CSR should be sustainable and result oriented: Kaushik Sinha, Head, CSR, Magma Fincorp

With the tagline investing in the smallest dream, Magma Fincorp, a NBFC is offering a bouquet of financial products across 22 states. Focusing three most universal fields like Education, Health and Environment, Magma contributes in the future of the nation through CSR. Here, we have tried to know insight thoughts behind M- Scholar, Highway Heros and many more unique CSR activities, from the person who is heading the CSR in Magma.

Kaushik Sinha, Head, CSR, Magma Fincorp sharing his’ 3 S strategy of CSR with Rusen Kumar, Editor, India CSR Network. Excerpts of the interview:

How will you change the definition of term CSR by identifying different strategy of work?
CSR for us is about Community, Sustainability and Result Oriented. It is about helping the poor who needs it the most. We have carefully chosen the areas – Education, Health and Environment which we believe are three most important areas that India needs to address quickly if we were to achieve our ambition of transforming our nation into a developed nation soon. Our CSR strategy has 3S.

The initiative should be Simple so that people understand it easily and participate. It should be Sustainable over a period of time by ensuring the community is involved and finally, we should be able to Scale it easily. India being a vast country, we need to reach out to the people, especially in hinterlands easily. All our initiatives are aimed to help people at the ground level and we believe we have been able to make some difference to the people in the areas we operate in. CSR is for the community and we are happy to make our mark.

What was the intention behind saving 2 lakhs liters of fuel by launching ‘Save the fuel campaign ’?
Highway Heroes is our flagship and we are proud of the same. Through the campaign we have saved over 2 crore Litres of Diesel in the first 27 months. The initiative has not only reduced fuel consumption, has also reduced carbon dioxide emission to the environment. Pollution being such a major this definitely is a major achievement and we are extremely proud of this.

How many drivers will enroll for this course in next few years?
We started Highway Heroes in March 2015 and our first target was to be able to train about 1 Lac truckers in the first 3 years. Thankfully, the same got achieved well ahead of target, on the 27th month itself. We have now initiated the phase 2 from August 2017 and have set a target to train another 1.5 Lac truckers in the next 3 years. By achieving this, we would have trained nearly 15% of M&HCV drivers in the country, considering the population to be around 17-18 Lac as per data available. That will be quite an achievement.

How the activity helped the drivers and their family?
The feedback is extremely encouraging. The drivers have confirmed on record that they are saving 10% fuel which is adding to their income. Further, they have a Govt of India certificate (issued by PCRA) which is adding to their employability. Many have in fact informed us that this is the first formal training they have received and as such is the maiden certificate of their life. The medical camps have been helpful as our doctors have counselled them on posture, food habit, need for proper sleep etc. They are highly satisfied and are referring their friends and relatives who are in same profession for training now, which in itself shows what a difference the initiative has made to their lives.

What was the reason to launch M- scholarship program?
Every year we come across so many students who do well in Board Exams, yet perhaps don’t get to continue higher studies due to lack of funds and have to take up odd jobs to support the family. Data suggests only 25% of those who enroll in primary schools actually enroll for Plus 2 levels. We looked at this and decided to help the meritorious students from the poor families to chase their dream by giving them the support they need to pursue their under-graduate studies. We are extremely happy to be of help to 200 students now in M Scholar programme, many of whom are now in IITs, Medical Colleges etc.  They are a happy bunch studying and trying to make a mark for themselves. We feel also happy to be able to invest in their dreams which will help the society in the days to come.

What are activities are going on in rural India for education and health?
We have a programme called Swayam which is a Corporate Volunteering for our employees. Under this, we have just launched Going Back to School. This is unique as our employees have an opportunity to visit their Alma Mater and contribute in developing or repairing specific facilities which is important for the school kids. We also support FTS to run 16 schools in Tribal areas in CG, Jharkhand and Orissa. We run Mobile Medical camps in 8 villages in West Bengal and are in the process of taking this to other states as well. We sponsor Mid-Day meal for nearly 5500 students from rural schools in 7 states. There are more of such activities which give us a sense of satisfaction.

As per your opinion, which field needs more focus in case of CSR?
All three, education, health and environment. India has 17.7% of global population while only 2.4% of global landmass, 2% of global forest cover and 4% source of clean drinking water. India has very high school drop-out rate. Finally, our health system is not at all adequate considering we have only 2 doctors per 10,000 people (in developed countries its 10 times higher). If we have to prosper as a Developed Nation, we need our citizens to be well educated, healthy and our natural resources should contribute to the growth aspirations.

As you have been awarded for good work in CSR, what is the plan activities incoming year?
We hope to continue to do the good work. Three major current projects – Highway Heroes, M Scholar and Swayam will continue. We will scale up all of them as required. We further wish to add a new project on environment preservation which we will announce in due course. Overall, we will continue to focus on helping the poor in rural India and help them prosper.

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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