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PepsiCo and UNDP sign MoU to assist youth into the workforce


  December 21, 2018; Islamabad, Pakistan: PepsiCo Pakistan and the United Nations Development Programme in Pakistan (UNDP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Islamabad today. Krista Pilot, PepsiCo Vice President Corporate Affairs for Asia, Middle East and North Africa (AMENA) and Ignacio Artaza, UNDP Country Director, signed the MoU, which provides a framework of cooperation and facilitate and strengthen collaboration between the two to assist young people into the workforce. As highlighted by UNDP Pakistan’s National Human Development Report, more than 29% of country’s population consists of young people between the ages of 15-29 years, who live in an environment of multidimensional and intersectional vulnerabilities to these challenges. Pakistan’s ‘youth bulge’ offers unique opportunities for the country’s social and economic uplift. Both UNDP Pakistan and PepsiCo have programmes aimed at harnessing the latent potential that this youth bulge presents.   UNDP’s ‘Kamyab Jawan Pakistan or the Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP) aims at creating opportunities for knowledge, skills and leadership development; active citizen and policy engagement; and economic empowerment while creating alternative and constructive narratives, pathways and opportunities that interest, influence and drive youth and other key stakeholders, including PepsiCo to further the Agenda 2030. As one of Pakistan’s leading food and beverage companies, PepsiCo has been part of the nation’s business community for over 50 years. Together with its franchised bottling partners and distributors, the company creates more than 60,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities for Pakistani citizens, and further supports rural economies by maintaining local supply chains for products such as Lay’s and Kurkure. PepsiCo Pakistan recognizes the need to support the country’s growing young population as they come into the workforce. The partnership with UNDP aims to facilitate opportunities for young people to develop desirable job skills, such as communication, teamwork, time-management and leadership, to increase their potential for successful employment. PepsiCo will work with UNDP to ensure program participants will include youth from the areas of Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. PepsiCo’s initial investment will enable the Amal Academy, a Lahore-based NGO, to conduct a pilot skills development program with 1,000 young adults from these priority provinces in 2019. The program will be facilitated at local university campuses through weekend classes run over a three-month period.  Following the learnings from the pilot, the aim is to scale the program to include up to 50,000 young adults over five to ten years. Since 2013, Amal Academy has successfully trained university students in soft skills that are highly sought-after by industry experts. “Through our partnership with UNDP, PepsiCo is proud to be taking actions that will help to fulfil the great potential we see in Pakistan’s young people,” said Ms. Pilot. “Supporting youth, who account for over 60% of Pakistan’s population, is in PepsiCo’s DNA and builds on our history of supporting young people’s ambitions in cricket and music.” “The signing of this MoU between UNDP and PepsiCo presents an exciting opportunity to provide badly-needed jobs to young graduates through skills training and job placement” expressed Mr. Artaza. Both parties stated their hope that this was only the beginning of a productive and beneficial partnership between the two.

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PepsiCo CEO for Asia, Middle East and North Africa meets PM


  Mike Spanos, PepsiCo chief executive officer for Asia, Middle East and North Africa (AMENA), met Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad today.  Mr. Spanos led a delegation of senior executives, which included Aamer Sheikh, chief financial officer, PepsiCo AMENA and Furqan Ahmed Syed, vice president and general manager, PepsiCo Pakistan. Demonstrating PepsiCo’s ongoing commitment to Pakistan, Mr Spanos discussed plans for the PepsiCo system to invest US$1 billion over the next five years. The Prime Minister welcomed PepsiCo’s continued investment, and Mr. Spanos extended the company’s full support to the government on its socio-economic and reform agenda. The PepsiCo delegation noted the company’s appreciation for the government’s focused efforts towards providing a positive business climate for all companies operating in Pakistan. PepsiCo has been part of the business community in Pakistan for more than fifty years. The PepsiCo system (including company-owned snacks business and franchised bottling partners and distributors) brings more than 60,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities to the citizens of Pakistan. Together, the system has invested more than US$800 million in the last five years. As one of the nation’s leading food and beverage companies, the company works with 160 Pakistani growers to purchase only locally-grown potatoes and corn for its products such as Lay’s and Kurkure. This supports an estimated 4,000 jobs while providing critical support for rural economies and empowering farmers with critical training on sustainable farming practices. Mr. Spanos extended an invitation to Prime Minister Imran Khan to inaugurate PepsiCo’s new snacks manufacturing facility in Multan early next year. The state-of-the-art facility represents an investment of US$66 million and is expected to create more than 1,500 direct and indirect employment opportunities for Pakistani citizens.   Mr. Spanos discussed the company’s support for key pillars of Prime Minister Khan’s 100 Day Plan, noting the importance of sustainable development.  The two leaders discussed the upcoming launch of two new programs to be funded by a US$1 million grant from the PepsiCo Foundation – the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo globally.  Given Pakistan’s need for clean and safe water for its citizens, PepsiCo Foundation’s grant will make safe drinking water accessible to thousands of people through the rehabilitation and installation of reverse osmosis plants.   This builds on the company’s strong record of water conservation in its locally-grown potato crops and in its snacks and beverage operations nationwide. The PepsiCo Foundation and PepsiCo Pakistan also recognize the need to support the country’s burgeoning young population.  Mr. Spanos shared with the Prime Minister the company’s plan to launch a youth skills development and leadership program that will equip the next generation to be workforce-ready and to attain meaningful employment. “Pakistan is an important market for PepsiCo AMENA. It is a country with a young and growing population, and the people of Pakistan are its greatest asset. We are proud of our 50 years of history in the country.  We have grown by taking a long-term view, making investments that respond to changing societal needs.  We strive to be a development partner with Pakistan.  We thank Prime Minister Khan for his leadership, and hope that our PepsiCo Foundation support can make a real difference in the lives of many citizens,” said Mr. Spanos.

