CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Corporate Social Reponsibility, CSR, as a method of funding social projects, might be new, more so under the new CSR regime. Corporates have made occasional forays in education & health; at times very successfully. On the refreshing side, if we stretch our imagination a bit, Lady Sriram College, Sriram College of Commerce, Delhi, BITS, Pilani and Tata Memorial Center, will fall in this category. The undercurrent is certainly is not commercial. Lots of other neat worthwhile assets have been created all over the country, without the brand name of CSR.
The legal mandate of 2014 is of spending 2% of net profit of corporates having a turnover of ₹10 bn. This was a transformative move, did the transformation happen? The charity spend was supposed to increase by more than ten times. Is CSR charity? Do we have a CSR strategy for the company having short, medium & long term deliverables. How far is it connected to the community’s requirements? Is there a dialogue before the final requirements are frozen. While all corporate work is done in a purely professional manner, when it comes to CSR, it is a lackadaisical approach. Whether there is ten times increased spend or not? The consequent physical manifestation is not very visible.
The Corporates wait for the needy to come to donate the largesse. Largesse is not a responsibility. NGOs have joined the bandwagon and the supply chain is complete. Added to the it, it is treated as weekend, well spend by corporates, adding to their profile. What about the changing the community profile? The communities doesn’t seem to have been visibly changing.
Nobody wants to put in effort. Corporates need to impart relevant skills, whatever they possess, needed by the community. Projects don’t happen, more so the brick & mortar types. CSR has turned out to be a fun time activity. A dole to earn a good name, glossed supposedly for posterity.
CSR NEEDS A PROFESSIONAL MINDSET, EXECUTION & DELIVERY.