Although the Covid-19 pandemic has been under control in Vietnam, its serious impacts on communities and business activities still linger. Binu Jacob, Nestlé Vietnam Managing Director, talked about Nestlé Vietnam’s programs to support its partners in Vietnam, especially the small ones, and the communities affected by the pandemic.
Covid-19 has affected business and production across Vietnam. Could you please tell me briefly what Nestlé has done to help your business partners in Vietnam?
We believe that small restaurants, street food vendors, school canteens are the heart of our society and make a huge difference, bringing people together. These businesses are part of the local fabric and the communities in which we live and work. During the pandemic, these customers have been adversely affected due to compulsory closure of businesses.
To support and encourage our small business partners to overcome immediate challenges, Nestlé Vietnam and La Vie have supported 22,000 small business partners including small restaurants, street food vendors, school canteens nationwide with 1.8 million products of favorite brands such as MILO, MAGGI, NESCAFÉ, NESTEA, and La Vie mineral water. This program has been implemented since the second week of May 2020.
What are main purposes of the program? How does your company run this program?
To help many businesses weather the storm, we have offered them prompt and pragmatic assistance. The initiative is designed to help small businesses weather the crisis and support them as they look to reopen and welcome back their customers.
We have implemented the program directly and the total value of this initiative is around VND22 billion. This is another on-going effort by Nestlé Vietnam to help the communities where we operate and is driven by our purpose “Enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future.”
Why does the program focus mainly on small business partners?
Small businesses are highly vulnerable to coronavirus crisis. With the pandemic outbreak and social distancing, small restaurants, street food vendors and school canteens had to temporarily close for a few months. We talked to many of them and they shared with us the significant challenges that they have gone through such as significant sale volume drop, high rental fees and shortage of labor.
The initiative to help our small out-of-home customers, who have been affected by COVID-19, is one of our efforts to support the government and communities in the fight against the pandemic. Other programs that we have carried out include 1) Join hands with the government to help the frontline doctors, healthcare workers and volunteers; 2) Inspire local communities to “Stay Healthy, Stay Positive”; 3) Energize children going back to school with free MILO products; and 4) Support small out-of-home customers to restart their businesses.
Your press release said Nestlé will support small businesses in the fight against Covid-19. What does “support” really mean in this context?
Our program aims to encourage and support the most vulnerable small out-of-home customers to overcome immediate challenges, to seize new opportunities and resume their business stronger. We have supported them with free products. Of which, 2,600 school canteens will be receiving a case of Nestlé MILO. The small restaurants, street food vendors and university canteens will be receiving a gift pack of Nestlé products including MAGGI, NESCAFÉ and La Vie mineral water.
You have a program called “Stay Healthy, Stay Positive” to encourage people to be healthy and positive. Good health is essential to fighting Covid-19. In your opinion, how can Nestlé products help people remain healthy and active all the time?
Since April 1 when the Government’s national social distancing measure came into effect, we launched the “Stay Healthy, Stay Positive” campaign to encourage local communities to adopt a healthy habit and lifestyle. We engaged with consumers through various activities and initiatives. Nestlé MILO with “Stay Home But Don’t Stay Still” program, encouraged the children to practise sports at home through coaching videos on popular sports such as VOVINAM and Aerobics. MAGGI with “Healthy And Tasty Meals At Home” program introduced to consumers many cooking recipes for healthy and tasty family meals. NESCAFÉ with “Becoming A Barista At Home” program turned the social distancing time into exciting moments with homemade fusion cups of NESCAFÉ.
Reported by Vuong Anh