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M.A. Jabbar, Managing Director of DBL Group on the group’s vision, core values, and why expandability is a core component in the DNA of the group.
What has been the guiding force behind the success of DBL Group?
M. A. Jabbar: DBL Group strongly believes in innovation. We innovate to succeed. We have Research & Development teams for all our business concerns where they work relentlessly for continuous innovations. 124 Quality Control Circles of DBL Group consisting of 607 personnel guarantee high standards of production. They also participate in the National Annual Quality Convention (NAQC) and the International Convention on Quality Control Circles (ICQCC) regularly and have won awards on several occasions. We have Future Leadership Development Program (FLDP) under which we groom future leaders for various concerns of DBL Group. Our Employee of the Month (EOM) award recognizes the efforts of our employees. We believe in Sustainability. The foundation of DBL’s Sustainability is based on five pillars: People, Process, Product, Community, and Environment; thereby having a holistic approach towards environmental and social impacts. We are not in business for profit only; rather we seek sustainable development of our people, surrounding communities, and the environment.
Can you please discuss the core values of your company? What is the vision leading DBL Group?
M. A. Jabbar: Integrity, Passion, Adaptability, Care and Excellence are the Core Values of DBL Group. We hold these values in our hearts and always try to uphold them. This not only improves business operations but also creates transparent and long-term relationships with our co-workers and stakeholders. We always uphold our integrity in every action we take. We are passionate to continuously learn, grow, and serve. We continuously adapt to change. We care for our customers, associates, stakeholders, workplace safety, community, and environment. We strive to excel in every aspect of our business and we envision to sustain and grow as a diversified global conglomerate. By continuously upholding the vision; we are diversifying. We have entered industries apart from RMG and Textile; such as Ceramic Tiles, Dredging, Pharmaceuticals, ICT & Telecommunication, Semiconductor Design, etc.
How has DBL Group been managing its vast operations amidst the countrywide shutdown? Has the shift to work-from-home been challenging?
M. A. Jabbar: At DBL, there are five pillars of Sustainability – where People come first. When COVID-19 has hit Bangladesh; our first target was to take care and ensure the safety of our people – the most valuable asset of DBL. In order to do so; even before the government has called for a countrywide lockdown-we have actually taken all sorts of precautionary measures at all our factory premises, corporate offices, and stores. We ensured that the workers coming to the factory are washing their hands properly, all the machines, equipment, and the premises are being disinfected properly at regular intervals with the proper disinfectants and guidelines given by Bangladesh Govt. and WHO. All the workers are continuing to wear masks and gloves, their temperatures are being checked upon entry every day. We kept separate isolation rooms in the medical facility at our factory complexes. Anything that comes into human contact was being disinfected as much as possible from the very beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic. In the month of April, as per the govt. instructions- all the RMG factory operations were paused. When govt. permitted; we continued the operations with a vast level of precautions at all levels of the factories.
One of the core values of DBL is Adaptability. We believe change is inevitable and we embrace the new changes.
We have invested in Microsoft 365 and have been taking some of their services for quite some time now. We use Microsoft Teams to work flawlessly and connect easily among the staff. Each and every member of each and every department were in contact through Microsoft Teams. We also held multiple in-house training sessions using Zoom. We were working mostly from home and came to the office only when it was really necessary to be in the office. When we came to the office; we came with adequate precautions. Our offices are disinfected properly at regular intervals. In the month of June; rostering duty was announced in the office; so that social distancing can be maintained inside the offices. In a nutshell, it has been challenging but we embraced this change to adapt to this New Normal. But definitely, we hope and pray that the overall situation gets better and we get back to the pre-COVID lifestyle.
Among the doctors and caregivers who do not have personal cars and the ones who do not get transport facilities from their workplace were interested to take the service of Crack Platoon.
As a responsible corporate citizen; what are the measures the group has taken to lend a hand in the country’s effort to overcome the COVID-19 outbreak?
M. A. Jabbar: In Bangladesh, the first cases of COVID-19 were reported by the country’s Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) on 8 March 2020. As you are aware; from 24 March 2020, all public transports, including ride-sharing services, were disallowed by the government of Bangladesh to stop the spreading of the unknown virus. Lockdown began throughout the country for an unknown duration. Although virtually all operations and occupations have come to a halt, the doctors and healthcare providers were not exempted from their duties. The heroes of tackling this virus are performing their duties every day until now, putting their own health and lives at risk while travelling and while treating patients. However, most of these Heroes of Health do not have personal vehicles, and the transport services provided by hospitals are greatly limited and scarce. Undoubtedly, the Heroes of Health were facing great challenges in going to the hospital and coming back home. DBL Pharmaceuticals Ltd., a concern of DBL Group, organized an online survey consisting of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers and found out that there is a need for transport service for these healthcare professionals. This is when we initiated the Crack Platoon Transport Service.
Authorized by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Government of Bangladesh, the Crack Platoon Transport Service for the healthcare professionals started its journey from 1 April 2020 and ended on 11 May (6 weeks). This initiative was for the doctors and other healthcare staff so that they can go to their hospitals from their home quickly, safely, and conveniently amid their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The service was completely free of charge.
The fleet consisted of 40 vans and cars and 10 minibuses registered with the DGHS to pick up the healthcare professionals from their homes and drop them off at the 100+ different hospitals in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. These transports were available in three shifts: at 8 AM, 2 PM and 8 PM. Apart from these scheduled shuttle services, the transports were also provided for the professionals in case of emergency calls within the capital.
Social distancing norms were followed for seat allocation inside the vehicles. All the vehicles were sanitized after each trip. All drivers used appropriate safety gears. To ensure the safety of passengers, drivers having their full profile registered with Uber were sourced. More than 1,965 healthcare professionals registered and every day around 500 healthcare professionals were taking this service.
Among the doctors and caregivers who do not have personal cars and the ones who do not get transport facilities from their workplace were interested to take the service of Crack Platoon. Apart from them, the ones who were apprehensive about the limitation of not being able to maintain social distancing in the hospital transport were comforted by the service of Crack Platoon. Apart from them the female doctors and caregivers who do not feel safe to commute alone in the city in the evening felt safe with this service.
Under the supervision of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), the initiative was operated by the voluntary organization The Earth Society with technology support from Bondstein, sanitization support by Dhaka Hub of Global Shapers, fleet sourcing support from Uber and funded by DBL Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
Another notable contribution during these crucial times is- DBL Healthcare’s initiative “Apnar Daaktar”. They took a step forward so that people do not need to go to the doctors and can take doctor advice from home. DBL Healthcare sponsored and managed a show in Rtv Online where doctors would take questions from the general audience through WhatsApp/Viber messages and Facebook comments and answer those queries. The live show was hosted for a month during the COVID-19 period. This online show has been solely managed by DBL Healthcare and the Live show was shown in the virtual platform of Rtv’s Facebook page.
All other concerns of DBL Group were empathetic to their suppliers, dealers, and retailers and were by their side in times of need.