At Nestlé, we care deeply for people, for the communities in which we operate, and have an essential role to play during the COVID-19 crisis. We also care for and are deeply committed to our responsibility to provide good nutrition to people in this hour of need.
Commenting on the situation, Mr Suresh Narayanan, Chairman and Managing Director, Nestlé India said “During these unprecedented times, we go back to and reaffirm our 154-year-old purpose of enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future, a cause even more relevant today. We commit ourselves to continue to give every possible support to the communities and to the authorities who are fighting tirelessly and valiantly each day against the spread of this virus. This dedication to a national cause goes from our supply chain, to our factories, our people, our distribution partners, who work round the clock to ensure that we continue to meet the nutritional needs of families. We heed to a call of duty to ensure that much-needed food and beverage products are available to our consumers and communities throughout the country. It was an honour and humble moment for me and my team that some of our brands were chosen for the meal kits offered to medical fraternity across selected cities in India who are at the forefront of fight against COVID-19. We salute their sacrifice, perseverance and dedication!”
Our efforts to battle COVID-19 encompass five areas to which we commit energy, focus and resources:
1) For The Communities: We commit to initially, a sum of INR 15 crores towards feeding programs for less privileged sections of society through participation with leading and credible NGOs engaged in this along with distribution of essential groceries to the needy. We will also support out of the fund, purchase of medical equipment, PPEs as needed, we have started with a contribution of INR 1 crore to Narayana Hrudayalaya Foundation for purchase of much needed ventilators for Delhi/NCR. We have already started the process of donating our brands to local governments to support the needy.
2) From Our Employees: Our employees stand together to support fight against COVID-19 in this hour of need, and we have an “Employee voluntary contribution program”, topped up with equivalent contribution from Nestlé India, through which we will engage with the Indian Red Cross Society to strengthen its efforts and for providing much needed relief in most impacted areas and people suffering due to the present conditions.
3) For Our Sales Force: Our front-line sales force who work for our distribution partners are the heroes who ensure Nestlé India’s standing in the marketplace and we will be looking at rolling-out a “NESTLÉ SURAKSHA” program to cover each one of them, who is not covered by Employees’ State Insurance, with a COVID-19 insurance protection for a period of three months. We want them to be safe and protect them should any unfortunate COVID-19 related event be fall them. As a measure of our commitment and trust in them, they have been paid 100% of their Sales Incentive.
4) For Our Operators: Our factory operators are the heroes, who have heeded a national call to enable production of much needed food and beverage products. We have taken, strict social distancing measures and other precautionary measures at all our manufacturing locations, to ensure the health and well-being of our people. To honour this commitment we have rolled out across all operating factories a “NESTLÉ SAMMAN” program that will reward each operator for working during the stipulated period.
5) For Our People: At Nestlé India, the safety, well-being and security of our PEOPLE has always and will remain paramount in our minds. Each of us has had to embrace new and very different ways of working in terms of “work from home” and been subject to stresses, fears and anxieties never before experienced. We are cognizant and sensitive to the human and emotional needs of our employees and have rolled out numerous “virtual” engagement programs, training programs, mental health initiatives, check-in” programs with youngsters who live alone or far from home, free advisory calls with accredited doctors in India and overseas pertaining to COVID-19.
Our response to this crisis is to be sensitive to fellow Indians, our employees, stakeholders, partners and above all commitment to our consumers to serve them nutritious and essential brands as they stay safe and secure in their homes. A company like Nestlé finds its calling and renews its purpose at such times and we are proud to be doing the best we can.