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All MCC workers are expected to exhibit a commitment to: a personal Christian faith and discipleship; active church membership; and nonviolent peacemaking.
MCC is an equal opportunity employer, committed to employment equity. MCC values diversity and invites all qualified candidates to apply.
Marketing Advisor in Mymensingh, Bangladesh
Date Opened:April 16, 2012
Start Date:Available Now
The Marketing Advisor will assist the MCC Bangladesh (MCCB) Job Creation program (JC) by leading its marketing department for marketing its fair trades goods to the local and export market. The JC program creates new enterprises for poor women in Bangladesh by developing new products through its research and development branch. Marketing of the newly developed products as well as old products is very important for enterprise development and job creation for poor women. The marketing advisor will accomplish his/her job in two ways: by direct marketing (local and export) of JC products, and by offering the Bangladeshi marketing officer, product development officers, and enterprise development officers training in basic marketing skills.
· MBA (Marketing) or Bachelor’s degree in Marketing with experience in related field
· Experience in handicrafts products marketing
· Ability to effectively communicate both verbally and in writing with MCCB staff, partners, and other contacts in pursuit of expanded marketing opportunities
The JC program has been in the business of developing rural enterprises for poor women since 1974. These women are mostly single female heads of household, and are dependent on their work in the production of handicrafts to support themselves and their families. During the last 37 years the JC program started more than 50 enterprises, but only 10 successfully established handicraft projects remain now. These projects are located in all four major areas of Bangladesh. There have been distinct changes in all of these project areas in the lives of the producers and in their communities.
In 1998, the JC program decided to form a separate umbrella organization of the established projects. This organization would run independently and continue to develop and sustain relationships with both local and export customers. After long discussions and hard work, the independent organization, Prokritee, which means “nature”, was formed in 2001.
After separating this large part of the JC program, the program’s strategy moved to creating jobs by partnering with local organizations. The JC program worked with five local organizations, mostly close to Mymensingh for the past six years; all of these partners “graduated” in the past year. Recently, JC decided to return to a focus on research and development of new products, with a renewed emphasis on creating new businesses. In addition to working with our partners' designers, including Prokritee, the new Product Designer will also be instrumental in helping us develop new and marketable products of our own. These new businesses would then enter an incubation phase, after which they would be turned over to Prokritee or made independent.
To sum up, the Marketing Advisor will support JC’s enterprises/partners in creating jobs for rural poor women by marketing products and training the JC staff in basic marketing skills for both local and export markets. He/she will be based in the small city of Mymensingh in northern Bangladesh and will travel to Dhaka and other areas of Bangladesh frequently to visit with partner and export and local selling organizations. He/she will develop close relationships with MCCB staff, partners, producers, and exporting organizations.
· In association with local marketing people, developing marketing strategies and plans for our incubated enterprises and also for our partners.
· Continuous communication with local and export buyers to look for new markets for our new products and providing feedback to our product development team.
· Conducting market research to determine market requirements for existing and future products.
· Linking export and local sales bodies (e.g. Prokritee) with JC for increasing sales of JC products.
B. Marketing Training
· Providing basic marketing training for all staff of the JC program including marketing staff and also for partners.
· Develops appropriate training materials for future usage.
· Providing information about the changes in global buyer expectations over time to incubated business and partners.
· Work closely with the JC team to expand their marketing knowledge.
The Marketing Advisor will be based in Mymensingh, 120 km north of Dhaka (about 3 hours by car or bus). He/she will work in an office of 10-12 MCCB staff and will relate closely with the staff of several partner organizations in the area. MCCB is a very large program, and the Product Designer's immediate supervisor will be the Job Creation Administrator who oversees the Mymensingh Job Creation team and who lives in Mymensingh as well. The MCC Country Representative lives in Dhaka and is also a supervisor to the whole team.
Mymensingh is a medium-sized, older city that offers many amenities. The riverside area is particularly pleasant and has a community and leisure feel to it. Sports are abundant, though one has to be brave to “barge in”, introducing oneself, etc. Bangladeshis are generally VERY open to these interactions and participation. Other social/leisure activities include visiting historical and natural sites both in and around Mymensingh. Mymensingh doesn't have the air pollution issues that Dhaka does, though it can still be dirty and dusty at times.
The Bengali language is important for communication with partners and MCCB staff. Three months of Bengali language studies will be provided. Most senior staff, however, are fluent in English and many management meetings are held in English. The local culture is predominantly Islamic, with some Hindus and Christians. People from the Garo tribe live near Mymensingh, adding another dimension of diversity to this area. For more information please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mymensingh.
Bangladesh is a challenging social and cultural context in which to live. It is a land of contrasts – lush green rice fields and high population density, extreme poverty and generous hospitality, brightly colored saris and conservative Muslim culture, hot humid weather and cooling rains. While adjustment to the culture, general living and program administration can be stressful at times, MCCers have found a rich experience in their relationships with the host country and their work. MCC volunteers are able to form meaningful relationships with MCC national staff, some who have worked with MCC for over 20 years, and other Bangladeshis. These relationships, along with the critical work MCC Bangladesh carries out to alleviate the extreme poverty of this country, help create a meaningful MCC experience which brings hope to all involved.
Politics here can be unstable, though recently things have been more stable. Strikes and some violence are common, usually in reaction to some unpopular decision or other event. This violence is always limited to small areas and short times and is easy to avoid. There is the occasional mugging or theft, but these are not usually violent. Corruption is rampant, though usually unseen. Part of the corruption may lie in a socio-cultural tendency to view many relationships as hierarchical, where “lower” people are expected to serve “higher” people in some way. This theme is gradually changing over time, but it is still very strong here.
Mymensingh has several Bengali language churches, as well as a community of four Taize Brothers. The Taize service is partially in English and partially in Bengali. It has a meditational/liturgical feel. Unlike Dhaka, there are no “expat” or English churches available in Mymensingh, though it would be very possible to start a weekly meeting in English among the various expats here.