Sayed Alamgir is a very familiar name in the arena of retail marketing both in Bangladesh and abroad. He has achieved tremendous success within the long career of marketing. Currently he is the Managing Director of ACI Salt and Executive Director of ACI Consumer brands. He has mentioned in the text book of “Principles of Marketing” authored by Dr. Philip Kotler as a case study by popularizing the concept of aromatic Halal soap. Recently he’d an interview with Raju Alim where he exposed his view in Bangladeshi position in global marketing, branding, CSR and ensuring product quality.
You’ve changed the product equation branding policy in Bangladesh. You’ve also created the ‘concept of Halal soap’ which got much popularity in a while. Please say something regarding this issue.
Sayed Alamgir: Bangladesh is approaching very rapidly in product branding. Once people bought everything without justification. There will be some problems if you don’t judge products before purchasing. For example you buy a product which has no name, no manufacturer identity and no branding. Brand is the name of something, sign and some letters-branding occurs with everything sometimes individually and sometimes jointly. It indicates the product quality. When you say-it’s a ACI product, I undertake the responsibility. There is a determination of my product like I say my product is hundred percent pure. It’s a determination. When we say that our soap is hundred percent Halal, it means a promise is given by the manufacturer to the consumers. So you’re getting a determination and it has a guardian. Once it was Aromatic and now it is ACI in case of salt. So you can judge it and it happens due to a guardian. Branding requires for this. You can buy a shirt and it is quite good in every sphere. But if you buy a shirt of Pierre Cardin or Gyloresi, you may easily notice the difference in cutting, fitting and fabric quality. You may then be assured that this shirt will not be faded or destroyed easily.
Philip Kotler had put your name in his book and you got chance to work closely with him when he came in Bangladesh to join workshops and seminars. He mentioned about the Halal soup in his book. How did it become a ‘concept’ and what is the real position of Branding in Bangladesh?
Sayed Alamgir: Bangladesh is in a good position in branding. I think we started our journey as a nation just after liberation. Everything got nationalized. We had gone a bit somewhere else. Then we thought to denationalize. We also thought to make us popular here. Branding actually started then. Why did Philip Kotler mention in his book? It is because you need to do something during branding. Firstly what I think about the branding? I put something different in case of ACI Salt. ACI Salt helps to develop brilliance. We’re dreaming to make a brilliant Bangladesh. Branding should be realistic and quality should be ensured. Then you can compete with others. In 1995, around the world, I first talked about 100% Halal soap. That time there was no conversation regarding ‘Halal’. But nowadays it is not only confined within soap but also many countries are using this concept. They are saying that their foods are hundred percent halal. Product quality should be ensured, consumers state of mind should be realized and try to find their demand. Like our salt can be compared with international brands. I’m not thinking of its branding anymore because no good salt can harm its market as it’s not possible to produce good salt more than of it.
How did ACI Salt hold the love of Bangladeshi people?
Sayed Alamgir: every month ACI Salt uses in 8 million homes in Bangladesh and it is still rising. It is the determination of our brand that we promise. And we’re distributing according to our promise. That is why you’ve made a question-Bangladesh is in a primary stage of branding. But there are many marketing experts in Bangladesh, who can also say about their experience on branding. Once I said-100% halal soap. It means that there is no fat of pig and cow and it is made from natural raw materials. I make this sense easy so that people can understand easily. Philip Cotler exposed my technique as a clever presentation of branding. It’s a text book and it has to read all over the world who’re interested to study on marketing.
What was the feeling of your family after having your reference in Philip Cotler’s book?
Sayed Alamgir: actually I personally felt well. Once my wife said that I’d done lot of things. I started as a regional manager after completing MBA. But I’m now Managing Director. Everything I’ve achieved one by one. She also mentioned that I’d created lot of enjoyment to my home but there is no comparison of others that I’ve created by introducing the concept of Halal soap and the prestigious presentation in Philip Cotler’s book.
ACI is in a good position among the people of Bangladesh from the sense of trust. There are so many products of ACI which are very essential for our daily life. What are the upcoming products of your company?
Sayed Alamgir: essentially and problems are combining together. Firstly we’ve defined the problems. Our main problem is to ensure quality of our products. When you’ll go for buying rice, you’ll notice that plump rice becomes skinny by machine cutting. You paid for nazirshail but you get baro. This is the place of trust. We come to this place of trust and we’ve given new rice in the market. And we can say it strongly that people are getting original rice according to our commitment. We’re coming with aroma rice because people aren’t happy with the aroma rice. We’re almost giving every kitchen items. In case of spice, we’ve often seen spice are mixed with wooden powder and brick powder which are very harmful for human health. So we’ve sort out out ACI Pure in the market maintaining all the quality levels. So our sell is rising. Campaign programs will not work if you don’t ensure quality.