaward (Communication Effectiveness Award) August 2009

I unfortunately do not own the Back to the Future’s DMC DeLoren that allows me to time travel. Neither do I have a crystal ball. But that has never stopped anyone from trying to predict the future. Especially me. !

The global advertising industry itself is at crossroads today. It is taking a hard look inwards, re-evaluating itself in the post recession world. As usual, global clients like Unilever, Coca-Cola and P&G are leading the charge in forcing the change onto the agency fraternity. What is expected from advertising agencies, the compensation models, and even what constitutes the very definition of an agency is being challenged. The automotive and financial sector clients who used to be the bedrock of the developed world’s advertising markets are re-looking at their relationship not only with the consumers but also with the agencies themselves. No longer is it adequate only to rely on the usual suspect of TV spots or massive campaign role outs. Clients like GM have learnt that the massive money spent on advertising has not insulated them from global fall out of the credit crunch. Some of their once formidable brands like Pontiac and Saturn have seen consumer’s disappear. And the brand custodians in their advertising agencies are being questioned on the efficacy of the “business-as-usual” communication they created. This, coupled with the fragmentation of media vehicles and emergence of social network sites, means that only brands that take up the challenge of connecting with consumers on a daily basis will survive, and if lucky, come out stronger. Bob Lutz, the new Chairman of GM has said the two areas that he will spend most of his time and resource behind are advertising and the actual product itself. And he is not alone, CEOs in the boardrooms across the world are increasingly adopting similar stand.

This will have a huge bearing on where we are headed in Bangladesh. We are not reinventing the wheel here. Change is happening across the world and it will happen to us. We need to be ready for it and proactively prepare for this. Resting on what has worked in the past will not mean it will work in the future. Writing on the wall is clear. To borrow from Jack Trout - differentiate or die! I will add here that brands can no longer find product differentiations. They need to find emotional differentiations. They need to find, what Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi calls “Lovemarks”.

Here are few predictions I’ll bet my reputation on.

Global Brands vs. Local Brands

The largest battle over the next decade will be between Global Goliaths against Local Davids. Don’t for a second think that the result of that slugfest is a forgone conclusion. We will see a match up between vast knowledge base of brand building honed to near perfection and huge war chests that global marketing giants have at their disposal; versus the agility and local consumer understanding that local brands have.

These “wars” for the consumers wallet have already started, points being won by both sides. Lux and Close-Up winning early battles against Aromatics and Fresh Gel. On the other side Mojo and Ispahani scoring over the Pepsi, Coke, Tetley and Lipton.

As an advertising agency head, I fight the battle everyday from both sides of the divide. In my mind the edge is currently with the local boys. Not burdened by global roll-out, heritage and need to confirm with regional dictates, local brands are finding indigenous insights. Some of the most interesting and compelling works done over the last few years have come out of Grey, Mediacom, Cogito, Bitopi and my agency Adcomm for our local clients. I can’t see a Protom Alo Bodlay Dao, Ruchi Chanachur, or Mojo being replicated by any foreign brands.

But that doesn’t mean that MNCs are sitting back idle. A superb counter-attack example is from Marico. They have taken the lessons of their duels with Unilever in India and are putting behind the local Camellia and Aromatic brands that they have bought.

Throughout my 15 years in advertising I’ve seen one thing, that this march towards regionalisation of advertising is a cyclical one. Every few years the trend inverts itself. We move towards regional harmonised communication and then kaboom - localisation of regional insights. Unilever is a master in this field. As our economy moves ahead, we will see them bringing in learnings from South-East Asia, South America, Eastern Europe and India to the battlefields at home.

Emergence of New Media

More has been written about this than any other topic in advertising in recent years. Currently what is termed as “New Media” - Internet and Mobile, is in its infancy. Though because of grameenphone the access to internet is vast (their estimate puts it over 20 million), only a small fraction of the consumers actually log-on on a daily basis. That I reckon is because there isn’t a distinct “reason why”. An internet surfer in, say Bhola, has very limited use of the world wide web. Literacy, especially English proficiency is a barrier to usage. But still the numbers are not to be laughed at. One study puts Bangladesh at number 8 on traffic on Facebook. The figures will only grow. With drop in bandwidth cost and the introduction of WiMax this figure will grow exponentially.

