SPO India CSR Summit & Awards 2017

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The summit was a grand success thanks to pan-India presence of speakers and awardees. Emerging NGOs were felicitated for the first time in the history of CSR, even CPSEs were awarded on the basis of CSR investment in FY2015-16

The 3rd edition of “SPO India CSR Summit & Awards 2017” was held on May 25 at Hotel Shangri La’s Eros, New Delhi. The main theme of the event was “Marching Towards Sustainable Economy Through CSR”. The summit brought all stakeholders from NGOs, corporates and government on a common platform thereby enabling them to network and interact on how to make Indian economy sustainable through CSR.

The half day event comprised of impactful discussions and deliberations supplemented with an expo and awards ceremony. The summit had three sessions – inaugural session followed by two panel sessions on Marching towards sustainable economy through CSR and will corporate innovations make CSR sustainable?

There were two categories of awards – SPO India Emerging NGO Award 2017 and SPO India Leadership Award 2017 (CPSE). SPO India felicitated Emerging NGOs judged on the basis of effectiveness in impacting the targeted communities, involvement of their personnel; sustainability and long term impact to the community, as well as activities involved beyond financial contribution. The awards were given to those NGO’s registered in India in the last 5 years.

SPO India felicitated Aaradhya Foundation, Akshar Foundation, Cuddles Foundation, Cyber Peace Foundation, Donate An Hour, Janwaar Castle Community Organisation, Khushi Baby Association, Nudge Lifeskills Foundation, Unnayan Foundation Trust and Waste Warriors.

SPO India also felicitated CPSEs based on their CSR investment in FY2015-16. In this category, National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) was ranked No.1 followed by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL), Rural Electrification Corporation Limited REC) and Central Coalfields Limited (CCL).

The expo area had booths from Happy Horizons Trust, We Care Foundation, EarthWatch India, NASSCOM Foundation, Samadhan Foundation, The Toy Bank, Praani, Agape Foundation and Philanthrope.

ajay-chaudhuryAjay Chaudhary, Deputy General Manger (Marketing), ALIMCO

We are a public sector company under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and we are one of the leading implementing agencies for implementation of CSR activities for various private and public sector companies. We were incorporated in the year 1972 and are a Scheduled C Mini Ratna company, registered as a not for profit company. We have 6 factories – Kanpur, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Punjab, Jabalpur and a new one is coming up in Ujjain to cater to the pan India requirement. To reach out to the north-eastern states we are based at Guwahati.

In the last census done in 2011, the total disability population in our country is 2.68 crores. Out of this, the people who are having locomotor or orthopaedic disabilities is around 54 lakhs, which is 20% of the population, followed by visually impaired population and the hearing impaired people with speech disability and the mentally impaired ones. The top 5 states having highest number of disabled people is UP, Maharashtra, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh & Telangana and West Bengal. About 70% of disabled people are staying in rural areas and 30% in urban areas. Coming on to employment status of disabilities, more than 75% of the people are unemployed. The total market size of the aids, appliances and equipments is around 1500 crores. 17 of our products are all ISI marked.

If you see last year, ALIMCO has catered to 3.36 lakh people with disabilities and distributed close to 2.40 crores worth of equipments to people with disabilities. We are operating in a very high volume but low value category. We also distribute these appliances to children with disabilities under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. We have done 3 major camps in which our Honourable PM was the Chief Guest and in these camps we distributed equipments to more than 10,000 people and 10 crores worth of equipments. These camps were held at Vadodara, Navsari and Varanasi. We have also achieved 4 Guinness Book of World Records for putting in highest number of hearing aids in a day; we had installed a thousand hearing aids to 1000 people at Navsari.

Coming on to product portfolio, we have product catering to all kinds of disabilities. Major ones are the orthopaedically impaired equipments and artificial hands and legs. To manufacture these artificial hands and legs we have tied up with a leading German company named Otto Bock and in March this year, we commenced commercial production along with Otto Bock at our factory in Kanpur. It was completely a transfer of technology partnership. For ready to use equipments, we are into motorised wheel chairs, motorised tricycles and conventional hand-driven tricycles. For orthopaedically impaired, we also manufacture crutches, walking canes, rollators. For visually impaired, we have specially made for them smartphones, digi-players for school going children, smart cane (made from exclusive technology from IIT), shorthand machine.

