Although the pandemic has poured pressure on the beer industry, Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation has been able to prepare for future uncertainty and protect its labour force through flexible initiatives.
|SABECO constantly updates all employees with development strategy through detailed presentations |
CEO of the brewer (SABECO) Bennett Neo told a conference last week how the beer giant was able to rally around its workers over the past year.
“We kept jobs intact and employee numbers were maintained,” Neo told the ‘Vietnamese people use Vietnamese goods’ event hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade on strengthening the links to the connected supply chain for Vietnamese goods.
Neo considers human resources the most important factor in SABECO’s sustainable development strategy, and as a result, daily meetings were held to ensure the health, safety, and mental wellbeing of its 13,000 employees.
Nearly three-quarters of all workers have received two doses of the vaccine.
Last month, SABECO updated staff and the public with details about the company’s business performance, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and internal public relation activities, and planned promotions for the upcoming Lunar New Year.
When the pandemic escalated in the country earlier this year, the company made more concrete plans to respond to the outbreak without affecting its business processes. Within only 24 hours’ notice, SABECO can implement a stay-at-work model with limited disruption in Ho Chi Minh City for its workers.
“During this difficult period, we were able to ensure smooth production and supply chain continuity. Virus containment at work was our priority,” said Neo.
Although the economic outlook for the company was affected this year, he insisted that it was still able to help others through various activities, such as its Community Care and Collecting Million Stars programmes.
Within these two activities, SABECO donated ventilators, medical masks, and other supplies to frontliners in various provinces and cities across the country, as well as supplied around 5,000 families with essential goods and about 600 food and beverage outlets with cash donations.
According to analytics platform SocialHeat by YouNet, SABECO’s CSR activities reached thousands of consumers, with its Collecting Million Stars campaign ranking second among the most discussed CSR campaigns in September alone.
“As a company with a longstanding history in Vietnam, SABECO is aware of its role and responsibility as a good corporate citizen and, as such, is willing to join the tremendous and ceaseless efforts to combat the pandemic and its implications,” Neo added.
The pandemic has taken its toll on the beer sector, including on
SABECO’s business results. Nevertheless, despite the heavy impact on the company’s cash flows from operating activities, it was able to increase its cash and cash equivalents by 4 per cent at the end of Q3, compared to the same period last year.
The increase was materialised by increasing the beer maker’s cash flow from investments through divestments and fewer term deposits as well as reducing the losses of financing activities due to the decrease in dividend payments.
For the upcoming Lunar New Year season, SABECO plans to further boost its business by promoting its Bia Saigon Lager in 63 limited editions, representing prominent landmarks from across the nation, as well as giveaways including prizes such as cars and scooters, which is currently running until February 11.
By Phuong Thu