Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cola Life

This month at Sattva we were doing a bit of research on how different companies were operating their CSR (Community Social Responsibility). Most companies do this same thing of either donating to some school, or doing something for health and rural NGOs. 

But there were few companies which figured out interesting ways to CSR. One of the interesting examples that I came across was Coca Cola. 

Well Coca Cola is little controversial, atleast in India I know there have been various issues with their factory in Kerala. Lots of cases and lots of different view points.

But there is this one initiatve called Cola Life which I found very impressive. This compaign was an idea about a guy called Simon Berry. He observed that in remotest part of Africa, where poeple sturggled to get medicines and other basic necessities of Life, Coca Cola was easily available.  So his idea was that why not Coca Cola use their distribution channel (which apparently is very amazing) to distribute medicine and essential necessity of life. May be dedicating one compartment in every ten crates as "life saving crate".

I find this idea as very powerful. Even when this time around, when I went to himalayas, in villages 3000 meters above sea level, which are not even connected properly by roads, I could see that Maggie noodles and Chips were readily available (I dont think cold drinks have much of market in Himalayas).  Probably since these companies have lot of margin on these product, they can continue to supply at remotest possible region. And if some of this companies could dedicate 1% of their distribution chaneel to transport life essential products it would be a great help to people living in these villages.


The Cola Life campaign is at very initial stage and you can get the updates on their website. But I really like this idea. I think it is really a powerful one. Simon Berry has been making efforts and asking Coca Cola to launch this properly all around the world. And I think it would be great idea of Coca Cola or other similar FMCG companies would follow this and make it part of their CSR.


Anonymous said...

Thats a very innovative idea put to good use!


brocasarea said...

good idea!...
reminds me of PHC[primary health centre]

Sejal said...

The idea is good, but that doesn't change my stance against coke!

Pulkit said...

As much as I like innovation, I don't approve of any partnership with Coke until they mend their ways. We can't let Coke get away with what they are doing: emptying our ground water reservoirs at will and destroying lives and livelihoods around its manufacturing plants [e.g.]. Even if Coke does some CSR stuff, I would view it as emptying the lake for personal gain and then donating a bucketful of water to shut a few mouths. Of course, I am all praise for the work/passion of the gentleman in your post.

PS: I am in the middle of a post I am composing on "killer" coke [Yes, it has actually been charged with polishing off trade union leaders in Columbia].

Goli said...

@anonymous, @broca,
Yups I loved the idea,

@sejal, @pulkit,
Yups I am also little skeptical about coke, but as such I found the idea very powerful.

Navreet said...

It's a great idea !

Macadamia The Nut said...

What an AMAZING idea!!! Why didn't anyone think of this earlier I wonder!

But, a cynical thought... I still think coke's trying to save face here

White Diary said...

I believe that CSR can be very powerful only if the concerned people are truly committed and passionate. There are others who do it just as a marketing gimmick.

i was at a CSR meeting once, where a guy from a very respected organization asked what 'SHG' stands for!

Goli said...

@navreet Yups i tis good idea.
@macadamia the nut Yups but again as they say in schools, idea is only 10% of job, rest is implementation, I will wait and see if coke gets around to implementing it.
@white dairy: yups very true, most people do CSR just as an additional burden. Some budget and they want to make a press release and give it to someone.

El Mostro said...

¡A la verdadera Goli-Cola!
Ver acรก: