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A Report on Supply Chain Management System of Agora

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Acknowledgement
The success of this report depends on the contribution of number of people specially my group members who have shared their thoughtful guidance and suggestions to complete this report.
First, we express our sincere gratitude to our honorable course teacher Mrs. Rabeya Rahaman

for her valuable contribution to the preparation of this report. She has been gracious enough to spare time out from her busy schedule for giving us all the necessary assistance throughout the entire period of the semester and the report writing time. Without her help this report might not have been a comprehensive one. We would like to give special thanks to Mr. Harunur Rashid, Head of finance & accounts of Agora for giving us time from their very busy office work to discuss the things & have guided us by giving useful suggestions and providing us data and relevant information for completing this report. We would also like to thank Mr. Bajan saha, accounts manager of Agora for giving us some important information about the official procedure and inspiration techniques of Agora to complete this report. They shared their practical experiences and talk about their loyalty and commitment towards the organization. All of our group members supported each other, throughout the making of this report and completing it successfully. We have done some group discussions, where we shared each other‘s views on the different issues to complete this report.

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Executive Summery
Agora is the largest retail superstore in Bangladesh. Agora‘s interior is similar to most supermarkets in design and layout due to trends in marketing. It produce tends to be near the entrance of the store. Various kinds of products and services are sold (at least 2500 products and services). Milk, bread, and other essential items are located in the rear and other out of the way places. This is purposely done to ensure maximum time spent in the store, strolling past other items and capitalizing on impulse buying. The front of the store or Front-End is where one might find point of sale machines or cash registers. Agora has plans to implement self-checkout devices in their stores in an attempt to reduce labor costs as well as bringing complete customer satisfaction. Understanding the historical context from which some of today's organizational structures have developed helps to explain why some structures is the way they are but Agora using a structured which is more horizontally capitalizing on the innovativeness of their employees. Part of the reason, as this section discusses, is that organizational structure of Agora that has a certain inertia—the idea borrowed from physics and chemistry that something in motion tends to continue on that same path. Because of this unique management process they have become the leading superstore in the Bangladesh. The managers of Agora have to make decisions as they develop an organizational structure, although they may not be explicitly aware of these decisions. Agora is synonymous with market at low prices and name brand quality products. The company basis of success and foundations cannot be credited to the current management. Agora formula for success simply put is their relationship with customers, employees, and technology that assists in forming relationships with their suppliers; places Agora as the top discount retailer, history-development, and Growth Sam Agora to become the top discount retailer. The Mega Corporation has eliminated top competitors such as Nandan and PQS to reign supreme over the discount retailing market. Following international trend, discount retailing evolved due to frugality during year 2000. Agora opened the first outlet in Dhanmondi in 2000. And see what
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the company could do to improve. Agora needs to do research on the locations that it moves to. The customs and the people need to be thoroughly looked into so a new store opens as smoothly as possible. Meeting could be held with business owners and locals to answer in questions or concerns. Relationships need to be looked at closely especially between the employees and suppliers so that it becomes one of give, take, and trust and not so one sided.

Chapter One 1.0. Introduction 1.1. Origin of the Report
This report has been prepared to make a study on ―An overview of the Supply Chain Management System of Agora” as a part of the fulfillment of assignment required for the completion of the MBA program (3rd semester) of the business faculty of Management Studies of Jagannath University. The report was prepared under the supervision of Mrs. Rabeya Rahaman, Lecturer of Jagannath University, Dhaka. We are very much thankful to her for assigning such types of project work.

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1.2. Objectives of the Report
The main objective of the report is to find out the supply chain management system of Agora. Our honorable course teacher assigns us to prepare this report so that in the job market we can perform effectively and efficiently and also enlighten the goodwill of our university as well as our teachers. Other objectives of this report are,  To know the business process of Agora.  To know the organizational structure of Agora.  To know the product of their store which is offering to the customers?  To know the marketing strategy of Agora.  To know the product promotion strategy of Agora.  To know the communication structure of Agora.  To know their additional services of Agora.  To know their latest lunching product of Agora.  To know its information system.  To know their office management  To know their control system.  To know their strength, weakness, opportunity & threats.  To know their Security system etc.  To make a recommendation for Agora.

