Interviews

Md. Tareq Uddin, SVP & HEAD Brand Marketing & Communications, The Premier Bank Limited

Reading Time: 7 minutes -

 

THE FIRST STEP TOWARD CHANGE IS AWARENESS

THE SECOND STEP IS ACCEPTANCE

BRINGING AUTHENTIC BANKING SERVICES
I joined here back in November 2017 from UCB with a revamping plan to enhance the brand image of Premier Bank. Premier Bank is a third generation bank, which started its journey in 1999. Now its focusing on young target group whom we call Millennials, they are a completely different variant of the human race who, unlike any other generation, are leading the changes taking place in today’s world, shifting and determining the future for a variety of industries ranging from food to fashion and they make up 54.5% of the total population of our country. If we want to tap this target group then we need to be tech-savvy; we need to focus on their point of view as we explore and this is high time we started working toward technological progression within our organization, The Premier Bank Limited. Currently, we are operating with 111 branches across the country and our top management has instructed us to build relationship with all our valuable clients. From Head office, we provide required support to all our branch managers & officials ensuring on time debit/credit card delivery. Recently we have launched ‘pmoney’, mobile banking app so that our consumer can complete all their banking activities under this single umbrella. Our Moto or Objective is to spread authentic banking services across the country. Our focus is to ensure that our customers do trust Premier Bank from the core of their heart and accept us as their first choice.

The goal of corporate relationship is to create strong, even emotional, customer connections to a brand that can lead to ongoing business, free word-of-mouth promotion and information from customers that can generate leads. Acquiring new customers can be challenging and costly. Relationship marketing helps retain customers over the long term, which results in customer loyalty rather than customers purchase once or infrequently. See, this is all about Marketing. I was into this, and I am taking it a bit further through my previous experiences. In 2009, I started to work in UCB Brand Marketing division as In-charge; alongside this, in 2012 I took charge of Priority Banking & Cash Management as I felt that is important to deal with the psychology of consumers, to know more about the core banking.

“CMSME DRIVEN BANK”
In view of Bangladesh, there is no alternative of Cottage, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises for employment generation, poverty alleviation, rapid industrialization and national economic growth. Considering the fact, recently Bangladesh Bank has redefined Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) as CMSME (Cottage, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise) considering the importance and scope of the SME sector.

There are several reasons to put emphasis on the CMSME sector; some of the key reasons are employment generation, poverty alleviation and sustainable GDP growth of the country. Premier Bank realized that the importance of the CMSME sector is very effective for Bank’s sustainable business growth as well as the growth of Bangladesh economy. To build a Poverty-free Bangladesh & more Employment Generation, Premier Bank has given serious attention to the development of Cottage, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise (CMSME). Premier Bank is also focused on supporting CMSME to develop new entrepreneurs who can contribute to GDP.

In this context, International Finance UK has honored The Premier Bank with the Prestigious International Award of “Fastest Growing SME Bank in Bangladesh 2018”. As per our vision 2021, Premier Bank will be positioned as “CMSME Driven Bank” in the banking Industry of Bangladesh.

SERVICE FIRST, OWNERSHIP, INNOVAION AND AMBITION
Most of the financial institutes are offering the same kind of products to consumers. More or less the same interest rate to all consumers. As you said, here we offer four kinds of banking – Retail, Corporate, SME, Islamic. Differences can be created from the services that you are offering and the way you want to differentiate yourself among the competitors. Therefore, we have to ensure seamless service quality as per the given guideline of the central bank. Starting from our Chairman, Advisor and Managing Director all are highly involved in this matter so that banks provide best services to their clients whether its Corporate, SME, Islamic or Retail. This modern era is all about technological innovations, all about engaging our customers from their home, providing a solution from anywhere at any point in time. That is why we launched “pmoney” to deliver all the banking services digitally so that they can have the ease of access from anywhere especially when it comes to payment of utility bills. We have to innovate new service and apply USP (Unique Selling Proposition). For example, The Premier Bank is the pioneer in terms of Hajj banking services. Premier Bank Shariah based & Interest free ‘Pre-paid Hajj Card’ is the first choice for most of the HAAB members where we do not charge any kind of banking fees and provide facilities for withdrawing 25000 Saudi Rial at a time from ATM without any charge during the time of Hajj. We provide student file for the student at a minimum expense and we are sponsoring the biggest student fair ‘Premier Bank Int’L Education Expo’ for the last 4 years. We will be launching 100 Fast Track by 2019, Mobile apps, NFC based banking transaction, etc.

The best leadership advice from the voice of our honorable Chairman, Board of Directors of The Premier Bank Limited, Dr. H. B. M. Iqbal: ‘Putting our values together makes us better.’ Our values include ‘service first’, ‘ownership’, ‘innovation’, and ‘ambition’ etc. We must reach a better position if we can properly utilize our core values.

