Posts Tagged ‘Social Responsibility’

Two distinct points made by an industry federation representative recently about India’s private companies and CSR in the wake of the new companies law are worth mentioning.

The companies are more keen to change the communities closer to where they are located.

This needs to be weighed in the context of global brand outreach and the wider linkage that the communities have with the market. Is it still sensible to look at CSR engagement in the context of a factory or facility setting, because it does have a bearing on what kind of social impact the company has its eyes set on?

A restrictive approach would deliver only a short-term engagement, not a substantial approach to link the community and the company brand to the wider world. It also impacts how the specific work and learning are leveraged.

The second one is about reluctance of the companies to support networks of civil society for capacity building in comparison to directly working with the community. In the current law, the definition of impact is not restricted to numbers of beneficiaries and activities alone, but also to sustainability and long-term changes.
Investing in capacities of civil society organisations and networks to work specifically on leveraging schemes and using CSR support strategically make much more sense. The direct community outreach service should not be the only output as it is sustainable.

My question back to the representative would be: Have we prepared the industry to look at CSR within the larger ecosystem of entitlement schemes? Have we prepared them to look at the stakeholders who work on the same issues? Corporate sector is expected to bring in efficiency and professional management in whatever it does but is that passed on to the current approach to CSR framework.