Gayatri Nair Lobo, Chief Operating Officer, Teach for India

Comments on the Mandatory 2% contribution to CSR
I think it’s good that the government is ensuring that profit making corporates are more involved in the development of society. However I would have preferred if this was more in the form of incentives/benefits, rather than making it a requirement

Sustainable Development the concept and practice
As a theory it makes sense but very rarely have I seen it in practice unless there’s ample buy-in from the government

The next generation of leaders will be more socially concerned and committed as employers, consumers and investors
I agree with this statement as I’ve seen it in practice. When I look at the people who apply at “Teach For India”, I can see a lot of passion in the applicants to be part of changing things in the country for the better.  Several leaders that this generation look up to are more socially minded like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, etc. who are inspiring them to think beyond themselves.

Sustainable development demands a change in processes, policies and products of a company: is this an opportunity or a threat for Indian corporates?
It’s definitely an opportunity – an opportunity to be creative, to do good and to create a good brand image for a corporate

What opportunities do you see for education institutes in the growing field of CSR and Sustainability
There is definitely an opportunity as companies are looking for people to work in this sector. Right now however, they’re looking a lot at people who have relevant experience but as the sector opens up, opportunities will grow too

“Companies that create employee-driven CSR programs, help employees feel a sense of greater purpose; helps attract and retain top talent; and provide strong platforms for employee leadership and development.
This is very true and therefore a lot of CSR funding from corporates is being linked to the amount of volunteer hours that employees have the opportunity to put in and how the employee engagement efforts will be benefited

Please describe a CSR activity you have been personally involved in
“Teach For India”

Please describe how your company or a company you are closely aware, uses the concept of sustainable development to create better products or services
Several companies have products aimed at the bottom of the pyramid, rural products, etc.

Any word of advice for Management Students
It’s currently a growing need across organizations and therefore companies are giving a lot of opportunities to people who have an inclination to work in the area. There are also a lot of consulting firms being set up specifically to help companies with the CSR strategies.


*Views expressed may be personal and not necessarily reflect those of the employer