The philosophy of public philanthropy has been around in the 180 years old family owned conglomerate, Anwar Group of Industries (AGI), from even before its inception in 1834. Not only has AGI played a pioneering role in promoting corporate and entrepreneurial culture in Bangladesh, it has also played a major role in spreading the idea of Corporate Social Responsibility in the country. In a study sponsored by the British High Commission and conducted by Reed Consulting Bangladesh Ltd. (a member of the British Business Group (BBG)) on the CSR culture among member companies of DCCI, AGI was deemed to have had an exemplary culture of conducting CSR activities. AGI strongly believes that taking care of its employees and giving back to the society have played a vital part in establishing the company as one of the oldest, largest and most diversified industrial groups operating in the country.
HOME IS WHERE IT ALL BEGINS...
At the heart of AGI’s CSR activities is the deep rooted conviction, towards people and society at large, that emanates from the values that has been in the family for many centuries. The practice of Family based charity has been passed down from generations to generations and welfare initiatives from an individual level was always encouraged and commended leading to a strong culture of magnanimity. The recipient of such largesse were relatives and local people in need of assistance, both financial and otherwise, for a range of taxing activities such as initiating a new business or organizing the wedding of a female family member.
GIVING IT AN ORGANIZATION FRAMEWORK
In 1945, Azad Muslim Club was established acknowledging the fact that organizational structure to any activity promotes empowerment of individuals, relieving of burdens and ease of expansion through collaborative synergy. Azad Muslim Club was registered as an NGO in 1961 with the Joint Stock Company and was later renamed as Azad Muslim Welfare Complex (AMWC) in 1984. Currently spearheading over 50 projects, AMWC has been primarily focused on providing assistance regarding education and healthcare matters to the disadvantaged and paid special attention to the needs of women. AMWC also has the rare privilege of being recognized by the Department of Information, United Nations as a reputed charitable organization in 1988.Mr. Anwar Hossain, the chairman of Anwar Group of Industries, takes pride in being the chief patron of the organization and hopes to continue to be a leading contributor to the society through AMWC.
FROM FAMILY VALUES TO CORPORATE ETHOS OF ANWAR GROUP
Anwar Group of Industries, sensing the need for an entity dedicated towards promoting and conducting CSR as a part of the industrial group, established the Alhaj Anwar Hossain Foundation. The organization was accordingly registered with the Office of Registrar of Joint Stock Company and Firms on the 3rd of September 2003 under the registration number S-3313(102)/203. Alhaj Anwar Hossain Foundation has since been acting as the “CSR wing” of the groupfunded solely by the individual contribution made by the companies working under AGI.
Alhaj Anwar Hossain Foundation strives to make the society a better one through its involvement in AMWC as the primary, most significant sponsor of Azad Muslim Welfare Complex (AMWC). The foundation also funds other charitable organizations and projects that could have a positive impact on the society. One of AGI’s core visions have been to provide better employment opportunities to the public and as part of that vision AGI offers scholarships for the education purposes of the children of its employees through the Alhaj Anwar Hossain Foundation. Anwar Group wants to see the children of the workers come back to the company, not as unskilled workers but as expert engineers and managers .