The Government though is giving grants to cater to these people; they are too facing a shortage. And so we seek participation from both public and private corporates.

deepak-sahu-spoMarching Towards Sustainable Economy

The primary aim of SPO India is to imbibe values of giving back which will make the voluntary sector self sustainable and will also enable the corporates to work towards brand sustainability, thus contributing to the overall growth and well-being of the society. The publication has a healthy mix of readers from the industry and acts as a vital platform for corporations, NGOs and nonprofits agencies, universities and organizations interested in communicating their corporate citizenship, sustainability, philanthropy and socially responsible initiatives.

As per Ministry of Corporate Affairs data, around 5,097 companies in India has invested corporate social responsibility (CSR) spend of Rs 9,822 crore for FY2015-16 vis-a-vis 7,334 companies spending around Rs 8,803 crore for FY2014-15. In FY2015-16, the CSR spend has seen a jump of 11.6 percent, thanks to strict compliance of CSR budget by corporate entities.

In terms of vertical, the Top 5 sector contributes round 87% of the total expenditure. The top sectors in CSR are: Health/Eradicating Hunger/Poverty and Malnutrition/Safe Drinking Water/Sanitation; Education/Differently Enabled/Livelihood; Rural Development; Environment/Animal Welfare/Conservation of Resources; and Swachh Bharat Kosh. This year we have set out with a clear vision and with ambitious goals to make a difference in the following areas of concern – Healthcare, Education, Rural Development, Environment, Swachh Bharat, Care for the Elderly, Children’s Right’s, Women’s Empowerment and sports.

siddharth-mukherjeeSiddharth Mukherjee, Executive Director, (HR & CSR), IOCL

Indian Oil as we are all aware, we call ourselves ‘Energy of India’. We are the largest commercial enterprise in India, largest marketing network, largest pipeline set-up and we are a Fortune 500 company. Having said this, the CSR spend last year was around 2.17 crores. Whether it is the government initiatives in ensuring smoke-less villages, the PM’s Ujala Yojana which is looked at world over as a fine example of what a corporate can do in terms of social upliftment. But we are also under tremendous pressure. Many of you would be aware that the OPEC sessions are on and there is a talk about cutting off supplies. If supplies get cut, the crude gets expensive which results in products becoming expensive. There is a certain level to which the market can actually sustain. Indian unfortunately does not produce oil and gas to the tune that we can consume and therefore it becomes extremely difficult to manage in trying circumstances. Somehow right from the beginning the corporation which was incorporated in 1964 for the purpose of competing with the world’s 7 oil majors has been in the area of LPG, and LPG I say (not in oil terms) the ‘liberalization, privatization and globalization’ competitive environment right from beginning. So the challenges we face are phenomenal.

It is said that social responsibility dawned on the corporate world in India from 2013. One of our refineries in North East has started a hospital way back in 1904, for the people in and around. There is also an Assam School of Nursing which is in operation since 1984. Health, water, sanitation apart whatever is the government mandated projects, you name it we are there. Oil companies have till now been very profitable, but with profit comes responsibility. The fact is we have to make considerable investments in sustainability. If I don’t have the bottom line in place, where does my 2% come from, which I will invest in my CSR? So it makes lot of social sense when I say that CSR has to do a lot with business. And sooner I realize this, the better it for me.

My responsibility as a corporate citizen becomes very important, especially when I am in the strategic sector, that I continue to do business in a profitable manner, I continue to deliver the lead and I continue to be competitive in the market. The coming of disruptive technology would also spell a little bit of strain for companies like us – the alternates, the renewable which you all are champions of will carry a cost. Placing these alternatives at the customer’s end will not be easy. Even Europe and US is struggling to carry that forward. Though it is going to happen very fast that is where companies like us have to react. Also we must attune ourselves to the realities. But how to take this forward? If I am a socially responsible corporate, then CSR opportunity has become kind of a social revolution in India. We are a country that is trying to do things in a very novel way and if I say that CSR has dawned upon every company since 2013, then I would not be wrong.

