CSR- DELIVER WHAT YOU ARE BEST AT!
The legally mandated corporate social responsibility of 2% of post tax profit has been in place for quite sometime now, for sure the modalities and nuances would have been ironed out by now. Its presumed that the modes of so called philanthropy of yesteryears would give way to well thought out methods of societal improvement, now that the corporates have to be in this trade for good. But this debate never hit the mainstream. Nor did we see any marked change in CSR or any great conspicuous landmarks / milestones emanating out of it.
Not denying some good work is happening in bits and pieces, the total quantum of money in CSR is sizeable. Working out a blueprint would make the expenditure and utility more worthwhile. Business competition need not translate into turf war here. Making impact on society by corporate centric individual initiatives, not tied to any concrete medium or long term plans is not going to take us places. The target society also changes and also the programs every year.
The CSE unit / officer gets into the trade trying to chalk out a plan of how to spend the money. The efforts of both real planning and collaboration seems to be amiss. The employees are always ready for their weekend CSR sojourns oblivious of the impact. TShirts, pics, events and some superficial work to show, the CSR bandwagon moves on. With collaboration not happening and the same NGOs coming as front ends, its high time, the strategy changes gears. In CSR 2.0 corporates should deliver products or services they specialise in to the society, bringing sustenance and commitment.
As the extension of their trade, it is easy to extent and also create inbuilt recurring cost mechanism in CSR itself. The products and services would be there to stay, the impact objective, visible and long lasting. The connect with the society robust and fully sustained. For corporates having none of these goods and services can extent some of the services they offer to their own employees as a part of CSR; medical insurance cover, access to corporate hospitals, education loan etc.
ROBUST CSR BY ROBSUT CORPORATIONS FOR A ROBUST SOCIETY.