Alumni social enterprises support vulnerable communities during coronavirus outbreak
Nottingham University Business School MBA alumni in Malaysia and Sri Lanka have been deploying their social enterprises to support some of the most vulnerable communities and key frontline workers during the coronavirus outbreak.
S.T Rubaneswaran (MBA 2004) is CEO of Knowledgecom Corporation, a Kuala Lumpur based company that primarily specialises in providing IT training to upskill the Malaysian workforce. In 2015 Ruban won the Young Indian Entrepreneur Award from the Malaysian Indian Entrepreneur Cooperative in 2015 and was awarded the Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur in 2016.
Combining his business acumen with a passion for supporting marginalised and displaced communities, Ruban invested in Masala Wheels - a social enterprise that trains school dropouts from underprivileged backgrounds to develop careers in the food and beverage industry through its restaurant in Petaling Jaya (PJ), a satellite township close to KL.
A little over a week ago, Masala Wheels launched the FoodWithoutBorders campaign. Working with more than 30 different stakeholders and an army of volunteers, they have provided over 6000 meals for students, hospital frontliners, poor households, welfare homes for the aged and children, refugees, and some of PJ's most vulnerable communities.
- Zarina Suleymanova (MBA 2014) runs Sassoroso - an upmarket Italian eatery and wine retailer in Kuala Lumpur. The restaurant has been ensuring a welcome supply of traditional homemade pizza to frontline staff in the city centre.
- Sameeta Sparks (MBA 2010) is behind Virtual Health Angels - an innovative social enterprise linking arts, health and well-being. They have been running webinars on self development, mindfulness and coping with these unprecedented times.
- James Wong (MBA 2014) is CEO of major Malaysian based construction and property development company - Mudujaya Group Berhad. They have been providing sanitisers to the police supervising road blocks.
- Patrick Ling (MBA 2013) is Managing Director at Longbow Solutions, a provider of self-service kiosk and automatic fare collection technology throughout South East Asia. Through his local church, he has been helping low income families to buy food and groceries.
Recently graduated MBA alumnus Chris Jonathan has been harnessing his family business foundation - Ram Social Services Foundation - to help low income families in the country. For over two decades ago the Foundation has been catering to the needs of under privileged, initiating projects which include education, health, social welfare and self employment. At times of calamity the foundation actively participates in relief work taking into consideration the affected areas. They are now sourcing and supplying basic food items like rice, dhal, legumes, and dried fish to vulnerable people impacted by the pandemic.
We salute and thank all Nottingham alumni and everyone who has come together in an incredible spirit of generosity to support others less fortunate during this crisis.
Posted on Wednesday 1st April 2020