Having said that, till 2013, CSR was just a choice. Lots of corporates even said that CSR is compulsive philanthropy, which I think is not very effective in its truer sense. What we want to do today is have collaborative partnerships. I as a company may not be very familiar with the kind of activities that are entailed under CSR or may not be equipped properly to handle big projects, and that’s where the collaboration with other corporates or partners become effective.

Corporate participation and NGO collaboration should be more effective, as I personally feel as of now it is not so. There are certain steps in my opinion to make this collaboration more effective –

• I would vouch for an NGO regulator which would be more effective in doing business.
• In terms of the tendering process, a public sector company cannot take anybody on board on a single tender basis. There are 3 criteria under which it can take a party on a single tender basis – 1. If there are any natural disasters; 2. Where it is a proprietary item; 3. When I have tendered it a sufficient number of time and not got anyone. This is a collaborative effort which you and I need to sit down and take it forward. Merely saying that corporates are not doing enough to engage an NGO will not be right to say.
• There has to be a National CSR Center for Excellence in which certain benchmarks have to be put in place, which should be both for the corporates and for the NGOs.

Marching Towards Sustainable Economy through CSR

The panelists included: Abhijeet Kumar, Director, CAF Foundation; Mamta Saikia, COO, Bharti Foundation; Sonia Shrivastava, Head, Vodafone Foundation; Uma Ratnu, Director, Nari Uthan Sansthan; Angeli Qwatra, CEO, Centre for Disaster Risk & Safety; Dr Bhaskar Chatterjee, Senior Director, IILM; Mathew Cherian, CEO, HelpAge India; Partha Rudra, Director-Programmes, Smile Foundation; Shrikant Sinha, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation; Pramel Kumar Gupta, CEO, Vrutti and Saurabh Adeeb, Head, Corporate & Partner Engagement, The Nudge Foundation. The discussion point was how to win a point through CSR and make our economy sustainable, does corporates engage in transformational CSR and the policy related challenges for creating a sustainable economy through CSR.


Uma Ratnu, Director, Nari Uthan Sansthan: The initiative which we started off with just 10 ladies has today, within a period of 20 years has gone up to 10,000. We work for women empowerment but we are also working with small children. The other areas in which we work are health, environment, child labour, awareness programs and disability. After working for two decades with women and socially underprivileged communities in the state of Rajasthan, we have learnt that empowerment of women is a must if you want to give rise to an unbiased and healthy society and that can be achieved by tackling the root cause that continue to keep them uneducated, exploited and vulnerable. Our mission is to create a compassionate society where rights of children, women, elderly people and disabled persons are respected and where health and education facilities and livelihood opportunities and easily available to everyone without any discrimination.

Mamta Saikia, COO, Bharti Foundation: Sanitation is one of our new programs, but Bharti Foundation mostly works in the field of education. 90% of our projects and resources are spent towards education program. We have our own 254 schools in the villages and these schools are completely free for the poor, unprivileged children. Not only fees, but even books, notebooks and stationeries are given to a kid to encourage them to attend school. We make sure that there is no barrier due to which a child, more specifically a girl child is debarred from attending school. It’s been 11 years since we are running these schools. We realized that no corporate foundation would have so much of fund so as to open a school where government schools are not available. So 3-4 years back we realized that we have that much of experience and processes to work in rural areas. Working in rural has many challenges – the prime being lack of teachers, proper resources and infrastructure. So we have been successful in creating a model and have also taken the learning that we have gathered from this model to the government schools and this is how we started our program Satya Bharti Learning Centers and quality support program. Here we partner with government schools and by working together with teachers and students we try to enhance the quality of the schools. In 3-4 years, we have been successful in touching 1,500 government schools. This is how we have worked towards bringing up a sustainable society, but the challenge is on how to scale this up. And of course if your model is strong, scaling up is an easy task.

Abhijeet Kumar, Director, CAF Foundation: For last 20 years our motto is to make the act of giving more strategic, planned and organized in order to see that the results are better, strong and sustainable. In that process we also look at CSR as an act of giving. So basically we are trying to connect primarily corporates with the non-profit communities to see that the intention with which they are making these investments become more meaningful. We are trying to help corporates providing advisory in designing corporate community initiatives, CSR programs, interpretation of CSR Acts and also getting it delivered in partnership with the local NGOs.