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1.3. Methodology of the Report
Data Collection Technique:
 Questionnaire: Unstructured and open-ended questionnaires (please see appendix) were asked to the different people of different areas where the Agora super store is situated to find whether they satisfied with the Agora‘s service and their overall performance.  Observation: We were visited gulshan branches of Agora that time we mainly observed their products, products prices, their shop‘s environment as well as their product prices.  Secondary information: Secondary information has collected by reviewing websites, journals, brochures and some other relevant documents.

Sources of data collection:
 Primary: The primary information is gathered through informal interviews of the employees working over there under management level, their salesman who are directly involved with selling product and also observation while physically visiting the office premises.  Secondary: Secondary sources had also used to collect information. Secondary sources include:  Features and articles published in newspapers and other journals  Visiting website of Agora super store.

Sampling plan:

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 Sampling Procedure: The sampling procedure has been conducted on the Deliberate Sampling method has used where the respondents and the interviewees are considered on my convenience and priority.  Sampling Unit: In order to carry out the research work, the study was focused on taking the interviews of the Personnel involved in the different departments of Agora Gulshan Office.

1.4. Limitation of the report:
In every research work there exist some limitations that the researcher faces while conducting different activities. In the process of the research work, We also come across certain limitations that hampered the actual findings and analysis of my research work. Some of these notable limitations can be identified are:  Employees of Agora are usually busy with their daily work and activities, so it is quite impossible sometime to get time from them for getting information about our report.  Sometimes the authority does not provide their internal information which is very difficult to collect from any other sources.  To know the information of Agora we had to Mohakhali branches of Agora. This place is restricted for outsider. This is not their shop. This is their office. So it was quite difficult to gather information.  Our group members were so busy because they had to make 2 or 3 reports. That‘s why it was quite difficult to regroup and group study for making report.  We did not have any proper financial support and limitation of time is also a barrier for making this report.

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Chapter Two 2.0 An Overview of Agora 2.1. About Agora
Bangladesh entered the ‗supermarket era‘ on August 24, 2001 with Rahimafrooz

Superstores Ltd. launching Agora, a retail chain superstore in Bangladesh, introducing a new way to shop. The company has already opened four outlets – Rifles Square, Gulshan Avenue, Maghbazar and Mirpur Zoo Road in Dhaka – and many more are in progress in Chittagong and other cities of the country. The superstores are open from 9 am to 8 pm every day. Rush of customers is experienced in the morning and evening. Most of the employees of Agora are young and well-educated, some with Masters and MBA degrees. Agora superstores are currently focused in food retailing, ranging from a wide variety of fresh vegetable, fruits, meat and fish to grocery, bakery, dairy, personal and household products. Agora provides its customers with guaranteed quality and freshness. It carries more than 30,000varieties of products and has plans to expand its product portfolio to carry other ranges of consumer products in the coming years. It aims at building a chain of more than 40 superstores by year 2010. Other supermarket brands have since emerged but Agora continues to be the leader and trendsetter. Agora has been the venue of launching of Thai products, which have by now become commonplace. Californian apples were launched here as have been Agora buys products direct from the growers, which benefits the latter as well as the customers. The products are procured
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under the direct supervision of its officials who maintain strict procurement and

marketing standards. Products on the shelves are regularly monitored for expiry dates. Australia‘s red apples, and crystal products from France were unveiled here. Unilever chose to launch L‘Oreal range of cosmetics at Agora superstores. The big-sized ‗Boroi‘ so common in the market was launched here. Recently the scientist behind the cultivation of Strawberry in Bangladesh launched the delicious fruit at Agora. Over 8 million have purchased products at Agora since the opening of Agora‘s fist superstore, with 2,000 customers using the Agoras every day on an average. Rifles Square and Gulshan supermarkets pull more crowd than the other two. Customers prefer using both cash and credit cards. Agora constantly launches attractive promotions like Bazimat, Value Week or Super Value Offer or Diamond Ring Offer. The promoter of the Agora project, Rahimafrooz, is one of the most respected companies in Bangladesh manufacturing and marketing stored power systems for the automotive industry. All of Rahimafrooz‘s activities are in the service sector, focusing on consumers, an official of Agora‘s operating company Rahimafrooz Superstores Ltd., said. The Agora project was a ground-breaking project that underlines the potential for harnessing the latent market in Bangladesh, said an executive of a leading corporate house adding, they have produced a service offering of international standard.

