Strong Legacy. Stronger Future

In 1981, S.V. Iyer’s son was diagnosed with Thalassaemia major. There were no long-term treatment options in India at that time, and the injectable available abroad was both extremely painful and out of reach of patients in India. An affordable oral treatment was the crying need of the hour. At that juncture, Cipla adopted one employee’s personal struggle as its own crusade, culminating in the world’s first commercial oral iron chelator in 1995.

I first heard this story directly from the protagonists, and thereafter numerous times from other witnesses and beneficiaries. And each time, I have felt the same shiver of pride that I felt the first time.

I clearly remember the time I acquired a copy of our Chairman Dr. Y.K. Hamied’s speech at the European Commission in 2000. “Friends, I represent the Third World. I represent the needs and aspirations of the Third World”, he said, before going on to change the paradigm in HIV/AIDS forever with his less than a dollar a day triple therapy ARV offer in 2001. Upon the request of the Government of Uganda, in 2005, Cipla initiated the process of transfer of technology through a state-of-the-art factory in Kampala. In response to the worldwide outbreak of bird flu the same year, and the subsequent drug shortage, Cipla manufactured its own version of oseltamivir.

As its Chief Archivist, my job is to gather Cipla’s past and present (and future plans!) through existing physical records and oral histories. As a result, it has been my privilege to capture several such stories. In 1984, at a time when Cipla was a small company with a turnover less than INR 350 million, its leaders arranged for every employee and factory worker from Mumbai to be taken to the inauguration of its Patalganga plant for a grand Parsi-themed luncheon. Even today, former and current employees have fond memories and souvenirs of the occasion!

The recurring question at Cipla has always been – how do we reconcile the quest for a higher turnover with a humanitarian outlook, be it towards patients or our own people.

As early as 1939, a visit by Mahatma Gandhi inspired our founder Dr. K.A. Hamied to continue his tireless and pioneering effort to establish Cipla as a centre of excellence in pharma. In 1997, Cipla erected a first of its kind palliative care centre to offer holistic care to cancer patients and their families free of cost. In 2016, Fortune magazine’s Change the World list recognised Cipla as one among 50 companies around the world that make a positive social impact through activities that are part of their core business strategy. Could there be stronger testimony of Cipla’s consistency in its purpose of #CaringForLife?

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International Childhood Cancer Day: Cipla Foundation Fulfills Wishes Of Over 120 Paediatric Cancer Patients

International Childhood Cancer Day is commemorated in the world over on 15th Feb 2017 to raise awareness about childhood cancer and support children with cancer. Cipla Foundation partnered with Make A Wish Foundation to fulfil the wishes of over 120 paediatric patients suffering from serious illness at three different locations:  Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru.

In Mumbai, a wish fulfilment drive was held at the Victoria Memorial School for the Blind. Dr YK Hamied and Rumana Hamied and volunteers from Cipla’s India Business team attended the drive. The Foundation fulfilled the wishes of over 50 children. Fun activities such as a drawing session, dance performance by a 9-year-old cancer survivor and Malkhamb were organised for the children.

In Bengaluru, over 60 children in the age group of 3 to 14 years were granted their wishes. Around 25 Ciplaites from API Manufacturing, Quality and Sales team volunteered for the cause at Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru.

The Pune wish fulfilment drive was held at Cipla Palliative Care & Training Centre, Pune, and fulfilled wishes of 10 paediatric cancer patients. Dr Manjiri Dighe, the Centre’s Medical Director and Dr Vibha Bafna, Oncologist – Bharti Hospital, Pune, together with Cipla Foundation, handed over gifts such as bicycles, video games and dolls to the children. Members from Cipla’s India Business team and Pune Sales team also volunteered for the cause. The children and their families enjoyed the lunch and a fun magic show.

 

Impressed with the high standards at the Centre, Dr Bafna said in her speech, “A wonderful place, done up aesthetically, quiet and peaceful. Almost heaven-like for patients with huge problems. A great additional help to the city of Pune and to all clinicians like us. Thanks for inviting me.”

Our volunteer squad:

A big shout out to all our volunteers for coming together and making the day special and memorable for the children and their families.

Mumbai:- Jortin George, Dharmender Singh, Abhijit Nazare, Dr Omkar Bole, Sachin Khode, Deepak Mansukhani

Bengaluru: Channabasavaiah, Abhilash Jacob, Manish, Hariprasadh T, Ramkundleswar, Chiranjeevi,

Prabhakar, Daniel Boppuri, Jumat Kumar, Shylaja Krishnamurthy, C K Kulkarni, Lokesh

Kanchan Kitthur, Parameshwarappa, Pradeep T S, Suresh Amin, Nayana T D, P L Srinivas, Sandhya H M,

Rambabu, Veeresh, Mala, Vishwajeet, K Hemanth Kumar, Lalit Singh, Sujit Kumar

Pune: Kalpesh Dagwar, Maqsood Khan, Chanchalkumar G Gilda

Testimonials

Here’s what few of our volunteers had to say about the wish-fulfilment drive:

  • I was deeply touched by the cause and the huge vacuum that we have to fill. I will be glad to be associated with such initiatives and am honoured to be a volunteer.
  • The happiness and smiles the kids had on their faces brought tears to my eyes. It was a delight to volunteer at the Wish Fulfilment event. This was my first volunteering experience and I will cherish it for a lifetime. Hope to be part of such programs soon.
  • We could see smiles for those little moments among the children and their parents. We could understand the pain they were going through and we should do more such events to lend our hand in their hour of crisis. I was happy to bring hope and confidence to their lives in whichever small way possible.  Thank you for enabling us to be a part of this volunteering activity.

