Celebrating the journey in Bangladesh, Unilever launched a book, "Jatra: The Story of Unilever in the Land of Red and Green," at Radisson Blu Hotel in the capital on Saturday.
The project was initiated in 2018 and the book is written based on an oral history collection from generations of Unilever Bangladesh employees, partners and stakeholders, who have worked for or with Unilever since its inception.
The internal publication and not available for sale book entails the journey of one of the oldest and the largest multinational corporations operating in Bangladesh, Lever Brothers, today known as Unilever Bangladesh, said a press release.
The collection of memories documents every milestone the company had during its jatra (journey) as being a small soap-making factory to developing the most loved consumer brands of the country; working with behavior change projects on WASH, dental health and nutrition, innovating and popularising product formats like sachets for low income people, and expanding territories.
The acquisition of Faisons in 1992 and recently-concluded acquisition and renaming of Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Bangladesh Ltd to Unilever Consumer Care Ltd, making it the largest transaction in the history of the capital market in Bangladesh in 2020 - every significant turn of events is recounted in the book.
The book also talks about how Unilever Bangladesh has been one of the crown jewels for global Unilever companies for its proven excellence in execution and delivery of consistent, competitive and responsible growth.
Unilever has been one of the largest partners of the Bangladesh government since its inception and has contributed to nation building in the form of taxes, duties, and dividends, said the press release.
It has been recognised with the top taxpayer awards multiple times. Unilever has not only shaped the lives of its consumers through its iconic brands, but also helped new startups kick-start their own journeys even during the uncertain times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Being a talent builder, it has produced generations of business leaders working within and beyond Unilever, both locally and internationally. Unilever is popularly known as the School of Leaders by industry professionals due to its contribution in developing skilled human resources for the country.
The book also illustrates UBL's recent joint effort with the government and numerous like-minded organisations to fight the pandemic through frontline partnerships to serve the community.
The book launch was graced by British High Commissioner, Robert Chatterton Dickson, as the chief guest, while 40 other dignitaries along with prominent Bangladeshi actor and politician Asaduzzaman Noor MP were also present.
The British High Commissioner said, "I am very pleased to introduce 'Jatra,' this inspiring book from Unilever. It shows through some marvelous pictures and stories the positive impact the company has had during its long presence here. The successful history of Unilever in Bangladesh mirrors the growth of Bangladesh itself and the company can truly be said to have contributed throughout the development of the nation."
"I am particularly proud that Unilever has not only maintained its legacy and global reputation for ethical business and corporate responsibility here in Bangladesh, but also is so committed to ensuring that its operation in Bangladesh benefits the wider community through sustainable impact creation in their lives. It is great to see how Unilever's operations and activities take place throughout the country and help spread prosperity outside Dhaka," he added.
He further said, "As Bangladesh prepares for its 50th year of independence celebrations, I would like to offer my congratulations to Unilever for the success of the company's journey from Port Sunlight to Tetulia."
Eminent actor and Member of Parliament, Asaduzzaman Noor, said, "This book is the chronicle of UBL's growth and evolution in Bangladesh not only in terms of business but also in contributing and nurturing support industries like advertising and media. This book made me nostalgic as I could relate to some of the stories personally. I am also delighted to know about the company's progress in Bangladesh with greater purpose. I wish them very best with growth and prosperity in the days to come."
Speaking at this proud moment, Kedar Lele, chairman and MD of Unilever Bangladesh, said, "It is a momentous occasion for all of us at Unilever. As this great nation celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence, this book "Jatra" is being published as an ode to the heroes of this country and the company who contributed to the growth and impacted millions of lives."
The speaker further said, "'Jatra' has everything – a collection of memories that inspires, a stream of stories that motivates, and an assortment of experiences that teaches. This 'Jatra' will continue unabated led by purpose-driven individuals, acting in the most responsible manner, following the now-famous multi-stakeholder model of building sustainable businesses in this magnificent land of red and green."