Tag Archives: Engro

Engro Corporation — I Am The Change

“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves” (Quraan 13:11)

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Many of us are prone to complain and moan; about how our country is going in the doldrums the government is corrupt and inefficient, the people are uneducated, the roads are filthy, there is poverty all around, etc. However, very few realize that the change that they are seeking will come from none but themselves. Luckily for Pakistan there are many who decided to stop complaining and become agents of change.

In 2012, Engro Corporation launched a small initiative to recognize these true stalwarts of society who have worked tirelessly to improve access to education, health-care and livelihoods for Pakistan’s poorest of the poor.The initiative aims to collaborate with the corporate and the philanthropic sector of the country and help individuals and institutions who are pioneering initiatives to improve lives across the spheres of Livelihoods, Education and Health.

I Am The Change (IATC) celebrates those who decided it wasn’t enough to moan and groan but to start the rebuilding of our nation one brick at a time. These heroes would have served their causes without fame and recognition but to magnify these causes we need to highlight them, to support them, and to spread their deeds far and wide.

I had the opportunity to meet some of these heroes last year during a bloggers meet that Engro organized at T2F. This year, I was invited to the awards ceremony by Xenith Public Relations, along with very limited people from the Social Media community. I wish there had been more of Social Media representation at the dinner who could have spread the word far and wide through our collective ‘pens’.

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The event was an extravagant affair, some may even call it a bit over-indulgent. However, as a Trustee of a charitable trust (Ihsaas Trust), I understand to some extent why Engro wanted to splurge on it. The ugly truth is that money attracts money. The dinner was for the high and mighty of society, a bid to attract them and to get them to fill out pledge forms to support this cause of highlighting the heroes of society. And sadly those type of people don’t show up to eat daal chawal outside your local masjid. However, I still think the event could have been equally grand with a little less spent on decor, food and ‘shashkay’. For 10% saved off the cost of the event, we could change several lives at Ihsaas Trust or any of the IATC award winners.

This year’s recipients included the Azat Foundation in the category of education, working to provide education and youth empowerment opportunities to individuals from various areas of Baluchistan including Noshki, Kharan, Awaraan amongst others.

In the category of Livelihoods, the award was given to Orangi Pilot Project that continues to focus on urban development and works with the underprivileged in the arena of micro-finance and micro-enterprises, helping set up small businesses such as embroidery, footwear manufacturing and other small cottage industries reaching out to over 100,000 individuals through various projects. The winner in the category of Health was Child Life Foundation (CLF) — an NGO providing comprehensive child health care services from emergency care to prevention. CLF provides free medicines, essential oxygen systems, medical monitors and most importantly trains doctors and nurses to help save the lives of children at imminent risk reaching out to approximately 800 child-patients every day.

1 IATC May 20152 IATC May 2015 3 IATC May 2015 5 IATC May 2015

Previous winners of the IATC Awards in the various categories include organizations such as The Dream Foundation; The Garage School; Patients Welfare Association; Karachi Vocational & Training Centre; Child Aid Association; KhwendoKor (Peshawar); Akhuwat (Lahore).

CEVMK8yVAAAU1oTSpeaking at the occasion, Ali Ansari – outgoing President & CEO, Engro Corporation said, “We strongly believe in empowerment of communities by highlighting change agents who are working in high-impact areas such as education, health and livelihoods. Pakistan has a growing young population which will be in need of job opportunities. Coupled with the fact that half of the country cannot read or write and up to 25 million children not having access to school, the country is faced with an education, health and livelihood emergency. In this scenario it is imperative that we join hands to empower agents of change who are working to improve these social issues – IATC is a partnership platform that creates awareness and provides recognition to the unsung heroes from across Pakistan in order to support and multiply their efforts.”

The IATC platform also announced a major development in terms of cross partnerships with different corporate organizations of Pakistan which included Coca-Cola, Mitsubishi Corporation, National Foods, K-Electric amongst others. The winners of the competition were selected based on the scope of their social work; level of impact, number of beneficiaries and the ability to replicate the program amongst other key considerations.The IATC award entails a financial grant along with aiding the NGO in terms of its capacity & organizational development whilst also ensuring employee volunteerism activities.