Brands need to be ready for this. Today if you log onto FB you will see Citycell Zoom, Mentor and Cellbazaar ads. But these are still predominantly banners. Brands need to evolve much beyond this. They need to get onboard Bangladeshi oriented sites like,,,, to give example of only a few. The relationship needs to go beyond just visibility on site to building co-branded offerings. grameenphone has done a lot in promoting Cellbazaar. This is unfortunately the exception rather than the rule. Larger brands like the telcos and the FMCG giants need to start spending substantial development money in this field. It is still relatively cheaper to get into this medium, and experiment now before it becomes expensive both in terms of money and in terms of potential mistakes., published in Bangla, offers unparalleled opportunity for brands to start their own blog and start interacting with consumers. Similarly brands in, say the financial sector, can use this tool very effectively to differentiate themselves in a cluttered competitive market.

I’ve not even gotten into the power that mobile phones give advertisers. With phones getting smarter and cheaper it’s a matter of time that we can start pushing advertising down to consumers. Even to those who are “technologically challenged”. Think of it Sharbet-e-AP sending Ramzan alerts to those who subscribe. Or say Peninsula Hotel sending discount vouchers to everyone who has booked a ticket on that day’s United Airlines flight to Chittagong. I am not even getting into location-based advertising. It is a matter of time before say all dJuice subscribers near Roll Express during lunch time get a free drinks voucher sent to their mobiles. The technology already exists for things like this to happen. We just need more tech savvy marketers!

Rebranding of Old Media

Don’t count out Old Media as yet. There will be growth in this area as well. The easier example is FM Radio. It will be a matter of months before coverage for FM moves beyond Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet. With focused localised advertising, this media will entice till now advertising shy or smaller brands into spending. Say the Garden Bistro Restaurant at Nazimgarh Resorts can offer listeners in Sylhet a value meal on a slow day. And only at a cost in the region of a few thousand takas to the company

The bigger challenge will be in the TV medium. Currently they are besieged by what I call a “photocopy syndrome”. Channels do not differentiate between each other as such. The station id on top right of the screen is so easily changeable. Evolution in this sector will be in two areas. Firstly viewers will become program loyal as opposed to channel loyal. I know this sounds so obvious. But the channel owners somehow have forgotten that there exists a thing called a remote control. Why else will they be subjecting viewers to mind numbing programming and never ending ad breaks. Lowe does a regular study across the globe called “Ad Avoidance”. The result is predictable. Given shorter adbreaks, viewers are less likely to channel surf. Advertisers who pay premium to be on short breaks benefit in the long run. TV channels’ adsellers and brands’ media buyers will soon have to realise that instead of getting 10 ads for Tk 100 each, it is better for all concerned to get 2 ads for Tk 500 each.

The more interesting will be when TV channel owners realise that they too own brands. And principles of brand marketing apply to them as well. They need to differentiate themselves from the rest of the crowd. Just look at the station ids of Zee Cafe and Star World. Both the channels show more or less similar programming but they have a very distinctive look feel. While I still watch programs as opposed to channels, one has a bigger appeal to me than the other and when I don’t have a specific program to watch I am on that channel. Similarly between BBC News, CNN and Al-Jazzera. And by successfully branding day parts. For example Comedy Mondays, a channel allows me to remember to switch on that day. I try not to miss Jumbo Movie Sundays on History Channel.

If Digonto TV was selling shares, I would buy. They might not have the biggest viewer shares, but they have a larger mindshare of a niche group. Advertisers who follow Sirius’s rating data will eventually put their money hoping to win the loyalties of this group of consumers. Niche will not only be in Islamic programming but also in music, movie, sports, news, youth segments. And this list is in no way exhaustive.

Rural Activation

Despite urbanisation and growth of media exposure levels, a large part of the country is media dark. And there lives C.K. Prahalad’s “Bottom of the Pyramid”. And its a huge market! If 80% of the populations live in non urban space then we are talking about a potential market of 128 million people. Say we can get 50% of this market to spend Tk 2 every month on a Pepsodent mini pack, then annually Unilever takes in approximately Tk 150 crores more! I am lead to believe that Unilever made more money last year from reaching out to those living beyond their distribution reach than Square Toiletries made on their total sales volume. Which National Sales Manager will not be awed by figures like this? And which Brand Manager can ignore this market? This is where the big money of tomorrow will be spent. Likes of Unilever already spend more money on what used to be termed as BTL (below the line) than they do ATL (above the line). Other companies regardless of market segment will follow suit. This is where the lines between agencies, distributors, implementers, and clients will begin to blur. Already implementers act as agencies; Agencies like distributors and distributors like implementers. Those outfits who can offer the client the perfect strategy and immaculate execution coupled with the best value will be the Titans of advertising in the years to come.