Angeli Qwatra, CEO, Centre for Disaster Risk & Safety: Our focus is majorly on disaster preparedness and the whole motto is that we have to reduce or minimize the loss of lives, property and livelihood caused by disasters. India has traditionally been affected by disasters throughout history because of its geo-climatic conditions and now disaster losses are mounting. Man-made disasters are also on the rise and I feel a lot more effort has to be done on disaster. There are very few NGOs or organizations working in this field and that in fact underlines the cause even more. Corporates have a big role to play in it because they are the catalysts and CSR can go a long way in this. Very recently disaster management has been viewed as a very important part of CSR of industries, which brings lot of opportunities for NGOs.

Partha Rudra, Director-Programmes, Smile Foundation: I think CSR can make a contribution towards making sustainable and effective conditions for delivering development services and solutions at scale. In the process of aligning the corporate business strategy with the CSR strategy, which is increasingly been seen in many companies, I believe that what really is happening is that it is leading to the creation of stronger communities, positive workforce and this is something which we can say from the last 15 years of Smile’s own experience. We are working in 4 major areas – Health, education, livelihood enhancement and women empowerment. We are following 2 models – SVP (Social venture philanthropy) under which we identify and partner with locally embedded NGOs across the country. Right now we are working with 200 NGOs across the country and we have 91 functional educational centres, out of which 70 are running on Action for Child model.

Mathew Cherian, CEO, HelpAge India: The elderly population is nearly about 103 million at the moment. And in spite of all our efforts, there is very little attention coming to the elderly. The elderly people in the opinion of most people always come last. When Section 135 was drafted, elderly was left out but soon there were modifications made and there were revised guidelines in which elderly were included. As a result many corporates kept supporting the elderly cause. Our main line of work is we do medical treatment for the elders, and we treat about 1.6 million elders across the country. We have our huge medical personnel team of 600 people. We also look after the destitute elderly in the old age homes. We are yet to sensitize young children and so we go to schools and colleges and started the ‘Hug Program’. We had expectations that there would be Rs 25,000 crores coming into the system for CSR, but the real figures vary from Rs 6,000 to 8,000 crores. This is clearly not enough for the sector, because the NGO sector is quite large. We at HelpAge not rely on corporates but on individuals to donate as 70% of our income comes from individuals.

Sonia Shrivastava, Head, Vodafone Foundation: A lot of times we hear about money that goes from companies as a CSR contribution. My humble submission is that it is not about the money. If you look at even one large government scheme and examine the contribution, it is nothing. However, if you look at the skills, competencies and expertise that companies can bring to the table, that can work very significantly to move CSR and the sustainability agenda to its purpose. And that is recognition that NGOs should ideally have it increasingly more and more. We work in several areas but our goal is to use mobile technology to positively transform around 50 million lives by 2020. So we work at that level of scale using our core competence which is the understanding and the use of technology. And we bring that to address the critical challenges in the development sector. So one of the projects that we are working down south is to help micro businesses enhance their skills to manage their own enterprise and using mobile technology access markets beyond their villages. The goal for that over a 3 year period is to increase their incremental income by Rs. 250 crores.

Shrikant Sinha, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation: What needs to be understood is that innovation cannot be just disruptive but can be incremental also. We are running our NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum which is in its 10th year. It actually identifies early adopters of technology, how technology can be leveraged for the good of the society and how technology can be used to create large scalable models. The need is to scale them up and make them models which are sustainable across India. The corporates who work on the Innovation Forum identify these people, put through a process of selection and then they are given an award. Most importantly we handhold them for 1 year in which we understand actually what and where is the gap, we give them access to markets, technology to make them a scalable model.

Pramel Kumar Gupta, CEO, Vrutti: Vrutti works in growth and prosperity of the farmers where we are developing a model to increase income by 3-fold. The government of India is already targeting to double the income by 2020 but our intent is sustainable economic growth of the farmers. If you see 91% of 13.6 crore farmers, their expenditure is more than 20-30% but their earning is still very meagre. This model in the current eco-system is encouraging lot of farm produce companies and we are trying to build to build this eco-system with the help from corporates like Azim Premji, Godrej, Edelweiss Foundation, Mindtree and so on. We have different relationship with the corporates, besides receiving grants we are also given managerial support from them. And corporates are coming forward to support us to nurture the strategies and approaches for running a successful campaign.

