By Jagdeep Kaur
CSR is commonly understood as a way for private companies to address the social expectations by increasing their contributions to CSR in ways which are profitable for their own businesses. This is in no way wrong until it fulfils the agenda of a win-win situation.
New Public – Private partnerships, regulatory frameworks, policies and guidelines have evolved over time ever since CSR has been picking up in India. CSR has given a new dimension to the word Business Charity and philanthropy thereby transforming the relationship between the business houses and Indian society at large.
CSR is helping in minimizing the ‘negative’ impacts of the business. It is paving way to enhance their contributions to socio-economic development or the sustainable development. I personally feel that the CSR wave is pervasive globally but the high tide is seen more at the moment in India (or developing countries).The awakening amongst the business tycoons to fulfll their moral obligation of giving back something to the society is picking up well but still needs to go a long way.
They have been able to join hands with the government and non-profit organizations to tackle the daunting developmental challenges of India and are on a rising spree to cater to more and more avenues . While this synergetic view of business-society interdependencies is common to the global CSR agenda but replicating the model in India or any developing economy in general will be quite beneficial.
Though CSR as a concept has been rightly defined yet I believe policy makers, analysts and professors, however, have different views on what truly constitutes CSR, so the idea of implementation differs amongst all.
The phase of CSR is still in its nascent stage in India as compared to global standards. Doing CSR projects should be preferred over just acting responsibly but this has to really sync into the systems of the Corporate sector at large. Promises and principles are often lost in translation when it comes to implementation.
India needs to work at the grass root level to bring in philanthropy in the right spirit and to the right societal advantage. The need of the hour requires an integration of CSR techniques that can promote sustainable development in a more enhanced practical sense. If we closely examine CSR integration in the day to day business activities happens in many different ways, not providing a clear picture or tendency.
There is a lack of common CSR strategy or instruction that means how to act socially responsible is unclear. CSR is currently depending highly on individual circumstances and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.
It is an interesting fact to put forward that Corporate in the West incorporated CSR into their systems primarily because of the top and the middle management initiative and is being taken forward respectfully till date.
External factors like public pressure, legal requirements, media coverage and campaigning played a very little role. On similar grounds the Indian Corporate sector has also taken its first steps though external factors seem to be playing a relatively bigger role in the Indian scenario.
Still it seems going good as its always tough to break the ice.The problem is, the impact of CSR is never quantifiable. There would be a handful of companies who can talk about a measurable impact of CSR on their core businesses. While talking about India, it is too early to realize its impact.
We have miles to go before we could sit with a pen and paper or keeping environment in consideration just use the paperless offices to list out the steps Indian Philanthropists have undertaken to fulfil their CSR agenda.
So just to give a way to benchmark our approach , I would like to bring forward following three areas which on careful analysis I personally believe can help in tracking CSR benefits to any company’s core business.
These three key areas have been marked relatively easier to be identified when the CSR surge has reached to some level within an organization. These include:
First, percentage reduction in pollution.Second, how efficiently have the companies used their resources and Third, how many efficient forms of production have they added in the production line.
This is just a walking stick for those who are taking small steps and are wanting to look into the relatively quicker returns from CSR. This shall give them an eye over where they are and where they have to reach. Accordingly the management principles of planning, organising, directing, coordinating and controlling could be put into action in a justified manner with CSR as a centre of HR directives.
[Jagdeep Kaur, is a Commerce graduate from Delhi University and has pursued her Masters in Human Resources from GGS Indraprastha University, Delhi, India. She is also a UGC NET qualified professional and holds a Diploma in Training and Development from Indian Society for Training and Development, Delhi. She works as Partner at Van De Molen Consulting.The company deals in Global recruitment, CSR Consulting, Global exchange programs and couple of other local programmes in The Netherlands .She is also an Advisory Consultant to HR Globe Consulting for the company’s services in CSR arena in India.
She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org ]