Photograph — PR Newswire

Fortune, an American business magazine on Monday released its fifth annual ‘Change the World list.’ The list recognises fifty-two top global companies that have made an important social or environmental impact through their profit-making strategy and operations. However, only one African company made it to the list this year.

South African telecom, Vodacom is the only African owned firm recognised on the list at 25th position out of 52. This achievement is a clear demonstration that the company’s commitment to providing societal value through its core business activities is yielding positive results.

The list recognises innovative business strategies that are addressing social challenges through their core business activities. Most of the companies on the list are relatively large, with $1 billion or more as their annual revenue.

Vodacom has been recognised by Fortune for the positive impact driven by its Stock Visibility Solution (SVS).

In South Africa, medicine stock-outs have been a frighteningly ordinary occurrence within the country’s public health system. Facilities reported periods where they lacked critical Tuberculosis and antiretroviral drugs for patients in 2015. The major issue was supply chain management. Vodacom, which ranks as the nation’s leading mobile carrier, provided a technology solution.

The company’s foundation partnered with the country’s health department to develop the SVS app that makes the supply chain more transparent. It enables pharmacists and health clinics to warn about low stocks and shift inventory as needed.

Based on data reported, SVS then automates reports via SMS and email to sub-district, district and provincial management. This allows pharmacy supply-chain management to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the distribution of stock, which in turn increases access to quality medicine.

The app has since been commercialized for broader use, by private health providers and other nation’s public health programs.

Top 10 companies on the Fortune ‘Change the World’ list include Qualcomm, MasterCard, BYD, TE Connectivity, Walmart, Santander Brasil, Centene, Bank of America, Schneider Electric and Terracycle.

By Tobiloba Ishola.

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