Villagers in the Indian village of Snapdeal.com Nagar (formerly Shiv Nagar) used to walk over three kilometers for something most people took for granted: clean water. They no longer have to, thanks to the kind gesture of Kunal Bahl, Snapdeals CEO.
According to the company’s blog, during a brainstorming session a staff member related the lack of water in his native village. The company donated 15 hand pumps. “It cost us $5,000 max, but it was quite life-changing for residents there,” said Kunal.
And as a token of appreciation, the villagers renamed the village after Snapdeal.
Some questioned the company’s sincerity, calling the gesture a marketing tactic, especially with Snapdeal’s logo on each of the pumps. In response, the company said, “Few asked us, is it a marketing or PR gimmick? All we can say is that, time will show our commitment to this project and even the things we do in future.”
Does it matter whether this was done sincerely or for publicity’s sake? The village got what it needed most, and the sponsor get some publicity, intentionally or not. Everyone wins. I wouldn’t mind if more corporations started cutting budgets for conventional marketing and allocating it for charitable causes.