Coca-Cola Palestine celebrates 15th anniversary
Published Wednesday 23/10/2013 (updated) 24/10/2013 13:51
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The National Beverage Company, a Palestinian franchise company of Coca-Cola, is marking 15 years since its modest launch in 1998.
When the NBC first obtained a license to produce Coca-Cola products in Palestine, it started as a small business franchise with 47 employees.
Today, it employs 370 people in three plants and four branches across the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, and its sales volume has grown five-fold with a market value exceeding $120 million. The company is the fifth-largest investor in the country, according to a 2010 study of the beverage market in Palestine.
In 2008, NBC was the first company in the Middle East to introduce Coke Zero to its market, and during 2013 the company introduced two new flavors under its Cappy brand of juices -- Cappy Lemon Mint and Cappy Diet Orange.
The NBC’s management says it has maintained a strategic fit for a company to succeed in a small economy burdened by a prolonged occupation and restrictive security measures including restrictions on the movement of people and goods, security checkpoints, border controls and closures.
It also emphasizes the company's focus on corporate social responsibility -- using its resources and assets to resolve pressing problems through joint initiatives to create a positive impact and "give something back."
The NBC supports a variety of charitable activities aimed at meeting local humanitarian needs.
"We view social responsibility in three key areas: our product, our society and our partnerships," says Imad Hindi, NBC's general manager.
"Building partnerships with other organisations, governmental institutions or NGOs, would lead to a sustainable community and a prosperous economy."
One focus is on the health sector, where NBC has contributed to establishing libraries for children in public hospitals and providing a children’s library at the Al-Makassed Islamic Charitable Society Hospital in Jerusalem with equipment and materials. In addition, the company equipped the hospital with medical instruments and supplies.
It has funded the Augusta Victoria Hospital’s department for blood diseases and bone marrow transplants, which is the only available facility of its kind in Palestine.
In another project, for the rehabilitation of Beit Jala Children’s Hospital, students created a club for generating new ideas and turning them into feasible community and social projects.
The company has also built partnerships with the Ministry of Education and business sector.
"Back to School" targets dozens of schools in remote and marginalized areas where school bags are distributed at the beginning of the =year to impoverished children and children with special needs.
School labs were also equipped with modern computer tablets to enhance learning, in line with practices in developed countries, through the School.com “Lana Al Ghad” project.
"We Are All Able," a three-year project designed and executed in partnership with the Arab Bank and Siniora Foods, let university student graduates compete to obtain post-graduate scholarships in business. Students also participate in a national contest for the best projects that are evaluated by Palestinian university academics.