Unforgettable Hong Kong Tour-2007
Last winter our university was closed due to political instability throughout the country. While passing the days and nights in boredom, we came to know that HSBC was going to organize a 'Young Entrepreneurs Awards 2006-07' in Bangladesh for the first time although it had been organized since 2000 in Hong Kong. It posed to be a great opportunity for us to do something during this time. Moreover, our interest was intensified when we came to know of the offer of Hong Kong tour for the winning teams. So, I along with two of my friends formed a team. Pondering over a number of ideas, we could not take a final decision. All on a sudden we found an article published in 'The Daily Prothom Alo' about the potentials of bio-diesel in Bangladesh. Keeping other scattered ideas aside, we became interested to prepare a business plan on bio-diesel production from a seed named Jatropha Curcas, a miracle plant.
The competition was really a stiff one. Out of around 300 proposals, first 30 proposals were chosen for the 2nd round. This time HSBC organized a workshop on business plan writing skills. After that all the teams submitted their detailed plan and only seven teams qualified for the 3rd round. For improving presentation skills, HSBC organized another workshop. After the final presentation, the winning teams were announced at Hotel Sheraton on May 9, 2007. Both the Gold and Bronze Winning teams were from IBA and we were the Silver Award Winner.
What next? Definitely, planning for the Hong Kong tour. The three winning teams from Bangladesh became restless for the trip to Hong Kong. It was on 22nd June when we flew out of Dhaka for Hong Kong. We were ten in number and we were accompanied by a very interesting person 'Sami Bhai' from HSBC. The week-long trip really passed very quickly as we became familiar with one another.
We went to the peak from where Hong Kong city looks like a picture. The harbour, the temples and the beach at Causeway Bay also appear so picturesque. Our celebration reached its climax when Bangladesh stood first in the Asia Pacific Region, taking part in the competition for the first time.
The lifestyle of Hong Kong is really automated. Everything depends so much on technology and machine. It's a very expensive city. But to me it posed to be a simulated game. People are too busy to talk to each other. I was a bit surprised to find that people in bus or trains do not talk much. Rail lines go over land and under the sea. It was really amazing to watch the trains go by. We faced some problems with food but we became accustomed as time passed. I really enjoyed the crab, some delicious sea fishes, mushrooms etc.
Since it was an international event, we had the opportunity to meet young entrepreneurs from countries like Hong Kong, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.
As this tour was basically a study tour, we had to attend some workshops arranged by CUHK on entrepreneurial insights, fatal flaws in business plan, innovation, reality and start-ups. These sessions were taken by distinguished professors, venture capitalists and successful entrepreneurs. The corporate visit was another process of our learning. We visited six giant corporations like ZTE Corporation, Kingdee Group etc. Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation provide technical and management support for start-ups and incubators. It's a spectacular 22-hectare state-of-the-art infrastructure land and premises, R & D support for new initiatives. Calbee Four Seas Co Ltd is a Hong Kong Company supplying over 45% market share in the snack market using Japanese technology and Hong Kong's marketing and distribution expertise. Potato chips, Prawn crackers, noodles, ham related products are its prime products. The Ocean Park is the local theme park established as the famous tourist attraction in the territory and Asia. Cathay Pacific Airways Limited is the 10th most profitable airline and 6th largest airline in the world linking over 100 destinations.
Kingdee International Software Group Co Ltd. is the leading provider of enterprise management software and e-business application solution in the Asia-Pacific region. ZTE Corporation is a leading global provider of fixed line and mobile telecommunications equipment as well as network solutions. Telenor, the Parent Company of Grameen Phone in Bangladesh, also receives services from ZTE.
On the day before our departure we were taken to HSBC Asia-Pacific Headquarters for a buffet dinner. Souvenirs and Certificates were presented but all were quite gloomy as a bond of relationship has already been developed among the young talents from the six countries. Numerous pictures were taken and views were shared to keep the memories in our hearts. It was indeed a great event in my life. Time went so fast that none of us felt that the day to leave Hong Kong has come.
(Department of Finance, DU)