My agency, Adcomm for one is betting big on this. In the recent months we he have started not one but two separate ventures to address this market. And we are not the first ones. Interspeed and Market Access are already big and serious players in the field. And as we speak, boardrooms across advertising agencies in Bangladesh are planning and strategising their own foray. How much longer before regional and global giants like O&M, Lowe and Grey enter?


My favourite area. The place where the most excitement and glamour will be - content creation. I am not the first to tell you that the 30-second ad is dead. But what will replace it? The 30-minute ad. Yes, instead of taking 30 seconds to get your message across advertisers will create branded content like Close-Up 1 and talk to a targeted audience over a longer period of time. Already TV channels have a bevy of shows like this. From Horlicks Future Force to Meril Prothom Alo Puroskar to Shah Cement Nirmanay Taroka brands are rushing to get their names on the top bill. But this isn’t anything new. Where the difference between success and failure will lie is how tightly the brand experience be built. Just having the brand name in bright lights is not enough. Consumers will need to be immersed in the totality of the event. Brand essence will need to permeate through. Brand like Farm Fresh Milk cannot leave advertising at a 30 second spot calling the young to “Agiya Jao” (Stride Ahead) but will need to get into programs like the Maths Olympiad or having TV program where they teach fun science.

An interesting development here will be on the content owners end. Earlier content was created by TV channels or by clients. But now third party production houses will take the development work and finances on their shoulders. While they will still create brand specific events and programs, because they still own the content they will get a more comfortable margin. Say today the “owner” of the Citycell Channel i Music Awards can drop the title sponsor and go to the next highest bidder, for example SonyEricsson.

Advertising Agency

The haziest part of the future is predicting what the future Advertising Agency will be like. One thing it will not be is the Advertising Agency of today. Already agencies have to a great degree lost a lot of their media buying function. On the other side the citadels of creativity is being attacked by boutique creative shops. The top ten players in the market at one time ruled over 90% of the market. These days it’s a different picture. In almost all the major pitches of last three years, small (and often new) agencies have been invited with the big boys. Also, media now going directly to the clients have made profitability margins for advertising agencies disappear. New compensation models other than the usual 15% media commission is being experimented with. From retainers, to fee based work, to rate cards, nothing is beyond acceptance.

This year Adcomm celebrates its 35 years. Starting from a small outfit in a sub-let premise, today we are amongst larger advertising agencies in the country. But the debate within is for how long can we sustain the revenue model of our business. The consensus seems that for not too long. We are evolving. We are moving away from being an “agency” to being a brand consultant. We aim to provide the thinking and strategy behind the brand. Not necessarily its implementation, nor even, shall I dare say, the creative output! Yes, even creativity is not sacrosanct. In the future it maybe outsourced. In this case the part the advertising consultant will play is to see that a brand’s personality and messaging is not schizophrenic. Just as brand owners are outsourcing their manufacturing, sales and distribution services, so too will they with communication. Dynamics of brand relationship is going to change beyond recognition. As will Adcomm (and other agency groups) offerings to their client. No one in the advertising world in Bangladesh missed Asiatic 360’s ad recently. It showed how they have grown beyond mere advertising to, as the name suggests, an all round resource. Clients can either call upon them to provide a complete solution or cherry pick those interventions that suit the brand the best.

Adcomm Group is now more than just advertising. We have over the years formed a “best-of-breed” offering between associated companies. You can either come to Adcomm or brand solution and strategy and the full package. Or go to any of our other associates who specialize in their respective areas, namely, Adcomm Media in media solutions, Signage indigital print solution), Screaming Girl Productions in TVC and content production), AktiVision inevents and advertising, AktiSales in direct consumer contact and distribution, AktiGram in rural activation, Northbrook Consultants in PR, Art of Noise in music and radio program production and a soon to be launched design shop. This does not even take into account close associates with whom while we don’t have equity relationship, we have seamless working relationship.

