Success stems from the satisfaction of the workforce; hence we ensure that our employees are receiving the benefits they are entitled to, so they can work effectively and efficiently.
Chairman of Crony Group, Neela Hosna Ara has served as the Chairman of the Standing Committee of Knit Affairs for BGMEA and the Gulshan Society Club. Neela, during her career as an entrepreneur has received numerous awards and accolades. They include the SSE Award from GIZ-Bangladesh which includes a Platinum Awards for “Grievance Handling”, a Gold Award for “Innovative Initiative” and a Gold Award for “Inclusive Skill Development”. Neela has also received a Women Entrepreneurship Award from the BGMEA.
You are the chairman of Crony Group and Abanti. How do you continuously maintain the success of your company?
We have grown into a company of 30,000 workers; the strength of the company is built upon our sense of unity. Success stems from the satisfaction of the workforce; hence we ensure that our employees are receiving the benefits they are entitled to, so they can work effectively and efficiently.
We have been following certain practices since the inception of the company such as, providing salary bonuses and other benefits before we start considering our profits. Also, thankfully there have been no complaints from our employees regarding harassment or health issues from working at the factories. This is because the people at Crony Group work as a family.
We are pursuing the idea of building a green factory by the end of 2018. We want to establish this as we do not want to be portrayed as a large industrialist but rather as a company which works for the development of the nation.
You have a broader outlook of what should be included in CSR. Could you elaborate upon how you implement these ideas in your factory?
I particularly take women’s health and hygiene issues into account. Only 1% of women are aware of health risks and the importance of using sanitary napkins while working in factories. In light of this, we have kept doctors, nurses and counselors for our female employees. We understand that in this context, women feel uncomfortable discussing their problems. Therefore, where health and hygiene is concerned, it is essential to make them feel at home.
What has inspired you to work extensively on CSR projects with women?
My family had supported me throughout, particularly during my academic years. This allowed me to flourish, which in turn inspired me to help women however I could.
As you have travelled the world, do you think there is any particular reason that woman in our country face greater barriers than other nations?
We must look into the domestic structure that is prevalent in our country. Many women are educated but are not allowed to work. This is not only an issue of institutional education; we must be enriched culturally as a society. We should focus on raising our daughters as achievers as opposed to homemakers. In other words, gender should not be a marker of one’s potential and ability.
Your family has worked on a number of projects for the betterment of society. What is the driving force behind your philanthropic work?
We strive on the ideology that our sacrifices and contributions will create a better tomorrow. As a freedom fighter, my father believed in the sacrifices that soldiers had made for our country. Our family is from Bikrampur, where we are establishing a primary school and running a hospital. I believe it should be our priority to make any contributions we can for the society.