Bangalore CSR Roundtable: Moving from Social Responsibility to Responsivity

IndiaCSR News Network

BENGALURU: Integrating Two Worlds: Corporates & Communities – CSR LEADERS and NGOs of Bangalore decided to join hands and create Collective Impact and move more mere responsibility to Responsivity.

Rotary Jeevanbimnagar organized Bangalore CSR Roundtable. This round-table brought out perspectives of both the donor and the receiver on implementing CSR. The focus was on best practices, success stories, CSR act with the focus on NGO-Corporate Partnership. The theme of the roundtable was Integrating Two Worlds: Corporates & Communities.

The Session was chaired and moderated by CSR Head of Brillio Technologies, Abhishek Ranjan. The roundtable attended by prominent speakers for instance with the CSR Heads and NGO Reps from Infosys, Brillio, Rotary, Alliance University. LabourNet, Cry, Tesco, EMC, Cognizant,Philips and others.

Speakers/ Panelists of the Roundtable

Roundtable Chair : Abhishek Ranjan, Head-CSR, Brillio

Ronnie Vincent, President Rotary Club JB Nagar

Shalini Gambhir, Head Community Services & Communication –  Rotary Bangalore TTK Blood Bank and BMST

Kirti Vardhana, Head – Consulting & Products, LabourNet

Suma Ravi, Regional Director – CRY

Sai Prakash, Chief Coordinator – Erin CSR Consortium

Sumathi Rao, Director – Brand Communications and Digital and CSR- Philips India

Deepak Prabhu, Director – Operations and CSR Leader- Banaglore, Cognizant Technology Solutions

Aniisu K Verghese, India Corporate Communications and CSR Lead, Tesco HSC

Meher Taj, Head – Employer Branding, Infosys

Ms. Leela Karkaria, Assistant Professor and Manager – CSR, Alliance University, Bangalore

The Panel discussed How the Indian Companies Bill have transformed CSR in India and how CSR has evolved over the years. And, while CSR has gained considerable acceptance over the years. Its scope has broadened, and for the better. CSR for some is Sustainability, and some define it is as Responsivity and so on. It means different things to different organizations. India being the first country to mandate it, it has its starting challenges.

The Session Chair, Abhishek Ranjan started the panel discussion with a quote from William Clay Ford Jr. “Creating a healthy business and building a better world are not conflicting goals – they are both essential ingredients for long-term success.”

Key Highlights of the panel discussion

Deepak Prabhu who leads CSR for Cognizant Bangalore, talked about   challenge of selecting an NGO. With so many NGOs in India and the funding involved in the CSR spend it is a significant challenge to identifying a right NGO.

NGO and CSR reps felt the need of short-term programs on CSR to increase the availability of trained manpower. NGOs requested CSR Heads to support in training, skill development of Social Sector resources while CSR Heads felt that NGOs can Improve their CSR Implementation and help in  Impact measurement.

CSR is mushrooming the minds of youths. More than 3.5 m LinkedIn members have signaled on their profile that they want to serve on a nonprofit board or use their skills to volunteer. Employees are the backbone of successful CSR. The  investment and latitude from the company are obviously significant but without committed volunteerism from the employees and their donation of time, the program will fail. Therefore, it is important to engage the employees and have them adopt a mantra of ‘Individual Social Responsivity’ (ISR), wherein employees invest their skills and time toward the community service that has been agreed to by all. Meher from Infosys shared some innovative ideas to encourage sustainable ISR Program.

CSR-CSR and CSR-CSR-NGO partnerships – Audience felt that corporates are not partnering enough for a bigger cause, and many suggested having a joint long-term CSR programs. The Magic of PPP – One of the examples quoted by Rotary President Ronnie Vincent, was how India became Polio Free. He asked the panel “Can we see the same magic with Swaach Bharat?  Everyone present at the roundtable felt that  government  should engage more proactively with corporate and corporates should support government in creating solutions.

With loads of food for thought, The 1st series of the roundtable was able to establish the need of Collective Impact where it is CSR-CSR, NGO-NGO or CSR-CSR-NGOs partnerships. It was decided to hold such event every six months and partner for a bigger cause for a Better Bangalore!



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