Social Marketing Company (SMC) is a nonprofit private limited company established in 1974 as a project to address the rapid population growth in the country. It was set up by Population Services International (PSI), a US based INGO under an agreement with the Government of Bangladesh and USAID. In 1990, SMC became a nonprofit company with a voluntary Board of Directors. In 2014, after having achieved full financial sustainability, SMC formed SMC Enterprise Ltd, a for-profit subsidiary to separate profitable operations from non-profit activities. All manufacturing and trading operations of self-financed profitable products are implemented through the Enterprise. The company markets a diverse range of brands under multiple product categories such as pills, condoms, ORS, female hygiene etc to specific segments supported with brand-specific advertising and promotion, and manages a nationwide distribution operation through 12 area offices located across the country.
SMC’s Program is a division under SMC non-profit which implements activities that are supported through revenues from sales of donated products, grants from donors and funds from SMC Enterprise. Program activities directly contribute to SMC’s mission of improving the health and wellbeing of the population in general and include work in areas of family planning, reproductive health, child health, and nutrition, adolescent health, female hygiene, HIV/AIDS prevention and tuberculosis.
SMC today is a large and successful social enterprise. It is a major contributor to the Bangladesh national family planning program providing contraceptives to more than one third of all users. According to the Bangladesh Demographic Health Survey (BDHS) 2014, around 62% of all condom users, 44% of pill users and above 18% of all injectable users rely on SMC supplied contraceptives for protection. In addition, 50% of all ORS users use SMC branded ORSaline-N. As per the USAID K4Health website, SMC was the third largest contraceptive social marketing program globally in 2014 providing protection to over 4.3 million couples from unplanned pregnancies (CYP).
In 1986, it pioneered the large scale marketing of ORS and currently it operates one of the largest private sector ORS manufacturing facilities in this region. SMC enjoys excellent goodwill among its beneficiaries and stakeholders. It is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company headquartered in Dhaka.
MAJOR MILESTONES IN SMC’S HISTORY
1974: SMC began as Family Planning Social Marketing Project (FPSMP) started by Population Services International (PSI) under an agreement with GOB and USAID
1975: USAID-donated Raja condom and Maya contraceptive pill introduced through private sector outlets
1985: SMC branded ORS ‘ORSaline’ launched
1990: FPSMP became Social Marketing Company (SMC) and was incorporated as a private not-for-profit company under the Companies’ Act of 1913 with a voluntary Board of Directors
1997: SMC became a direct recipient of USAID funds following departure of PSI
2000: ‘SMC Tower’, own 10-storey building, inaugurated in Banani, Dhaka
2004: Own ORS manufacturing facility in Bhaluka, Mymensingh started production
2008: SMC’s Central Warehouse inaugurated in Bhaluka, Mymensingh