INDIACSR Organizes International Conference on CSR in Mumbai

INDIACSR News Network

MUMBAI: INDIACSR (www.indiacsr.in), the largest web portal on CSR in India, organized the International Conference on CSR & Competitiveness (www.conference.indiacsr.in) in Hotel Ramada Plaza Grove, Juhu Beach, Mumbai on 9th May 2012.

Conference was inaugurated by the Chief Guest, Manoj Somasundaram, CEO Choice International & MD Challenge Life Ltd (UK);  Guest of Honor Rajeev Goyal, Vice President & Chief Construction Manager, Abhijeet Group, Chandwa  (Jharkhand); Specail Guest Dr. Yudhbir Singh (IAS) , National President , ISBTI, Haryana ; Rusen Kumar, Founder- INDIACSR and Ms. Enakshi Senguta, Executive Director, Kohana CSR.

In his welcome speech,  Rusen Kumar highlighted the objective of the conference and shared his journey to this achievement.

Manoj Somasundaram, shared his experience about the CSR activities, practices and learning in this area.

He highlighted the achievements by his organization, operating in London and other cities in Europe.

Rajeev Goyal, Vice President & Chief Construction Manager, Abhijeet Group, Chandwa  (Jharkhand) shared his views on responsible business practices and CSR of  Abhijeet Group, which is playing very important role in socio-economic development of Chandwa region in the state of Jharkhand through through various industrial projects in power, steel and mining.

Book on  CSR & Competitiveness

The Conference was attended by over 200 delegates from various countries like- UK, USA, Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong and almost all the states of India.

An Edited Book on the Topic CSR & Competitiveness, Edited by Prof. Saurabh Mittal was also launched in this conference. Published by Allied Publisher, India, the Book contains 19 chapters on the various aspects of CSR, Sustainability, Competitiveness, and Case Studies from India and abroad.

The book got great response from the Academic, research and corporate and received more than 100 chapter proposals. The published 19 chapters provide in depth analysis and recommendations for the future work in the area of CSR and implementation of CSR activities by corporate.

Ina Bose, General Manager , Corporate Communications, Infinity Infotech Parks , Kolkata shared about Anant, a innovative social project. She heighted that Anant Education Initiative provides a unique “Donor Anant scholarship” program. Under this program the name of the donor will be attached with Anant and the scholarship will be called “ Donor Anant merit scholarship ” . The donor can be an individual or a corporate. Anant commenced operations from 2011 by providing  252 scholarships to meritorious students from the economically weaker sections of the society who passed Higher Secondary Examination. From 2012 Anant will be providing scholarships to both secondary and higher secondary passed students. It aims to reach education to 100,000 by 2020. Anant will go PAN India by providing financial merit scholarships to deserving and meritorious students from Akshaya Patra, the world’s largest NGO run school meal program feeding more than 1.3 million underprivileged children everyday in 9,157 schools in 18 locations across 9 states in India.

Madhu Singh Sirohi, Country Head , CSR at Uninor India shared his views that how can corporate houses look at CR as an inclusive arm of its business strategy and how a company can build a competitive edge through its social initiatives is something that we seek to discuss today. She presented a case study on CSR of Uninor in India. She said, thhe telecom industry has the power to transform society, which is why corporate responsibility is an important part of how Telenor operates. Our strategic direction was well defined in that we needed to maximize the impact of telecommunications, create shared value for society and shape a sustainable future.

Vijay Kapur, eminent CSR consultant presented a paper titled “CSR and good practices of stakeholders engagement: A case study of Cross Ethnic Business Relations in Nagaland”. Through a real life case study of Steelunion Limited, a iron and steel manufacturer, conducted in 2001, Vijay Kapur highlighted how social responsibility can help firm gain social legitimacy or approval from the public, including their stakeholders, which help them obtain cooperation and support from stakeholders including employees, suppliers, customers and residents of a local community.

Enakshi Sengupta, an International CSR consultant through her presentation titled “Supply Chain-a timeless responsibility “showcased  some of the mal- practices that are prevalent in the supply chain of the chocolate and cotton industry. She said, although the cotton and chocolate industry have taken measures to strengthen their supply chain policies and management systems, and have joined initiatives that aim to address social issues, such as poverty and underdevelopment, much has been left to be done in the abolishment of child and forced labour in both the trades. Enakshi took  the context back to 1860, almost a century and half back and through the help of literature reveals how the atrocities of supply chain and that the histographic interest and actions were devoid of moral economy perspective even then.

Anil Jaggi, CEO ICT4D, Sustainable and  CSR Consultant emphasized that creating  sustainable revolution through  business organization  and their strategic CSR framework  is one  of the most urgent and important  mission of our times with passion, energy and  determination. Positive  side of responsibly  business  today is  that  board of directors are starting  to take  account  of sustainability  and CSR  issues  as  never  before. He said, I feel that corporate world has enormous impact and direct or indirect contributor to most 21st century ecological and social challenges. If we seek a working synergy between corporation, society and environment,   they would be complimentary to each rather contradictory to each other.