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2.2. Corporate Information
The Rahimafrooz journey dates back to the early fifties when Late Mr. A C Abdur Rahim founded a small trading company and paved the way for making of one of today‘s leading Bangladeshi business conglomerates. Over the decades, Rahimafrooz has grown in size, scale, and diversity. The Group today has seven Operating Companies (SBUs), three other business ventures, and a non-profit social enterprise. As of 2007, the Group currently employs more than two thousand people directly and a further twenty thousand indirectly as suppliers contractors, dealers and retailers. Rahimafrooz operates in three broad segments – automotive after market, power and energy, and retail. While our Group activities are coordinated from the Rahimafrooz Corporate Office (RACO), we have eight Strategic Business Units (SBUs), three other business ventures, and a not-for-profit social enterprise. Rahimafrooz strengthened their market leadership at home while reaching out to international markets. Ranging from automotive after market products, energy and power solutions, to a world class retail chain – the team at Rahimafrooz is committed to ensuring best in class quality standards and living the Group‘s four core values – Integrity, Excellence, Customer Delight and Innovation

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2.3, Organizational Structure

Managing Director

Chief Executive Officer

Functional Head

Operation Management

HR Admin

Marketing & Sales

Accounting & Finance

Production

Internal Audit

Manager

Manager

Manager

Manager

Manager

Manager

Executive manager

Executive manager

Executive manager

Executive manager

Executive manager

Executive manager

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2.4. Number of branches

No .of Branch 1.

Branch Name Gulshan

Address Plot # 5, CWN (C) Road # 37, House # 31 RM Center, Gulshan Avenue Dhaka. Phone: 9892974, 9893652 Pink City, Plot 15, Block CEN (C) Road # 103, Gulshan Avenue, Gulshan-2 Dhaka, Bangladesh. Tel: (88) 0172-002-2004 Plot # 4, Block # B Section # 2, Mirpur Chiriakhana Road, Phone: 8050894 80, Rifle Square, Road # 2, Dhanmondhi Dhaka-1205. Phone: 9671046, 8623483 Genetic Plaza, Plot # 404 (Old),16(New) Road 27 (Old),16(New) Dhanmondi Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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2.

Gulshan

3.

Mirpur

4.

Dhanmondhi

5.

Dhanmondhi

Tel: (88) 0171-403-7700

6.

Moghbazar

08, Shahid Shangbadik Selina Parveen Sorokh Gulfesha Plaza, Moghbazar. Phone: 9346359, 9360994 Sector 4, Road 4, Plot 2 Uttara Model Town Dhaka, Bangladesh. Tel: (88) 0171-306-4730 Conifir Tower 1st Floor 31 Shiddeshwari Road Shantinagar, Ramna Dhaka, Bangladesh. Tel: (88) 0175-342-1908 Loren Vista Tower 1st Floor, 169 Dr. Kudrat-e-Khuda Road (Elephant Road) Dhaka, Bangladesh. Tel: (88) 0172-733-0308

7.

Uttara

8.

Shantinagar

9.

Hatirpul

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2.5 Vision statement of Agora:

To give customers confidence and establish an environment of trust.

2.6. Mission statement of Agora

 Offer better range of quality products.  Establish rational prices &  Offering a clean, healthy and a friendly environment to customers for shopping.

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2.7. Interior of Agora

Agora‘s interior is similar to most supermarkets in design and layout due to trends in marketing. It produce tends to be near the entrance of the store. Milk, bread, and other essential items are located in the rear and other out of the way places. This is purposely done to ensure maximum time spent in the store, strolling past other items and capitalizing on impulse buying. The front of the store or Front-End is where one might find point of sale machines or cash registers. Agora has plans to implement self-checkout devices in their stores in an attempt to reduce labor costs as well as bringing complete customer satisfaction.

