Wednesday, 25 February 2015

How LG is giving the children of West Pokot a new chance at life, one fridge at a time

In Kenya’s arid north, decades of neglect by successive governments have created a difficult living environment in which problems come in multiples.So if it is not the scorching conditions that make life unbearable and the land unproductive unless it is irrigated, there is the incessant insecurity in a heavily militarized environment in which some communities and their cross-border neighbors still regard cattle theft as a mandatory rite of passage for their youth. 

An LG Official receives a gift from a West Pokot resident.
Add to this the generally sparse infrastructure, which is characterized by poor roads and low coverage by grid electricity and you have a scenario where, in Shakespearean parlance, life is often “nasty, short and brutish.” And this grim prospect has not spared the most vulnerable and powerless part of the population: the children of West Pokot and their mothers.

It was some of these “wrongs” that LG sought to rectify when it made a donation of five solar-powered refrigerators to World Vision, a non-governmental organization (NGO) active in the area, last November. The fridges were meant for the use of some seven health facilities which were then having difficulties in keeping their stock of food and vaccines fresh and usable. The immediate target was to offer a cold chain to store vaccines to enable more children under the age of five to get immunization. Also targeted in this consumer driven partnership were pregnant and lactating mothers.

The solar-powered refrigerators are a powerful example of demand-driven innovation by LG to provide answers to real problems in society and also active collaboration with communities to provide sustainable answers to such challenges. Besides most parts of West Pokot County being off the national electricity grid, even those that are served, like other parts of Kenya, are prone to long outages and erratic supply.  In such a situation, ordinary refrigerators are likely to be of no use. But West Pokot has at least something going for it; long spells of hot sunshine that can be harnessed through the technology provided by LG, to ensure that the children of West Pokot and their mothers have a more realistic stab at life than was hitherto possible.

Available statistics from the Government provide a picture of real need. Out of every 100 children born in the vast and arid county, only 56 get immunized, a level that is way below the thresholds set by the World Health Organization (WHO). In tandem, infant and under-five mortality remain relatively high.When LG unveiled its Power Cut Evercool refrigerator, which gives users seven hours of cooling in the fridge compartment and 10 hours of the same in the freezer without power, it was easy to imagine that the firm had reached the apex of its innovation. But not so LG. The solar-powered fridge is a major improvement on the Power Cut Evercool variant and evidence, if ever any was needed, that innovation is a constant, indeed a way of life at LG.In a country where immunization campaigns, especially against contagious diseases like Tetanus and Polio, have almost become constant due to regular outbreaks, the solar-powered fridge is just what the doctor ordered for counties like West Pokot. And with it, the children of this county have received a new, more realistic chance at life and for the community, it’s very future.

IC Bank Launches New Leasing Subsidiary

Listed lender NIC Bank has opened a new leasing subsidiary, NIC Leasing Limited Liability Partnership, in a bid to tap into the growing opportunities in the leasing market.

The introduction of NIC Leasing is a natural evolution for NIC Bank which has a strong heritage in Asset Financing. The subsidiary will now enable the group to offer customers the asset, their financing solutions as well as insurance through their Bancassurance subsidiary.

The Bank received approvals from the Central Bank of Kenya to set up the subsidiary in December 2014. The operating model employed by NIC Leasing LLP is unique and a first in the domestic market. The model will see NIC Bank partnering with Mercantile Finance, another wholly owned subsidiary of the bank.

NIC Bank Group Managing Director John Gachora said the move to set up the new subsidiary fits into the Bank’s aggressive growth strategy, especially in the Asset Finance space, which has become very competitive over the last few years.

“Leasing is slowly gaining traction in the Kenyan market. Recent leasing initiatives by the Government are a positive move towards growing the market and we are confident that NIC Group is well positioned to support this growing market,” said Mr Gachora.

Leasing is catching on in Kenya with the Government taking the lead especially in the leasing of motor vehicles and medical equipment. Leasing offers companies various advantages including optimised cash flow management by freeing up capital which can be invested in other areas of the business.

