Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |  Volume 7, Issue 04, Tuesday, January 24, 2012





Trade Fair not doing good this year?

It is doing very well, you might think if you visit Dhaka International Trade Fair 2012, since it is packed with people from all walks of life, especially on Fridays, when the density of the crowd becomes unbelievable. But underneath the festive mood of the fair lies a pessimistic story.

Prices of the items sold in the trade fair have increased significantly, many consumers complain. “I wait for the trade fair to buy many things as I believe I can get them cheaper here, but this year it is not the case,” complains Fatema, a housewife who came to the fair from Old Dhaka.

Indeed, prices are relatively high this year. One reason for this is the devaluation of taka. Since the US dollar's value have gone up, imports have become more expensive. This explains the price hike on imported items and also those goods produced locally using imported raw materials.

Inflation has increased cost of production in general, which contributes to increased rising prices.

To add fuel to the fire, the purchasing power of the general public seems to have fallen too, thus further dampening demand. The sales manager of a well known electronics company in Bangladesh wished to remain anonymous when he specified that sales figures are worse than last year's.

“Consumers do want to spend money on buying big items, be it a refrigerator or a sofa set. These cost more, and people are unwilling to spend big amounts now,” he told.

Quite scarily, it is not only expensive items that are seeing slow sales, even skincare products, which are always such a big hit on the trade fair, are facing low demand. “People are coming and checking our products all right. But somehow, they end up not buying any,” a seller from a Thai store said.

Sellers are blaming this on adverse economic conditions. When asked about the low purchasing ability of the visitors, the phrase “stock market” was uttered a strikingly huge number of times.

While the downturn in the stock market may be just one of the reasons, it is true that many people have lost a lot of money in the 'market'. It has meant a lower income for many families.

Foreign participation is also relatively low. Sad but true, given the current demand, companies that decided against participating this year probably made a good decision after all!

“There are so many countries in the world and just a few participate in our trade fair. I would have liked if many more countries participated,” said Sunvir who came to the fair from Indira Road.

So far, the trade fair is mainly playing the role of a place to go for a family outing or a place to hang out with friends. After all, it's the Dhaka International Trade Fair that comes every year. You must visit it once no matter what!

Everything is not negative of course. The food stalls are doing well. “After all the walking and shopping you have to do, you obviously get hungry,” said a visitor. When you get tired and have friends or family members with you, entering one of the several food stalls is the most natural thing to do.

Many businesses also just see the fair as a great way to promote themselves. “Although sales for us have been extremely low, we don't mind as long as we have people coming to our stall. The trade fair is a fantastic way to promote our business,” a small and relatively new furniture store believes.

On the other hand, everybody seems to be buying plastic-made products such as buckets, jugs, etc. Among a few others, clothes and apparel stores are also seeing huge crowds.

Tiny businesses (like vendors selling street snacks) surrounding the fair are also doing quite well.

Hopefully, sales will pick up. Hopefully, things are just warming up for the month-long fair and the last few days will see more sales.

By M H Haider
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed


Naveed's Comedy Club
Presents: Azhar Usman

CNN calls him "America's Funniest Muslim!" The New York Times mentioned that Azhar "turns fear into funny." There will be two shows on 28 January 2012; the first at 7 pm and the next, on the same evening, at 9.

Tickets are priced at Tk 1000, including VAT. Available at: The Bench; Bitter Sweet; Zone Zero. For home delivery call/sms 0191 429 6455 (there is a small fee of Tk 100/delivery). For details contact 0173 032 7000; or email-- Info@Naveeds ComedyClub.com


Firey Esho Behula

The film is releasing on 20 January, 2012 at Balaka Cineworld and will continue for a week till the 27th. The film's trailer has already been released and judging by it, the film seems to have immense potential.

Directed by Tanim Noor, this Joya Ahsan starrer will surely enthrall the audience with her powerful performance. Be sure to catch the trailer on Youtube or subscribe to their Facebook page.

The Bench

Make your Thursday night more interesting and start your weekend with a blast with your friends and family. The Bench is hosting a special GRILL NIGHT on the 26th of January along with Live Unplugged music by The Party. Try their different kebabs, chicken tikka, beef and chicken steaks, grilled & fried fishes and more.

Guests can enjoy live cooking on the venue and can select the fish to be barbecued in front of their eyes. Time: 7:30 pm onwards.

By Tanziral Dilshad Ditan


Bhalobashar Golpo

Bhalobashar Golpo' is a program that brings to you the tales of love and togetherness of real couples all around us. Catch Ishita telling these stories on Ponds' Bhalobashar Golpo, produced by Nahid Ahmed, every Friday evening at 6:05 on Banglavision and also get to know more about Ponds' My Second Honeymoon.


Falgun at Baran

Fashion house Baran is presenting dresses with new designs for the fashion-conscious youth to celebrate the coming Spring. Baran has produced new dresses upholding the slogan 'T-shirt is the mobile canvas of life.' The new collections include T-shirts, polo shirts, panjabis, women's fatuas and three-piece sets.

Address: 31 and 32, Aziz Super Market (ground floor); 424, Metro Shopping Mall (3rd floor). Phone no: 8613149.


Bangladeshi wins rare award in Britain

Bajlur Rashid, president of Bangladeshi Restaurant Association in Britain, has been selected for MBE, (Member of the most excellent order of the British Empire) a royal honour by the royal family of Britain. He has been selected for this rare honour as a Bangladeshi for his entrepreneurship and as a successful businessman.

Rashid started his journey as a young entrepreneur in a flourishing restaurant business at the beginning of 1980. Queen Elizabeth II will hand over the award to Bajlur Rashid on 14 February, 2012 at Buckingham Palace in a gala event.