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2.8. Product Scheme

Agora typically sells many different types of items, such as:

Baby Care
             Pampers,Saudi S-28 Johnson Baby Pink Lotion Johnson Baby Powder Rok Wetty Wet Tissue Johnson Baby Oil Johnson Baby Milk Bath Johnson Baby Shampoo Johnson Baby Lotion Tollyjoy Baby Wet Wipes Pampers, Saudi Junior 17 Pampers, Saudi L-19 Pampers, Saudi Ea – 18 Pampers, Saudi M-20

Beverage
                        Horlicks Malt Drink ,800g Glass Jar Horlicks Malt Drink ,400g Glass Jar Nestle Milo,500g Tin (Malayasia) Viva Malt Drinks 450gm Bott Rooh Afza Sharbat 750ml Viva Malt Drinks, 800gm Junior Horlicks 400 Bib (Pack) Boost Malt Drink 200g Bott Boost Malt Drink 400g Bott Mothers Horlicks Malt Drink 400g Maltova Malt Drink 200g Maltova Malt Drink 400gm Horlicks(Bib) Malt Drink 400gm Mothers Horlicks 200g Complan Chocolate 200gm Jar Complan Chocolate Flvr.350gm Bag In Box Complan Natural Flavour 350g bag in box Horlics Chocolate Flavor 450gm Complan Chocolate 400gm Jar Maltova Malt Drink 450gm Bott Complan Strawberry 500gm Box Complan Mango 500gm Bag In Box Milo 250gm Tin Milo 200g Pack
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Confectionary
                                       Toblerone Chocolate 35gm Maltesers Chocolate Aus 37gm Ferrero Rocher Chocolate Guylian Perles Docean Tudor Gold Hazel Eclairs Ferrero Rocher Chocolate Ferrero Rocher Chocolate 16pcs Packet Macadamia Guylian Twist Choc Coin (All Flavour) 240g Box Mentos Sugar Free Chewing Gum 10g (7pcs) Kopiko Candy Centerfresh Liquid Filled Gum Gandour Gum Fruit 16.20gm Wrigleys Extra Prof Sugar Free Gum 12pcs Pk Tango Almond Nut Chocolate 100g Bar Cloud-9 Chocolate 30g Pkt Umbrella Chocolate 25g Pk Tango Max Crunch Hazelnut 80g Pk Kent Relax Sugar Free Gum 25g Pkt Choc Coin (20pcs) 80g Galaxy Smooth & Creamy Milk 40g Vochelle Dairy Milk Bar 50gm Happydent Sugar Free Chewing Gum Tango Light Mango Chocolate 137g Tango Light Banana Chocolate 137g Vecof Milk Toffee 250g Alpenliebe Origianal 165pcs Pouch Alpenliebe Lollipop La Cream 30pcs Soft Orange Candy -Malaysia 200gm Fruit Jelly Beans Malaysia 200gm Kunuz Chew Gum Orange 25gm Gandour Gum Cinnamon 16.20gm Gandour Gum Mastick 16.20gm Crispy Chocolate 50g Bar Gandour Pik-One Wafer Bar 24g Pk Gandour Safari Chocolate Bar 30g Pk Gandour Safari Chocolate Bar 30g Pk Tango Hazelnut Chocolate 50g Pkt

Drinks
    Dewlands Mango Juice Dewlands Mango Juice 1ltr T.Pack Cyprina Mango Mixed Juice Cyprina mango mixed (orange & apple) juice 1ltr t. Pkt
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                                             

