The apex body of cooperatives in the country NCUI organized an ambitious Webinar on ‘Importance of Social Media in Cooperatives’ on 4th June, 2021. As there is very low-level awareness of social media among cooperatives, the objective of the Webinar was to highlight the impact social media interventions can make.
Led by NCUI President Dileep Sanghani, the Webinar was attended by the representatives of several cooperative organizations including Amul, IFFCO, SEWA, Saraswat Bank, ICA-AP, among others.
In his Presidential address Sanghani said that though many cooperative organizations have entered the field of social media, the number is far less compared to private organizations. “If the cooperatives have to compete in the market economy, they must strengthen their communications, in which the role of social media will be vital”, he underlined.
Sanghani felt that cooperatives should highlight their success stories on social media; especially the success stories of farmers be regularly posted for the world to appreciate the Indian farm scene.
Earlier, Dr Sudhir Mahajan, CE of NCUI in his opening remarks said that social media should be used as a tool to highlight the achievements of an organization, and how best practices can be showcased among the rest of the organizations so that they are able to do constructive work.
Speaking on the occasion, Jayen Mehta, CGM of GCMMF said “Amul of late has used the power of social media effectively to interact with the customers, and created engaging content for them. Without spending any money, through the power of social media, we have become no 1 brand of dark chocolates,” he elaborated.
“Don’t be an advertiser, be a content creator so as to interact with the customers”, said Mehta. He narrated how during lockdown Amul experimented with conducting Live Recipe shows on its social media platform which has become a big hit with more than 2500 live sessions conducted in English, Hindi and other regional languages.
Shreyas Nagarkar of Saraswat Cooperative Bank speaking on the occasion said that social media is meant for people and allows a chance to know their minds. We have developed our social media platform based on this very thinking. He elaborated that Saraswat Cooperative Bank’s social media posts are not related to banking information only, but has wider choice with coverage of current affairs, reporting of CSR activities, events, etc. Elaborating on the importance of Whatsapp, he said that Saraswat Cooperative Bank has been the first bank to use whatsapp for banking.
Harsh Vardhan, PR Head of IFFCO speaking on the occasion came up with a suggestion that NCUI should create a platform linking all cooperatives under one roof. You have to handhold them and nudge them to begin the exercise of communication through social media, said Harsh Vardhan underlining the huge impact of cooperatives creating reels on instagram highlighting their good work, etc. He also said through the power of social media, cooperatives can sell their products globally.
SP Singh, National Bureau Chief, Dainik Jagran said while other forms of media are one-sided, social media thrives on two-way communication based on feedback of people even at the lowest level. He said that NCUI should create a social media cell so that all cooperative organizations can be connected through a platform.
Ms Salonie Murlidhara of SEWA said that during Covid, SEWA used social media platforms to address needs of informal women workers, generate funds, and form linkages with other organizations.
Shivali Sarna, Communications Officer, ICA-AP said that ICA-AP social media posts primarily revolve around policy issues, while also containing retweets of posts of member organizations. She said that according to their research, 65 % of ICA-AP member organizations are on facebook.
Sanjay Verma, Dy Director, PR, NCUI who anchored the programme said more sectoral social media webinars should be organized at national, state and district levels.
Senior GC members Dr Chandra Singh Yadav and Bijendra Singh were conspicuous by their absence.