In Procam International and Sunfeast India Move As One, We Found Partners With Similar Perspective and Synergy: Ali Harris Shere
Ali Harris Shere, Chief Operating Officer, Biscuits and Cakes Cluster, Foods Division, ITC Limited, spoke to us about the brands’ continued support to this movement and more.
With its second year of association with Sunfeast India Move As One (SIMAO), which was earlier called Sunfeast Indian Run As One), Sunfeast has pledged to positively lives of people by getting associated with this movement.
The focus this year is on children affected by covid 19 pandemic. The money raised through SIMAO will go to the welfare of these children and help them tide over the crisis.
Ali Harris Shere, Chief Operating Officer, Biscuits & Cakes Cluster, Foods Division, ITC Limited, spoke to us about the brands’ continued support to this movement and more.
What was the thought behind the association with Sunfeast India Move As One?
ITC Ltd. lives by the credo of “Sab SaathBadhein” and is well recognised for its exemplary sustainability initiatives, which create meaningful social impact. In these trying times, the country needs committed and collective efforts by all stakeholders including corporates and civil society. We found that Sunfeast India Move as One can provide an effective platform for us to lend support during the pandemic. The campaign is well-synergised with Sunfeast’s core purpose of spreading happiness as it aims to leverage the power of everyday movements to meaningfully contribute to the lives of children affected by the pandemic.
As a Brand, what are the factors that you look at before getting associated with any cause?
In alignment with our company’s philosophy to put the “Nation First” and our large scale social investment initiatives, we follow a thorough vetting mechanism to ensure that our partners in all endeavours are in alignment with our purpose and commitment to society.
As a brand, Sunfeast and all of its products are geared towards the central brand purpose of “Be Happy, Make Happy”. Throughout the pandemic, brand Sunfeast has been thoughtfully involved in creating little moments of happiness and joy in the lives of our consumers & the community at large. Moms Magic, actively engaged with mothers, cheering and appreciating them for their unwavering support to the family during the pandemic through their Stay Strong Moms campaign. Similarly, the recent activity by ‘Sunfeast All Rounder’ witnessed audiences nominate the All Rounder women in their lives and celebrate the versatility and multi-dimensional contribution of every woman.
Thus Sunfeast as a brand has been actively participating and embodying this credo in spirit and action. In Procam International and Sunfeast India Move as One, we found both a partner with a similar perspective and synergies in execution, and a platform that multiplied the positive impacts of movement in a world now accustomed to lockdowns.
ITC is one of India's biggest food companies and perhaps a workforce and extended family that supports it. How do you plan to engage your community as part of this movement?
The ITC family extends beyond just the employees. We have a vast network of vendors, partners and contract manufacturing units all of whom are a part of the larger eco-system. In trying times, there is no worthier cause than to find means of rallying together for a common cause. We have several platforms where employees of different divisions of ITC interact, engage and learn, with the Living Well platform, a health and wellness forum, being foremost amongst them. We have seen great enthusiasm and interest for this movement in its first edition, and driven by such a noble cause, we’re confident that the ITC family will rally behind us in support. To further augment participation, we have also planned sessions by Health & Fitness experts to guide the Team ITC to make the best of this campaign.
Team bonding has taken a hit and mental wellbeing has gained as much significance as physical fitness in the corporate world. How does an activity like this bring corporate teams together for a fun activity outside work conversations?
In the current situation, physical distancing has been one of the major challenges for an organization like ours that thrives on constant connection and engagement with our teams, our trade partners and our consumers. Needless to say that ‘Work From Home’ and more importantly the gloomy environment around us has affected inter-personal relationships and mental well-being of some of us. Re-establishing a connection to the larger society by doing good for others, and engaging in fun activities such as physical exercise, address some of the challenges during such unprecedented times.
The joy of contributing to children’s welfare, while celebrating the personal contributions of teammates towards their own health has the potential to encourage and motivate colleagues in times that continue to challenge us both on professional and personal fronts.
What kind of an impact are you looking to create with the second edition of this event?
Last year, our movement was aimed at providing immediate relief to families whose livelihoods had been severely impacted by the lockdown. But with the pandemic extending into this year, our focus, and indeed society’s, has shifted increasingly towards the long-term impacts of the pandemic on our country’s future.
One of the biggest such impacts is the shortfall we’re observing in our children’s physical, emotional, intellectual development, with vast disparities in outcomes between the haves and have-nots. To tap into this growing societal impetus to safeguard our future, we’ve set an ambitious goal of drawing 35000 participants in this edition, up from 15000 last year, and made it easier for our fellow citizens to join the movement.
You can now run, walk, jog, cycle, or even use a wheelchair, treadmill, or a stationary bike, with each move of yours creating a force multiplier in this movement for good. For those who wish to support our cause, but are unable to or feel intimidated by the prospect of setting themselves a movement target, we’ve offered options to make standalone donations as per their preference as well. Our objective is to create a truly inclusive movement with the key purpose of supporting the generation of Indians hit hardest by the pandemic, and we’d like to appeal to the people of India to come together to make a difference.
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