Deloitte volunteered 143,000 employee hours making difference to over 9,42,000 lives: N.C. Hegde

NEW DELHI: N.C. Hegde is the CSR-in-charge and a member of the CSR committee of Deloitte India, and oversees implementation of the CSR initiatives. He is a member of Deloitte India Governing Board and part of the Deloitte Global Clients and Industries Council.

Hegde a Central Council Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has wide experience of more than 29 years in advising multinationals clients on tax structuring, exchange control regulation and mergers and acquisitions.

He has contributed to articles in international tax journals and national tax journals and websites. He is a regular speaker at various professional forums. He his leadership this year Deloitte volunteered more than 143,000 employee hours to make a difference to over 9,42,000 lives.

In conversation with Rusen Kumar, Editor, India CSR; N.C. Hegde talks about how Deloitte’s Impact Day celebration year-round corporate citizenship efforts is impacting the society. He believes that employee volunteering and employee driven programs require a lot of planning and strategy making them more responsible citizens. Excerpts from the interview:

Deloitte is engaged is employee-driven, skill based community involvement programmes for 14 years now. How has this programme evolved over the years?

The program has certainly evolved over the years and we are witnessing a jump in the number of participants that from our side. The new-age millennials want to give back to society and are very receptive to these kind of programmes.

How different is Impact Day from the projects Deloitte is involved around the year?

Impact Day is the annual celebration of Deloitte’s year-round corporate citizenship efforts. The difference is that Impact Day is one single day when thousands of professionals consciously set out some time together to get involved in various projects benefitting the society. This year more than 30,000 participated in 175 different projects across 12 cities. The community outreach program impacted over 9,42,000 lives in one single day.

What has been Deloitte’s focus areas in community involvement programmes and why have you chosen this approach?

Through Impact Day program we want to create a meaningful impact in the society. The organization focuses on education and skill building, healthcare and sanitation, environmental sustainability and empowerment while choosing projects for CSR. We proactively seek out projects where we invest our industry knowledge and professional expertise to address strategic, operational and financial challenges. This helps us shape the future for these communities and truly make an impact that matters.

How many employee hours are spent in such projects and what other investments has Deloitte made in such a CSR initiative?

This year Deloitte volunteered more than 143,000 employee hours to make a difference to over 9,42,000 lives. The organization teamed up with Teach for India in the areas of education and awareness for children from the lower strata of society, across 12 cities. Adopting a multi-pronged cradle-to-college approach, Deloitte is focused on addressing education and employability concerns from the grassroots up, in India.

What impact has Deloitte made in the society?

Community is Deloitte’s business and over the past 14 years in India we have been investing in the society through several projects, primarily in the area of education and skill building, healthcare and sanitation, environment sustainability, and empowerment. The organization’s innovative 360 degree approach includes empowering new mothers with knowledge of new-born care, supporting pre-school children and their families, ensuring children stay in school through remedial classes and bridge schools or anganwadis, helping them graduate successfully, and finally preparing young adults for their transition into the workforce.

Focusing on holistic transformation of communities, this year, Deloitte has adopted the Bahadurpura mandal – one of the largest divisions in Hyderabad – where it has committed to a three-year project plan to develop the mandal’s schools and enhance learning abilities of its underserved children. Impact Day also celebrated Deloitte’s endeavour along with United Way Delhi, a non-profit organization, in countering high dropout rates and improving infrastructure in government-run schools in Sangam Vihar. This year in Mumbai, Deloitte collaborated with the International Justice Mission.

It has established counselling rooms and is providing vocational skills training for the rehabilitation of human trafficking survivors. The organization joined hands with the Samridhdhi Trust, Bangaluru, – a non-profit organization to support their holistic academic efforts and has made strategic donations to help them expand their reach. Today, Samridhdhi Trust is educating more than 1600 out-of-school children, of which over 500 are in their bridge school this year, while over 800 out of school children have already been inducted into both mainstream private English Medium schools and government schools in last 5 years.

Would you recommend such an approach to others and what do companies need to factor while initiating such employee driven programmes?

Certainly.  Apart from the overall benefit to the society at large, these also help our people in contributing to the society thus making them more responsible citizens.

Such employee driven programs however require a lot of planning and strategy. It starts with identifying the focus areas, motivating and driving the employees, ensuring seamless logistics while helping employees to identify NGOs and projects and support them end to end.

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