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Institute of Business Administration - Karachi

 

IBA Marketing Club Dubai Study Tour Fall 2012

 
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Your learning should not be only confined to the boundaries of the university, it is important that you are also exposed to cross cultural experiences and the global perspective of people running the multinational companies. We were provided with a perfect opportunity to broaden our vision when an itinerary was devised for Dubai Study Tour from 26th January till 31st January 2013. A place which has more than 80% expatriates itself gives you an opportunity for an ideal international exposure.

Day 1 started with Qashif Effendi who is known to be one of the most successful marketers from Pakistan and is also a gold medalist from IBA. He has an extremely diversified and is currently working as the Group Head (Sales and Marketing) of ADNIP (Abu Dhabi National Industrial Projects). He shared his experiences that how he formulated the marketing strategies for a B2B firm which over the time has won the number of projects for his organization. He also shed the light of his time in Middle East, the cultural mindset over there, and how difficult it is to break the barriers when you need funds for branding. The uphill task for him was that how he will change the old identity and to develop an umbrella branding for the company.

Next interactive session was supposed to take place with IBA Alumni Chapter which has 400 members to date and is being lead by Danish Qazi who is a graduate from IBA batch of 2002. He is currently AVP Sales and Direct Marketing at Bancassurance at Oman Insurance Company PSC. He told us that why it is important to have our own vision, to create our own brand, to have a passion and making sure that we keep the balance for all of these aspects. Moving on, we further had engaging sessions with Mr. Elahi who has many achievements to his name. His experience spans a broad spectrum of banking sector. Syed Afreen Alam who is a graduate from IBA batch of 1999 was previously working as Country Head Sales of FedEx and he has also worked for Siemens Pakistan. Today, he is an entrepreneur and is now a Chief Executive Officer of MEX Logistics LLC. This seminar gave us a chance to network with alumnus of IBA who are no doubt a treasure for this great institute.

After a gripping and engaging session with IBA Alumni, we visited Dubai Mall which is the world's largest shopping mall based on area covering atleast 1,200 shops. What makes it so special is that it has retailers from all over the world which gives you an opportunity to see that how different companies from all over the world have done their branding. The start of Day 2 took place with another shopping mall, Ibn Battuta Mall located on the Sheikh Zayed Road. The design and style of different courts in the mall make it worth visiting as each court like China Court, India Court, Persia Court, Egypt Court e.t.c. has its own theme.

Next up was a visit to Kraft Foods which has now been renamed as Mondelez International and concentrates on the global snack business. We were taken over there by Ali Shaikh who graduated from IBA in 2001 and did his bi-majors in Marketing and Finance. He has an expanded portfolio over there and is currently Category Marketing Manager, Biscuits, Grocery & Coffee for GCC and New Markets at Kraft Foods now Mondelez International. He shared with us that how the concept of virtuous cycle helps in driving the growth for a brand and how the products being managed by him are differentiated and positioned in the minds of the people. Oreo and TUC were presented by different brand managers from different regions and they shared that how they have recently developed a different concept for TUC which previously has been an old boring brand. Something that fascinated us the most that how they are running their cross media campaigns as the ideas were original and extremely innovative.

We had to be up early next morning as we were supposed to have a full day session with IFFCO team in Sharjah. There we were assisted by Amir Qadri who is a Group Head of Marketing - Oils and Fats, IFFCO Group, Asia, Middle East, North Africa region. He has over 17 years of experience of marketing management of FMCG in large organizations. Other people from his team were also present there for giving an overview of how the IFFCO started and what it does. They also shed the light on the open door for opportunities for working at IFFCO as they annually conduct trainings for the graduates from top business universities. Further the significance of IFFCO's vision was discussed and that how they are providing customers with every single food product. The lunch break at IFFCO allowed us to interact and network with the employees over there. They also elaborated that how they have been able to differentiate their product by different positioning methods and with the help of extensive consumer research & retail audit system. This was discussed by Dr. Asif Hassan, Head Marketing Research and Consumer Insights at IFFCO.

Next was Bloomberg on the same day which was also one of the most awaited visits for many of us as it is globally known for its expertise in the world of Finance. Jahangir Hussain who is a Middle East Head gave us a broad comprehensive view of the way operations are running at Bloomberg. Bloomberg which to many of us is known as a Business News Channel in actual is generating revenues because of many other services such as trading, forecasting, analysis and is also used for research purposes by many leading firms and universities.  Later we had a tour of a stunning Bloomberg Office and were then divided into groups of three for presentations and group discussions. The visit to Bloomberg was indeed one of its own kind as the evening ended with a key-note from speakers and souvenirs which were distributed to us by them. 

We were anxiously waiting for Day 4 as it had a trip to Dubai Festival City which apart from the Ferrari Store, Dubai Gold Mark and many other brands has an IKEA Showroom as well where shopping is an experience in itself. We started with a breakfast at IKEA and were later left astonished by the way Furniture Retailing is done at the showroom there. We later explored Dubai Festival City which sort of is a replication of Dubai in itself as it is spread over 1300 acres. Day didn't end here as the next in was Global Village which is claimed to be as the world's largest tourism project. Pavilions from more than 40 countries had their marvelous and fascinating set ups which gave us an opportunity to socialize with people from different parts of the world, witnessed their cultural dances, theatre performances, local handicrafts and had traditional food which made our visit to Global Village an enchanting one.

Apart from these visits, exploring Dubai and getting exposed to cultures from all over the world was a sensational experience in itself. In the end, the students who toured are grateful to our Dean and Director, Dr. Ishrat Hussain for his support, Jami Moiz (Assistant Professor and Patron IBA Marketing Club) and Nida Aslam Khan (Lecturer Department of Marketing) for leading this trip. We are also thankful to Mr. Akbar Kazmi-Finance Executive Students Societies; and Ms. Shehreena Amin- Assistant Manager External Linkages for facilitating the study tour. We will forever cherish the time we spent together in Dubai, a place which in itself has developed its own brand!