By Harsha Mukherjee
The most talked about topic in Indian Industry with string of names coined on it: Coporate Social Responsibility(CSR), Responsible Business, Corporate Social Value (CSV) creation. It has been said that we are practising CSR since an age, but really do we interpret the term at an international level or are confined to our own cocoon with relating it to philanthropy.
Most MNCs practise CSR by employee engagement, philanthropy or these days they make their own social projects and take the assistance of NPOs to execute and implement it at grass root level.
The top Indian large scale industries & MNCs are surely taking some magnificent steps to create an impact but in a distributed manner and aimless directions in totality. According to statistics among the top 500 largest Indian Companies only 12 Indian companies have attained level 4 in CSR contributions namely: Ballarpur Industries, HDFC, Infosys Technologies, Wipro, Jubiliant Organosys, Kansai Nerolac, Larsent & Turbo, Mahindra & Mahindra, Moser Bear, TCS, Tata Steel & Titan Industries (Source: www.karmayog.org) which accredits that they have spend 0.2% of their sales on CSR activities. A comparison over the last 4 years shows a clear drop in the companies NOT undertaking CSR activities but the number of level 3 and 4 remain stagnant.
Comparison of Ratings: 2007-2010
Number of Companies
2007 2008 2009 2010
Level 0 221 173 128 113
Level 1 93 118 147 148
Level 2 144 161 146 161
Level 3 38 38 66 66
Level 4 4 10 13 12
Level 5 0 0 0 0
In-house CSR can be afforded clearly by MNCs with genuine interest but they lack the expertise which hiring in the ongoing economic turmoil is an add-on, also it is not viable for an employee to balance himself between making csr strategy and performing at job. SMEs on the other hand although want to work towards imbibing CSR would have contraints for a full time CSR Manager or a dedicated wing for CSR. There are considerable dearth of experts in this evolving field and thus pondering on the trend there is a lack of strategy to pursue the desideratum.
Each company and industry has its own objective and aim to make its business responsible and choice of cause to be associated with. A good CSR Consultant or manager should align all these coalesce it with the core business and abreast himself with the ongoing developments in CSR/Sustainability panorama, like latest EFQM Models Revised draft: AccountAbility standards, Revised draft: ISO26000, Revised GRI services, EICC Codes Equator Principles, 10 UNGC Principles, Carbon Disclosure Project , Upcoming Conferences, to know Truly Responsible and YET Profitable Companies, know the changing reporting trends in your country and how to leverage on various initiatives taken, Leading & Lagging measurable indicators by Bob Pojaski and the research across the globe on the topic.
It requires a dedicated team of consultants with the requisite exposure, expertise and innovativeness to develop unique CSR Strategies for each company in conjunction (if possible) including the Government & Community to make their steps more effective and standardize the process.
( Ms. Harsha Mukherjee is the founder of Ekjaa Foundation) She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org )