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Ab InBev CEO on hand sanitizer production and donation during COVID-19 crisis

April 05, 2020 00:00 AM UTC
- Updated April 30, 2020 17:40 PM UTC

Carlos Brito says the company has an "obligation to the community."

so good to see you again, burrito. And thank you so much for joining us to talk about the great things that you and your company have been doing during the Corona virus crisis. Uh, you know, when people think of Anheuser Busch InBev, you know, they think. But whether Beers and Niccolo, I guess crowd, you can add hand sanitizers tell us a little bit about how you and your company were able to mobilized so quickly to convert your factories to produce and bottle and donate thousands of bottles of hand sanitizers all around the world. How did you pull it off? Susie's first Thanks for having me. It's great to be here. You're right that we're living in precedent times. I mean, everybody's having to be very creative if there's one thing that's very special, but our business is that we are a local business. We manufacture cell 95% of what we produced locally, so we we buy raw materials locally. We hired our colleges locally produced locally, sell back to the community. So they connected with the community. And that's why we decided to look at the communities and see what waas what were their needs. And we saw that hand sanitizers, water, trucks, hospital beds you know, the Red Cross deal that way, helping them with blood drives, supporting our clubs and restaurants. So I mean, all those things are part of being a local business part of the communities and trying to be seen as always, as without a history of this, as part of the solution to issue that community facing That's our responsibility. Yeah, and actually, you have come to the rescue in so many other crises. Even recently when Tennessee was going through the tornadoes, you jumped in, and we're providing cans off water for everybody who who needed it. What is it about the culture of a B. InBev that you're always quick to mobilize and come up with some kind of humanitarian response? Well, because again, we understand that we're part of the community and I understand, because of the logistic of production sites, the inventory we can put right next to disaster relief areas that we have an obligation and we've done that forever, that always trying to put a solution. I was trying to be part of our college that live in the community, right? are consumers that live in the communities, our customers, but also part of the community. So again, it all comes back to the fact that dear is a very community connected business again. More than 95% of always sell is produced and sold back to the community and our colleagues leaving that community as well because she was in our customers. So that's where I think it all came from. It is, I get that we have the people is always the most important thing. Our people, our community, consumers, customers. So you have operations all around the world, and I'm sure in one way or another everybody was impacted by coded 19. But in China now, where you do a big business, all the breweries are open for business. You're 100% operational. Tell us a little bit about the transition, how how's it going? And give us some insights about what we can expect here in the U. S. When Americans come out of lock down, What might it be like? You know, says you at your last of your important question, because that's one of the benefits of being a global company. China was ahead of the curve and chips off stages of this pandemic. And now we're seeing China recovering. So the customers are opening up. Restaurants are opening up. Consumers are going back to their normal lives little by little. So and because China wasn't this kind of crisis in February, already with the lot sounds, we instituted protocols in our facilities in the communities. We learned how to be help for the communities, and that tool kit of learnings that was generated in our business in China and South Korea's well were transplanted to the whole world. So now when the disease started to go into Europe in the North American L South America, you know Africa, we have business and all continents. We've been able to use the learning from our Asian college, be a Chinese calling South Korean college and apply those learnings to different stages. The different countries are going through. So, for example, not only in China instituted protocols to be able to operate our business and keep our people in terms of health and safety totally protected, do even more than what the doublet show. And here, the CDC in the West AARP recognizing, uh so our standards air ahead of that. But I also understand how consumers change behaviors during and after the crisis. So, for example, consumers, of course, Whatmore contactless delivery. They went Maur e commerce. They're going from pubs and restaurants to supermarkets and grocery stores in He had to adapt our supply chain, Suzie very quickly in terms of backs, redeploy our people from channel to channel. So are consumers could find our products on shelves so they could have a little bit of normalcy in their life? Our lives would be in effect in so many ways. I think it's only fair to consumers to go to the supermarket and find their favorite brands in stuck. That gives them a little bit of comfort when they go back home. I understand burrito that you do not lay off the single employee during this Corbett 19 crisis, so it's great that all 170,000 of your employees still have job. But there are millions of other people who have been laid off at other companies. So where did they go once Kobe 19 crisis is over. Well, I think first they're gonna be redeployed or re employed by the their own companies if the companies are still around and I think a lot of them will be because the government's trying to help companies go through this crisis and they'll be these locations. For example, consumers are buying more line. There'll be more, maybe more jobs online, you know. But I'm sure the restaurants and bars and all that will come back. The performance will be different with the concentration of people at first will not be in the same. People will be comfortable by being too close to each other. But as people come up with that scenes in other ways of treating the disease, the world will continue. You know, I would tend to be very optimistic. The world has seen many crisis in the past, and yes, there were some some healing that goes until people get confidence again but attended the day. People still like to do the things they always like to do, which is to meet each other, go to restaurant travel and all that. There still will be a lot of people who will be displaced for some reason or another. There Cos. Just couldn't take it back because there have been so much lot of revenue. So with bills, people not having paychecks, they're not gonna be the one who are making purchases like cars and houses were going on going on vacation. What will this mean for the global economy in 2020? What's your prediction? How do you see things playing out for the rest of this year? Well, Susie were Brewer's, not economists, but the only you know, it's hard to predict, but the only hint can have is what I see in China and South Korea. What I saw there is that there was strictly enforced for Ahmad. Let's put it this way, rounding for a month and then little by little different provinces that were in different stages green, yellow and red started going back to business in. A lot of our customers that were there before are here now in the reopening. So that's still only model I have in my mind. And that's what we use it for. The rest of role that this lot down will take two weeks, three weeks for weeks, and then things will start going back to normal. If that's the scenario, we think it could be a V shaped recovery because governments are getting sentenced for businesses to keep people employed for that period of time a month, two months. So then the economy should be able to recover faster. But we'll have to see. But that's the only hint we have by observing what's happening in Asia.