Our management team — Mohammad Ali, Managing Director & CEO M. Reazul Karim has taken a strategy that now we will focus on relationship banking. As they say, “Our banks don’t focus only on making money, rather our banks and bankers are working towards building a national economy through financial inclusion and providing support to entrepreneurs in different sector for poverty alleviation, rapid industrialization, and economic growth.”

THE PERKS OF PMONEY
“Pmoney” offer an unique look and feel, fund Transfer to any bank through EFTN, 6 digit OTP made the platform more secured and 2FA compliant, unlimited statement download without date and transaction limit restriction, pmoney comprises all features which are available in others apps in the market, graphical representation of customers financials (Available balance, Account Statement and transaction history), embedded highest level of security measures to cope with latest cybersecurity threats, real-time instant Utility Bill Payment, instant Premier Bank’s Credit Card bill payment and transaction history, single apps for Web Version and Mobile Version (Android, IOS is under process), Transaction notification through SMS and Email, anywhere and anytime banking over the platform.

CONSTANTLY CATERING TO CUSTOMERS
People say Brand is a promise and PR (reputation) is keeping that promise. In today’s competitive landscape, companies need to keep their promises to ensure they retain the trust of their customers. I have been working in this bank for the last 1.6 years. I have been working on brand-building activities from the beginning. Since my joining, I devised my team in several wings, e.g. Creative, Digital and PR. Based on these, onboard expert professionals. As a team, we all are relentlessly trying to enhance the brand image of the bank and trying to communicate all our attractive products & services to our present and potential clients. The common problem to our industry is that we cannot convey our core messages to the right people in the right time. Strengthening our effort, we have established a strong Brand Marketing Team at The Premier Bank Limited. Our team has successfully arranged “The 18th and 19th Anniversary of The Premier Bank Limited”, “Annual Business Conference 2018” at Bhawal Resort, Gazipur, “Annual Business Conference 2019” at Radisson, Dhaka “We Are Premier” Deposit Campaign and “Town Hall Meeting 2018” at ICCB, “Annual General Meeting 2018” & Annual General Meeting -2019 ” at ICCB, Customer Care Center “16411” launching, “Eid Ul Fitr 2018 Dress Distribution to distressed Children” etc. Employee branding is also very important for an organization. We are continuously promoting internal branding activities through our internal Facebook page & through our employee portal as well as rewarding campaigns for “Service Quality” among our employees under the name “We are Premier”. We have organized “We Are Premier Town Hall Meeting-2018”, a big gathering with almost all of our employees where management shared our next six months strategy and business planning which definitely motivated all employees to provide their best efforts in coming days. Our motto is to reach in Top 03 by the end of 2021. We have received “AA+” in credit rating in 2016, 2017 and 2018 consecutively. Considering our very high credit quality and minimal expectation of credit risk along with the highest certainty of timely payment, we have achieved this certificate. At our bank, safety is almost like risk-free government short-term obligations. Recently, the reputed financial Bangla daily ‘Banik Barta’ conducted a study based on the seven banking indicators. Depending on achieved points against those indicators, we are in 4th place among all the banks of Bangladesh. In the last Pohela Boishakh, we have done attractive EMI campaigns for our consumers. In different occasions like Pohela Boishakh, Eid etc. we are providing attractive offers of discount and EMI to our valued clients so that customers can get more benefit by using our cards and they can receive hassle-free services. Max of these are circulated through popular social media like Facebook, we also run a few digital campaigns, Like Pohela Boishakh 1426, Eid Ul Fitr 2019, etc. Through our every communication, we want to mean ‘Service First’

NEVER STOP LEARNING
My advice for all new graduates/ budding bankers is that experience matters. An Individual should take advice from seniors because they assume that there is nothing to learn from the previous generation and they know everything. They have to get rid of this kind of thought. They have to come out of this wrong perception and must have the patience for learning from the experiences. No one can get success overnight, there is no magic/ short-cut way to succeed and this is all about honesty, hard work, and dedication. Everybody has to struggle to earn all these. Today’s new generation should remember that they are the future leaders and it is about who they are on the inside. The great Canadian marketing guru Mr. Robin Sharma coined a theory of IMAGE on leadership, where ‘I’ stands for imagination & innovation; ‘M’ stands for merchant of wow; ‘A’ stands for authenticity; ‘G’ stands for guts and ‘E’ stands for ethics. The new generation should have these thoughts inside them for becoming future leaders. Last but not the least suggestion is, advertising trends are always changing, so keep updating. Would like to recall, Henry Fords quote- Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.

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