Bharat Bambawale focusing on 10 major points. Courtesy: AIUB
The Brand Experience
Mashrur Hassan Mim
Entering the auditorium of the American International University Bangladesh (AIUB), the first thing that awed me was the house-full attendance. And even when the seminar was near midriff, students were still pouring in to the auditorium to grab whatever knowledge they could from Bharat Bambawale, Director, Global Brand Airtel. After the session ended, some of the students were letting others, who did not appear at the seminar, know that they had missed a big opportunity. They were right. The whole affair was truly magnificent.
The seminar started with welcoming notes from Meherin Mamun, faculty member of the School of Business, AIUB. With a fair introduction about the key note speaker and Airtel, Mamun requested Bambawale to take the lead. Apart from the students, Dr Charles Villanueva, Dean of School of Business and Dr Ehsanul Huda Chowdhury, Director of the BBA programme along with other faculty members were also present at the seminar.
And from then on, it was a very illuminating journey for all present at the auditorium. The presentation by Bharat Bambawale was titled “10 brand lessons I have learned in my global travels.” The whole presentation was based on his working experience and real life examples, which were, at times quite amusing.
Bharat Bambawale focused on 10 direct points. He primarily emphasised on mastering the product category, having good knowledge about competitors but not emulating them, knowing the customers and providing them with more than they expect. He said that building brands is easier when there is a genuine insight on the customer's psychology. During his insightful intakes on searching for a great brand idea, he showed real advertisements to prove his point.
He also related his points to the works done by Airtel worldwide. He pointed out that although the executions may vary in each market, the basic proposition of a global brand goes beyond boundaries. He presented the ongoing campaign of Airtel Africa as a prime example. Information amazed the whole auditorium as they got to know that Airtel has commenced a novel initiative (Airtel Rising Stars) for the talented young football players of Africa to train with world famous football team Manchester United.
At the end of the presentation, Bambawale was flooded with questions from the inquisitive students as they not only asked questions related to the presentation, but also tried to gather ideas on Airtel's local brand proposition. With a kind smile which lasted throughout the session, he patiently met with all the queries, inevitably pleasing everybody.
As soon as the session ended, Bharat Bambawale was presented with a “Certification of appreciation” from the AIUB authorities. It was evident from the whole event that books and classrooms can only provide a layer of knowledge for the students as they can always derive benefit from the experiences shared by experienced campaigners. Such initiatives are always helpful for the career growth of potential leaders of the country.