Ducab's awareness effort ends in a dragon boat race

Ducab electric dealers and distributors train for a dragon boat race in Thailand as part of a corporate social responsibility campaign (CSR). Photo courtesy Ducab
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Ashish Chaturvedy, marketing manager of Ducab cable manufacturing company, talks about the company’s corporate social responsibility initiative to promote the use of safe cables and wires in the Emirates. For many of Ducab’s distributors and smaller dealers who participated, the four-month campaign ended in a dragon boat race in Thailand this Wednesday. Owned by the Dubai and Abu Dhabi governments, this is the third year in a row that the company has organized such an initiative.

Ashish Chaturvedy, marketing manager of Ducab, attend an awards ceremony in Dubai last week to mark the end of their four-month CSR campaign. Christopher Pike / The National

What was the campaign about?

It was about engaging cable dealers and distributors in the electrical industry and generating awareness about faulty cables. [The campaign] also involved talking to the Dubai Civil Defense Department and Dubai and Abu Dhabi municipalities to ensure quality imports.

As part of the four-month campaign we asked our 10 distributors, who work through several smaller dealers, to promote products that have been tested for safety, including our own Ducab cables. During this time there were no special discounts or promotions on our products. The target for the distributors, including Al Zubair General Trading, Al Jalal Electrical Trading and Marjan Cables, was to sell Ducab cables worth Dh5 million and for the dealers the goal was Dh1 million.

What were the objectives of the campaign?

A lot of faulty cables enter the market and endanger safety and security. Such wires were partly responsible for the recent fires in Sharjah. [These] cords are only a small percentage of our fast growing business and turnover currently, but ... expose people to immense risk because they are used for temporary power or in installations that are not visible to people.

The campaign was [also] to promote loyalty among clients, sportsmanship and competition.

Of the 76 dealers and distributors who won the challenge, 60 are traveling to Thailand. We  hired an external agency to train all the participants in boat racing at Dubai creek on the weekends from April until July, to build team spirit so that they can compete in the dragon boat race in Thailand.

How many people participated?

Around 850 dealers and distributors.

How much did Ducab spend on the initiative?

A team of 15 people engaged with 600 shops and talked to around 760 individuals spending more than 160 man hours.

Ducab did not [spend] much, but we had a big return on investment in terms of long term nurturing of relationships. Also, these 850 dealers sold in excess of Dh140 million during this time and that is huge.