Country Fresh Apple Juice Cyprina Apple Juice Dewlands Red Grape Juice Tang, 750g Poly Pack Dewlands F.Cocktail Juice Berri Grapefruit Juice Schweppes Ginger Ale Berri Grapefruit Juice Tiffany Mango Juice 1ltr T.Pack Tang Instant Orange Drink Tang Orange, 750g Jar Foster Clarks Mango Inst. Drink 900g Tin Schweppes Tonic Water 330ml Foster Clarks Inst.Orange Drink ,1.5kg Tin Foster Clarks Inst.Mango Drink 1.5kg Tin P&N Crush Orange Zam Zam Cola 250ml Frutika Mango Drink 250ml Pet Bott Frutika Red Orange Drink 250ml Pet Bott Frutika Mango Drink 1000ml Pet Bott Pepsi 2000ml(2ltr) Pet Bott 7 Up 2000ml(2ltr) Pet Bott Pran Guava Juice 250ml Pkt Foster Clarks Lemon Instant Drink 750g Foster Clarks Mandarin Instant Drink 750g Foster Clarks Mango Instant Drink 750g Jar Foster Clarks Orange Instant Drink 450g Jar Foster Clarks Orange Instant Drink 750g Foster Clarks Orange Instant Drink 900g Tin Pran Orange Juice 250mlcan Nutri-C Instant Drinks 250g Pkt 7 Up 1000ml Pet Bott Fosrter Clarks Instant Pineapple Drink750g Foster Clarks Instant Mango Drink 450g Jar Virgin Cola 500ml Pet Bott Country Fresh Orange Juice Aus 2ltr Pkt La Ice Cola 375ml La Diet Ice Cola 375ml Schweppes Soda Water 330ml Delmonte Prune Juice 946ml USA Schweppes Bitter Lemon - 330 Ml Golden Circle Ginger Ale 375ml Dewlands Orange Juice 1ltr T.Pack Dewlands Apple Juice 1ltr T.Pack Dewlands Guava Juice 1ltr T.Pack Evian Natural S.Water 1.5 ltr
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                                             

Foster Clarks P&A Ins.Drink 750g Jar Tipco Pineapple Juice 1ltr T.Pack Tipco Gauva Juice 1ltr T.Pack Redbull Energy Drink - Aus 250ml Rock Energy Drinks 250 Ml Can Rc Royal Cloudy Lemon 250 Ml Can Rc Cola Diet 250ml Can Royal Crown C.Soda Drinks 250ml Rc Cola 1.25lt Pet Bott Rc Q Upper 10 1.25ltr Pet Bott RC Cola 500ml Pet Bottle Mum Natural Drinking Water500ml Pet Mum Natural Drinking Water 1500ml Rasna Instant Drink Orange (Refill) 500gm RC Q Lemon 500ml Pet Bottle Super Fresh Mineral Water 2ltr Bott Super Fresh Mineral Water 1ltr Bott Tiffany Orange Juice 1ltr T.Pack Sprite 1.5ltr Pet Bott Pran Mango Juice 250ml Rtd Pkt Pran Mango Juice 250ml Nr Bott Pran Mineral Water 600ml Pet Bott Pran Mineral Water 2000ml Pet Bott Pran Cola 1000ml Pet Bott Pran Junior Juice Pack 125ml 7 Up Ice 500ml Pet Bott Mojo 500ml Pet Bott Mojo 1000ml Pet Bottle Mojo 2000ml Pet Bott Lemu 500ml Pet Bott Lemu 1000ml Pet Bott Lemu 2000ml Pet Bott Pran Frooto Juice 1000ml T.Pack Acme Orange Juice Premium 1000ml Acme Mango Orange Juice 1000ml Acme Mango Juice Premium 250ml Shark Energy Drink Powder 4gm*6 Box Nutri-C Instant Drink 750g Jar Coca Cola 1ltr Pet Bott Danish Mango/Orange Juice 250ml Rtd Pkt Pepsi 500ml Pet Bott Mirinda 500ml Pet Bott Pepsi 1000ml Pet Bott Shezan Mango Juice 200ml Gb Shezan Mango Juice 250ml Rtd Pkt Shezan Mega Juice (Mango) 900ml Btl
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 7 Rings Mango Juice 2ltr. Pl. Ctnr  7 Rings Orange Juice 2ltr Pl Ctnr  Nutri-C Instant Drink 350gm Pk

Fishes
 Elish  Katal  Rui fish

Fruits
 Malta Yellow  Apple Gala

Health Foods
           Canderel 75g Jar (Germany) Ahmed Orange Diabetic Jelly 500g Jar Tripti Chiratar Dal 25g Pkt Koli Spice Yosuf Gool Bhushi 100gm Ahmed Apple Diabetic Jelly 500g Jar Ahmed Guava Diabetic Jelly 500g Jar Radhuni Diabetic Firni Mix 60gm Ensure Powder Vanilla 400gm Tin Tripti Esubgul Bhushi 250gm Mm Youshubgul Bhushi 100g Pkt Zerocal Sachet Pack

