Their visit also aimed to help raise awareness about the link between pet food and nutrition. Sandra and Richard were involved in a number of press conferences and seminars, which received extensive coverage in the Indian press, including The New Indian Express, Sakal Times, Power of Voice and Pune Metro.
The visit was an opportunity for WALTHAM to see the various initiatives underway in the country, especially around HAI and community development. Through the press conferences and lectures at venues such as the Chennai Veterinary School, external audiences were able to understand the strong association between Mars Petcare products and the science of WALTHAM.
“Richard and I worked together to present WALTHAM science and expertise" says Sandra. "Richard focused on the importance of nutrition for companion animals whilst I spoke about HAI and took a look at some of the activities in which Mars India are involved in local communities."
Richard's lecture at Bangalore Veterinary School, on nutrition needs of pets and nutrition guidelines, was attended by vets, key opinion formers and technical advisors to the Indian Government who travelled from all over the country to be at the event. "Pet ownership is growing quickly in India and it’s important to educate the country’s pet-lovers about the benefits of nutritionally prepared pet food over home prepared food that is commonly given to dogs and cats" explained Richard.
“In the field of HAI, Mars India have been partnering with some key NGO’s and animal welfare groups such as Animal Angels and Blue Cross of Hyderabad to roll out some HAI initiatives but much of the support has been financial” said Sandra. “Mars India asked me to take a detailed look at some of the programmes these communities undertake and see how they could be helped to move to the next level.”
“It was a very successful trip” confirmed Sandra. “Richard and I returned to WALTHAM with a number of new insights and ideas, and a new network of contacts, colleagues and friends”.