Robins Duncan, Director, Habitat for Humanity India, Mumbai talked about “social welfare and affordable housing”. He said, housing and the availability of safe and decent structures of shelter which promote healthy living standards besides enabling better education and livelihood opportunities is a challenging need and necessity that confronts our other social welfare measures. He educated that Habitat for Humanity, believes a simple, decent, affordable home is key to breaking the cycle of poverty. Each year, Habitat for Humanity builds homes, communities and hope by building and improving homes; advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions.

Noshir H Dadrawala, Chief Executive Officer, Center for Advancement of Philanthropy (CAP), Mumbai underlined that Responsible businesses are beginning to define goals that go beyond their own corporate objectives. The core belief is that companies incur responsibilities to society beyond profit maximization. He said, An effective community relations programme is important to the success of a business. A company’s thoughtful and sustained involvement in social programmes always helps the community observe the organization in a broader and more positive perspective. Shareholders and customers see the company as more than a purveyor of goods and services and source of dividends.

Dr. Yudhbir Singh (IAS), National President ISBTI, Deputy Commissioner, district Jind, Haryana in his presentation focused on “Voluntary Blood Donation Awareness & Promotion in unexplored areas a Corporate Social Responsibility”. Dr Singh said, ISBTI has created a successful model for other districts to follow to achieve 100% Voluntary Blood Donation in the Country. ISBTI is now aiming for and is all set to implement the same strategy in other districts of the State of Haryana and then throughout the Nation. “We made beginning from a village, moved from village to village, town to town & successfully achieved 100% Voluntary Blood Donation in the District. We wish it should cover the State….then Country…. and finally the whole of the World…. to make this World a better living place for all living beings”. He underlined.

Satish Jha, Chairman, OLPC India Foundation, USA highlighted the unique features and benefits of the Children Laptop. He said significant progress made in India’s school education is faced with some challenges in educating children in rural India. These include improving the quality of education by nurturing teachers who are passionately engaged in educating and learning and can nurture India’s untapped talent in a way that is affordable and makes learning interesting enough for children to study and not drop out of school. “One Laptop per Child” (“OLPC”) is an education project, leveraging technology to provide holistic education that can help tap that potential and is not just a laptop project. “This project enables a child to learn intuitively as well as reflectively, taking them away from traditional rote learning and help explore their own potential as they grow into creative adults.” He added.

David Boyd-Thomas, Head of Corporate Responsibility & Community Affairs, Asia Pacific, UBS explained that with the release last year by the International Standards Organization of the ISO26000 Guidance on CSR the corporate sector has for the first time a road map that has been developed globally. He criticized that all too often, well-intentioned CSR programs of reputable firms have stayed fixed in the “charitable” phase of development. He said, The new Guidance opens the discussion to look at all facets of an organization’s operations and places a high weighting on stakeholder engagement. Over the past decade we have come to see that the corporate sector can offer communities and society at large far greater value through appropriate corporate “citizenship” than just through financial contributions. There is nothing however to stop corporations from getting on with it and beginning if they have not already done so the discussions of how CSR can be integrated across all of their activities.

CA Rajkumar Adukia, Mumbai said that corporate today endeavor to project a model of governance, which is free from corruption and built on a government by conviction, participation, transparency, equity, integrity and social and environment responsibility. It is a time of socially responsible businesses and organizations and the focus is on facilitating a partnership between social responsibility, civil society and corporate. The value and importance of corporate social responsibility is tremendous, however the laws in most developed countries do not stipulate mandatory CSR contributions. With the changing global economic environment, businesses have now consciously started paying more attention to their corporate social responsibilities which can eventually lead to sustainable development. And the future lies with those corporates who can intertwine the corporate responsibility practices into their businesses.

Cristiana Peruzzo, Head CSR, Innovaid Advisory Services, Mumbai under her presentation “CSR Communication: Concepts, Approaches & Channels” enlighten that the area of sustainability communications with its instruments and programs such as sustainability reports, stakeholder dialogues, cause marketing campaigns, and product labeling, has been expanding dramatically worldwide in the past decade due to several reasons such as legislative requirements, the social media revolution as well as the creation of a global context in which companies are expected to be more open and receptive to external expectations with regards to their social and environmental impact.

The session explored how at societal level, corporate sustainability communications has the prospective to increase the company’s reputation and brand value whilst potentially creating a platform for public debate on sustainability issues. From the internal communications point of view, communicating sustainability to internal stakeholders is critical to foster employees’ loyalty and a sustainable working environment.

