Doing business in emerging markets is anything but “business as usual.” Companies face a mandatory prerequisite: to create economic value while protecting and preserving the environment and operating in a socially inclusive manner. No small feat.
The Model Village program serves underprivileged members of society.
In India, companies must address two massive challenges:
climate change and poverty. Hindustan
Our approach to building social inclusiveness is deeply anchored in creating shared value with the communities we proudly serve. This model – which can be implemented across most emerging markets – focuses on three core pillars:
1. Ensuring that our business enhances the communities
around the plants we operate through the Model Villages program, which provides access to
clean drinking water, hygienic sanitation and primary health care. This program
has reached 18 villages, to date, and continues to expand. “The community
development work being undertaken by Hindustan
Career Development Centers provide professional training for job seekers.
2. Creating capability among the youth in these
villages to help them prepare for India’s rapid urbanization through Career
Development Centers (CDCs). Our first center was established outside our
plant in Dasna, West Uttar Pradesh, in north India, as a partnership with a
reputable education service provider and a local NGO. The facility provides year-long
training courses on retailing, merchandising, basic computer skills and
English. After a successful pilot, we are expanding the CDC program to four
The first 200 students to complete the program landed jobs with our customers in the retail and quick-service restaurant channels. Reshma Chaudhary, who earned a CDC course certificate in food and beverages, now works with the Big Bazaar retail chain. “I was among the millions of young women in rural India with hopes and dreams, but without a platform to realize my aspirations,” she says. “The Career Development Center has given me an incredible opportunity I never thought was possible for someone like me. CDC is not just a means to an end, it didn’t just train me for a job… it trained me for life.”
3. Empowering women across rural India by training
and empowering them to become retailers through Bottom of the Pyramid Kiosks,
also called Happiness Points. This aligns with
“I used to do household work and run a vegetable shop,” says Madhuben, who manages Kalaria Parlour in the village of Bidaj. “Coca-Cola supported me with a kiosk, which helped me increase my income and social stature. I am grateful for this, and I am enjoying running this business.”
India’s future remains bright as we work to create shared value by generating employment opportunities for people who have been traditionally underserved. We are doing this by integrating our operations with the communities in which we operate – improving the lives of the people we touch while building our business. Over the long run, we believe this will help us earn a social license to operate among our consumers in an emerging market with enormous complexities.
T. Krishnakumar (KK)
is CEO of Hindustan