Monday, September 13, 2010

Message from the Chairman and CEO – The Future is in Our Hands (Former Chairman and CEO Nandu Nandkishore)

I would like to begin by thanking all of you for your contributions to the success of Nestlé Philippines today, making it possible for us to achieve our targets and end the year on a high note. 

As I announced in 2007, there have been no new strategies for us in 2008. Instead, we continued building on the basics, and became even more focused on the consumer, innovated and renovated our brands, and flawlessly executed fewer but bigger and better strategies. As a result, we have improved many of our brands’ performances, gained market shares in a number of categories, and addressed issues and problems that came our way. Today, many of our efforts have been recognized by global Nestlé as best practices and more importantly, by our consumers in terms of demand for our products.

I remember our 2008 National Sales Kick-off held early this year, where for the first time in the history of Nestlé Philippines, the shark force of the Ice Cream and Chilled Dairy joined their colleagues from Grocery Retail, Nestlé Nutrition, and Nestlé Professional, with one theme and under one roof. Our 2008 Kick-Off theme was Win as One, which guides us up to this day. Our Win as One message in the Kick-Off was simple— we have to help each other Win as One because a winning team leaves no one behind. 

In 2008, we indeed played to win and we won as ONE Nestlé! Thank you, Team Nestlé. You are the best of the best, and I cannot ask for more.  Please also thank your respective families for me, for their support and for allowing you to work so hard to help strengthen our Company and our brands.

A Busy 2008
It was a busy 2008 for Nestlé Philippines. 

Important Visits. We started the year with the visit of Nestlé S.A. CEO Paul Bulcke, Nestlé S.A. CFO Jim Singh, and Zone AOA Managing Director Frits van Dijk. While in the Philippines, Mr. Bulcke also made a courtesy call on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, where he reiterated the importance of the Philippines to the Nestlé Group and stressed Nestlé’s long-term commitment to a strong presence in the country. 

In February, President Arroyo formally inaugurated the Nestlé Business Services (NBS) AOA in simple ceremonies held at the NBS offices in Meycauayan, Bulacan.

In August, we hosted a breakfast reception for His Excellency, Swiss Confederation President Pascal Couchepin and other officials at the Julius Maggi Kitchen in Nestlé Center. President Couchepin congratulated us for our role in maintaining the country’s position as one of the best and biggest markets of Nestlé in Asia and the whole world. 

Improved Corporate Image. Our corporate image has been improving every year, and I would like to think that this is because the initiatives we have sustained through the years are actually working. 

The recently conducted Corporate Reputation Diagnostic Study (CRED) showed that consumers think even more highly of Nestlé Philippines now compared to last year, associating our Company with nutritious, delicious, high quality and affordable products. According to the study, Nestlé towers above benchmark companies in terms of favorability at 71% compared to last year’s 64%. Nestlé Philippines is still topmost in consumers’ minds when it comes to Wellness and is viewed as the expert and leader in nutrition. 

Awards and Recognition. Our efforts have been noticed by various award-giving bodies both in Nestlé and outside Nestlé. 

The regional rollout of NIDO Nutrition System’s Project Addition in AOA won the Gold in the Nestlé Innovation Awards. As you know, Project Addition was launched in Nestlé Philippines. 

We won the Bronze Trophy in the 2008 Nestlé Corporate Safety at Work Award for a Technical Division project extending CARE audits to co-manufacturers in the country. 

In the recently concluded 2008 Hit Parade, our NESCAFÉ Positively Coffee placed 3rd, our NIDO 3+ Redefining Intelligence placed 5th, and our BEAR BRAND Nutrition to Help Build the Nation placed 7th. Our 4th entry, MILO’s 30 Years of Getting the Nation into NHW, made it to the Top 12. 

Our Field Management Best Pracice (FMBP) Pilot won 4th place in the first ever Business Excellence Awards, emerging as one of the best among 89 BE projects entered from different Nestlé markets worldwide. 

Here at home, we bagged the Gold in the IMMAP’s Boomerang Awards for our NESCAFÉ 3in1 Aliens campaign, the Silver for our NESTLÉ Ice Cream’s “Give-Me-A-Name” contest, and another Silver for our innovative “COFE-MATE Challenge” promo. 

Creating Shared Value. Our first Creating Shared Value Report, which we released in January this year, earned favorable feedback from our government contacts, from Nestlé markets in Asia, and from our colleagues in Vevey. Printed on environment-friendly recycled paper, the 52-page report entitled Nurturing Filipinos, Enhancing the Quality of Life describes the various CSR programs we have sustained through the years. 

Creating Shared Value is our path forward, and is integral to our mission of nurturing generations of Filipino families today and in the many years to come. In 2009, I would like Nestlé Philippines to be more involved in initiatives that create shared value so we can help make a positive difference in the lives of those who need our help the most. 

The Melamine Crisis. Consumers’ concern on melamine peaked in September and October this year, as press reports played up the issue globally. We addressed the melamine issue head-on, in a straightforward manner, through our media releases, our print ads, our materials at point-of-sale, and through our consumer hotline, always assuring our consumers that our products are safe. Our key messages remained consistent all throughout:
• The safety of our consumers is very important to us
• Our products are safe
• Nestlé products are manufactured under high quality control standards and meet all regulatory standards before they are released to the local market

In the wake of the melamine crisis, it was consumer trust that proved to be our most valuable asset. This consumer trust took many years to build, anchored on our strong commitment to quality that dates back to 1866, when Henri Nestlé developed the first cereal milk food for children. As we approach 2009, let us always remember the significant role each one of us plays in protecting this consumer trust, so that we can continue to meet the Nutrition,
Health, and Wellness needs of generations of Filipino families.

A Tough Year Ahead
As we say goodbye to 2008, let us remember to look back to what made us win this year. In 2008, we came together as a team, blended our talents and skills, and proved that we could accomplish far more than we could have achieved as individuals. This year is proof that we work better if we work together. This year, we strengthened our market position to deliver our promise to Win as One. 

By all indications, 2009 promises to be one very tough year. We know that the strength of a house depends on the strength of its foundation. At our very foundation are our strong brands, our vast range of products, our unrivalled system of research and development, our access to a vast library of best practices from other markets which we can borrow with pride, and above all, our competent and committed employees who fully embrace the strong Nestlé corporate culture.

The real test of strength is not in times when the going is smooth; rather, the ultimate test happens in times of crisis. I now call on everyone to close ranks as we face the difficult economic scenario before us. 

We all work hard to provide a better future for our family. And the future of our family depends, to a great extent, on the future of our Company. The future of Nestlé Philippines depends on each of us, on how each of us adds value. The future is in our hands. 

As we end another year, I wish you and your families a very happy Christmas. Enjoy the long holiday break with your families, and come back refreshed for another year of Winning as One.

SOURCE: Nestle Family Balita (December 15, 2008)

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