CEO, GiveIndia: Good CSR practices can bring great benefits

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GiveIndia runs a Payroll Giving Programme across 100+ companies and involves 50,000+ employees. CEO, GiveIndia, Dhaval Udani while sharing his views on CSR told Deputy Editor, IndiaCSR, Bilal Hussain  that good CSR practices can only bring in greater benefits.

IndiaCSR News Network

MUMBAI: Dhaval is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and a Computer Science graduate from the VJTI, Mumbai. Before joining GiveIndia, Dhaval worked for over 7 years with a software development firm and a global management consulting firm. He has been associated with GiveIndia since 2006 and worked as a volunteer before joining full-time in 2008.

He eventually gave up his cushy corporate job to make a difference to society. Dhaval led Operations, Technology and Online Giving initiatives at different points of time between 2008 and 2010 before taking over as the CEO in 2011. Dhaval is one of the 20 business leaders and change-makers in India to be chosen to be a part of the Aspen India Leadership Initiative.

dhaval udani giveindia

How does GiveIndia perceive Corporate Social Responsibility?

CSR normally comes into the picture after the company has made its profits and is thinking of ways to utilize the surplus. We feel that the approach to CSR needs to be holistic and integrated with the core business strategy to contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as the community and society at large.

How is Corporate Social Responsibility projects implemented and monitored at GiveIndia?

We do not help companies with their CSR activities as we believe in taking giving to the masses. Our aim is to create a strong giving culture where Indians donate 2% of their income every year to give the underprivileged a chance.

 

What are the benefits of having good Corporate Social Responsibility for corporate?

Good CSR practices can only bring in greater benefits, some of which are:

a)Enhancing brand image –

Having an effective CSR strategy generates goodwill and creates a positive image for the brand and the company.

b)Retain & attract talent –

Companies that encourage and enable employees to participate in effective social/CSR practices are shown to increase employee morale and a sense of belonging to the company.

c)Less opposition towards initiating projects –

If you keep your local community happy then it is much easier for you to initiate new projects and carry out your business operations. There is less resistance from the community when you reason with them on contentious issues.

 

What is the difference between CSR and sustainability?

Corporate sustainability is a broader concept wherein companies try to meet the needs of the present without compromising the future. CSR plays a big role in achieving sustainability by playing a balancing act between economic progress, social progress and environmental development. So you can say that to be sustainable you need to have an effective CSR strategy in place.

 

What is the business case for CSR?  Is it the same in developing economies as that of India?

For all our economic might, to be truly considered a developed economy we need to be a country with less poverty, hunger and disease, greater survival prospects for mothers and their infants, better educated children, equal opportunities for women and a healthier environment. These things cannot be achieved by the government and NGOs alone, support from the corporate sector is must. Now with it being legally binding for companies to be socially responsible, there will be great progress made in bridging the inequality divide. Companies have to understand the bigger picture, the more you eradicate poverty the more spending power you give to people.

 

How can GiveIndia help corporates?

GiveIndia runs a Payroll Giving Programme, designed exclusively and structured for corporates and organisations. It allows an employee to contribute a small amount from his salary every month into a dedicated Giving Account. The programme is currently running across 100+ companies and involves 50,000+ employees. This has greatly helped the companies in engaging their workforce and creating a healthy environment.

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