CSR for Future Corporate Managers is the Need of Time: Role of B-schools

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Now the challenge is  that CSR should not be taken as another  job, business and employment opportunity  rather it  should be considered as holistic option in life to connect passionate professionals with  grassroots communities and  work  to make tangible  impact of the beneficiaries  they target.

By Anil Jaggi

Whenever I  tried to meet head of an organization, Corporate  or  PSUs  to get the exact  status of  their  ongoing CSR  activities, most of the  time response pattern is same. Either  they  are  quite  aware about  various CSR programs  or  they are already implementing various CSR activities and  making  larger impact on community.

But when it comes to get  access to their CSR report, picture  is contrary to it. Either  they are not doing anything worthwhile, or not clear about the directions, or doing some level of charity. Their reporting  standards are not up to required  standards or we can say few activities in bits and pieces.

Sometime or most of the  time company gives this responsibility to someone who is a trusted man of CMD /CEO or who is already looking after HR department of the organization without any direction or  initial training on this core subject.

My personal  experience is that,  when Govt.  is  getting serious on the account of CSR and corporate India  is also jumping into this  due to various  drivers, be it  management  or  conscious decision or pure market  driven, we need  to have someone who can justify with this emerging career opportunity. We need someone  who can connect  their  actions with community by coming out of his/her comfort zone.

I can foresee  two challenging issues in this  domain and they are,  first  is to have right person at right place with right understanding  and second is to sensitize  them about fragile issues  of sustainable and responsible  business development, which need to be addressed  through defined  and  sustainable CSR framework. Changing time will demand more trained CSR professionals with clear cut understanding of this vertical.

Though I keep on visiting IIT-Roorkee, Doon University, FMS/BHU, GB Pant Agri business School, but when I got a call from IMT (leading Business School) from its Hyderabad Campus, I was a bit surprised  that why  IMT  needed  someone who can talk  about CSR and Business ethics for the future corporate managers from this part of  world. Then I got clarification from Professor in-charge there, Dr. Debadutta K Panda (Ph.D) –Faculty Member, Economics and Strategy that IMT is following  Harvard Pattern which requires 30 % of the curriculum to  be  taken care by active practitioners, so  that students can  learn direct  from field  experience, develop some case studies and connect with the issues  of social and financial inclusion.

Considering the offer  and checking my work  schedule, I decided to visit IMT Hyderabad and  to have direct interaction with students. My previous  interaction with seasoned  CSR manager,  I found  this  as an opportunity to sensitize future  business  and corporate managers with whatever  knowledge I carry.

As I wanted  to make them  understand  the importance of CSR and business ethics  not only in promoting business at global level but to transform the society at large with their  community  centric and locally relevant CSR  strategies, which  is not  only beneficial to the company  but  for the society they  operate in and  can address the  local issues in a much more meaningful manners.

When Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Govt of India is making it mandatory for all business houses to shed some profit  for CSR funds, PSUs  are already moving in this  direction and  making the difference. Now it’s  time  when Pvt.  business can also  make  larger impact on society with their  effective functioning  and  reach. It is essentially important to have right human resources to tackle the subject more effectively.

But  now the challenge is  that CSR should not be taken as another  job, business and employment opportunity  rather it  should be considered as holistic option in life to connect passionate professionals with  grassroots communities and  work  to make  tangible  impact of the  beneficiaries  they target.

My  visit  and interaction with MBA students at IMT/Hyderabad gave  me another  impression  that if  given the opportunity with right blend of mindset and  resources, which corporate  have, CSR  is going to stay and  will remain there for long.

I feel when school  curriculum covers  value  education, its  right time  that all  B-Schools must teach about  business ethics, global standard compliances, Indian traditional value  system for CSR and its required reporting pattern  so when  students  are out from business schools and ready to  undertake the  responsible positions in Private or Govt. Sectors, they would be having  enough  knowledge and understanding about CSR and  its reporting standards like GRI  etc.

Anil Jaggy is the ICT4D and CSR Expert/Consultant. He can be reached at jaggianil@gmail.com cell: +91-9412009273

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