Employee engagement

Raj’s story

On Christmas Eve 2014, 51-year-old father of two Raj Bhuller was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukaemia. The only chance of survival for the HSBC employee was a stem cell transplant, but because so few Asians were on the register, Bhuller’s chance of finding a donor was just 40 per cent. Without a donor, his chance of survival was just 20 per cent.

When the producers of HSBC NOW, the bank’s employee video channel, heard about their colleague’s plight, they decided to launch a campaign to highlight his story and publicise a donor drive at HSBC’s headquarters in London’s Canary Wharf.

The producers opted to create a simple, powerful film, telling of Bhuller’s plight and highlighting his family’s work to get potential donors to register, with a simple call to action. The film, which was distributed on the HSBC NOW internal video distribution network, YouTube and Twitter, was targeted at HSBC’s 257,600 staff across 71 countries.

A second film recorded the progress prompted by the first, which encouraged more than 6,100 colleagues to sign onto the register as 29 donor recruitment drives were organised in five countries in six weeks, including eight in India in eight days. (More than 3,400 colleagues signed up in India: Prior to that, there were just 45,000 donors in a country of 1.2 billion people.) The third film celebrated the news that Raj Bhuller had found a match, and the final one documented his recovery and eventual return to work.

The entry described ‘the key measure of success was finding a match for Raj’. But the video campaign was seen by more than 133,000 HSBC employees, and received almost three million impressions on Twitter. And in a recent global survey of more than 24,000 staff, Raj’s stor y was cited as the number one reason employees are proud to work at HSBC.

‘This was a great story,’ said the judges. ‘It took an innovative approach and used the power of people to drive success.’