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The Secret To Creating A Successful Corporate Social Responsibility Plan

Edrington's regional boss Martin Reimann talks about his biking track record of traversing a distance of at least 10,000km a year and how his team recently raised over S$200,000 for a cause in Taiwan.

Edrington Asia Pacific held a charity bike ride from Taipei to Kaohsiung that spans 500km to raise funds for the Kaohsiung Autism Foundation in Taiwan.

For someone who is the regional head honcho of a liquor empire, Martin Reimann sure is dedicated to fitness. The Asia Pacific managing director of Edrington, a company that produces premium spirits, completed a 60km-cycle the morning of our interview. He took his bike for a ride from his home in Upper Bukit Timah to Changi Village for breakfast at 6am; then journeyed along the East Coast Park; and finally parked the two-wheeler at his office in Asia Square. He apparently does this morning regime regularly.

“I became a little obsessive,” admits Reimann. “I started cycling when I moved from Hong Kong to Singapore with the intention of getting healthy. I now cycle every day. I do about 10,000km a year.”

It seemed like the 54-year-old was all prepped for a cycle that spanned 500km from Taipei to the south city of Kaohsiung. The four-day challenge in late November 2016 saw over 50 cyclists from Edrington’s regional offices put the power to the pedal in a bid to raise funds and publicity for the Kaohsiung Autism Foundation, a Taiwanese charitable organisation founded in 2000 with the mission to help autistic individuals and their families.

Reimann says: “The lovely lady that runs the cause is a mom who had an autistic son in a time where it was misunderstood. She started a self-help group after doctors and nurses dismissed her. She is now in her 70s and wonders how she can pass the baton on, and create some sort of a legacy. We’ve identified then that we needed to not only raise funds but to also drum up support and make her known among a larger group of audience.”

Aside from the positive profile-raising effort, a total of over S$200,000 was raised and donated to the foundation. This was the second time the team cycled for charity — last year, it raised over S$50,000 by cycling 400km from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore for a Singapore-based children’s charity, Child at Street 11, which provides aid and education for young children from low-income and dysfunctional families.

“We wanted to use this as a charitable initiative all across Asia to engage everybody by making it bigger and bolder,” says Reimann, who went on to do a loop by backpedaling another 500km from Kaohsiung to Taipei right after the fundraising leg.

When asked why he enjoyed being on a bike so much, Reimann answered: “Cycling has taught me to be more patient. You can’t really rush on a bike, everything is deliberate. The time also enables you to think a lot. It has also made me a calmer person, according to my wife!”

“I did not have a passion aside from work before cycling. This newfound hobby has given me balance in life as well as a drive to do good. If truth be known, the cycling for charity programme was an afterthought. I was simply encouraged because of the structure of the company I work for,” adds Reimann.

Edrington is owned by The Robertson Trust. Scotland’s largest grant-giving trust, it was founded in 1961 by three Robertson sisters and strives to improve the quality of life in Scotland and the potential of its communities. In Scotland, the Robertson Trust has given over £150 million to charities since its inception.

The brands under Edrington’s portfolio include The Macallan, Highland Park, The Famous Grouse and Snow Leopard.

Further donations can be made to Kaohsiung Autism Foundation by clicking here.

For more information on the ride, visit the official Facebook page or the Instagram account @edringtoncharitycycle.