NIC Bank’s Executive Director, Corporate Banking, Alan Dodd, said the subsidiary will mainly be looking at assets such as motor vehicles as well as focusing on leasing equipment in the FMCG, Construction and Healthcare sector.

“Previously we would link customers with leasing companies and provide the financing. With NIC Leasing we are now able to provide the equipment and the financing all under one roof.

Through NIC Leasing we intend to offer professional services to our customers from inception, during the lease and at the end,” said Mr Dodd.
NIC Bank worked with renowned international leasing consultant Sudhir Amembal to set up the subsidiary.

Friday, 13 February 2015

LG to sponsor 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup

LG Electronics (LG) announced today that it will sponsor the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup 2015 as the global partner of the ICC. As one of the biggest sports competitions in the world, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 will take place in Australia and New Zealand from February 14 to March 29 with 14 teams from countries including Australia, India, UAE, and UK. A supporter of ICC since 1999, LG will expand marketing activities around the ICC Cricket World Cup to raise interest in the sport beyond the Commonwealth.

To mark the biggest event in cricket, LG kicked off the “LG 100 Greatest Fans” campaign. Through this campaign, LG will give 14 winners from across the 14 participating countries the chance to travel to Melbourne to see the final match on March 29. Winners were selected based on photos, videos and messages submitted to the official website at The names of the 100 Greatest Fans will be engraved on the benches at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, New Zealand, the venue for the opening match. And LG will contribute USD 50,000 toward the national youth team of the country with the most passionate supporters.

This year marks the 17th year of LG’s partnership with international cricket,” said Wayne Park, executive vice president and head of LG Electronics Global Sales and Marketing Company. “As the long-term partner of the ICC, we wanted to reward the passion shown by cricket fans by bringing them together to share in the love of the sport and contribute to the success of the Cricket World Cup this year.”

To further celebrate the Cricket World Cup competition, LG is also coordinating more localized programs that appeal to the specific demands of cricket fans in each of the 14 participating countries.

LG is a proud sponsor of sports teams, leagues and international tournaments world over, including Bayer 04 Leverkusen of the German Bundesliga, LA Dodgers and Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball (MLB) as well as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in North America, and the LG Cup International Women’s Baseball Tournament.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

LG recognised one of the most sustainable corporations

LG Electronics has been named one the world’s most sustainable corporations by two leading research organizations, earning the top honor in its industry sector in both the 2015 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World Index from Corporate Knights and the 2015 Sustainability Yearbook from RobecoSAM.

The 2015 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World index, produced by Corporate Knights (, recognizes the top overall sustainability performers in their respective industrial sectors. Considered the Gold Standard in corporate sustainability analysis, the 2015 Global 100 singled out LG as the only honoree in the Household Durables sector, while the company’s overall ranking improving significantly to 51st in 2015 from 82nd in 2014. Global 100 companies are scored on 12 quantitative key performance indicators that range from energy and water use, to product leadership and operational excellence to employee compensation and tax strategy.

In its 2015 Sustainability Yearbook, RobecoSAM ( honored LG with the top prize, the Gold Medal designation, in the highly competitive Leisure and Consumer Electronics category. RobecoSAM, which also works with S&P Dow Jones Indices to publish the globally recognized Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, named LG as one of only a handful of companies to be both a “Sustainability Leader” and “Sustainability Mover” in the 2015 Sustainability Yearbook. Companies that are recognized are evaluated on a wide range of factors, including economics, innovation, supply chain management, elimination of hazardous substances, energy efficient products, product stewardship and recycling, labor practices and stakeholder engagement.
LG believes that forward thinking companies that adapt positively to a sustainable business agenda will be tomorrow’s leaders,” said Choong-hak Lee, executive vice president at LG Electronics. “We believe strongly in leaving as small an environment footprint as possible as we continue to develop lifestyle solutions for consumers and the residents of the communities in which we operate. We are honored to receive this recognition for our efforts.”