With the coronavirus pandemic far from over, UK businesses GSK and Unilever have spoken about what they are doing to keep their employees safe and their businesses open here in Pakistan.
A webinar, hosted by British Deputy High Commissioner Karachi and Director for Trade in Pakistan, Mike Nithavrianakis, was held to share lessons learnt by GSK and Unilever on how to adapt to the changing environment and focus on sustaining operations. He said;
“We have seen what an enormous impact coronavirus has had on all our lives. Nevertheless, we need to work together in partnership to share best practice and help to protect both lives and livelihoods. I am delighted that UK businesses in Pakistan are following the guidelines and strict protocols to mitigate the spread of disease while continuing to operate in challenging circumstances.”
Chief Executive Officer of GlaxoSmithKline Pakistan Limited Ms. Erum Shakir Rahim was a panellist at the session. She said that:
“At GSK we have three priorities in the current outbreak. First is safeguarding our employees’ health and wellbeing, including playing our role in limiting the spread of virus. We also need to continue to make sure that the important products we produce remain available to the people who so desperately need them. And finally, we are deploying our science to help the development of a vaccine and therapies to help treat people with this virus”
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Unilever Pakistan Limited Amir Paracha was a panellist at the session. He said that:
“The safety of our people remains our highest priority as we deal with the threat of COVID-19 to business continuity. As the economy returns to a sense of normalcy, the goal must be to build safe workplaces. As we plan the reopening of offices, we are maintaining the same level of caution – beginning with a staggered return to work; introduction of contactless employee experiences, and flexibility for employees who require enhanced support or need to continue working virtually because of their personal circumstances. This degree of discipline on safety standards is helping protect lives and livelihoods in this critical time.
More than 60 participants – including many representatives of leading businesses in Pakistan – joined the session. They questioned the panel about the standard operating procedures (SOPs) being implemented, and the wellbeing of their staff during the coronavirus pandemic.
The CEO of Shell Pakistan, Haroon Rashid, and CEO of Reckitt Benckiser, Kashan Hasan, also participated in the webinar and spoke about the measures their respective companies have taken to protect staff. The panellists emphasised that businesses should be agile according to the changing situation on the ground, and be flexible in terms of when they asked people to come back to office.