Another area that I believe will grow is outsourcing of advertising and graphic design services (GDS) for the global advertising market. Basically GDS is another name for Desk Top Publishing or Pre-Press work that used to be dominated by the graphic bureaus in Purana Paltan. In 2005 Adcomm formed a joint venture with a Danish advertising group AdPeople to take this to a different level altogether. The baby of that marriage, GraphicPeople has fast matured into a world-class studio for GDS that services global advertising requirements for Dell. The success of this company can be validated by the fact that they are experiencing almost a doubling of business every year, and by the fact that one of world’s largest advertising holding companies WPP has recently brought out our Danish partner and merged GraphicPeople with Y&R Brands. Interestingly WPP is very bullish on Bangladesh and GDS. Their O&M has recently started its GDS studio called RedWorks. Do you think the other advertising holding companies haven’t got their eyes on this development? I feel that representative of global holding companies will be in Dhaka over the next 18 to 24 months to forge out partnerships with local entrepreneurs. And these companies, along with existing players like Trade Excel, Graphic Associates, Click House and others, have the potential of turning GDS into the next garments industry for Bangladesh. Advertising agency of today has the option of abandoning the local market altogether and concentrating on the more lucrative overseas market.

These are fascinating times we live in. Advertising is more exciting now than ever. Next three years will shape the future of our world! Advertising agencies, practitioners and marketers need to be ready to ride the storm with the agility of a Bondi beach surfer or becompletely wiped out by the next big wave!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

BFF: Critique 9: Ads that I don't like

Appeared in the June 2009 edition of the Bangladesh Brand Forum magazine.

A criticism of my critique column that I sometimes get is that I hedge my bets. Basically it seems that I don’t come out and say out right that I don’t like a TVC. As a person pointed out to me, I put in a lot of disclaimers! Well it is somewhat true. I guess that is the hazard of working with the people whose work I write about. And that too in an industry where you are only as good as your last work. I cannot honestly put my hand on my heart and say that I make better ads. I don’t. There are far more talented people in our industry than me. Far more. And the aim of these writings is just to put down my own personal opinion about things that I like and I don’t. As with anything where a value judgment needs to be made, the opinions are subjective. As the great bard had said so truly “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” Just because I like Kachchi Biriyani, everybody doesn’t need to. So today I’ll talk about a few recent on-air TVCs that I don’t like at all. Mind you, people who I work with, or for, might even have created few of these. But this is not a reflection on those persons but rather on these works themselves. Did I just put in another disclaimer? Oh well here goes…

Black Horse: Those who read my column regularly (I am told there are one or two out there) will remember that in last month’s column, I had already crowned Black Horse as the tiger of the Energy Drinks with speed that would leave the big boss in a wild brew! (Puns, of course, intended). How could anyone, I argued, go wrong with James in a TVC about a product he was born to sell? All you needed to do is put him in the same 30 seconds as the product and voila we have a winner in our midst. Boy, o’boy was I wrong! I fancy that I am too much of a gentleman to elaborate what WTF! means. But that’s the exact thing that went through my head when I saw the new Black Horse TVC for the first time. Actually come to think of it, it still does every time I see it. Well they did what I had hoped they would do, put James in a macho music video singing the virtues of a product. But the production quality of the ad was so poor that it degraded the whole TVC and the brand into a third grade rubbish. I happen to know how much James was alleged to have been paid for this endorsement and ad. Even if you spent a small part of that amount with a professional director, you would have gotten a great ad. What the brand custodians have done is just like buying a 7 series BMW and then giving it to the apprentice mistiri in a garage in Dholaikhal to ensure it runs smoothly! What a waste.

The TVC started with James emerging from the sea and then through out the rest of the 40 second ad, walking against huge landscapes like a desert or a mountain! In what is obviously a production, shot in a hurry against a green croma screen, James did not have the expressive allure that was needed. He looked tired and not too happy about drinking the product. As a matter of fact while there was a drink shot or two, the product itself wasn’t the hero of this introductory TVC. A big failure when it comes to the communication angle of it all. I thought the jingle was the only redeeming fact of the whole incident.

I believe this TVC was shot in India. Why? The values that it showed was akin to a poor Bangladeshi ad from 5 years back. A local new up-and-coming director would have done a much better job at it. It is evident that our directors have reached a level of maturity that puts them at par with rest of the sub-continent. It only goes to show that just because you’re taking your production to India doesn’t mean that you’ll get a superior product.

A bit of free advice to the client, drop the TVC and just run the jingle on Radio and use static billboards to bring in the James connection, while you re-shoot it using an actual production company and not my fifteen-year-old nephew!

