INDIACSR News Network
DUBAI: The 10th CSR Summit Middle East was conducted by IIRME (The Institute for International Research ) on 21st and 22nd May at Dubai.
The sessions were finely Chaired and moderated by Mr. Ashraf Zeitoon Director of corporate Communications Aramex. The first panel discussion was on defining the functionality of CSR and investigating the pros and cons it can provide was debated by Ibrahim Al Zu’bi, CSR Head Majid Al Futtaim Properties who insisted upon youth and job creation for high socio-economic impact and set localization targets.
Mr. Fred Sicre MD of Abraaj Group shared about 5+5+5 policy where the Abraaj Group invests 5% of revenues, 5% of annual bonus of the employees and encourage 5 days of work by the employee for social welfare activities thereby insisting that they ingrain CSR in the DNA of their organization rather than having a separate NGO handling the activities. He also shared a case study of how Abraaj Group uplifted the life of people in Peru by teaching them English, women empowerment and thereby increasing their income by 50% and in turn increasing the profits of the group too. He insisted that companies should be proactive in CSR activities. Mr. Fred Sicre also informed that they have offered support GRI to build a task force to develop indices for A+ reporting. NoamanSaleh, CSR Manager Enoctold that they follow bottom up approach while doing CSR activities, measure Social Return on Investment (SROI) and conduct impact investment study. During the interactive session people were asked about CSR as PR stint and about 60% of the population believe it is true.
In the strategic CSR session, Dr.Walid A Fitahi CEO and Chairperson International Medical Centre (IMC) was against corporates who are doing plain philanthropic activity as a CSR activity and told that they are plainly corrupting the souls of employee. He shared about the preferences at IMC one of the most profitable hospital in Asia. They value idealistic people more than pragmatic surgeons with attitude who were removed out from IMC at Saudi Arabia.
According to him, significant contribution to success in the business is the intangible value rather than tangible value. He was voted as the most inspirational and passionate speaker of the conference. Asil Attar, CEO Majid Al Futtaim Fashion highlighted about the emotional engagement of the employees in the company and advocated the culture of people centric organization followed by Al Futtaim Fashions. After, her joining and implementing CSR Strategy, the employee engagement raised from 48% to 98% and profits have surpassed 117%.
Mr. Ahmed Nasser, GM Laundry & Home Care in GCC at Henkel shared about the youth development and women empowerment relatedactivities at Henkel. Henkel was the 1st company to release GRI report in 1992. In the Foundations Speak session, Ms. Clare Woodcraft, CEO Emirates Foundation insisted upon supporting social entrepreneurship 1-6 years of the venture till the time it is sustainable and scaling up.
The Conference had a special session for women social entrepreneurs which consisted of Rawan Barakat, Founder of Raneen; Ms. Maya Karanouh CEO at TagBrands, Sara Dajani, Fullbright scholar; Ms.RanaChmaitelly Founder Digital Photography and Ms. Shahar Ghazi Madani, Founder Women Empowerment Group and President of Diplomatic Ladies Group and Abaya Fashion Designers; Ms. Sahar Nasr, Lead Economist in the World Bank’s Finance and Pvt Sector Development (MENA)
There was a social business plan competition in which students of various colleges participated.
The 10th CSR Summit 2013 gave a platform not only to CSR debates but also provided solutions in the form of promoting women entrepreneurs and encouraging social entrepreneurs.