Saurabh Adeeb, Head, Corporate & Partner Engagement, The Nudge Foundation: The reason of our organization’s existence is to alleviate poverty sustainably and scalable manner. There is an economic sustainability aspect to it but it will not lead to the kind of results and impact we are hoping to achieve. We look at sustainability from a model perspective to go beyond that. Hence our sustainability and definition of sustainability goes to an extent where poverty can be alleviated. Corporates and we all should be looking into a holistic view of sustainability in terms of societal and environmental sustainability.

Dr Bhaskar Chatterjee, Senior Director, IILM: Since we are talking about innovation, it is these NGOs who are really start-ups that will tomorrow become 3 years old, become eligible for corporate funding and many of them will come to the real marketplace where they would be tested whether their business model is viable or not. Sustainability will come from the innovation itself – how strong is it and how much we can scale up the models. CSR is slowly evolving. If while writing the law, we had not brought the civil society into it, we would not have seen this evolution.

Our’s is the only law in the universe which tries to bring corporate money and civil society grass-root expertise together. This symbiotic relationship will contribute to national development. This has never been attempted anywhere in the history of CSR. Our’s is the only unique experiment of this kind. As you see three years of CSR rolling forward, you see so much positive change. And that’s what brings vibrancy into CSR. Let’s understand 2 or 3 things here – CSR is not the panacea for our development problems, but it is a contributing element to complement and supplement what the government is doing. The basic removal of poverty, contribution to development is the job of the elected government. In December 2015, the top 1,000 companies has done 6,887 crores of CSR, while December 2016, those to companies had done 9,012 crores. 31st of March, 2016 we crossed 12,000 crores, while 31st of March this year we are expecting to cross 14,000 crores. The corporate sector was initially taken aback by the new law and I don’t in any way want to negate that. Any new law for people to accept, internalize or revise their strategies takes time. So the first year of 2014-15 was experimental in nature. But year 2016-17 and now 2017-18 is seeing the maturing of CSR. And as we see and behold that we take a lot of the experiences that are coming in on to our space. Every foundation need not be funded only by corporates. There are many individuals who are ready to give funds, so why should we shut that tap off. Before the law was passed, many NGOs were funded by the government departments and that funding has not dried up either.

The heart and the soul of CSR law is helping the poor, the marginalized and the deprived. Before writing the law, we hastily included a few things into it, care for elderly, rural sports, culture, monuments, all these had not been there earlier. But we triggered all of them because we came into that space. About disaster management what we have done in the subsequent corporate affairs ruling is that if you break up disaster management into several individual points like shelter or housing where earthquake prevention homes for the poor, rebuilding damaged schools, you will see that all of these points are included in Schedule 7 of CSR law.

Today the law has opened up spaces for us. The 20,000 crores will come in the market in a year or two. The rural department ministry has a budget of 1 lakh crores every year. All the 10,500 big, fat corporates contributing 2% of their CSR end up with 20,000 crores which is just one-fifth of one ministry of the government of India. So it is not a big sum. The idea is not to replace government initiatives but it is to use those 20,000 crores so well to spawn more and more projects.

Will Corporate Innovations Make CSR Sustainable?

panel2Anuj Agarwal, Founder, Computer Society of India, Noida Chapter: We had been at the forefront of spreading digital information and digital training to the people. We have found that still at the village level the digital literacy is very-very low but the interest of the people is definitely there. Most of the digital literacy program so far had been focused in the urban areas, so our expectations from everyone who are working in this area and the corporate that want to contribute, to contribute to those societies, those NGO’s who are really on the ground and focusing on the rural areas because 70% of the our population is still there in the rural areas. In this new digital initiative of the government, cyber crime and the crime against people who are unaware is increasing by many faults. So the digital information awareness to the rural folks is our focus and we would look forward that everybody else is there to help and contribute into that.

