Prof. Rajeshwari Roy
1. Comments on the Mandatory 2% contribution to CSR
CSR need not be made mandatory, rather than it must be participative. It should be driven towards a Public-Private-Participation model.
It is not what amount you want to spend or you have to spend, but it’s more important as to how it is spend. The total initiative of CSR must be coherent in nature.
CSR should focus on philanthropy, improve operational effectiveness and transform business model.
2. Sustainable Development the concept and practice: your comments please
As firms are going concerns and are expected to chalk strategies which keep them alive through times ahead, it’s important that its whole gamut of doing business must be sustainable in nature. Hence its entire planning on growth and development must be done, keeping in mind use of resources in a manner to keep enough for the future and also create new resources which will enable it to sustain in the future through innovations of products and markets.
3. “Inequality will be a driving force for new thinking about greater commitment to ethics, morality in business decisions and capitalism itself”: Please comment.
The Gini Coefficient which states 0 as being a completely equal society to 1 which is completely in equal, is a concern for all economies and more for developed economies. Hence it’s important to reduce this gap and move towards a more stable progressive growth, which will inturn will create sustainable economies in the future which are lesser inequality.
4. The next generation of leaders will be more socially concerned and committed as employers, consumers and investors: Your comments please
Today business leaders of tomorrow are induced with the concept of CSR right from their classrooms. It was there earlier, but in the current days it has become more participative right from early school days to classrooms in management schools. Hence students are gradually taken through the process of familiarising themselves with CSR, and are expected to be more socially concerned leaders of tomorrow.
5. Principles of Responsible Investing: has a commitment of over 20 Trillion USD, will this affect Indian companies? And how?
Responsible investors are considering the ESG (environment, socially, governance practices) along with SRI (sustainable and responsible) indices while choosing companies to invest in. Investors through responsible and sustainable norms, push companies to have more forward looking approaches.
There are lot of such funds which look forward to investment in India into companies which are more responsible and sustainable. Hence it will push Indian companies to raise their operational standards and also investing companies of India to adopt the SRI indices while investments. Through this participative endeavour, there will be creation of value through the operational chain of companies and also make them more responsible and sustainable corporate citizens, and compete with International Companies and themselves become multi-national Indian companies.
6. Sustainable development demands a change in processes, policies and products of a company: is this an opportunity or a threat for Indian corporates?
Sustainable development must be nurtured as an intrinsic parameter for any firm. There must be a standard operating process in all organization to implement sustainable parameters, and it must be holistic in nature and cover all the functions to give the firm a sustainable, productive and effective growth path.
7. What opportunities do you see for education institutes in the growing field of CSR and Sustainability
a. As in knowledge management, consulting and policy development
b. Developing new programs
Education is the first and the basic platform to instil values of CSR and sustainability in the minds of the leaders of tomorrow who are being groomed through educational institutions to take up larger roles in their professional lives.
This grooming on CSR through education will help them to have a better understanding of CSR in the real life scenarios and will also aid them while managing companies as well as while drafting various policy matters on sustainable development and growth, and creating new programs for firms, institutions and society at large.
In future they will be able to blend their practical knowledge in CSR and contribute back to education through value additions at various levels.
8. “Companies that create employee-driven CSR programs help workers feel a sense of greater purpose; helps attract and retain top talent; and provide strong platforms for employee leadership and development. In today’s world, employee volunteer programs are an essential component of a company’s CSR approach, one which unquestionably benefits employees, the community and the company.”
a. What is your opinion on the same? Please give a descriptive answer
In today’s world corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become more important than giving donation or some other means because it takes bigger responsibility in a structured way that is more sustainable in long run. “If we can spend the early decades of the 21st century finding approaches that meet the needs of the poor in ways that generate profits for business, we will have found a sustainable way to reduce poverty in the world, “Mr. Gates said. He cited Adam Smith, whose treatise, “The Wealth of Nations,” lays out the rationale for the self-interest that drives capitalism and companies like Microsoft. That shouldn’t change, “one iota,” Mr. Gates said.
But there’s more to Adam Smith, he added. “This was written before ‘Wealth of Nations,'” Mr. Gates said, flipping through a copy of Adam Smith’s 1759 book, “The Theory of Moral Sentiments.” It argues that humans gain pleasure from taking an interest in the “fortunes of others.”
So, it talks about a grater purpose and a greater vision that can attract and retain the top talents in our country, thus providing a better leadership that can bring a sustainable development to the company as well as the society in the broader aspect.
9. In your opinion,
a. What is the opportunity for CASI in India?
b. Being a Global Brand, CASI has a terrific reach, which strata of the society do you think we should reach out to further?
c. How do you think senior management practitioners would benefit from CASI certifications?
The opportunity of CASI is unfathomable, unlimited because it’s a certification body and the course demand will go high in future. It has got a modern approach with reflexive model, uncomplicated process and huge market to penetrate.
Apart from educational field, it can approach corporate, private sectors; can make an extensive approach to governmental organisations and NGOs.
Since CSR is mandatory senior management can get a wide aspect of CSR activities through CASI that would open up their horizon and think of a better business model sustainable in the long run.
10. CASI works with academicians in consulting assignments, please give your comments on how do we make this a continuous and improvised process
Improvement can come through a planned way of approaching the target market.
11. What is the business case for CSR? Is it the same in developed economies as in emerging markets? Would you please describe a specific environmental, social or governance issue from a business case for CSR perspective, comparing and contrasting the business case for CSR perspective of the specific issue in a developed economy and in an emerging market.
Large corporations like Nestle, P&G etc tried to replicate their CSR policies of developed economy in emerging markets. In all such cases those back fired as they were more philanthropic in nature. Later they were aligned to the policies of the nation which focussed towards uplifting of various income groups. Giving away CSR activities sometimes gives a short term solutions but creates a long term problem, and hence for both developed and emerging markets it must be aligned to its social and economic development.
CSR efforts in emerging markets can be executed in a profitable and sustainable manner. Firms seeking to improve their CSR programs in emerging markets can focus on improving the delivery of their products or services to make them more accessible, affordable and usable. In addition to discovering new business models, firms seeking to address local problems can engage in partnerships with experts who understand these environments and the needs of customers within them. Mutually beneficial strategic partnerships can also help multinational firms leverage partner core competencies to help gain access to local markets and support operations. When firms consider the impact of their activities from the vantage point of potential emerging market customers and governments, they are better positioned to discover new business models and capture new sources of revenues. It’s important that the CSR efforts are aligned with lower income groups and the national development policies of the Government.
12. Please describe a CSR activity you have been involved in
I have been involved in a CSR activity through my company in imparting lessons in schools which teach street children. The school was adopted by my company and we selflessly gave our services twice a week. This really helped us to come closer to reality and understand the abundant talent which was available. At various stages we also tried to engage them through our organization and also imparted them vocational training, on various subjects.
13. Please describe how your company or a company you are closely aware uses the concept of sustainable development to create better products or services
I am associated with a copper conductor manufacturing company which has developed copper conducts which help in reducing distribution losses. It helps in efficient use of power and reduces power cost to the end user and thus creates sustainable economies for the future.
14. Any word of advice for Management Students….
CSR must not be seen as a fashion statement for any corporate body, It must not be related to the percentage of profit. CSR must be a continuous process and must make efforts to make sustainable contribution at each level of a firm’s journey.