CSR Interview with Kaushik Sinha, Head, CSR of Magma Fincorp

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Our today’s interaction is with Kaushik Sinha, Vice President & Head of CSR, Magma Fincorp Limited. He has 20 years in Communications, last 7 years in Administration. Wide Coaching Experience in Domain and Behavioral aspects. He is a thinker, execution expert and philosopher. He is associated with Magma Fincorp from last 14 years. He talks with Rusen Kumar of India CSR Network about the company’s CSR journey and the impact created. Edited excerpts:

What are the various CSR initiatives at Magma. Please provide a brief on each.

Magma’s business motto is providing equality of opportunity to the economically disenfranchised. The same motto is adopted in our CSR plan and we are striving to help the poor in need helping them to evolve in life. We work in three areas, namely Education, Health and Environment. Since we operate out of more than 300 locations around the country, our CSR initiatives are also well spread out, with a clear focus on rural India.

I will briefly mention three large projects here. Allow me to explain.

Magma Highway Heroes is our largest and most recognized CSR project where beginning March 2015 we are providing Training to countless Truck drivers. This programme is being conducted through camps at 240 plus locations and to date. We have tied up with PCRA, a non for Profit unit of Ministry of Petroleum, Govt of India to manage the training content and delivery. Training on Road Safety, safe driving skill, maintenance etc are taught by certified trainers at these camps. Successful implementing of these skills, a driver gets to increase his vehicle mileage by 10% – 12 making it profitable. Our free medical camps have helped over 1 Lac truckers to date. Further we have set up e-toilets at some of these locations for better sanitation facilities.

Magma M Scholar is yet another very successful initiative where we helped 200 students in the past 3 years from financially backward families with higher education in medical and engineering at top medical and engineering colleges and will add another 100 to our list soon. It is truly humbling to note how the scholarship is helping the students and their parents who keep sharing chase their dream and keep thanking magma for being there for them. I hope the students would do well in life and in future help others as well.

Magma M-Care, our exclusive health initiative in Bengal from the past 1.5 years. We have a mobile clinic with three doctors (one MD and two MBBS), a Nurse, a paramedic which goes to remote villages and treats villagers of several chronic ailments providing quality treatment to nearly 10,000 people in areas which neither has a hospital, health center or even a registered doctor. Tests like blood group, ECG, blood pressure etc are conducted and medicines are distributed. We have started expanding this now and in FY19, will cover another 4 state. We want to work on issue of lack of health awareness which the camp aims to address by speaking to the villagers effectively.

What is the impact and reach of the initiatives?

Each project has made a mark. While Highway Heroes has helped over 1.5 Lac Drivers earn a more respectable living, M Scholar is shaping the lives of 200 bright kids who are chasing their dream despite the obstacles they face of poverty and lack of exposure. M Care has treated over 10,000 people and provided them with care in areas where they do not have the basic health infra. We have made a mark in a short span of time in these projects. The beneficiaries are the rural poor.

What are the highlights/achievements till date?

Let me highlight one for example which is clearly a winner. Highway Heroes has provided dignity to the truckers by helping them earn more and become more employable. By reducing fuel consumption (we employed a third party which periodically checks with the truckers and identified the impact), in a given year, total diesel saved is around 2 crore litres, which reduced 6 crore kg CO2 emission to nature. A trucker, by using the techniques taught at the camps, earn Rs 10,000 per month additionally which brings sustainability to his life and happiness in his family. No wonder, Highway Heroes has been recognized with 9 national level awards in the past 3 years.

What are the challenges faced while implementing various initiatives and how did you overcome them?

Each initiative had its own challenges and we had to pursue them differently. In Highway Heroes, getting the truckers to come to our camps initially was a massive challenge. They did not wish to spend so much time in a training camp. We tied up with Transport associations and Trucker Unions to convince the truckers. We had to first convince the transport Unions and Associations which helped pull in the truckers. Now, with 1.5 Lac truckers benefitting from the programme, the word of mouth is helping big time.

For M Scholar, the challenge was to identify the right candidates. We got a lot of help from media who wrote about our scheme. We sought help from NGOs working in the area. We also got a lot of enquiries through our employees who are spread across the country. Now on the fourth year, M Scholar is fairly well known and we get a fair number of enquiries all-round the year.

M Care too was not easy. We did a lot of research and took help from local NGOs to inform villagers of the programme. It was a hit from day 1 because people saw merit in attending the clinic which was providing quality support free of cost.

Any future plans for such initiatives.

We propose to continue the work we have initiated. Further would like to introduce few projects on environment sustainability and vocational training for students from underprivileged background from the rural areas. Magma as an organization invests in the “smallest dreams”, the same would continue to be our guiding light in CSR area as well.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the interviewee in this feature are entirely his own and does not necessarily reflect the views of India CSR Network and its Editor.

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