Whether traversing deserts, oceans or even our great cities, there is a need for navigational aids to ensure that we increase the likelihood of reaching our chosen destination. In an increasingly complex world, those individuals who find themself in or aspire to leadership roles must appreciate the vital means by which one can avoid potential hazards to face challenges and dangers when they arise. Authentic leadership sees individuals and institutions focus on responsibility rather than power. Leaders with a strong educational background strive to improve and make beneficial societal improvements. By having a more apparent appreciation of stakeholder's leaders are...
Posted On 23 Sep, 2021

When we say the role of intellectuals in modern society, it is not so easy to define; instead, it is a most complicated one. However, in today’s rapidly hegemonic and unequal contemporary society, intellectuals’ critical and profound impact is indisputable.  These wise individuals have diverse knowledge, deep understanding & wisdom. They have the power to steer positive societal values and attitudes. Therefore, they are influential. Intellectuals are those with diverse wisdom, foresight, and unbiased insights with a forward-looking vision. They can foster societal progress and prosperity and always act to awaken society by changing their beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions. They have...
Posted On 03 Sep, 2021

I cannot remember when I read last time an engaging, intellectually stimulating book in Bengali. While I still read books in Bengali but am limited to a specific genre and, of course, books in my profession. As an educator, I regularly read as it is part of my everyday life. Professional reading is essential to growing with confidence. Such reading is also an option for professional development that enhances our knowledge and skill base in classroom practices. Nowadays it seems people are not interested in serious reading. Life is becoming too superficial. What is challenging to attain people appears to...
Posted On 24 Aug, 2021

Ensuring that we live in a world that values all citizens is very much a work in progress. There is often talk of human rights, but we must not forget the prevalence of human wrongs. In most of the world, women are often disadvantaged, even actively discriminated against. So, we would do better to reflect on the importance of women’s empowerment and that as citizens, women can contribute in various ways, with entrepreneurial activity just one example of how they can help empower themselves, assist their families and contribute to the broader economy. A nation that values all its citizens...
Posted On 23 Jul, 2021

Human relationships are bedevilled by jealousy and resentment, much of this stemming from the fact that people rarely accept their lot in life and covet the lives and possessions of others. Central to achieving deep inner contentment is the ability to accept situations with equanimity. Far from merely being resigned to things, we must face adversity and good fortune with the same spirit, one where we dare to accept the fruits of our action or inaction. We must challenge ourselves to know more about ourselves and appreciate the impermanence of much of what humans traditionally hold dear. We must accept...
Posted On 06 Jul, 2021

I know that I am not alone in being aghast at some of the scenes that have emerged on television over the last few weeks with the state election in West Bengal.  Politics is not in my domain, and I do not follow any political debates. However, many of my work colleagues and social associates have their vested interest in some form or shape in India, particularly West Bengal. They talked about politics, mono-culturalism, multi-culturalism, secularism and political dynamism in West Bengal. I am not a political critic. But as a member of the public, I have a social duty...
Posted On 21 Jun, 2021

The perpetual aim of education is to provide moral education that makes people competent & virtuous. Recently, I have written about the end goal of education is character. The return of character education is attributable due to the current societal crisis throughout the world. We witness a disturbing trend in society, including alarming rates of drug abuse, crimes, teenage pregnancy, social violence, suicides, disjointed family structure, lack of social values, racial conflicts, problems with the children's disciplines, and the list goes on. It seems this becomes a natural social phenomenon in the era of rapid industrialisation and globalisation. While some of...
Posted On 01 May, 2021

The overriding prominence of any education system invigorates learners to become more independent, curious, open-minded, and think outside the box. The Educational Institutions should seek to create and maintain a community of learners, qualified for the rigorous academic, professional, and civic demands of the programme and rich in experience and diversity. Educators and Institutions should ensure that the learning environment is conducive to independent thought and is a place where learners are actively encouraged to question, formulate ideas and express themselves confidently. We should not forget that the end of education is the character of learners. We always talk about the...
Posted On 24 Apr, 2021

Bangladesh has a great cultural history deeply influenced by the topography in which it sits and the influence & interaction of faiths down the centuries. The people of Bangladesh always showed great respect, tolerance, and free-thinking attitudes to each other's irrespective of beliefs, race, and communal identities. We all lived together, fought together, and prayed together during the years of many national crises. Sadly, in recent months, Bangladesh has witnessed some of the worst communal violence. Dozens, possibly hundreds of homes, have been ransacked, and heinous crimes including rape and murder perpetrated by Bangladeshis against Bangladeshis. Though tragically, such violence,...
Posted On 26 Mar, 2021