Prerna Mehrotra, Partnership Officer, Private Sector Engagement, UNICEF India: We encourage businesses to channelize their efforts for the welfare of communities and specially the children, because they are one of the most vulnerable in the community. A joint initiative between UNICEF, the United Nations Global Compact and Save the Children has resulted in a landmark set of 10 Children’s Rights and Business Principles to guide companies on the full range of actions they can take to respect and support children’s rights in the workplace, the marketplace and the community. This is a frame work that helps us identify the impact of businesses on the lives of children, whether it’s at the work place, market place or within the community and support with business actions that can help to further protect and support children’s right. The whole premise of this framework is for businesses to not look at CSR corporate social responsibility or business responsibility as the liability but go beyond that and understand the impact that they have on communities. When we specifically talk about children they not just consumer for business products, they are a part of the community in which businesses operate.



[Dr. Moumita Ghosh Bhattacharya, Chief Functionary, Aaradhya Foundation receiving SPO INDIA Emerging NGO Award 2017 from Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Senior Director, IILM and S. Mukherjee, ED (HR & CSR), IOCL]


[Prof. Alaka Sarma, Founder & Executive Director, Akshar Foundation receiving SPO INDIA Emerging NGO Award 2017 from Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Senior Director, IILM and S. Mukherjee, ED (HR & CSR), IOCL ]


[Purnota Dutta Bahl, Founder & CEO, Cuddles Foundation receiving SPO INDIA Emerging NGO Award 2017 from Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee,  Senior Director, IILM and S. Mukherjee, ED (HR & CSR), IOCL]


[Vineet Kumar, Founder & President, Cyber Peace Foundation receiving SPO INDIA Emerging NGO Award 2017 from Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee,  Senior Director, IILM and S. Mukherjee, ED (HR & CSR), IOCL ]


[Divya Prakash, Trustee, Donate An Hour receiving SPO INDIA Emerging NGO Award 2017 from Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Senior Director, IILM and S. Mukherjee, ED (HR & CSR), IOCL ]


[Mrutyunjay Mishra, Director, Janwaar Castle Community Organisation receiving SPO InDIA Emerging nGO Award 2017 from Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Senior Director, IILM and S. Mukherjee, ED (HR & CSR), IOCL ]


[Mohammed Shahnawaz, COO, Khushi Baby receiving SPO INDIA Emerging NGO Award 2017 from Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Senior Director, IILM and S. Mukherjee, ED (HR & CSR), IOCL ]


[Saurabh Adeeb, Head, Corporate & Partner Engagement, The nudge Foundation receiving SPO INDIA Emerging NGO Award 2017 from Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Senior Director, IILM and S. Mukherjee, ED (HR & CSR), IOCL ]


[Sangeeta Verma, Managing Trustee, Unnayan Foundation Trust receiving SPO INDIA Emerging NGO Award 2017 from Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Senior Director, IILM and S. Mukherjee, ED (HR & CSR), IOCL ]


[Jodie Underhill, Co-founder & Chief Outreach Officer, Waste Warriors receiving SPO INDIA Emerging NGO  Award 2017 from Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Senior Director, IILM and S. Mukherjee, ED (HR & CSR), IOCL ]

Mohammed Shahnawaz, Chief Operating Officer, Khushi Baby: Khusi Baby is one of the not for profit organization and we are working in the m-health innovation area. As the recent data shows that 1.5 million children die because of unpreventable diseases, and over 200 in 1 lakh mothers die in India because of delivery related complications. We started a classroom project at Delhi University 3 year back and right now we are working in the Udaipur district in five blocks. We are tracking 4000+ mothers and children with these complications and we are aiming to track 33,000 by end of this year. This works on the NFC principle (near field communication principle) and with this we are doing away with the paper waste record keeping that is very tough to refer. The govt. Health workers collect this quantitical maternal health rate on the table, on a biometric tablet, a personalised biometric identification based record. We are not only decentralising the data collection but we are also focusing on the decentralised decision making. So we are working on how a govt. grass root health worker can collect data and can make decision based on these data. This doesn’t require any connectivity in rural areas as we all know that rural internet penetration is just less than 25%. And when this data is synced to the cloud district level officials and the block level health officials, they can make decision on those data. We have been supported by the UNICEF for this innovation.

