Search for innovative solutions to social problems

Shaha Rakesh Nishan | Published: October 31, 2018 22:26:20 | Updated: November 01, 2018 19:19:16


The national winners of RB Global Challenge 2018—from left Mohammed Arif-Uz-Zaman Khan, Md Nurul Samnan and Farhan Karim

They say if you have the passion, energy, self-confidence and motivation, you can make a difference and stir a change in the society. This is exactly what RB Global Challenge 2018 challenged the participants to do -- come up with innovative ideas to tackle social issues. Hosted by Reckitt Benckiser (RB) across 17 countries, the competition welcomed business ideas that have greater societal and environmental impact and stand by their firm belief of 'business with a purpose'.

The grand finale of the national edition of RB Challenge 2018, hosted by RB Bangladesh took place on October 23  at Lakeshore Gulshan. Team Crime Master Gogo, consisting of Mohammed Arif-Uz-Zaman Khan, Md Nurul Samnan and Farhan Karim from North South University emerged as the national winner of RB Global Challenge 2018. They will now represent Bangladesh in the global round and compete with national winners of other 16 countries.

Shaha Rakesh Nishan interviewed the members of the winning team. They shared about their winning idea, the experience of the competition and preparation for the global round.

Question (Q): Can you briefly share your idea? How did you people come up with the idea?

Farhan: Our idea is about bringing a practical and feasible behavioural change when it comes to hand washing amongst children. Thus, we worked for proposing a product innovation under the brand of Dettol. The idea came into being after identifying the issue of behavioural reluctance towards proper handwashing among the children and we wanted to resolve it by making the whole process of hand washing fun for them.

Q: The first round was an online round where teamwork was very important. Can you share the issues you faced?

Arif: This is our first competition as a team. I had worked with Samnan before, but for an advertisement making competition, something both of us were not comfortable with.  This was uncharted territory for all three of us.

The online round was very challenging, and it put us in the shoes of an RB Manager. We had to solve issues and find solutions to probably real-life problems that they deal with day in and day out. The first section is more focused towards numerical solutions, we tried to solve the issues individually, but teamwork was more crucial on the later part where the answers were strategic and decision-based. It was an intense and rushed session of brainstorming. The overall experience was  enjoyable.

Q: How do you expect your idea to affect the relevant stakeholders?

Samnan: Our proposed idea is expected to create a significant impact in bringing a behavioural change in children's handwashing habits. It is also meant to keep the mothers, an important target group of Dettol more stress-free about their children's well-being when they are at school. The motive aligns with the marketing visions of Dettol, bringing in more strength in the brands' and its stakeholders' sustainable growth and prosperity in the process and we believe that our success will come from not only benefitting the individuals but the society as a whole.

Q: How was the experience of the grand finale?

Farhan: We worked hard before the finale, and we were confident in our idea, but the other finalists were really amazing and detailed with their plans too. We had prepared a hand-washing anthem, which was part of our proposed marketing campaign for our product and we performed it in front of the judges and were applauded for it.

Even though we were expecting a good result, it felt surreal when they announced our team name as the winning team.

Q: Please share some key takeaways from this competition.

Arif: We came up with ideas that we feel will help to make our society better, to turn it into a feasible and sustainable plan is a completely different story. You need to think about the financials, marketing and how the entire operation will run if it comes to fruition. We got some constructive feedback from our judges and hoped to better our idea for the global round.

Q: Your team will be representing Bangladesh in the global round. Have you people started preparation for it?

Samnan: Yes and no. We have been invited to participate in boot camps to help us prepare for the global round, and we hope to learn as much as we possibly can from them. Meanwhile, we have been discussing how to make the whole thing more feasible and more impactful for the people we want to reach with this. It is not just about winning the competition but working towards bringing in positive change to our society and making it better for everyone.

 

The interviewer and writer is a final year student of BBA programme at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka. He can be reached at nishanrakesh20@gmail.com

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