The most fundamental contribution of education is to enable people to better themselves to engage themselves in socially productive tasks to build a stronger nation economically and otherwise. The assumption is that at the end of an academic programme, the learners, i.e., the students, would acquire capabilities that, in turn, would add to the competitive advantage of their respective countries through technological and also non-technological means. This fits well in an input-output model in which the inputs are the students. They are also the outputs but having gone through a transformation system, i.e., an educational process that makes them professionally...
Posted On 26 Mar, 2021

What is real happiness, and what leads us to live in this world? A Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote a book entitled Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience in 1990 raised a salient question about what makes life worth living and what leads to happiness. He discussed the nature of flow- a physical and mental state when an individual becomes oblivious of the universe as the person is fully engaged and focused on the job at hand. According to Csikszentmihalyi, there is a time when individuals feel a sense of ownership, peace in mind, a sense of euphoria or delight,...
Posted On 26 Mar, 2021

To ensure continued economic growth and development, creating and maintaining an environment of competitiveness are essential. Central to this is the institution of education or, for that matter, higher education that provides economic empowerment. For this to happen, education providers must appreciate that market forces drive a buyer-seller phenomenon just like in any other business. Educational Institutions need to have an optimisation focus on customer satisfaction and customer relationship. In other words, ‘quality’ must be inherent in the system. The buyers, i.e., the prospective students, must have this ‘assurance’. This assurance is a continuous process that is audited and evaluated...
Posted On 26 Mar, 2021

We are living in an era of rapid changes in which customers behavioural patterns are changing continuously. The various market stimuli influence customers' expectations, and merely increasing customer satisfaction is no longer a viable option for retailers to ensure business success. Customers no longer want to be treated as a mere customer; instead, they would like to be valued, engaged, respected, appreciated, and feel important in the business environment's realm, being a main stakeholder's group. Therefore, they want to be delighted not merely satisfied. Suppose you can go beyond satisfaction, generate something new, a unique USP or create an extraordinary...
Posted On 16 Feb, 2021

An excellent education system is imperative and considered as the precursor of societal progress. It helps develop an individual's morality, think beyond their thinking, and hopefully act ethically, identify what is wrong and what is good, and recognise the consequences of their actions in society. It helps citizens make better decisions equipped with knowledge and discernment, which over time can lead to wisdom. It aids in the development of creative and innovative minds, which in turn prove to be crucial to building a society that is healthy and responsible. A significant requirement to take society along this route is to...
Posted On 08 Jan, 2021

A Couple of years back I was invited to attend an International Conference in Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta), India hosted jointly by two very prestigious Indian Institutions on the theme “Innovative Business Practices in a VUCA world.” I was excited and felt a deep sense of joy to accept this invitation to attend as a keynote speaker for two reasons: The theme of the conference was very close to my heart as I always felt that uncertainties are the father of innovation, understanding dynamics of business uncertainties is the core to success. Secondly, the city of Kolkata. A fascinating &...
Posted On 05 Jul, 2020

As the COVID-19 emergency has unfolded disturbing footage has emerged across social media of the sick, dead, and dying being abandoned, sometimes in the streets. People with the illness have been shunned and ostracised, family members attached with stones and driven out of their community and others abused claiming that they have the disease because they are cursed by God. With the Coronavirus, the simple truth is that anyone can catch it and that anyone can spread it. What matters now is our response to the Pandemic. Firstly, it is important that we behave rationally and proportionately. Of course there...
Posted On 28 Jun, 2020

These are extraordinary times; indeed, they are unprecedented times, certainly in the experience of those born since the Second World War.  The global COVID-19 pandemic has touched virtually every part of the world and has caused untold misery and suffering. Millions of lives have been disrupted and thanks to various national lockdowns and due to travel restrictions, we have found ourselves spending a lot more time at home, often with those we hold dear. Out of the gloom has come the light of realisation, a dawning of what really matters, whether this be family and friends, some of whom we...
Posted On 26 Jun, 2020

Recently Bangladesh has witnessed some of the worst communal violence. Dozens, possibly hundreds of homes have been ransacked and heinous crimes including rape and murder perpetrated by Bangladeshis against Bangladeshis. Though tragically such violence, especially against minority communities is not new, the scale of recent attacks should give cause for alarm, especially as it raises serious question about the country’s will and ability to protect its own citizens. Given the fact that Bangladesh Awami League, the Party under whose leadership our country achieved the independence established an independent state on the basis of the high ideals of nationalism, democracy and...
Posted On 25 Jun, 2020