Meat
      Beef Boneless Broiler Chicken Skinless Sper Meat(Bone In) Dressed Chiken (Bangladeshi) Mutton legs Mutton cubes

Oils / Fat
           Rupchanda Soyabean Oil 5 ltr Pet Bott Red Cow Butter Oil (Nz) 900gm Tin Radhuni Mustared Oil 1000ml Rupchanda Soyabean Oil 5ltr Hdpe Bott Red Cow Ghee (Sd) 900gm Tin Kushtia Special Ghee 500gm Rajbari Ghee Red Cow Butter Oil (Nz) 450gm Tin Lucy Oliva Pure Teer Mustard Oil 900ml Pet Bott Teer Mustard Oil 0.5ltr Bott
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            

Teer Soyabean Oil 5ltr Pet Bott Pran Mustard Oil 250ml Pran Mustard Oil 500ml Rupchanda Pure Soyabean Oil 2ltr Radhuni Mustard Oil 500ml BD Food Mustard Oil 200ml BD Food Mustard Oil 450ml BD Food Mustard 900ml Aarong Ghee 900gm Tin Teer Soyabeen Oil 900ml Pet Bott Mm Baghabari Ghee 900gm Mm Baghabari Ghee 450gm Mm Baghabari Gawa Ghee 225 Gm

Powder Milks
       Dano Milk Powder 2kg Tin Dano Super Inst Milk Powder 1800g Tin Diploma Powder Milk 1kg Pkt Diploma Powder Milk 500g Pkt Nido Full Cream Milk Powder 1 kg Tin Dano Low Fat Milk Powder 400gm Pkt Dano Milk Powder 1kg Pkt

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2.9. Agora Super market controversy
Friends of the Earth campaign logo, in their bid to highlight their claim of an Agora monopoly. Agora is increasingly a target for people in Dhaka who disapprove of the effects supermarket chains can have on farmers, suppliers and smaller competitors:    The group has been criticized for its tactics, including allegedly misleading consumers with a "phony" price cut. However, while individual cases can be cited, Agora — along with the other major supermarkets — is experiencing price deflation. Agora's 2004 Administer acquisition led to local and national protests. Agora's other store openings and expansions are sometimes contested by campaign groups. These campaigns have not hindered Agora's expansion programmers very much. Agora is also censured by those who think that it infringes upon the interests of farmers and smaller suppliers. The company responds by claiming that it follows industry-best practice and sources locally where it can to meet customer demand. In March 2005 the Office of Fair Trading published an audit of the workings of its code of practice on relationships between supermarkets and their suppliers. It reported that no official complaints had been received against Agora or any of the other major supermarkets, but the supermarkets' critics, including Friends of the Earth, contested that suppliers were prevented from complaining by fear of losing business, and called for more rigorous supervision of the supermarkets. A further report by the Office of Fair Trading in August 2005 concluded that the aims of the Code of Practice were being met.

In May 2004, Agora announced it was reducing sick pay in an attempt to reduce levels of unplanned absence, which led to concerns over employees continuing to work despite poor health (faced with a reduced income otherwise).

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Chapter Three 3.0 Strategy of Agora

3.1. Supply chain strategy of Agora
Here we will mainly discuss the distribution process of Agora‘s product to their customer. Actually Agora doesn‘t produce any product. They buy their product from local market than they refine their product for their customer. Then they store their product at their show room. Then they rearrange their product under their whole branches. Then they sell their product to their customer. Their main motive is ―we will your product‖.

Local market

Shop

Customer

Figure: supply chain model of Agora

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3.2. The Marketing strategy of Agora
In this part of this report we will describe agora‘s packaging and branding system, how they position their product, how they distribute their product, how they communicate with consumers.

Packaging:
After collecting grocery products, it is purified, graded according to size (for example potato, fish, and spices) and then it is sold in particular packets with reasonable price. For fish it is kept in ice rapping with packet.

Branding:
Agora maintain Brand image. Their motto in branding is ―right price right quality” removing the fear of customer about product‘s quality. They always try to sell brand products which assure good product and service quality. For which every year they are adding many local and foreign products and service to customer. For adding new products they run survey on consumer to know their expected products.