Tushara Shankar, Head-CSR, United Breweries: I genuinely believe that corporate innovation can only happen when CSR is looked at as a shared value proposition in a corporate. It is only done as an exercise that is excluded from the business, which doesn’t really make sense because why should a corporate innovate. It becomes a compliance only exercise with lots of corporate and they want to get rid of the money. While if you look at it as a shared value proposition you want to derive benefit from each penny that you have spent. That’s what corporate mindset is usually. You want to make the best of your money. So we work in the water conservation space, we are in the water intensive industry and this is beyond central ground water authority guidelines. And while water positivity, water neutrality can also be aimed at by rejuvenating local water bodies right next to manufacturing units, but we have taken an approach of looking at the entire watershed because then the community is interested in it. It doesn’t benefit just 20 odd number of people, but it benefits a large community and when people see the benefits it stays in the long run.

Hitesh Sharma, National Manager CSR & Environment, Operations, RICOH: Ricoh is a global technology company headquartered in Japan which makes products that transform the way people work. I would like to bring in the aspect of integration; I think sustainability lies in ensuring that CSR is not seen as beyond business. Rather the innovation lies in seeing it as a mechanism to business beyond the usual. The moment this understanding comes in, I think that’s what makes the entire intervention much more sustainable, at the same time you don’t have to innovate. Innovation happens because then it’s a part and parcel of the way you do work or the way you actually try for. When a business produces goods, unwanted unavoidable products too get produced. So I think the innovation and the integration lies in identifying and recognizing those bad products and being able to mitigate those products. For mitigation you need to have a strong value leadership right. So concepts of your ethics, integrity values are actually playing a role there. The second important thing is how you eliminate the bad, how you reduce it and how do you create shared value reducing those bad. You are actually then creating a sustainable society and an environment. The Third important thing – how do you ensure or how do you transform your bad products become the next set of goods. That is true value creation and actually the value proportion and ensuring there is a circular economy at play. So this is what is required from the corporate perspective in trying to build this particular understanding across all the three levels of intervention.

Lalit Kumar, Senior Vice President, Sulabh International: Corporate creativity or innovations can make business sustainable or that can make communities sustainable, communities’ livelihood sustainable but for making CSR sustainable, I mean CSR has been in this country from the Rig Vedic time “Bahujan Hitay, Bahujan Sukhae” but a lot of things are happening in the last two years. For making CSR sustainable I think leadership is very important in any corporate house, impact, implementation and besides the hardware and software, hardware should be there and then their CSR program will be sustainable.

Deepak Maheshwari, Director – Government Affairs, India & ASEAN region, Symantec: After the recent wan cry cyber attack 13 days back I don’t think I need to deliver the need for cyber security. But the fact is there are still lots to be done. In July 2013 the country announced the nation’s cyber security policy and one of the policies was that we need 5 lakh cyber security professionals who will be certified by 2018. A couple of years back we were looking at the number and as per the parliamentary committee report we looked at that the total number of cyber security professionals in the country as per the ministry of electronics and IT, it was just about 65,000 or so. That was the issue which I am talking about two years back. So then we worked with NASSCOM and partnered on creating cyber security professionals. What we did was we supported development of curriculum of 5 different job rolls and teachers training and beyond that we also instituted scholarships for 1000 students along with Nasscom Foundation for that. There after we also worked with NASSCOM Foundation to develop another course, which is a baseline cyber security fundamental course which is not just about basic cyber hygiene or awareness but going beyond that. Now these courses are ready and are currently being rolled out in different institutions. But one of the important things that we have observed in this whole exercises is that no single company or no single country can do it all alone. So even when NASSCOM did this whole thing with our support, if constituted a board that had  representatives of many other companies as well as from the academia, only then we could do it all together.