Developing detailed profiles of customers, their buying patterns, and hence their needs, and lifestyles – is to serve the customer better and make sure that their expectations are fulfilled. Retailing thrives with urbanisation, but this must be supported by purchasing power and also, very importantly, urban lifestyle. With a high density of population in cities and towns, the basic requirement of supermarket success is served by the number of customers that will flock to their doors. Given the sheer volume of customers in supermarkets, it is naturally difficult to keep track of shoppers. Under the burden of cut-throat competition, most...
Posted On 24 Jun, 2020

I vividly recall four years ago today walking round to my youngest son’s junior school to vote in the Referendum about whether the UK should stay in or leave the EU. It was raining that day, but that did not dampen my spirits, or those of millions of others who felt that it was their civic and democratic duty to vote. Polling stations up and down the land did a brisk trade that day and I recall how positive I felt about voting in favour of Brexit. I always knew that it was going to be a challenge, but you...
Posted On 23 Jun, 2020

Superstore retailing is on the rise and booming in Bangladesh and have become the dominant destination for grocery shopping, especially those from a middle and upper-class background. Although the culture of superstores in Bangladesh is a relatively recent phenomenon, the first store opened in 2002 by Agora, within this short pace of time shoppers now expect superstore retailing to be organised around shoppers lives rather than their own terms. A more convenient way to shop has become the norm. Population statistics are very important for a marketer to understand and thereby keep track of the changing age profile. It is understood...
Posted On 20 Jun, 2020

Such is the nature of the whole sorry Brexit Saga that the British public have become accustomed to being let down by the Establishment. 29th March 2019 was meant to be the day when the UK left the EU, but unsurprisingly events have been engineered in such a manner that this deadline has been missed. The Houses of Parliament which for decades took little or no interest in the EU and EU legislation now obsesses about the EU without really knowing what it wants. The slavish devotion to the EU of the likes of the Scottish Nationalist Party seems particularly...
Posted On 30 Mar, 2019

Bangladesh, like a number of South Asian countries, is one that has a rich cultural history, one that has been deeply influenced by the landscape in which it sits and the influence and interaction of faiths down the centuries. In common with its neighbours, it witnessed the rise and fall of empires, with the Mughal and British Empires each leaving an indelible mark on this remarkably fertile land. Both Hinduism and Islam have shaped outlooks and cultural norms, with the country strongly influenced by the tastes and habits of its Indian neighbour, whilst at the same time eager to forge...
Posted On 28 Mar, 2019

Few words in recent years have become as emotive as ‘Brexit’. For some The UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) is a matter of tremendous regret, for others a life affirming decision that should see Britain regain its sovereignty and be able to chart its own future. Certainly, the 2016 Brexit Referendum was a powerful exercise in democracy, one which has engaged communities and to some extend polarised them like no other issue for decades. In 2016 a majority of Britons voted for a path that will see the UK less focused on the EU and more likely...
Posted On 17 Mar, 2019

It seems incredible to think that not so very long ago it was near impossible to enjoy the delights of the Mughlai Biryani, Mator Paneer and Prawn Saag in the UK. Culinary choices were decidedly limited, and for many Britons the food we ate was as unremarkable as it was occasionally bland. This is not to decry traditional British food, or the rich array of fresh ingredients available in these islands, it was just that mainstream food seemed to be in a rut. Hence the enthusiasm and indeed affection that the British have for South Asian food. The rich and...
Posted On 08 Dec, 2018

Over the past decade, the story of the Bangladesh retail industry has been nothing less than a revolution shaped and developed by high quality service provisions, world class design and sizeable local and international investment. Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing economies in the world with average growth rate of over 6.2% for the past decade, it is the 46th largest economy in 2016 (WB) in terms of GDP and 33rd largest economy in terms of PPP, with over 226bn $ total GDP in1016 and with only less than a 4.1% unemployment rate in 2016 making this country very...
Posted On 21 Oct, 2018

To adapt an old American saying; ‘You can take a Bangladeshi out of Bangladesh, but you can’t take Bangladesh out of a Bangladeshi’. Culture, along with cultural attitudes and norms play a prominent role, so much so that they not only shape leadership and management attitudes but frame the behaviour of existing and potential customers. Both foreign and local businesses need to be mindful of local attitudes, and for all the appetite in certain quarters for new ways of doing things, offerings need to be adapted to take cognizance of local expectations and sensitivities. Whilst the average Bangladeshi may not...
Posted On 01 Oct, 2018