Robi and Prima launch Factory Social Score in Bangladesh

Dhaka, 29 November 2021: Robi Axiata Limited (“Robi”) and PrimaDollar Operations Limited (“Prima”) have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly promote and deliver their globally-recognized metrics, including the “Factory Social Score”, to thousands of working factories in the country with a view to enhance Bangladesh’s standing in the global market.

As part of the MoU, Robi will be the telecom partner of Prima in Bangladesh to offer connectivity and devices to Prima’s factory workers who provide the data upon which the Factory Social Score is derived, and also to support them with device and data connectivity for the social score surveys that are involved.

Robi’s Chief Enterprise Business Officer, Md. Adil Hossain Noble and Prima’s Country Manager for Bangladesh, Munawar Uddin signed the agreement recently on behalf of their respective organizations at the head office of Prima. Prima’s Group CEO, Tim Nicolle, and Group COO, Guy Willans joined the signing ceremony from London over an online platform.

Robi’s Vice President, Enterprise Business, Abul Kalam Mohammad Nazmul Islam, General Manager, Enterprise Business, Mohammad Monerul Islam, Manager, Enterprise Business, Mohammad Sanjid Parvez, and Prima’s Business Development Manager, Md Sobhan Chowdhury were present at the signing ceremony.

Factory Social Scores are increasingly being required by large buyers and their financiers in order to manage their legal, regulatory and brand responsibilities in home markets, especially with respect to the way that workers are being treated in their supply chains. This is a major part of the global initiatives to address issues with ESG (“Environmental, Social and Governance” matters). In this context, the Factory Social Score presents the social and governance credentials of a factory based upon information provided directly by its workers.

Information is collected via an app that factory workers, with the support of the factory management, install on their mobile ‘phones or which is gathered directly in factory via kiosks. It is a continuous monitoring system that surveys workers’ views across seven important social categories, including: pay, conditions, safety and treatment. Worker responses are anonymous. Their responses are used in real-time, together with other information, to create the Factory Social Score which then forms part of the automated flow of data supporting every shipment that the factory makes.

Tim Nicolle, Group CEO of Prima, commented from London, “The support of Robi on the ground in Bangladesh makes a huge difference to the success of the Factory Social Score. Bangladesh is a market where many workers work on a daily basis and many may also not have smart phones. Robi has agreed to provide us with the local infrastructure needed to reach all workers via a physical presence based upon their network – making sure that all factory workers have an opportunity to have their voice heard.”

Md. Adil Hossain Noble, Chief Enterprise Business Officer of Robi commented that “We are happy to note that Bangladesh is one of the early adopters of the innovative metrics for assessing the social and governance credentials of a factory with the Factory Social Score. We are truly delighted to be associated with this initiative and to provide support to Prima’s efforts to showcase our well-regulated and professional factories and their skilled workforces. This will help us to deliver new levels of transparency and clarity to our international customers, showing that Bangladesh is ready to lead the way on the global agenda on environmental, social and governance issues.”

Prima is the leading global provider of data collection services in support of international trade. Prima has built the social score app which runs on its trade finance infrastructure. The app is being launched across Bangladesh and a number of major factory groups have already signed up as pilot sites, with the support and encouragement of their international buyers.