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The evening included Ayesha Tammy Haq moderating a panel discussion with Ali Ansari and representatives from the corporate sponsors: Abrar Hassan from National Foods Limited, Kimihide Ando from Mitsubishi, and Zohair Sharif from Asiatic Public Relations representing Coca-Cola.

The one message that I found very useful from Ali Ansari’s speech was:

Corporations have slowly now realized that one solution that the world is looking for is Social Change. And that CSR is not just about lip service and throwing money at causes, but getting involved and really fostering change. Engro Corporation is on the right path with the I Am Change initiative. Let’s hope that more and more corporates join in to spark off a domino effect.

Indecency Commercialized Part Deux

Guest Post by Saeed M. Originally Posted on Author’s Space on Yello.Pk

 

 

Assalamu’Alaikum:

Masha’Allah, there are many different pockets of people speaking out about this rising tide of insensitivity in advertising. Below is an email from a colleague (her identity is referred to as K.O. for the purpose of this post) about Hiba Magazine’s efforts in rousing people towards this cause. Let’s join hands and do this collectively. The whole is greater than the sum, Insha’Allah.

 

Assalamu’Alaikum all,

HIBA Magazine has been doing a "Raise you Voice" section in their magazine for a while now.  Their initiative is to write to companies who use distasteful and inappropriate advertising to sell their products.

We are all aware of the alarming increase in obscenity and vulgarity in our media – particularly advertising. Are we not going to do anything about it?

We must wake up from our complacent slumber and raise our voice.  Do we have any other choice? Please ask your circle of influence to raise their voice.

A sample email written to Gul Ahmed Textiles is at the end of this message.

May Allah help and guide us all and may He write us among those who stand up for His deen.  Ameen

Wassalam
K.O.

 

 

HIBA MAGAZINE

Raise your Voice

For this month’s “Raise your Voice” we are sending the following letters:

1.      Omore Icecream: We sent a letter to Engro Foods, complaining about their recent advertisement of Omore. We emphasized that ridiculous dancing does little to advertise ice-cream, but does loads to promote the wrong values. You can send a letter of protest against this advertisement to their ad agency at info@ialideas.com and the_vision_factory@yahoo.co.uk. To complain to the parent company, send an email to: rkhaliq@engro.com. You can also complain at the Engro website at:
http://engrofoods.supportpad.com/submit.php?id=qwezasdqqwca1sdqwe3qw

 

2.      Gul Ahmed Textiles: We sent a letter to Gul Ahmed Textiles to protest against their billboard at Punjab Chowrangi, Clifton (among other places). You can also send in your letters / emails to:

Mr. Huzaifa Essabhai
Marketing Executive
Gul Ahmed Textile Mills Ltd
H.T/4 Landhi Industrial Area Karachi-75120
Pakistan

Ph: +92-21-111485485 Ext-6536
Fax: +92-21-5082625
Cell: +92-333-2361269
Email: huzaifa.essabhai@gulahmed.com

 

3.      Master Molty Foam: It was brought to our attention that the Master Molty Foam ad is also highly vulgar and distasteful. If you have seen this advertisement, please write to
customerssupport@master.com.pk and rehman@master.com.pk to register your protest.

 

4.      Nando’s: Has anyone noticed the alarming frequency with which the Nando’s advertisements and flyers have started to feature the phrase “hot chicks”? We sent them a strong letter of condemnation against this use of phrase.

 

5.      Accessorize: This international brand apparently did not consider local values when it placed a front page advertisement in Metropolitan, Dawn. We sent them an educational letter, requesting them to revamp their advertisements in line with the values of the country, where they are advertising. Do send them this request also,
at: generalenquiries@monsoon.co.uk

 

6.      Pepsi Cola International: Huge, glaring billboards of Slice Mango Juice are a torture to the eyes. We are sending them a letter through their website, requesting them to emphasize more on the product than on the model. Interestingly, they wrote back to us, giving us a specific address/phone number to complain on. Here it is now. Please write to them too:

MIDDLE EAST/PAKISTAN
PEPSI-COLA INTERNATIONAL
National Bank of Fujairah Bldg.
Khalid Ibn Al Waleed Road
P.O. Box 11330 Dubai
United Arab Emirates

