The Power of People coming Forward - Mohammed Jonayed Ahmed Jewel, General Manager, Epyllion

"I believe in giving. This society and planet owes me something. I must give it what it owes me". Read how just one man's philosophy is transforming a community.

Today we are interviewing Mohammed Jonayed Ahmed Jewel, Head of Marketing & Merchandising, Epyllion Group. Let's look at how one man has the power to transform communities - just by doing his bit.

Epyllion Foundation

Sir, What does CSR mean to you? Why should a company practice CSR?

Mohammed Jonayed Ahmed Jewel

Look, I am a human being at first. Before I think about company CSR, I should have perceived this practice within myself. Then, Let's talk about Epyllion's philosophy. Epyllion is not here in the market to make money only. Of course, Money comes into the scene as we are doing business here, but this is not the only thing you will see here. 

We focus on sustainability. We are using this planet to prosper but we need to think about the upcoming generation too. If you do not perform your duty to save the environment, the environment will take revenge to save itself. In our company, we have around 20 thousands people. Together we try to put a good sign for the next generation, that's how this country will continue its prosperity in future too. We deal with 13-14 customers, and we never follow what are the CSR activities required to make our customers happy, rather we follow what is our very responsibility to the society. This is the philosophy of our Managing Director Reaz Uddin Al Mamun sir also. 

We think CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility is something that comes from inside. If you do it by being forced that is not actual CSR work. 


 

Epyllion Foundation

I heard that you’re involved in types of CSR activities. Can you give us some ideas about your field of interests? 

Mohammed Jonayed Ahmed Jewel

Sure. I believe in giving. This society and planet owes me something. I must give it what it owes me. I was inspired by the Epyllion Foundation. There was a time I was working so hard, but couldn't make an effort to involve in CSR activities, because I was not earning enough even for my own family. Now I've got the minimum wages to bear my family expenses and I've got more time beyond my office work, So I decided to do more CSR activities. 

I installed a tubewell in my village, which gives the passers by fresh water, I also took the responsibility to repair it. As long as I repair it, people will benefit from it. And from a religious point of view, I regularly take part in mosques and madrasas.

However, my ideology has changed at different times. There was a time when someone would come to me asking for money in the name of illness and I would give him money. But maybe he doesn't do treatment with that money. A year later he came to me again to collect money for the same disease. From then on I changed my mind. I am now involved in seeing a doctor, being hospitalized, buying medicine and bearing all the expenses. My father, on the other hand, was quite interested in the Masjid-Madrasa. He advised me to do so before his death. I try to keep his word. Again I bear the cost of books, stationery, school admission for the poor meritorious students of my village. I also help by buying chairs, tables, fans etc. for our village school. I help with money to plant trees in the area. I've been doing CSR on a small scale for so long, so I haven't had any problems doing it. But now there are many problems when it comes to working on a large scale.

I want to share another story. A boy named Rubel is from our village. He came to me one day and told me that he and his friend wanted to start a blood donation organization. I was very happy, and I helped him. Now he has managed blood for about 253 people. He has tested the blood groups of more than 1,000 people and is building a database of villagers on his own computer. Now everyone in our upazila and its adjoining upazila knows Rubel by name. Anyone who needs blood comes to Rubel. Pregnant mothers in rural areas, especially those suffering from malnutrition, Rubel helps them manage the blood,  if they need it during delivery.

I like working for young people. We have a club in our village. There are different types of sports including cricket and football. But now we have to face various political problems while working on a large scale.

The whole philosophy of my work has come from Mamun Sir. I wonder if the Epyllion Foundation can do it on a large scale, why can't I do it on a small scale. I have set up a foundation myself, which has no paperwork. Registration has not been done yet.


Epyllion Foundation

Can you please tell me the name of the foundation?

Mohammed Jonayed Ahmed Jewel

Sure, It’s Ali Azam Foundation. The foundation was named after my father. He died in 2011. He was a famous sportsman in our area. Used to play football. 

My wife is also involved in CSR activities. He built the road using unused concrete in my house. My younger brother is also involved. I paid for planting trees in the village, he made all the arrangements to plant the trees. Delivering trees from house to house, how much to build a loft. I want to be involved in small things like this, because at the end of the day I can't take anything with me. So I want to give more than take. 


Epyllion Foundation

Can you please tell me the name of your village?

Mohammed Jonayed Ahmed Jewel

The name of our village is Chandala. It is under two upazilas. Burichang and Brahmanpara. It is under 5 parliamentary seats in Comilla. I studied from Chandla K B High School. I did Intermediate from Titumir College, I did Honors in Marketing from Dhaka Commerce College, then I did Masters from Dhaka City College. 


Epyllion Foundation

When did you start all this social work on your own initiative?

Mohammed Jonayed Ahmed Jewel

I started in 2015 on my own initiative. However, it started on a large scale from 2016-17. I used to do it religiously. I had to pay zakat, so I would pay.

Now a lot has changed inside. Through zakat, I could help 100-200 people in a short range and not make much of an impact. And the amount of zakat is also quite low. Only 2.5% of my total income. When I got economic freedom, I came out of that idea. I noticed this change even better when my father died. His death has changed me. I thought I should go too. So I don't think about money anymore. I want to help people.