Zain is a telecommunication company located in a number of countries across the Middle East and Africa. Kuwait being the mother land of Zain has firmly placed the company on the world telecom map (Zain, 2019). Over the last 30 years, Zain Kuwait has contributed enormously to the country CSR initiatives that had positive impacts to the community in terms of social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the people. The company is a strong supporter that the private sector has a major responsibility in improving the welfare of the members of the communities in which it’s mandated to serve through corporate social responsibility. The paper examines the company’s CSR programs in Kuwait in terms of economic, social and environmental impacts.
Zain CSR activities in Kuwait have resulted in a positive impact among the communities. In 2015 the company partnered with Uber to offer its customers with discounted rates when using the platform. Through this people are able to easily find a taxi through the use of the mobile app which will eventually increase economic growth in the country. The same year the company formed a partnership with neXgen Group one of the biggest city advisory and consortium. Through this partnership the two companies were able to come up with smart solutions across the country. These solutions range from security and education that benefits people across the country with greater productivity and efficiency. The partnership was also of great importance because it addressed other sustainable issues such as climate change and development in the country in an inclusive way.
The company launched a pay app which simplified buying of goods in an innovative and secure way. This service made it easier for local community members to purchase goods without the use of credit card or paying through monthly postpaid bill. By enabling community people to pay using the app, online commerce became more inclusive in nature. Zain Kuwait has come up with a program that enhance efficiency for public vehicles. This project entails installing a tracking device in all public vehicles. Zain Kuwait in partnership with Computers and Electronics Company plans to ensure that over 25,000 public vehicles have been installed with the tracking system (Kuwait Times, 2018). Through this one is able to stream live and see where the vehicle is, enabling efficiency in control and management. The program leads to a reduction in operating cost, increase in productivity and eventually a more efficient in fuel consumption. Through the use of this tracking device, the Kuwait government has benefited in the reduction of maintaining these vehicle while the same time drastically reducing the emission of carbon.
Zain in Kuwait has been involved in protecting and empowering women. For instance, the company partnered with the International Rescue Commission to end violence among women. The company targets to create awareness among women by encouraging behavioural change toward the issue of gender based violence in the entire country. Researched carried out by the United Nation shows that 40 percent of women in Kuwait have experienced gender based violence while 70 percent of the population is aware of a person that has experienced it (Zain Sustainability Report, 2015). To create awareness on this issue the company has used several mediums to spread the message among the community members such as SMS, billboards and informational programs. The company aims to use this campaign to educate community members on the cause of action if one undergoes gender bases violence or witnesses someone who is going through it.
Zain Kuwait is involved in meeting the requirement of the physically impaired. Zain has come up with special packages especially for the blind and the deaf. These packages include free SMS on-net and free video calls on-net at a discounted rate. Through this, the physically impaired are able to benefit from the connectivity of Zain in Kuwait. In 2015, Zain Kuwait adapted a campaign meant to improve and access education in the country (Zain Sustainability Report, 2015). The company had to form partnership with other private companies to ensure that the campaign was a success. According to Zain Kuwait, access to quality education plays an important role in the development of any nation. This partnership will contribute positively to the community, creating a balanced human capital eventually resulting in an equal socioeconomic growth. In future the company plans to form more partnership with other private sectors to meet the 20 percent target on corporate social responsibility in the education sector.
Another corporate social responsibility that Zain Kuwait is involved is protecting the rights of children. The company aims to create awareness about child abuse in all of its departments. The purpose of this campaign is to ensure that the rights of children are protected throughout the country and make sure that community members are educated on the risks faces by children in the society. The company aims at using TV commercials and the social media to ensure that the message has reached every person in the country. This initiative was recognized by CommsMEA Awards and was nominated in the category of the best CSR initiative of the year.
Zain Kuwait has been involved in some healthcare and education awareness in the country. For example the company is involved in the breast cancer initiative. In 2015, the company partnered with the Kuwait Breast Cancer Association to create awareness in the country. The aim of the campaign is to educate the general public on the dangers associated with the disease and also inform them about the importance of going for regular screening. The company used social media in this campaign reaching out to over 50,000 people in the country (Kuwait Times, 2018). Internally, the company organized an education training on breast cancer that was attended by over 50 female employees.
Zain Kuwait has embarked on a number of environmental programs that create awareness on pollution, deforestation and climate change. The company has been involved in creating awareness to community members on the value of protecting the environment. In 2015, the company informed general public on various habits and actions that they can adapt in conserving the natural resources. Another environmental program initiated by the company on environmental matters is the concept of recycling. In 2015, the company launched a campaign to inform its subscribers on the essence of using less paperwork and increase its recycling. Recycling firms in Kuwait provide financial incentives and the money raised is given to Zain Kuwait. The program has raised more than 530 US dollars in which the money was donated to support the disabled people in the community (Zain Sustainability Report, 2015).
Zain CSR in Kuwait has really transformed the lives of community members. To ensure the company meets its CSR targets, it has formed a partnership with other private companies in the country. In addition, the company plans to form more partnership with other countries to ensure that more people benefit from some of its initiatives that the company has formed.
Kuwait Times, (2018). zain participates in ‘Social Responsibility of Private Sector in Supporting Human Rights’ seminar. (2018). [online] Available at: https://d364xagvl9owmk.cloudfront.net/media-10-4-18/media/filer_public/5f/f9/5ff99601-79bd-46ba-b885-df990d1f2073/zain_pwc_report_2014.pdf [Accessed 6 Apr. 2019]
Zain Sustainability Report. (2015). Building the Future. [online] Available at: https://www.bh.zain.com/en/zainbahrainsite/csr/Documents/sustainability-english-aw-1464338069.pdf [Accessed 6 Apr. 2019].
Zain. (2019). Community – Zain Kuwait Website – Zain Kuwait. [online] Available at: https://www.kw.zain.com/en/community [Accessed 6 Apr. 2019].