P. K. Joseph, Program Director, DLF Foundation: Now when we talk about sustainability of our CSR program, we are derived from certain fundamental beliefs that we have. First of all we as a developer believe that we have certain unique assets and capabilities that can be put to use to address some of the development challenges, be it in education, skill development, sanitation, healthcare or bio diversity. Secondly we also believe that as a company we need to play a very indispensable role along with the government, the local civil society organizations like the RWAs the NGOs, the education system, the media and the local business too. When we look at the assets that we have as a developer, like various malls that we have, the huge office complexes that we have or the residential colonies that we have, we felt that we need to also use these recourses in a very effective manner from a sustainability point of view. We did a stakeholder mapping before we designed our CSR program, we also mapped the CSR space that we want to create. Some of the most critical issues that came up were in the area of education and skill development. One thing when we develop a township or a city, often the plans forget about a major or critical portion of our society, that is the people who are the stakeholders of the city like the maids, the drivers, the security guards, the peons, the lift operators, gardeners, we do not create space in terms of healthcare, education. So we launched our program called the Integrated Nurturing Talent Program. This is a very unique model that we created. If you look into the needs and the requirements of every child, whether it is bright or average or low performing children, there is a roadmap for each one of them. What we did was that we created a fee less school at a primary level at various community sites and the educational sites that we have. We work with the local NGOs to set up these primary schools for the low income and the middle low income group. We run 3 such schools up to higher secondary level. While we are doing that we found there are many children who are highly talented but they lack opportunities to realise their dreams. We picked up around 1200 such children and transferred them from their existing government schools or the local schools that we have to high-end public schools and private schools and that we financed their education and provided them with the complete range of coaching and training.

Amandeep Singh, Chief G.M., Corporate Communications, Indraprastha Gas Ltd.: Even before the companies act was enacted and notified in 2014, many of the activities were actually aimed at providing general social good, the common good which we are talking about. But coming very specifically to the innovation part, I think for the entire corporate landscape we have come a long way. There used to be a term called green washing which used to be used in 1980’s by the environmentalists that the companies are trying to white wash their sins by doing CSR. This is entirely a transformative CSR which we are seeing today. We can call it CSR 2.0 wherein the boards are encouraging the corporate, the entire management and the manpower to become very proactive into it. At the same time what we also see is that CSR as a social sector has not just become a domain of social sector professionals. We have people from various domains who are contributing to the innovation. We have people from marketing background, people from finance, and people from legal background who are actually undertaking CSR projects in the corporate and that is actually bringing lots of innovation to the table and that is driving the innovation.


Aarti Chandna, Vice President, Centum Foundation: When I was trying to co-relate the relation between innovation and CSR, I remembered one very catchy phrase which I read – CSR is doing about the right things and innovation is about doing things right. I think it really-really summed up everything. While a corporate can do a lot of innovation in their business processes to be a more responsible corporate social responsible partner I would speak from a perspective of an NGO or as an implementation partner. There are many case studies like the case study where a company spends a millions of dollars to redefine their business processes to do things right. I would only talk about small transactions. We train people with disabilities and the first disability which we have picked up is deaf. While we train the deaf and our deaf comes with a certain education level, when we train them on a program for 2-3 months, we realised that input of that kind is also not enough for them to have a respectable livelihood. While we can get them jobs, would they grow up the ladder like everybody else, probably not. Why, because their education level is very- very low. So what can we do, what innovation can we do along with the corporate to make a difference. The innovation which we are suggesting to the corporate is that lets go to the school level and work on the education of the deaf individuals when they are in class 1 and above, so that by the time they come out of schools, they have qualities like they understand what deaf empowerment is, what the deaf identity is and they have a better educational background than what they have today.

Tushar Sud, Director Partnerships CSR & Philanthropy, Swades Foundation: We have adopted 2000 villages in Raigarh district in rural Maharashtra and we have adopted an integrated approach, which means is we go to these villages and we look at water, sanitation, health, education, and ultimately economic development that includes livelihood in agriculture and skilling as well. Now the intent there is to make these villages, make the communities self sustainable. So we go with the 5-6 year plan to engage, empower, co-execute and finally exit. I think exit is very important to make anything self sustainable. Definitely CSR corporate funding does help but we consider all our donors as our partners, because they are equally in the streamlining processes, systems, building capacities of both communities as well as the NGO partners. We went in these villages thinking we need to educate the girl child, but what we realised is education is not the problem. The villages want to send their girls to school but who is going to fetch the water, the govt. The ladies of the houses including the girls need to spend 2-3 hours fetching just 100 litres of water to meet daily requirement. So we wanted to solve the problem of water. We looked at rain water harvesting for drinking water in every home, we looked at constructing toilets in every households. We are now looking at rain water harvesting for agriculture, so that the farmers can do the second crop and not just rely on paddy during the monsoon season.

Pravin Prashant and Samrita Baruah

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