SMC History

Social marketing is the application of commercial marketing tools and concepts to influence behaviors that benefit individuals and communities. While the goal of commercial marketing is primarily profit maximization, social marketing aims to change behavior for social good.

Social Marketing Company, Bangladesh or SMC began its journey 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, after having achieved significant success, the project was converted to a not-for-profit private limited company with a voluntary Board of Directors. In 2014, SMC formed SMC Enterprise Ltd, a wholly owned for-profit subsidiary to separate profitable activities from nonprofit to help effectively manage a growing and complex operation which could no longer function smoothly under a single unit.

SMC today is a large and successful social enterprise and a major contributor to the Bangladesh national family planning program, providing contraceptives to more than one-third of all users. It markets a full range of family planning products, ORS (Oral Rehydration Salts) and has diversified into food, nutrition, reproductive health and female hygiene. It operates the biggest ORS manufacturing facility in the country. SMC enjoys excellent goodwill among its beneficiaries and stakeholders. As per 2016 Contraceptive Social Marketing Statistics released by DKT International, SMC was ranked as the second largest contraceptive social marketing program globally in terms of CYPs (Couple Years of Protection). Since its inception, SMC operations have averted 18.6 million unintended pregnancies, 1.7 million deaths of children under-5 and 163 million DALYs (year lost to ill-health and disability) till June 2018.

SMC is leading the effort to increase the use of micronutrient powder among children under 5 years to address iron deficiency anemia. SMC also introduced Zinc tablet to use with ORS as an adjunct therapy to treat diarrheal episodes of children. SMC’s sanitary napkin ‘JOYA’ has quickly became the third most popular brand in the country (enjoying 13% market share) with wider appeal among low-income women and adolescents due to its quality and affordability. SMC also markets safe delivery kit in order to ensure safe child delivery at home where institutional delivery is not possible.

Our program operations are implemented for the purpose of achieving social good in line with SMC’s mission. They are supported through grants from donors, private sector organizations and surplus revenues from company’s for-profit subsidiary business sector operations. SMC works with graduate and non-graduate private sector health care providers across the country in different public health priority areas like: reproductive health, maternal and child health, nutrition, TB, etc. through various networks including 7,000 Blue Star providers, 3,500 private health care providers and 700 obstetricians and gynecologists. The core expertise of SMC program is the behavior change communication (BCC) at community level and mass media campaign at national level and capacity building of the private sector health care providers across the country.