Phone: (971 4) 3971 666
Fax: (971 4) 3972 048

 

7.      Pakola: Last year, we wrote to Pakola Milk commending them on a billboard, which was without a single model. This year, they have re-introduced the billboards, with glaring images of models. We are sending a letter of disappointment to them. You can also get in touch with them at info@pakola.com.pk and sales@pakola.com.pk

 

 

 

Sample E-Mail to Gul Ahmed Textile

From:
To: huzaifa.essabhai@gulahmed.com
Subject:
Date: Mon, 31 May 2010 11:43:52 +0600

Mr Essabhai,

Assalamu’Alaikum.

I am a fan and loyal customer of Gul Ahmed fabrics and products. Your name has been synonymous with good quality and value for money. However, I am disappointed at the current trend in your marketing. The use of female sexuality to sell products is a cheap gimmick – does it really add value to your product?  If so, then what value?  Is it worth challenging the religious and cultural sensibilities of your customers?  And yes, majority of your customers do get outraged by billboards and catalogues selling NOT just lawn but sex.  As a woman, I am appalled to see my kind being so unashamedly exploited to sell stuff.

Gul Ahmed has been a business leader of this country for decades.  You do not need to jump on the bandwagon of distasteful and morally corrupt advertising campaigns. In fact one expects you to lead the industry with an example of ethical business practices.

You must consider this seriously.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

K.O.
(A concerned citizen and customer of Gul Ahmed)

Omore – Indecency Commercialized

Guest Post by Saeed MOriginally Posted on the Author’s Yello.Pk Blog

Ever get the feeling that you’re slipping down a slippery slope, and there is not a handhold or a foothold in sight?

I remember that billboard for Jazz, put up at the intersection of KalaPul and Shahrah-e-Faisal many years ago, with a lady talking suggestively on the phone. Every time I would pass by it, I would wish that someone would do something about it. I did nothing about it. One day, I heard that it caught fire. Stories went around that some disgruntled fundos did it. And I wished I was one of them.

For some time, the ads became a little more decent. And then the deluge began. With cell phone companies leading the way, mattress peddlers, soft drink makers and just about everyone else began TV ads, billboards etc with women giving the come hither look to the poor unsuspecting men, just to sell some airtime minutes.

Soon to follow, Indian movies moved out of drawing room VCRs to our cinema halls. And women anchors on TV talk shows wearing T-Shirts. And then, women in tight clothes were all around, going to schools selling Red Bull, approaching you in shopping malls selling shampoo, and so on….

I thought the women’s liberation movement was all about liberating women from the exploitation of men. But I look around me in the year 2010 and I see beautiful women being used to sell wares. This selling is not through intelligent persuasion but through subliminal targeting and manipulation. So this is liberation?

This probably sounds like a tempest in a teacup to those who don’t remember the days before that Jazz ad. Indecency does not shock us anymore, because it is everywhere. Much less than stopping it with our hands, or speaking out against it, we often neglect to even think of these as bad in our hearts.

If things are to change, we need to be that change.

There is an ad campaign on TV these days selling Omore ice-cream, in which young men and women in tight clothes do gymnastic dance moves, to sell ICE-CREAM cones! I find it distasteful (the ad – haven’t tried the ice-cream). Yet, I was complacent. Then I received an email from a friend, informing me of a kind soul who started an email campaign to urge Engro Foods to pull that commercial. And I did the same. And I felt like it was the first blow I struck, insignificant as it was.

If we are to stop this exploitation of our sisters and daughters, we must speak out against it wherever we see it. And to back up those words with actions such as choosing a competing product in protest.

Image Courtest PakMediaBlog

If you share my view, kindly write a polite email to Engro Foods, asking them to pull the ads because they offend our religious and cultural sensibilities. You may send these to Mr. Rehan (rkhaliq@engro.com). Please remember to be polite but firm. Kindly send a Bcc to kashifhaf@gmail.com, so that he can monitor how much pressure we are exerting. And spread the word to your circle of family and friends, so that they may speak up too.

Being silent is not an option any more.