Vento Furniture, a premium furniture company in Nigeria, has been in the news lately for its numerous CSR initiatives in Abuja and the environs. In this exclusive interview, Mubera Yigit, the director of CSR at Vento Furniture, shares insights into the organization’s policy on CSR and much more. Excerpts below:
How long has Vento Furniture operated in Nigeria?
Vento Furniture has been doing business in Nigeria for a long time. However, officially we opened our first showroom in 2016 in Abuja. It was a function of bringing quality and top-notch furniture to Nigerians. Today, we are present in Lagos and Port Harcourt as well.
The furniture business is dynamic. Most people don’t know that it involves much research before a design is brought to reality. We have to research the weather, the dynamics of living spaces, the maintenance culture of the people, and some other variables. So these considerations are imputed into the final product. I think that is why we stand out in the business today because our designs are customised to represent class, luxury and durability.
What informed the decision to engage in CSR activities?
Vento Furniture places a premium on CSR initiatives. It is an avenue through which impact can be made, and we have realized over the years that CSR is important. The feedback from all our CSR interventions gives us a reason to do more in critical areas of society.
Are there specific areas of interest for CSR interventions?
First, we plan to reach out to needy people, such as orphanages, IDP camps, public schools, public hospitals, places of worship, and others. The idea for us is to positively impact the lives of those in need and complement the government’s efforts. That is why CSR occupies a strategic place in our operations.
Our slogan is Kindness matters because it does matter in advancing the cause of humanity. CSR is a moral obligation that businesses must embrace to give back to society that allows them to succeed. CSR is a culture for us, and we are proud of our modest CSR initiatives.
How do you fund your CSR initiatives?
Vento Furniture is a big brand. We have structures in place that guide our operations. For example, some of our revenue is devoted solely to CSR. And that settles the funding aspect.
We do not see the amount spent on renovating schools or providing succor for indigent people as an issue because the overarching objective is to make a positive impact. To the glory of God, our presence has been felt in communities in and around the Federal Capital Territory and other parts of the country.
Giving back to society must be deliberate and planned. At Vento, we have a calendar for our CSR initiatives. There is also a department for CSR that looks out for places requiring attention and how to go about it. Only recently, we partnered with Abuja Enterprise Agency to provide safe and accessible water, sensitization on personal hygiene, renovation of toilets, and more in government schools within Abuja and surrounding communities.
We have had several proposals and requests for CSR interventions. Of course, we have an in-house screening mechanism that places some of these requests in the order of necessity and priority.
What benefits does the organization derive from CSR initiatives?
The satisfaction that comes with advancing the cause of humanity can’t be quantified. For us, it is about giving back to society, which occupies a strategic position in our operational strategy, and we are passionate about it. Our desire as an organization is to make a tangible impact in Nigeria’s health and educational sector.”
Public schools and health centers need attention. Improving health and education outcomes is not the government’s responsibility alone. The private sector has a role to play in CSR initiatives. The aim is to be a socially responsible organization by looking beyond company profits and focusing on benefiting the greater community.