Marketing process:
Marketing process At first they do marketing their products and then they turn their activities in operation and after that they ensure the availability of that product when the consumers want these products  Agora's growth over the last 6 years has involved a transformation of its strategy and image. Its initial success was based on the "Pile it high, sell it cheap" approach of the founder management of Rahim Afrooz. The disadvantage of this was that the stores had a poor image with middle-class customers. In the year 2001 Agora's brand image was so negative that consultants advised the company to change the name of its stores. It did not accept this advice, yet by early 2003 it was the largest retailer in Dhaka, with a 29.0% share of the grocery market according to retail analysts TNS Superpanel, compared to the 16.8% share of ASDA and 15.6% share of third-placed NANDAN, which had been the leading competitor until it was beaten by Agora in 2004.
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Key reasons for this success include:  An "inclusive offer". This phrase is used by Agora to describe its aspiration to appeal to upper, medium and low income customers in the same stores. According to Citigroup retail analyst David McCarthy, "They've pulled off a trick that I'm not aware of any other retailer achieving. That is to appeal to all segments of the market‖. By contrast ASDA's marketing strategy is focused heavily on value for money, which can undermine its appeal to up market customers even though it actually sells a wide range of up market products. During its long term dominance of the supermarket sector Nandan‘s retained an image as a high-priced middle class supermarket which considered itself to have such a wide lead on quality that it did not need to compete on price, and was indifferent to attracting lower-income customers into its stores. This strategy has been abandoned since losing the number 1 spot to Agora and particularly since the adaption of new management in 2004 that has established a new customer-focused strategy closer to that of Agora

 One plank of this inclusively has been Agora's use of its own-brand products, including the up market "Finest" and low-price "Value". The company has taken the lead in overcoming customer reluctance to purchasing own brands, which are generally considered to be more profitable for a supermarket as it retains a higher portion of the overall profit than it does for branded products.

 The management in the mid 2000 has taken the bold step of trying not to focus on the usual corporate mantra of "maximizing shareholder value". The company's mission statement reads, "Our core purpose is, 'To create value for customers to earn their lifetime loyalty'. We deliver this through our values, 'No-one tries harder for customers', and 'Treat people how we like to be treated'". The underlying aim is of course to make higher profits, but there is a clear focus on customer service at the top level of the company.
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The Company has a three-pronged strategy:

Core Dhaka business" - That is, grocery retailing in its home market. It has been innovative and energetic in finding ways to expand, such as making a large-scale move into the convenience-store sector, which the major supermarket chains have traditionally shunned

"Non-food business" - Many supermarket chains have attempted to diversify into other areas, but Agora has been exceptionally successful. By late 2004 it was widely regarded as a major competitive threat to traditional high street chains in many sectors, from clothing to consumer electronics to health and beauty to media products. Agora sells an expanding range of own-brand and as well as local and international non-food products, including non-food Value and Finest ranges. It also has done quite well in non-food sales in Ireland. CDs are one of the best examples, with Agora Gulshan promising to sell all chart CDs (except compilations) for Tk.50.00 compared with local Music Stores selling the same for around Tk. 70.00.

"Retailing services" - Agora has taken the lead in its sector in expanding into areas like dairy and utilities. It usually enters into joint ventures with major players in these sectors, contributing its customer base and brand strength to the partnership. Other supermarkets in Dhaka have done some of the same things, but Agora has generally implemented them more effectively, and thus made most profit.

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3.3. Communication strategy of Agora
Major Advertisement tools: Print Media 1) Newspaper (daily prothom alo, jugantar, daily star etc) 2) Magazine (adandaloc, weekly2000 etc) Broadcast media week, recently it is off.) 1) Television (channel I telecast program based on agora 3times is

2) Radio (FM Radio today, ABC, and FURTI). Internet and website: in website agora has own website name-----www.agorabd.com.In which they provide variety of information about agora. Sales promotion: Type of sales promotion, Consumer promotion 1) in special occasion like Eid, Christmas and after 2or3 month later

they provide discount on buying certain amount of product. 2) If anyone buys membership card, he or she get the 400tk valued gift on buying 20000tk valued products or service. Major Public relation tools: In public relation, Agora sponsors the various kinds of events such as: concert is Fantasy kingdom, Nandan and various social activities such as blood donation etc. Besides it has own website by which they make relation with consumer. By personal relation Agora want to build a good corporate image in consumers and in the all superstores. Direct marketing: In direct marketing to communicate with consumers Agora direct mail, SMS, e-mail etc.

