Team ‘Last Second’ from Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP) has been crowned as the Champions of ‘Unilever BizMaestros-2018’ in the Grand Finale. The programme was held at a city hotel in Dhaka yesterday.
First Runners Up was the team ‘Good for Nothing’ from Faculty of Business Studies, University of Dhaka and Second Runners-Up was the team ‘We Got This’ from Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka.
Business competitions are the ideal stepping stones to success for students who are about to embark on the arduous journey into the corporate world. Unilever BizMaestros stands strong as the harbinger for success for the tenacious and passionate youth of this country.
BizMaestros is the flagship business competition of Unilever Bangladesh. This year, it embarked on its ninth edition with 83 teams competed in a month-long rigorous fight for a spot in the Grand Finale. The highly anticipated competition took place in ceremonial grandeur, with 5 finalist teams striving to win the highly coveted title and champion Team Bangladesh at the global arena – Unilever Future Leaders’ League (FLL) 2019 at London. Moreover, they will have the opportunity to be fast-tracked to the Unilever Management Trainee Program (Unilever Future Leaders Program).
For the first time ever, Unilever Bangladesh collaborated with UNDP to craft the business competition around the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP), UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Unilever’s purpose-driven brands with the Central theme being WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene).
The first round challenged competitors to craft a campaign focusing on three big actions to improve access to usable hygienic toilets in rural areas while paying special attention to the needs of women and girls.
The theme of the second round was access to safe and affordable drinking water, where the teams had to work with the water purifier brand Pureit. The primary ask was to evaluate how Pureit could contribute to the achievement of SDG 6 in Bangladesh and address the issue of providing safe & affordable drinking water to people in rural areas.
Moreover, the teams had to design a campaign to educate the tubewell users in rural areas about the need to shift from tubewell to water purifiers.
For the third round, teams had to work with the brand Lifebuoy and assess how the brand could contribute to SDGs 3 and 6, and Unilever’s USLP objective of reducing diarrheal and respiratory disease through handwashing.
Additionally, teams were asked to create a campaign to build awareness of the importance of hand washing with soap, targeting mothers, with a focus on bringing about sustained behavioral changes.
All these rounds culminated to the Grand Finale where the 5 finalist teams were each given 15 minutes to present a business model innovation. The objective was to address WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) issues in urban slums using combined solutions from Unilever products and brands and thereby drive both business and sustainability value over the coming decade. Furthermore, they had to craft an awareness campaign for behavioral change in slum children that can be passed on to their families and peers.
The event was graced by the esteemed panel of judges comprising of prominent leaders and change makers. The panel included Kedar Lele, CEO and Managing Director of Unilever Bangladesh; Mia Seppo, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative; Asif Saleh, Senior Director of Strategy, Communications and Empowerment for BRAC and BRAC International; Minhaj Chowdhury, CEO and Co-Founder of Drinkwell; and Engr. Taqsem A. Khan, Managing Director & CEO of Dhaka WASA.
The night ended with Kedar Lele, CEO and Managing Director of Unilever Bangladesh addressing the crowd and showing his gratitude towards the parents and faculty present. The results were declared shortly afterward as Team Last Second prevailed victoriously. It was a clear indication that Bangladesh is not far from becoming the cornerstone of sustainable development and innovation; by virtue of the sheer brilliance radiating from the bright young minds of tomorrow.