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PepsiCo Pakistan celebrates an evening ‘With Purpose’


  What do you get when over 300 of Lahore’s socialites, influencers, corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, NGO representatives and media professionals come together to hear four remarkable youth heroes share their inspirational stories? An evening “With Purpose”! PepsiCo Pakistan organized a TED-style event titled ‘With Purpose’, where inspirational talks centered on the idea of leading lives with purpose by empowering others. The event concluded with PepsiCo announcing the launch of its youth skills program. Kanwal Ahmed, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Soul Sisters Pakistan, talked about her journey of self-awareness that led her to establish a social platform ‘for women, by women’. Benje Williams, Co-Founder, Amal Academy, narrated the story of his search for qualified talent leading him to starting a social enterprise that develops skills and competencies for university graduates. Amneh Shaikh-Farooqui, Co-Founder, Polly and Other Stories, shared her journey of setting up an enterprise that supports creative businesses and talented artisans across Pakistan to sell unique products based on local culture, aesthetics and crafts. Umair Jaliawala, Founder, Torque Corporation, spoke about how listening to his ‘calling’ at a very young age has led him to empower thousands of people.  The evening started with PepsiCo Pakistan unveiling its Pakistan corporate video produced by the AMENA sector communications team. The video establishes Pakistan CUs country footprint, highlights brands and the PwP agenda. At the event, Pakistan CU showcased its key initiatives driven by the Performance with Purpose agenda through a multi-panel installation placed at the center of the reception area. Guests were able to learn first-hand about the PwP agenda, and also engage with the multimedia content played on the screens. Some of the highlights included PepsiCo initiatives on developing farmers’ capabilities to improve yield and conserve water, tree plantation drives, providing green energy to under-served communities and initiatives supporting women and young girls. Furqan Ahmed Syed, General Manager and Vice President for PepsiCo Pakistan and Afghanistan, also narrated the PwP agenda during his closing comments. “It is the way we do business in PepsiCo, i.e. to focus on delivering sustainable long term growth while leaving a positive imprint on society and the environment,” he said. A specially created Wall of Purpose encouraged guests to make personal pledges and post them on the wall. Between the talks, PepsiCo screened a video produced as part of PepsiCo Pakistan’s “Celebrating our Heroes” digital campaign. The video told the story of Sara Naeem, a 2016 Circle of Champions winner who works on global and sector sustainability initiatives, while based in Pakistan. At the conclusion of the event, we shared our intent of launching a nation-wide youth skills program that will train thousands of graduates on professional skills so that they can enhance their opportunity of securing meaningful jobs. The announcement was made by Pakistan’s most beloved celebrity and youth icon, Fawad Khan. The program will be co-led by Amal Academy, a Lahore-based social enterprise that has extensive experience in the skills development space. We are ecstatic about the social media buzz generated by the endeavor; we received over 11 million combined impressions for our pages on Facebook and Instagram. More than 400 content pieces were generated on various social media platforms. This content generated a high level of overall engagement – nearly 90,000 likes, comments and shares across all platforms. Help us keep the buzz going by sharing content from our social media platforms! Follow PepsiCo Pakistan on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

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