Production value: 0 on 10. (that’s a first!) Insight: 2. Originality: 2. Overall: 1 (Ladies and gentlemen, we have our bottom of the barrel.)

Shagufta Housing: I think I’m loosing my touch. I need someone to explain to me some of the ads that are running on TV both locally and internationally. I just don’t get it. Like these two Shagufta Housing ads that are getting air time these days. Unfortunately no one could explain them to me.

Let me explain each of the ads and let’s see if you can enlighten me on what was going through the mind of the creative director who thought of the script or the client who approved it. The usual plate of Kachchi to the first person who can crack this. The first ad opens with a baby picture of a mother and son, who grows up, marries and has a son of his own. The grandparents are seen seating in the living room while the grandson plays at their feet. Ah bliss you might thing but no wait! Next door the father and the mother are having a heated argument. “What do you want me to do? Abandon my parents?” asks the father. “You stay with your parents!” comes the angry reply as his wife storms out of the room. Absolutely true, I’m not lying! This is what happens. Next scene is the inevitable walkout of the apartment by the elderly couple while the helpless son looks on as the little boy begs his grandparents to stay on. “Not far, keep your parents close” declares the pay-off line. What in the world were they trying to say? That their target group, presumably the husband, is a spineless twit? Or that Shagufta housing makes apartments so small that a family of 5 cannot stay together peacefully? Or maybe you need to buy your wife an apartment so that she has all the space in the world to yell as much as she wants?

The second TVC is just as confusing. It shows a young little girl going through the day missing her busy parents. She is restless and depressed, trying desperately to contact her parents. Even the hapless phone call that she makes to her father goes unanswered. Having only a nanny, albeit a very well attired one, as company, she is miserable. At least her mother calls home but unfortunately doesn’t have the time to talk to her daughter. Poor girl cries herself to sleep. In the evening the parents return carrying gifts for the daughter. “May your daughter grow up with her parents engulfed in love and care!” Huh? What just happened? Did we see parents exhibiting love and care? Maybe the subliminal message was don’t worry if you ignore your child through out the day, you can buy affection with a big teddy bear later! Of course it couldn’t be that Shagufta housing makes apartments that don’t have play area for the child or they are so expensive that both the parents need to work. I am truly confused.

Though it isn’t often followed in our market, scripts should always be pre-tested. After all what we think we are trying to say might not be what a consumer hears. And often we make mistakes in the darnest of small things. I am not sure who the Agency was on this particular campaign – I dare not try to find out. But I am sure they aren’t going to win Bangladesh Brand Forum’s new Effectiveness Award!

Production value 3 on 10. Insight: 0 (I just didn’t get it!). Originality: 5. (well I’ve never seen an ad where the wife shouts at the husband and gets away with it) Overall: 2.5

Pran Masala: I am going to cheat a bit. This particular TVC has recently been changed. But I couldn’t write about ads I don’t like with out mentioning the one I love to hate. We have all seen this one. And till date I’ve not found one person who likes it. And trust me, I’ve looked around.

Yup, I’m talking about the infamous “raantay toh shikhlay na” (“haven’t even learnt to cook”) TVC. A man shows his anger at his wife as he storms of the dining table huffing the above quoted lines! The wife in tears is in the kitchen when a pack comes dancing in and tells her not to worry anymore because the powder is the only thing that will give the taste in the food. The swaying housewife is absolutely in a trance with her new found secret recipe.

Oh, on how many levels do I hate this TVC! Most of all I think it is for berating the target audience. I can’t believe someone thought it was alright to insult the user and then turn her into a speechless, mindless bimbo was a great idea to sell your product. I have an idea for a rival’s TVC. We show the same starting sequence when husband says those lines and tries to walk off. The wife grabs him by the collar and gives a tight slap across his face and then makes him cook. The voice over comes on and says “xyz powder, now anyone can cook!” I hope someone gives me the money to make that one.

Production value 3 on 10. Insight: 1. Originality: 2. Overall: 2

Nazim Farhan Choudhury is the Deputy Managing Director of Adcomm Limited and still doesn’t get some of the ads. He recently heard his hero John Hegarty of BBH say that advertisers are the most creative of the creative people. After all while a musician or an actor could go on creating a particular type of music or playing a type-cast role, in this trade we need to re-invent our idea for each of our creations. We cannot repeat even a single idea. Or I think he said something like this. If you have comments, feel free to write at or visit his blogsite

Links to the Ads
Black Horse
Pran Masala