Bangladesh needs industrial intelligence in place

Why do companies or countries need business intelligence? A company’s collected raw data is an important asset where one can find solutions to many of an organization’s critical questions like ‘what was the net profit for a particular product last year and what will be sales this year and what are the key factors to be focused this year in order to increase the sales?’. So there arises a necessity of a well planned intelligence system which can lead to a greater profitability by reducing the operating costs, increasing the sales and thereby improving the customer satisfaction for an enterprise. With the help of a Business Intelligence System, a company may improve its business or rule over its competitors by exploring and exploiting its data to know the customer preferences, nature of customers, supply chains, geographical influences, pricings and how to increase its overall business efficiency.
Bangladesh possibly would never go for bribery, theft or blackmail, but it can easy acquire information from the open sources across the world. Let’s look at a few examples where Bangladesh needs immediate attention.
Exporting labourers could be a prime wage earner activity for Bangladesh. Remittances by expatriate Bangladeshis are always praised in the media by all the governments. But do we know about the possible markets for our labourers? Does anyone in Bangladeshi missions do any research on this? D we know who might be our possible competitors, say, in the Malaysian labour market?
Talking about Malaysia, the media back in Bangladesh comes to know first than our mission if any Bangladeshi workers are hiding in Malaysian forests to avoid detention. Isn’t it the responsibility of our mission to look after the state of the affairs in a certain country? Foreign embassies in Dhaka should provide perfect picture about how a mission should operate. Korean embassy, for example, in Dhaka has the information about each Korean residing in Bangladesh. Well, if you ask any one of our mission abroad about any information on Bangladeshis, they surely would be found to be at a loss.
Take Bangladeshi restaurant business in Britain as a test case. The new British immigration policy has restricted unskilled labourers to go there and work. The British-Bangladeshis are talking to the government in UK about easing this law. No one from Bangladesh mission, for that matter, the foreign ministry, has taken any initiative for talking to the British government. As if it is the responsibility of the restaurant owners only. If our mission cannot talk to the British government, they can at least look for the sectors where Bangladeshi unskilled labourers could be accommodated in UK! Since, restaurant business in UK has shown, it is possible for Bangladeshi businessmen to dominate in the catering sector, is it possible to set up this business in other countries such as USA, Canada, Australia? Who would actually research on this? We don’t have anyone or any organization!
The government in Bangladesh did run a few researches. I had once asked CPD (Centre for Policy Dialogue) for running a research whether Bangladesh’s textiles sector is capable for feeding the ready-made garments sector. CPD did that study and it was quite beneficial for the government.
Let’s have a look at our immediate neighbour – India. Bangladesh seems an easy market for Indian products. When we become a foreign market, our own industry would never develop. Isn’t it possible to watch Indian industries when they are coming up with new products? When India is launching a product, we can easily judge what it has in mind? Or do we want Bangladesh to be a perpetual market for Indian commodities?Bangladesh doesn’t have to go for hardcore espionage for this purpose. We need to engage methods of business intelligence for maximizing profits for the country. This is simple. Engage the press attachés in Bangladesh missions abroad. They could easily monitor those countries’ business news and send a weekly report back to Bangladesh about the state of their business and commerce, their needs. The reports would be researched by a cell back home for finding out new markets, destinations for Bangladeshi products and labourers. For this purpose, a research cell could be set up by combining foreign, commerce, industries and finance ministries. The prime object of this cell would be to issue advisories to the respective decision-makers as a well as business houses in Bangladesh. A simple media monitoring in the countries where we have our mission would go a long way in achieving industrial espionage as well as business intelligence. It has been proven that countries which have media monitoring across the world do very well in international affairs as well as in business and commerce. Researching through media monitoring could be a good start for Bangladesh’s business intelligence.

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