20 per cent discount at NID

Admission is going on for the new semester of National Institute of Design (NID). There will be a twenty percent discount on tuition fees for the new batch. NID distributes all its certificates through the U and I alliance department of Dhaka University including Apparel Merchandising and Graphics Design. Admission is ongoing for other courses of six-month and year-long duration. The NID authority also helps students get jobs and internships after finishing the courses.

For details, contact: NID campus-1, 38/1, Road-2, Dhanmondi Rifles squire. Phone-9611765, 01921-668999, 01762-375299. www.nid-info.com


In the dying days of winter, celebrate the occasion with leggings, skinny jeans and other winter ensembles like sweaters, jackets and other fashion accessories. Especially at Ecstasy's Uttara outlet, men have a wide assortment of formal wear to choose from.

Discount at Inspiration Institute

Admission is ongoing for the first batch of 2012 at Inspiration Institute. The intake is for the six months certificate course and the one-year diploma course in fashion designing, interior designing and graphics designing. Inspiration Institute is under the control of Dhaka University, so certificates will be issued from the reputed institution. This institute claims to be the only institute to distribute all its certificates through the U and I alliance department of the university. The new batch will enjoy a 50 percent discount on admission fees. Moreover, after completing the course, students can avail jobs and internships through the institute. Besides providing credit transfer opportunities, it also provides assistance to its students to do a four-year graduation programme at a Malaysian university.

Contact: Inspiration Institute of Design and Technology, AAA Tower, Plot-80, Block-J, Baridhara, Pragati Sarani, Dhaka. Phone- 9895183, 8834353, 01711-005999. Website-www.inspiration.com.bd

Foreign foods at Kutumbari

Kutumbari presents delicious foreign foods for its urban guests. The Indian dishes on offer are Kashmiri chicken curry, Kashmiri spicy chicken curry, Mumbai beef rejala, Mumbai beef acchari, Mumbai karai mix chicken, Mumbai chicken karai gost. The South Indian foods includes labra, chana daal, chola vatora, doi-chira, doi-phuchka, raj kasuri, papri chat, bhelpuri. The Mughal dishes include Irani biriani (beef-chicken), Dillika Khichuri and Dillika tehari, morog polau, gramer khabar, barbecue and Chinese cuisine. The foods will be available from 10:00am to 8:00pm everyday. Besides, different packaged foods and other foods of demand will also be available at Kutumbari. Coffee is available in the evening.

Address- Kutumbari, 2/12 Block-F (besides Lalmatia Mohila College), Lalmatia. Phone- 01195-381630, 01756-960802.

Royal treats @ Pizza Hut

One of the features of Transcom Foods Limited is the passionate energy and breakneck dynamism with which they work. In the eight years Transcom has introduced the brand in Bangladesh, Pizza Hut has indeed brought a lot of new and exciting items.

Take their newest addition for example: an array of exciting drinks, appetisers and a new pizza.

Studded with cream cheese, Crown Crust Pizza is a royal treat ("fit for a king," it is said) that allows you to handpick your favourite toppings to go with it. The beverages include Peach Iced Tea, Orange Strawberry Spritzer, Tangy Orange, Mango Mojito, Orange Mojito, Green Apple Mojito and Very Berry Daiquiri. New appetisers and soups include Cheese n' Chicken Tortillas, Spicy Quesadillas and Tomato Minestrone.

"At Pizza Hut we love surprising our customers with new products. And, this time, we have a whole new bundle of surprises ready for them, starting with new appetizers, new soups and our Crown Crust Pizza with which any Pizza lover will surely have a royal love affair. It's all a part of the new menu to give our customers the Enhanced Dine-in experience which aims to provide the best casual dining atmosphere while enjoying a wide range of delicious food at an affordable price. I ensure our customers our commitment to great quality, excellent service and providing outstanding dining experience every time," Akku Chowdhury, Managing Director and CEO of Transcom Foods Limited, said.

Pizza Hut has successfully managed to serve its 6 lakh satisfied customers with amazing food and a wonderful dining experience throughout 8 years of existence in Bangladesh. 1,975 daily walk-in customers reflect that. Besides pizza, this restaurant focuses on a plethora of appetisers, pastas and desserts.

By M H Haider

KFC: hotter than ever!

KFC, one of the world's most famous fast food chains, has been known for introducing some of the hottest flavours to food lovers all across the nation, but now, they have taken the heat level up a notch by introducing the Hot Zinger Burger -- a tongue tickling treat that's sure to challenge the taste buds of us spice-loving Bangladeshis.

For those who find everyday food too mild, and are always looking for that extra kick, the new Hot Zinger -- KFC's signature crispy, crunchy and juicy chicken fillet, freshly prepared in store and served in a soft sesame bun along with fresh lettuce and the kick of red chilli mayo -- is definitely an option.

“We love nothing more than coming up with great new products for our customers. But this one's sure to be one of our 'hottest' products yet. It's been almost five years since we have opened KFC and we have made great efforts to surprise and delight food lovers, not just with excellent products but also outstanding customer care,” said Akku Chowdhury, Managing Director and CEO, Transcom Foods Ltd.

KFC opened its flagship outlet in Bangladesh on 6 September, 2006 at Gulshan. It now has 9 outlets in Dhaka, at Gulshan, Banani, Bailey Road, New Eskaton, Mirpur, Dhanmondi, Purana Paltan, Uttara and Laxmibazar; one in Chittagong at Lalkhan Bazar and another one in Cox's Bazaar. Transcom Foods Limited -- a subsidiary of Bangladesh's leading business group Transcom -- operates KFC in Bangladesh. Besides KFC, Transcom Foods Limited is also the franchisee of Pizza Hut, which is the first ever-international restaurant chain that commenced business in the Bangladesh market.



home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2012 The Daily Star