City Alo vows to empowering women
With a view to accelerating women empowerment in Bangladesh, City Alo was officially launched last year. The Bengali term 'Alo' refers to 'light', or with a literary touch - 'enlightenment'. City Alo was introduced with a view to ignite the inner-self of the women, and guide them forward with a pioneering sense of enlightenment.
The key target of City Alo was to increase the financial opportunities for women engaged in various professional sectors through the Bank's suite of products and services. City Alo has been crafted to hold enough potential to become a one-stop destination for women in Bangladesh, whenever they are in search for reliability, comfort and respect. The focus of City Alo's banking services contemporarily remain in four particular segments of customers, which are - Women Entrepreneurs, Woman Salaried Employees, Homemakers and Women Professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Architects and others.
"City Alo has partnered with globally recognized coffee chain "Gloria Jean's Coffees" to open the first "coffee-shop branch" in Bangladesh, " said Mariam Javed Juhi, Head of City Alo.
"Here, women customers can enjoy food and drinks from Gloria Jean's at a discount while meeting their banking needs. It is a platform of discourse for women where they can come and have productive discussions amongst themselves, and thus, establish a social hub. In Bangladesh, women mostly feel discouraged and uncomfortable opening up about the difficulties in their professional and personal lives. Holding the theme "Coffee-Conversation-Banking" - City Alo offers women a space to breathe, to talk and to gather themselves in their times of distress," she added.
City Alo has collaborated with the country's prestigious educational institution North South University and developed an entrepreneurship course exclusively designed for the future women entrepreneurs where students receive entrepreneurial training and networking opportunities. The course is offered at a discounted price as women entrepreneurs pay less than 25% of the course fee. 98 students have completed the course in the first three batches. The 4thbatch of the City Alo Certification Program for women entrepreneurs is scheduled to start later this January.
City Alo organised a certificate giving ceremony of the 3rd batch at City Alo Center on January 12.
A total of 33 graduates were awarded certificates and crests after completion of the program. The special guest of the event was Nigar Sultana, Managing Director, TMSS ICT Ltd, Mahia Juned, City Bank Deputy Managing Director & COO, Md. Arup Haider, Head of Retail Banking, Kamrul Mehedi, Head of Small Business of City Bank, Mariam Javed Juhi, Head of City Alo - Women Banking, Professor MD Ismail Hossain, North South University (NSU) Pro-Vice Chancellor and Professor Sharif Nurul Ahkam, Graduate Studies Director of North South University (NSU) also graced the event.
They have partnered with various organizations to help women achieve their empowerment and live a life holding their heads high.
Various community events related to women's mental health, family and childcare, stress management and other social issues are organized round the yearat City Alo Center.
City Bank has partnered with American Express to launch a credit card especially for women. The launching took place on August 4, 2019. The credit card allows customers to enjoy benefits like - welcome vouchers, savings and complementary offers at reputed service outlets; and healthcare, disability and accidental death insurance coverage.
"The demand for Islamic Banking services is increasing in Bangladesh. To support this, City Alo has launched Islamic Banking in late 2019. This way, religious-minded women will also be able to select their desired banking services while being in compliance with the religious rules," she added.
"Health and medical facilities like life insurance coverage along with discounts at various hospitals is also provided to City Alo customers," she added.
With the help of City Alo, many women entrepreneurs are now participating in homemade businesses, like selling hand-crafted decorative products and clothes online, delivering meal-boxes via 3rd party suppliers etc.
The conventional procedures of banking, which involve a good deal of time-consuming manual input and physical presence, are mostly not preferred by the women in this country. The mechanical environments that ask to be operated through an 'alpha' dominance and the occasional perverted male-gaze also damage the women's morale to work side-by-side with men keeping their privileges unharmed. City Alo appears in the scene as a rescuer for the women, and lends its helping hand to those willing to succeed in their lives.