British American Tobacco Bangladesh has been hosting its talent search platform Battle of Minds (BoM) successfully for 12 years now. The 13th edition ended with a festive touch on October 24, 2016.
The top five teams battled it out amidst the presence of many professionals and business leaders of the country, the Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka winning the trophy at the end of the night. BUET and North South University won the runners-up and second runners-up titles respectively.
This year's tagline for BoM was “What are you made of?” in order to bring out the creative differences that BAT has been prioritising over the years while recruiting fresh graduates. The Head of Human Resources at BAT Bangladesh, Rumana Rahman explained, “We organised this event to find out the concealed skills, enthusiasm and abilities of the talented graduates—to make them realise their hidden power.”
Mubina Asaf, Head of Legal and External Affairs,further remarked, “Those who have been recruited through this initiative are working at both home and abroad, competent to face any kind of challenges in their job. Those who are not working with us are successful in different national and multinational companies. Battle of Minds is not only a platform for recruitment, it also provides real life experiences to develop abilities and professional skills before entering corporate life. That is why we are constantly motivated by everyone to keep hosting this event.”
One of the guests at grand finale, Junayed Ahmed Chowdhury, Barrister-at-Law, Advocate, Supreme Court, Bangladesh, commented, “Battle of Minds is a great platform for graduates to showcase their talents and this platform is not violating the tobacco control law in any way.”
A staggering 2,300 applications were received for the initial online rounds, which tested the cultural and cognitive mind-sets of the applicants. Vigorous filtering through audio-visuals, field surveys and group discussions brought the number down to 40 individuals, who were then grouped into teams of four for the semi-final. This round required the participants to serve as consultants of selected restaurants in Dhaka for 10 days to help drive their revenue and brand equity. Managing Director of BATB Shehzad Munim said he hopes the participants could learn from this because it was a learning experience that not even the best business schools cannot provide them with.
This year's Battle of Minds was designed to provide participants with a real challenge of managing a business. To do this, BAT partnered with 10 reputed restaurants in Dhaka where 10 teams were assigned for 10 days. Each team had to develop a campaign centred around an offer for 10 days. The teams were required to not only develop the campaign plan but also to execute the plan in the restaurants. The resulting improvement in the business was then measured and the top five teams were selected for the Grand Finale.
At the Grand Finale, the top 5 teams had to present their analysis of the restaurant, their plans and also the outcomes of their campaign. The judging panel was adorned with the presence of Rezaul Islam, Head of Marketing, BAT Bangladesh, William Pegel, Head of Finance, BAT Bangladesh and Rumana Rahman, Head of HR. DNCC Mayor, Annisul Huq, also graced the event as Chief Guest with his presence and gave a very motivational speech to the youth on life's goals and dreams. He also marvelled at the tenacity of BAT as a business on a global scale, overcoming countless challenges and hurdles with finesse.
When asked about the BoM experience, Tahmeed Alam Sameen from Bangladesh University of Professionals said, “Battle of Minds tests you to the core and gives you a taste of the corporate world right before you graduate. The experience and mentorship we were provided with is truly incomparable.”Sabira Mehrin from the winning team from IBA said, “Each and every round had twistsand turns, which made the whole competition nothing short of an exciting rollercoaster ride!” Taosif Amin Khan from the same institute commented, “I encourage people to participate because there is literally no better way to learn business administration. When you get pushed out of your limits into a real-life work scenario, you really find out what you are made of.”