After a resounding success of the first leg of its initiative of setting up Experience Centres in select factory locations last year, HCCB (Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages), one of India’s top FMCG companies, has brought the Experience Center to Jalpaiguri this year. The temporary expo has been set up at Jalpaiguri, where the company’s factory is located. The 3-day expo is set to engage and train thousands of people into skill building, good ways of waste management, digital skills, new methods of fruit growing and much more. Visitors will also have a chance to get to know more about HCCB, its products, and its manufacturing practices. Besides, visitors to the expo stand to win loads of prizes and a cloth bag each, which is in response to the Govt’s focus on doing away with single use plastic bags.
Organised inside the factory premise, the Experience Centre is designed to enable the visitors to explore and experience different interesting facets of their favourite beverage brand including the history and legacy of the company while the kids play in the adjoining earmarked areas. Around 20,000 people from the local community had attended the company’s Experience Centres created last year in eight different factory locations.
Speaking about the unique initiative, Kamlesh Sharma, Chief Communications Officer, HCCB said, “While people around our factories have always had the opportunity to visit our factories by appointment, and learn about the engineering and technology; every once a year, we look to give them a wider exposure to our organisation and the latest that is happening in the country. This is done in a carnival like set-up, open to everybody, across ages. While children come to learn and understand concepts, adults are trained on ways of sustainable living, use of digital mediums, employable skills etc. We are hoping that over the next 3 days, people in Jalpaiguri will come and have a gala time, ahead of the New Year, and win lots of prizes, as well”
The biggest draw of the Experience Centre this year is the section where people have the option of preparing their own favourite beverage of HCCB on a tab. The idea is not just to educate the people but also to bust many unfounded myths surrounding the ingredients that go into the making of their favourite beverages. Referred to as a one-of-its-kind initiative, the event also demystifies the operations of the company and highlights the ‘best-in-class’ production standards and quality checks followed at every HCCB factory to produce a range of India’s favourite beverages.
The journey for the visitors at the Experience Centre, however, begins with a brand immersion where the company’s anthem created by one of India’s greatest musical maestro, Dr. Ilaiyaraaja, is played in the background. The music that represents the new India, catches the attention of all the moment they enter the Experience Centre.
The company also showcases several initiatives which are inspired by India. Drawing inspiration from the country’s age-old practices of recycle and reuse, HCCB highlights its initiatives to collect and recover all kinds of plastics and recycle them into clothes, jackets, T-shirts, shoes, furniture, toys etc. through authorised agencies. Building on the theme, the company has created a section where through gamification people could learn about segregation of waste at source, a major environmental challenge. The gamification zone is aimed at enabling and educating people to take care of their surroundings and contribute to the cleanliness drive.
Another case in point in this regard is the company’s Project Unnati’, which through some innovative plantation techniques has doubled mango yields per hectare of cultivation. The local farmers seemed to enquire a lot about this technique as it promised to increase their productivity and revenues. Today, HCCB is the biggest buyer of mangoes in India.
The Experience Centre among other things also offers to help local youth develop their curriculum vitae to improve their employability. The service includes providing inputs on the know-how of basic elements such as creating a video resume, brushing up the basic skills, networking and so on. Educating the local youth about the job opportunities available for them in its factories, the company showcases how it has employed and enabled women from the local community to handle different kinds of work inside HCCB factories. The stories not only inspire the local community but also helpbreak stereotypes that women can’t operate heavy manufacturing equipment or drive payloaders.