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A Round-up of Business doing Social Good amid the COVID-19 Outbreak in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Myanmar

In this difficult period of transition into a new normal, it is fascinating to see how brands and corporations in Southeast Asia are responding. With that in mind, we want to take some time to highlight those in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Myanmar who have chosen to support those most affected by the crisis despite facing difficult circumstances themselves. So many companies are doing great things to help us all get through this. Below is a sampling of their efforts.

ASEAN-wide 

The Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundationis donating medical supplies – including masks, COVID-19 test kits, and pieces of protective clothing – to 14 countries in Asia to help the global fight against COVID-19, overcoming logistics with their Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP), which is designed to allow SMEs to more easily participate in global trade.* 

Vietnam

Vietnamese companies have donated large amounts to Coronavirus relief efforts, exceeding 125 billion VND (5.27 million USD) in a single day (March 24). VinGroup, Toyota Vietnam, Vietnam Social Security, and Hung Tuy furniture were among the largest donors. 

An online art auction from March 23 to 23 was organized to raise funds for the fight against the pandemic. It featured 100 paintings by 60 Vietnamese and Singaporean artists, and half of the proceeds went to the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee, which is handling relief efforts. 

HCMC Real Estate company Khang Dien alone has contributed 20 billion to fundraising to control the virus.

In addition to large companies, popular Vietnamese singers including Ha Anh Tuan, Chi Pu, and Min have spent tens of thousands from their personal savings on supplies to fight the outbreak. 

A Hanoi pizza restaurant installed a disinfection chamber for customers, but is now allowing passers-by to use it for free.  

Beervana, a supplier of imported craft beer for bars and restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City, has launched a delivery service which helps support venues which have been closed due to the virus. The bar posts a discount code, the buyer inputs it in the Beervana site during their purchase, and the bar gets a cut of profits while the buyer gets 10% off. 

On February 10, early in the crisis, Lifebuoy, a Vietnamese hand soap company, set up public handwashing stations in 3 cities.  

On February 15, Honda Vietnam called on their Honda Winner Clubs across the country to travel to schools and industrial parks outside major cities carrying 200,000 face masks to students and workers.  

Coca-Cola Vietnam is suspending all advertising and donating its full advertising budget to the Vietnam Red Cross.  

Indonesia

Grab has introduced a variety of precautionary measures in Indonesia to ensure safe deliveries, including: 

  • Body temperature checks for both merchant partners and GrabKitchen staff. 
  • A GrabCare package providing financial and medical assistance for any employee who tests positive or is placed in quarantine. 
  • 100,000 Masks made available for Grab drivers. 
  • Hand sanitizer provided at GrabNow shelters and GrabBike lounges. 
  • Contactless delivery for customers practicing self-quarantine. 

Meanwhile, rival ride-sharing and delivery service Gojek is offering

  • A 14-day stipend and suspended payments for drivers who test positive. 
  • Waived food delivery fees in areas near hospitals and vouchers for trips to and from hospitals and testing centers. 
  • Bosses are giving up 25% of their annual salaries to assist drivers suffering economic hardship. 

The Indonesian Tech Journalist Forum has arranged a friendly match on FreeFire and Call of Duty Mobile, sponsored by GArena, with 100% of the cash prize donated to help Covid19 victims. The tournaments are open for journalists and ex-journalists, along with the GArena Indonesia General Manager, Pro Players, and gaming influencers.  

PT Paragon Technology and Innovation, which includes beauty companies Wardah, Adaro, Astra, and Barito Pacific, has donated billions of Rupiah to appointed hospitals working with Covid-19 positive patients.  Wardah is also distributing hand sanitizer to public areas.  

Myanmar

Shop, Myanmar’s leading online shopping platform, is working to ensure that customers have access to basic commodities such as rice, flour, noodles, soaps, sanitisers, sugar, tea, coffee, canned goods, surface cleaners, diapers, hand washes, baby formula, and nutrition supplements, while also preventing sellers from taking unfair advantage of the global crisis.  

Shop employees adhere to strict WHO-recommended protective measures; work-from-home is available for most employees, and at Shop’s warehouses, hubs, and offices colleagues have been instructed to refrain from physical contact, practice social distancing, and wash their hands frequently and thoroughly. Their temperatures are checked twice daily. Shop’s delivery agents now operate on a rotating A/B schedule, wear protective masks, and carry hand sanitiser to ensure safe exchanges with sellers, customers, and fellow employees.  

Thailand

Beiersdorf has converted the production sites for NIVEA and Eurerin in Thailand to produce 80% alchohol medical hand sanitizers. The hand sanitizers will not be available for purchase but will be delivered free of charge to more than 1,000 hospitals, various foundations, homes of orphanage and underprivileged children in Thailand with the hope to alleviate the current shortage of hand sanitizers. DHL Thailand has also joined hands with Beiersdoft to support with the distribution of the hand sanitizers across the country. 

To promote the physical and mental well-being of everyone self-isolating and working from home, entertainment conglomerate, BEC-Tero, international fitness chain, Fitness First, and Thailand’s no.1 pasteurized milk brand Meiji have collaboratively launched a series of calorie-torching workout videos including Muay Thai, dance classes, yoga and stretching exercises that will be streamed live from Monday to Friday at 10am. 

Chef Deepanker Khosla and his team at Haoma, a fine dining Indian restaurant in Bangkok, are on a mission to feed large groups of migrant, daily wage workers left without jobs and no source of income, as well as others who cannot afford a meal. The Haoma team are preparing meals and are delivering them to the hardest-hit areas in Bangkok. The fundraising campaign is called #noonehungry and everyone can be part of it

Coca-Cola Thailand has also recently announced on their official Facebook page that they will suspend all digital and TV advertising campaigns of all the brands under its umbrella in Thailand and divert all the money to suppor thte fight against Covid-19. 

Hotels in Thailand including The Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel, Siam@Siam, Pullman Bangkok King Power, SO/ Bangkok, and Holiday Inn have creatively turned on lights during the night to spread the message of love and encouragement during this difficult time. 

*** 

These are just a few examples of what businesses and individuals of all sizes can do to ease the pain of the current crisis. We at Vero firmly believe that when we all contribute, we all benefit, and these positive behaviors signal to customers that the companies care. 

*Alibaba is a current Vero client. 

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