In her presentation captioned “ Breaking the CSR Myths!” Harsha Mukherjee, Founder Ekjja,  Mumbai explored that CSR concept has evolved from strength to strength. Dr. Wayne Visser in his research has mentioned different versions of CSR 1.0, CSR 2.0 and I am sure CSR 3.0 is already in progress. CSR 1.0 is prevalent since 1953 from the time Henry Bowen coined the term and it  majorly revolves around philanthropy &  voluntarism which is still widely practiced in India & many other emerging countries. Apparently, we cannot completely negate this version but we can evolve over it by making philanthropy a subset. In India, CSR 1.0 practices include: Charity, Brand building exercises – White Washing masking unethical practices by mining companies; Green Washing masking environmental pollution by BP; Pink Washing masking cancer related hazards, public relations tool & marketing activities.  India still follows the court of CSR 1.0 & it is high time that we revolutionize our thoughts and practices on CSR.

Presentation of Sharon Weir, Founder, 4th Wheel, Ahmedabad was focused on “ Where does Corporate India stand in the new age of enlightened Corporate Responsibility?”.  She said,  the Indian model of CSR commenced with philanthropy which primarily was driven by religious sentiments, family traditions and voluntary contributions, driven by personal motives. With the change in the business environment and increase in FDIs in the liberalization period, the philanthropy model started getting integrated into strategic thinking. “Companies realized that merely by just doing ‘good’ and donating money to social initiatives implied a waste of shareholder’s money. In the new market economy this arrangement is not sustainable in the long run and shareholders will quickly lose interest if their money does not give them tangible results”. Companies realized that corporate success does not only depend on altruistic CSR but development of the local environment through developing appropriate infrastructure, designing the right types and quality of education to future employees, co-operation with local suppliers, development of quality institutions and so on.

Kartikeya Kompella, Vice President, Lowe Lintas+, Bangalore presented a paper on the topic of “The Marketing Case For CSR”. He said that Responsibility is a mindset – it is not determined by strength or size. There are large corporations with small minds and small corporations with big minds. The size of the mindset determines what the corporate sees as their responsibility and that determines how the world sees them. If business listens to consumers then it is probably worthwhile to understand what stakeholders think about CSR in India. In 2011, Lowe Lintas, Microsoft and Cross Tab collaborated to conduct a study on attitudes towards CSR. The survey which had a robust sample size of over 2300 respondents threw up several interesting findings.

Sourabh Jain,  AVP,  First Climate India, Mumbai presented a paper on “Climate Change Mitigation – Our responsibility towards future generations” .  He highlighted that global warming has now become one of the most pressing challenges faced by humanity. Policy makers across the globe have taken note of the same and various initiatives are being taken to mitigate climate change. Government of India has launched the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) to roll out initiatives that the country will take to address this threat. Corporates have an important role to play as energy consumption and generation by companies contribute significantly to the emissions. It is imperative that the CSR teams include Climate change mitigation activities as one of their core agenda and have a clear, well defined approach to this. Companies have realized the adverse impact of climate change on their business in long term.

Sundeep Paulose, PwC , Social Sector Senior Consultant (Government Reforms and Infrastructure Development) presented a paper focused on “CSR in Public Sector Enterprises”. The paper was an attempt to understand and compile the various issues of CSR in Government companies ranging from concept development, planning, implementation, research, documentation, advocacy, promotion, funding, monitoring and evaluation. It would also give rich insights into the government mechanism regarding policies and frameworks for CSR in PSEs. He said that across the globe, CSR derives from two sources: public sector companies and private corporate companies. Much has been documented about the private sector initiatives in CSR, so much that CSR has been synonymous with private funding in social sector. At the same time public sector companies with substantial government shareholding has also forayed into the CSR sphere. However very less has been written on the PSE contributions in CSR. Government being a major stakeholder in the PSEs, it is logically appealing that the returns need to go back to the government and the benefits reach the smallest unit i.e. village, panchayat, block or district depending upon the operations and resource capability of the company.

Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury, Dean, Whistling Woods School of Communication, Mumbai read a paper focused on “CSR and Media: What Next?” According to him, There are some portals who have done good work on CSR, and also some wire services. Mention can be made to www.csrwire.com, www.csrmedia.com. CSRwire shares best CSR stories from around the world and also provides CSR content to mainstream media. CSR Media brings in quality audio content and still visuals on CSR for people and other media, specially radio stations and magazines. There are www.in.reset.to and www.csrdigest.com which also give information on CSR and development issues, and provides platform to interact and engage suitably as well. In India, the best work in CSR Communication, which is updated daily, is being done by INDIACSR (www.indiacsr.in). He informed that, One good international example of CSR of Media is the making of Media CSR Forum based out of UK. The “Media corporate social responsibility (CSR) forum” is a group of big media companies developing CSR and sustainability practices and understanding for the media sector. The Forum was established in 2001 following recognition that the practice of CSR and sustainability for media companies has many unique features that sets it apart from traditional industry and other business sectors.