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Cipla Brings Together A Dream Run Team For Tata Mumbai Marathon 2018

At Cipla, our purpose is ‘Caring For Life’ and Cipla Foundation takes this commitment beyond medicines to touch lives in the community. Cipla marathoners support the foundation’s cause every year at the Mumbai Marathon. In 2017, they officially carried our message at the Mumbai Marathon for the first time.

Here’s a glimpse of our debut at the Mumbai Marathon last year.

Tata Mumbai Marathon 2018

This year, Cipla has brought together a Dream Run team which will carry Cipla Foundation’s message of caring for life to the community.

Here’s Samina Vaziralli, Executive Vice Chairman, Cipla, on what it means for Cipla Foundation to be associated with Tata Mumbai Marathon 2018.

Rumana Hamied, CEO, Cipla Foundation, on what it means for Cipla Foundation to be associated with Tata Mumbai Marathon, 2018.

Here’s what few participants have to say about running for Cipla Foundation.

Here’s some action straight from the marathon.

 

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Say YES To Boost Your Child’s Immunity

Every parent’s worst nightmare is a sick child at home. It is estimated that an urban kid in India falls sick every month on average, leading to an enormous emotional and physical toll on both the child and the parent, not to mention days off from school and work for both.

There is a huge unmet need for immunity-building pharmaceuticals for children in India. Many of the products in the market claim to help children grow taller, or put on weight, etc., but very few of them aim to help build immunity. Children in India are prone to anaemia and vitamin deficiencies due to several reasons like improper diet, lack of exercise, etc. As a result, children fall ill more often due to low immunity and this has a lasting impact in the growth and development of the child.

Illness to wellness

In line with our credo of #CaringForLife,’ we, at Cipla, have always aspired to find ways to meaningfully improve consumer lives. Our team, therefore, undertook the challenge to create a product that could build strength from within and help children move away from illness to wellness.

Our biggest challenge was to create a wellness product in a format that kids will look forward to consuming, without compromising on the ingredients and the efficacy. The challenge of appeasing both the children and the adults was a daunting one. We met with hundreds of paediatricians and mothers; the doctors gave us ideas about the gap the product needed to fill, and the mothers gave us insights into the format the product should take.

We developed a unique product – Immunoboosters that tackled this particular problem of low immunity in children. It had the goodness of immune-boosting ingredients and it looked and tasted like a piece of chocolate. Immunoboosters gives up to 100% RDA (required dietary allowance) of key immunity nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B9, vitamin C, and iron.

Launched about a year ago, the innovative chocolate bites format was an immediate hit with children and parents alike. Moms were happy with Immunoboosters as it came with the quality assurance from the House of Cipla and children loved it enough to ask for it, which made it infinitely easier on the parent. It does not have to be administered like medicine; children can consume Immunoboosters by themselves. Even paediatricians endorse it, saying it will help build immunity in the child. We have been hearing a lot of compliments from mothers and paediatricians alike and we genuinely feel we are improving the lives of our consumers.

#YesMom: Changing perceptions

A child grows up hearing ‘No’ more often that yes – no going out if it’s raining, no eating street food, no eating cold food, etc. That’s because Indian mothers are known for saying ‘No’ to anything that might even have a slightly adverse impact on their child’s health. The #YesMom campaign by #CiplaHealth aims to change this perception. With the #YesMom campaign, we want to reassure the mother that her kid is not going to fall sick. The #YesMom campaign focusses on creating confidence in the mother that her child is inherently strong from within and can withstand the rigours of everyday life. Children with higher immunity levels fall sick less often and are thus able to lead fuller and happier lives. A #YesMom can raise healthier and happier kids; such children are enthusiastic, optimistic and more importantly have a positive outlook in life.

Read more about the #YesMom movement here.

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Mifitness: A Comprehensive And Holistic Mind & Body Wellness Program

We are committed to the well-being of our associates, both at the workplace and at home. Our comprehensive wellness philosophy iCare: My Wellbeing-My Responsibility,  includes initiatives around physical, mental and financial wellness. Whilst Cipla continues to provide multiple avenues and platforms for holistic well-being, we urge our associates to take the first step towards investing in self.

Under the aegis of our wellness philosophy, iCare, we launched ‘Mi-Fitness’, a holistic mind and body wellness program. We are partnering with “Breathe Well-Being” a comprehensive well-being solutions provider in this journey.

Mi-Fitness through a variety of online and offline activities aims to build a fitter, healthier and therefore a happier Cipla.

 

Our associates can use the Breathe Well-being mobile app to attend in-office workshops, track physical activity, work towards health goals, get guidance from health experts on the app and in the office, and get an assessment on their progress – all while pursuing healthy competition with peers. Associates can learn and teach more about a healthy lifestyle through the ever-buzzing social feed.

The activities and offerings under the program:

  • In-office workshops to achieve wellness goals at work
  • Best gym memberships in a nearby area
  • Nutritional Counselling to improve diet habits
  • Guided Meditation audio tracks for a mindful and stress-free life
  • Step Up Competition to get employees moving
  • Team Selfie Challenge to promote fun at work
  • Online social feed to share health journey
  • Health and Wellness Quiz to test knowledge
  • Breathe Age to assess current health levels

 

Here’s a glimpse of our in-office sessions:

‘Caring for Life’ is our purpose and it is what we live by. iCare @ Cipla, extends wellbeing solutions to more than 24000 associates around mental health (Work-Life Assistance Program), Financial health (Winvestor and other programs) and Mind & Body wellbeing through MiFitness.

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