KoiJabenBhai (KJB), a new startup, has announced that they will produce a biopic of ridesharing bikers because emotional social media marketing about their struggle is not enough.
I went to the Gulshan headquarter of KJB to interview the co-founders. After all, the biopic news was a big deal. A PR agency guy greeted me with a "genuine" smile. He took me inside the office. "Wow, this place looks killer," I exaggerate. The small talk does not go further. We exchange business cards. I pretend to save his number.
Two men in t-shirts and joggers meet us at the reception. Khalil and Jalil, the co-founders of KJB, shook hands with me. They took us to the rooftop for the interview session.
"Why a biopic about ridesharing bikers?" I asked my first question. As a peon serves coffee for us, I secretly pour "truth serum" in the mugs of Khalil and Jalil. Bingo. They cannot lie to me now!
Khalil is to Jalil is what Jobs was to Wozniak. Khali answered all of my questions as Jalil nodded in silence. I bet this whole startup was Khalil's idea. Jalil was just a sentimental dorm mate who got lucky.
"KJB is not a company, it's a family," Khalil said just before sipping coffee from his cup. This is the only politically correct statement he blurts out throughout the interview.
"We have secured a lot of funding. So I thought we should crunch some money on unnecessary advertisements. This time we are not making a TVC or a billboard. We are making a film," Khalil says. But a biopic about bikers? Isn't that a little too dramatic?
Khalil disagreed. He believes if serial killers, dictators or mafias can get their own biopics, then what harm would "Bhai Cancel Koren" do? (Yes, that's the name of the KJB produced biopic).
I was taken aback. A multiplex theatre just shut down in Dhaka. The pandemic has hit the cinema industry too hard. Would anybody be even allowed to watch "Bhai Cancel Koren" in cinema halls? That too about a ridesharing biker?
Listen, our marketing team has played the "Bikers are the hero of our company" card too many times. We have staged fake customer satisfaction reviews before. Our interns came in handy in this case. They roleplayed as passengers who were very happy about rider "bhaiyas." But a movie about KJB, by KJB and for KJB (passengers) will paint a better public image than any other stunt ever would.
"So who do you plan to cast as the biker in the film? Have you thought of someone?" I toss my last question to Khalil-Jalil.
"An actor named King Khan," Khalil says.
"Whoa, the biggest star of the country!" I overreact.
"Wait, let me clarify," Khalil says. "We have found an actor named King Khan. He is not the Khan you thought. It's a real name, not a moniker. Just like some people have names like Shomrat, Raja, Badshah or Prince- King Khan is also a name.
Khalil-Jalil empties their cups of coffee. The truth serum doesn't work for long. I found it better to end the interview and head back to my office. I bade them goodbye and left the building.
As soon as I took to the streets, I hailed a car from another ridesharing company, but the driver declined to go and said, "Bhai cancel koren."