In her presentation “ The corporate world- CSR Activities’ Asha Nachi, Head Marketing and Operations,  Eram Scientific  Solutions, Bangalore highlighted Eram Group’s ‘Delight Bharath!”-India’s first comprehensive public amenities infrastructure movement.  She informed that Eram Group has innovated E-Toilet-World’s first electronic public toilet for enabling Indian cities with connected eToilet infrastructure.  The electronic toilet facility that takes care of entry to sewage treatment automation. eToilet ensures sustainability in operation through unique income generation and has all it  needs to facelift the public sanitation.  She said, through ‘Delight Bharath’ campaign, a series of technology interventions are planned that includes specialized sewage treatment plants, solid waste treatment system, water purification technologies and rain water harvesting structures.

T Ram Chandran represented “Aim For Seva” Chennai. He highlighted that the All India Movement (AIM) for Seva was started by Swami Dayananda Saraswati in the year 2000, as an initiative of the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha, an apex body consisting of religious heads of the various “sampradayas” or traditions. The vision of the movement is to transform society through a network of seva, of caring,to help each child contribute to the progress of the nation. And that’s where AIM for Seva makes the difference. We provide the children with a clean living environment, nutritious food, uniforms, schooling needs, value based education, extra-curricular activities and much more to every child who needs it. Our objective is to help today’s children become responsible citizens of tomorrow and contribute to their family, society and country.

Conference provided a forum to initiate a dialogue and enlighten the participants on creating a competitive edge for their business organizations with the help of responsible management practices. Speakers in the conference shared the brilliance and knowledge in the field by speeches, presentations and case studies, highlighting thought provoking activities and facilitate knowledge transfer across the august gathering. The gathering in the economic capital of India reached beyond academic research and business operations and focused on the harmony in our society through the CSR lens.

Founded by Mr. Rusen Kumar, INDIACSR (www.indiacsr.in) is only and largest CSR news portal in India. INDIACSR has created a platform that enhances companies need to share ideas on their CSR best practices and discuss collaborative projects between the firm and its end stakeholders. INDIACSR provides a forum to initiate a dialogue on creating a competitive edge with the help of CSR activities and seeks help from Industry experts. INDIACSR is a division of CSR INDIA Corporate Social Services Pvt. Ltd. Felicitating the Leaders in the area of CSR, academicians, researchers from all the corners of the world for their research, development & innovations in this sector, the Mega Conference identified and recognized the outstanding contributions to the field of Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Competitiveness, Reporting and Social Upliftment.

The main speakers in the conference were:

Inaugural session

Manoj Soma, CEO Choice International & MD Challenge Life Ltd (UK), UK

Rajeev Goyal, VP & CCM, Abhijeet Group, Chandwa

Rusen Kumar, Founder & Director, INDIACSR

Rajesh Tiwari, Founder and CEO, Indian Center for CSR

Session I

Ina Bose, General Manager , Corporate Communications, Infinity Infotech Parks , Kolkata

Madhu Singh Sirohi, Country Head CSR, Uninor

Vijay Kapur, Executive Director, Kohana CSR, Malaysia

Enakshi Senguta, Executive Director, Kohana CSR, Malaysia

Anil Jaggi, CEO-Green Earth Alliance, Dehra dun

Session II

Robins Duncan, Director, Habitat for Humanity India, Mumbai ;

Noshir H Dadrawala, CEO, CAP,  Mumbai ;

Dr. Yudhbir Singh (IAS) ,  National President , ISBTI, Haryana ;

Satish Jha, Chairman, OLPC India Foundation, USA ;

David Boyd-Thomas, Head CR & Community Affairs, Asia Paciffic, UBS, Hong Kong;

CA Rajkumar Adukia, Mumbai;

Session III

Cristiana Peruzzo, Head CSR, Innovaid Advisory Services, Mumbai;

Harsha Mukherjee, Founder Ekjja,  Mumbai;

Sharon Weir, Founder, 4th Wheel, Ahmedabad;

Kartikeya Kompella, Vice President, Lowe Lintas+, Bangalore;

Session IV

Sourabh Jain,  AVP,  First Climate India, Mumbai;

Sundeep Paulose, Sr. Consultant, PwC, Mumbai;

Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury, Mumbai;

Asha Nachi, Head Marketing and Operations,  Eram Scientific  Solutions, Bangalore;

T Ram Chandran , Aim for Seva, Chennai.

Prof. Saurabh Mittal gave the Vote of Thanks to all the guest and the attendees for their support and time. The conference was appreciated by all.

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