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Chapter Four 4.0 Findings 4.1 SWOT Analysis of Agora

A SWOT analysis identifies and assesses the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats an organization faces. SWOT analysis of the Agora illustrates to upper management what the company is excelling in, what improvements need to be made, where growth is possible and what preemptive measures need to be taken to protect shareholder or company value.

4.1.1 STRENGTHS:

 They follow "Pile it high, sell it cheap"  Approach of the founder management of Rahim Afrooz.  They build up a very strong relationship with the customers.  That is the main strength of their business.
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4.1.2 WEAKNESS:

 The disadvantage of Agora‘s approach that is ―Pile it high, sells it cheap‖ was that the stores had a poor image with middle-class customers.  In the year 2001 Agora's brand image was so negative that consultants advised the company to change the name of its stores.

4.1.3 OPPORTUNITIES:

 As all the leading retail stores are Dhaka based.  Most of them do not have any outlet in any other districts.  Except Chittagong, Agora is going to launch four new retail stores in the main districts of Bangladesh.

4.1.4 THREATS:

 Rising prices of raw materials and fuels.  Change in fiscal benefits/ laws.  People attraction and retention.

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Chapter Five 5.0 Recommendation and Conclusion

5.1. Recommendation for the Agora
With multiple stores in Dhaka, Agora is a leader in superstore retail organizations. The combination of quality and price under various brand name offers customers value for their money. We have examined and evaluated the operations of Agora, LTD including its strengths and weaknesses. we recommend the following in order to ensure continued success for the future of all Marks and Spencer stores:

   

Find alternative sources to supply resources to Marks and Spencer stores abroad. Increase marketing efforts. Strengthen existing resources, add complementary resources, and develop new resources. Evaluation of Current Objectives and Current Strategy.

5.2. Conclusion
The name of Agora is entwined with the glory of-the Agora‘s marketing policy ―to create a better environment for consumers‖. A man gifted with an inherent entrepreneurial sense, Late A. C. Abdur Rahim, the founder of Rahim-Afrooz started a trading house in 1973, which continued to expand in scope and nature as time went along. In 2000, Agora was introduced to the world. The success was immediate as there was a demand for such business in the local market. Agora's state-of-the-art technology and creative strategy gave it an edge ocher its competitors at local market. Agora is a Dhaka-based supermarket chain. It is the largest retailer, both by local sales and by domestic market share, and the the largest retailer in Dhaka leaving behind PQS, Meena Bazar, Nandan Mega Shop, Pacific, Pick and Pay, Etc, Shop & Save and others. Originally specializing in food, it has moved into areas such as clothes, consumer electronics, consumer financial services, selling and renting DVDs, compact discs and and consumer telecom accessories.

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Agora Ltd. is an enterprise that combines industry and trade, mainly engages in retailing the quality products at the most lowest price in the market. The management of Agora, was an enthusiastic advocate of trading stamps as an inducement for shoppers to patronize their stores: They signed up with all types of quality products manufacturer, and became one of the company‘s largest clients. But the management was a fan of pile it high and sell it cheap, and in the mid-2000 Agora faced many cost problems associated with not properly integrating its purchased chains of stores. When the firm overstretched itself opening few more outlets throughout the city, management consultants were called in to sort out the mess. In 2001 Agora launched Operation Checkout, an across the board price cutting campaign aimed at countering the threat from the new breed of discounters such as Kwik Save. Facing the world and looking beyond, Agora will always maintain the pure-hearted, enterprising, quality and struggling spirit make efforts to scrupulously abide by our goodwill, create splendid future together with you in management vision of joint development, joint prosperity and mutual benefits!

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References:
1. Mr. Harunur Rashid Head of finance & accounts Agora, Dhaka. 2. Mr. Bajan saha Accounts manager Agora, Dhaka. 3. www.agorabd.com 4. www.scribd.com 5. www.wikipedia.com 6. www.bdreport.com

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