OSI's Vista Communicates Sustainability Through Action In India
October 9, 2019
Being in business in India for 23 years enables Vista Processed Foods, an OSI Group company, to have a deep and thorough understanding of the communities in which it operates and, perhaps more importantly, the greatest needs of those communities. With more than seven facilities and 200 employees throughout India, there is tremendous opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives. And by contributing to the community through action and support, Vista believes it is communicating its vision of sustainable growth to all employees and the people surrounding its plant locations.
Vista is the arm of OSI Group in India and is a premier supplier of customized value-added processed food products to leading Indian foodservice and retail food brands. As one of the largest frozen and chilled processed food companies in India, Vista has a manufacturing presence throughout the country in several regions.
This expansive presence means Vista is connected to people with a range of challenges. The company has identified charities and causes in its communities that directly support the people living in them. Vista has been in these communities for many years and works hard to make sure the company and its employees are involved in community development work that addresses real needs.
“At the end of the day, it is not about what you have or even what you have accomplished. It is about the lives you have impacted and made better,” said Bhupinder Singh, CEO and Managing Director for Vista Processed Foods India. “It is also about what you have given back. Businesses cannot be successful when the society around them fails.”
In addition to impacting people’s lives as a direct result of the charitable work they do at Vista, the company is also working to develop its community activities as best practice models that can be shared across its supply chain and throughout its extended network.
EMPLOYEE-DRIVEN COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AROUND INDIA
Like a great deal of OSI’s community initiatives throughout the world, many of Vista’s initiatives are driven by its employees; in fact, every community initiative involves those employees. Vista employees get involved in identifying the initiative, working out the solution, helping implement it effectively and reviewing it to ensure each initiative is having its intended impact. In 2018 and 2019 alone, Vista and its employees have donated approximately 400 hours to such efforts.
These 400 hours have been given in service to community initiatives that address critical needs. One such initiative was in conjunction with the Lions Eye Trust, which is among India's leading eye banks. The Trust seeks to fight blindness, give sight to visually deprived people, and provide world class eye care services at affordable rates. Its extensive and active community outreach program has resulted in over 126,000 free eye surgeries and 1.8 million eye screenings. Vista donated to this cause by helping them purchase critical eye care equipment that would help the Trust complete many of these surgeries and procedures.
The Asha Foundation is another worthy cause in the local community that Vista has supported over the last two years. The Asha Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2001 that helps children with physical or neurological challenges maximize their independence, re-adapt or rebuild their lives.
In addition to providing physical rehabilitation for those with a disabling physical illness or injury, the Asha Rehab Centre provides physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy to children affected by cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder and other neurological challenges. Vista’s donation to the Asha Foundation directly supported the organization’s work with people with autism.
Another initiative by OSI Vista is their contribution towards Mahatma Gandhi Mission Hospital to provide medical treatments, like cataract surgery or cancer treatment, for patients with financial constraints. The hospital also provides free medical check-ups and free healthcare services for those in need.
While all of the causes deal directly with people in the communities in which Vista operates, some are a little closer to the company’s heart, because these causes help people make positive impacts in the food industry. Vista’s charitable work with the National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) is one of those causes.
NIFTEM was formed by India’s Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) to create a world-class institution to cater to various stakeholders, such as entrepreneurs, the food processing industry, exporters, policy makers and government. NIFTEM assists with setting up food standards, business incubation and knowledge sharing. Vista’s donation and work with NIFTEM has set up scholarships for engineering students who will hopefully one day make great strides in the food industry, while earning a good living and improving families and their supporting community.
From initiatives like these, to donating to a relief fund for people affected by the worst flood in a century in the South Indian state of Kerala, Vista is proud of the impact the company and its employees are making in the community. In fact, Vista estimates that they are helping approximately 100 people each month through their charitable work.
Not every initiative, though, is an overnight success. Some causes take more work and time but are worth the effort because of the long-term good that will be done in the community. Take for instance an initiative that was two years in the making: Vista worked with a local community hospital to install a reverse osmosis plant to treat its water and help reduce the cost of dialysis for patients. Today, rather than paying the previous cost of Rs200 (about $3) per unit for dialysis, they are now paying just Rs75 (about $1) per unit.
“We make these efforts because we know it is our obligation as a leader in the community to give back, help people and make a positive impact on people’s lives,” said Singh. “But also, it just feels good. The reward we all get from helping people is worth every effort, which is why our efforts will continue into the future.”