Saving Private Grameen

It is not Ryan this time, and the “private” does not refer to any military designation either. It is about saving the long term image of Grameen Phone (GP).

How do you look at the Sunday commotion that went on inside GP? GP’s head office was shut down for a day on Nov 4, 2012. I am not an insider, so I have no way to know the truth, but I can observe facts and events that unfold before my eyes. I am just a member of the public, and I see things in the eyes of a common citizen whose perception of GP makes up its brand image.

It appears from newspaper reports that cost cutting measures have been going on for some time inside Grameen. Termination of employees has been the order of the day. Nothing is wrong with that because a profitable organization may sometimes need to do that to sustain its market position and cost structure. However, the problem arises on “how” part of the game. According to newspaper reports, GP often take tests to disqualify and discontinue employees’ tenure with Grameen. Reports also alleged that, in most cases, the victims are women who went on maternity leave or had frequent records of taking leave for sickness or other reasons. As an outsider, we have no way to verify what is being reported. However, sometimes facts and perception are more important than the truth. Once people start thinking that they would be the victim anyway, all measures attempting to judge their knowledge and skill would be viewed as an excuse to terminate employees anyway. This creates lack of trust in the long run, which would create a huge communication barrier between management and employees. These frequent incidents of termination in GP would surely affect its image as a socially responsible organization in Bangladesh.

I think Grameen can still recover by creating a transparent policy on human capital and recap the trust level that already seems to be waning.


About 1mmarketing

Working as Associate Professor, School of Business, United International University, Bangladesh; a North-American graduate, with doctoral studies from UUM, Malaysia; cherishing a wide-view of the world, with multiple interests in culture, people, traveling, and specifically marketing science. I have a colorful and diversified background with a blend of corporate experience, research, consulting, training, public speaking and teaching. I love to write about marketing issues that affect our lives, and talk about its direction that would promote the greatest human welfare.
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