Coca-Cola commits to investing 180 million Baht in Sustainable Business with Coca-Cola Program to empower Thailands female entrepreneurs

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Thursday September 4, 2014 09:50
--4 Sep--Hill+Knowlton Strategies

The Coca-Cola system in Thailand, inclusive of Coca-Cola (Thailand) Ltd., ThaiNamthip Ltd. and Haad Thip Pcl., today launched the ‘Sustainable Business with Coca-Cola Program’ supported by an investment of more than 180 million Baht over seven years. The program aims to economically empower more than 45,000 Thai female entrepreneurs in Coca-Cola’s value chain by equipping them with the skills and training they need to grow their businesses.

The ‘Sustainable Business with Coca-Cola Program’ is part of The Coca-Cola Company’s global ‘5by20’ program which aims to economically empower 5 million women entrepreneurs within the company’s value chain in more than 100 countries by 2020. Launched in 2010, the initiative has already reached 550,000 women producers, suppliers, distributors, retailers, recyclers and artisans in over 44 countries. It is intended to drive progress toward the company’s 2020 Vision and also toward broader national and international economic and social development goals.

Coca-Cola will work closely with its bottling partners, Haad Thip Pcl. and ThaiNamthip, to deliver the training program across Thailand, in which it aims to train 7,000 by the end of this year. In the second phase of the roll-out in Thailand, the program will continue to train other partners such as producers and artisans and be offered to non-Coca-Cola traditional retailers.

The training offered by ‘Sustainable Business with Coca-Cola Program’ includes customer behavior and competitor analysis, customer service improvement, merchandising and inventory management for the whole store, and financial training.

Coca-Cola will also work closely with partners from public and private sectors including the Ministry of Labour’s Department of Skill Development who will provide training venues nationwide and certificates to entrepreneurs who successfully complete the training; and TMB as the program’s financial partner, which will implement the financial management module of the training requirements.

Mr. Antonio Del Rosario, General Manager, Coca-Cola (Thailand) Limited, said, “In order to build a sustainable business, we strive to understand and help address the problems of our business partners and the communities we proudly serve. This exciting new program will provide sustainable solutions and economic empowerment to the small-scale women retailers who are the backbone of our business. Our intent is to enrich their lives in a positive and meaningful way, helping to create shared value and a win-win for their business and ours.”

“According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), women control $US20 trillion of worldwide spending and do 66% of the world’s work, but earn only 10% of the world’s income, of which 90% is spent on the well-being of their family and community. Therefore, the benefits of helping further empower these women to maximize their income sources are bound to have more powerful and positive impacts on our community as a whole. In Thailand, we know there is huge potential for this program to reach a significant number of flourishing small business owners which will undoubtedly contribute a number of economic and social benefits to our community,” he said.

“We are enthusiastic about Thailand’s contribution to the global growth of this worthwhile program and are very proud to be working alongside our business and program partners ThaiNamthip and Haad Thip, the Ministry of Labour’s Department of Skill Development, and TMB to help deliver the training and ensure the program yields all-inclusive benefits across all facets of our business,” Mr. Del Rosario said.

Pornwut Sarasin, Chairman, ThaiNamthip Limited, said, “As one of Coca-Cola’s bottling partners in Thailand, we are responsible for producing a range of products for The Coca-Cola Company and manufacturing them to the brand’s world-class quality standards and distributing them nationwide. However we cannot achieve this alone. Our value chain partners, including the small retailers that sell Coca-Cola products directly to our consumers, are obviously very important in helping maintain our leading position in Thailand.”

“Out of our current 250,000 retailers in the Coca-Cola system in Thailand, we estimate that 60% business owners are female. By equipping them with rounded business knowledge, we are confident the program will truly create shared value for both our business and the community,” he said.

Nakorn Silpa-Archa, Director-General of Department of Skill Development, said, “At present, mom-and-pop-type shops are facing many tough business challenges including an increasingly competitive retail market. Some have adjusted their business strategies to survive; unfortunately many cannot and have been forced to close down or sell their business as a result. The department sees urgent need to help train these entrepreneurs, where women have a strong presence, in a sustainable manner. This program is a result of strong partnership between government and private sector to drive Thai labor empowerment, equipping them with skills and potential for the ASEAN Economic Community 2015 and promote women’s role. We have partnered with The Coca-Cola system in Thailand in Sustainable Business with Coca-Cola Program, based on the belief that a strong contribution from private sector should accelerate achieving the Program’s goal.”

Pariya Chirabandhu, Senior Vice President, Haad Thip Public Company Limited, said, “We launched a pilot training program in June 2014 and to date we have trained 1,300 retailers in five southern provinces. The feedback from retailers who have completed the training so far has been very positive. They have shared with us that the program has truly equipped them with sustainable business skills, starting with individual consumer behavior analysis which has helped them to create their own unique selling point and therefore made them more competitive in their local communities.”

Paphon Mangkhalathanakun, Chief SME and Supply Chain Officer, TMB, said, “Strong financial management is a core element to every successful business. We are happy to be a partner in the ‘Sustainable Business with Coca-Cola Program’. Our southern manager and SME development manager have already begun applying financial management training to retailers in the South, ranging from basic financial booking keeping, understanding cashflow and financial needs to prepare for loan applications. We aim to help improve small retailers in a way that they can grow to become SME in a future and contribute to the country’s economy.”

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