When I decided to write my latest book, Corporate Social Responsibility Is Not Public Relations, I knew two things. One is that I wanted to include a section on India, which turned into a chapter and the other was that I wanted to capture the wisdom of Rusen Kumar, founder and editor-in-chief of the India CSR Network, and interview him for the book.
India is the first country in the world to have implemented a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Law in 2014, since then other countries have followed suit. But before India took this action, Rusen Kumar was ahead of the curve and had set-up the India CSR Network platform in 2009, to curate sustainable business news and create these conversations. Rusen Kumar is a true visionary and thought leader on CSR, and a well-known personality leading the way for CSR in India.
Now, more than ever, it is important for all types of businesses to have authentic CSR initiatives that are not a publicity spin. My latest book, Corporate Social Responsibility is Not Public Relations demonstrates that CSR is the future of business. It contains 15 global inspirational interviews with thought leaders and entrepreneurs, including David Katz, CEO of Plastic Bank; Lois Acton, mentored by Anita Roddick, founder of the Bodyshop, Fred Huguez, who escaped the LA gang culture; and an Indian Yogi, Nandhiji who talks about Yoga and creating a sustainability mind-set.
These interviews within every chapter, along with the research, show there is international public support for business to do better and that CSR is driving investment. This is the time for all types of business to have CSR as the lifeblood for all their customers and employees.
I wanted to include a chapter on India, because it plays an important role in helping to transform agreements that govern our world, which are critical to address the challenges and reach net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. We need unprecedented collaboration and action between businesses, investors and government. India is at the centre of this transformation. Home to one-sixth of the world’s population, it will be the most populous country by 2030. India knows that it does not have the luxury of time and is duty/dharma bound to ensure that quality of life improves for future generations.
As the world enters the ‘decade of action’, India is committed to the principles of sustainable development and the targets set under the Sustainable Development Goal framework. The transformation the world is striving for, is not only policy or programme based, but also behavioural and social – India understands this thinking. For too long the West, has tried to teach the East, thinking it has a lot it can teach India about mind-set, sustainability and CSR. Not, realizing that India is home to businesses who have been sophisticatedly leading on CSR and sustainability for over a 100 years. Where the purpose of the business is integrated within the heart of the company, its business strategy and operations.
Globally the book has been well received and there has been a lot of interest from a wide-spectrum of people – journalists, social entrepreneurs, business owners and consumers – which confirms that this book is timely and that people are ready to read it. The COVID-19 pandemic, has shown us how fragile our world is and that we are at a tipping point. With this in mind, I wanted to make my book available to the valued audience of the India CSR Network, and with the help of my publisher, LID Publishing, the fifth largest business book publisher in Europe and Rusen Kumar, we have created something special – an e-book of Corporate Social Responsibility Is Not Public Relations.
I wanted to share some of the advance praise that the book has received from other CSR thought-leaders in India:
Deepak Arora, one of India’s respected voices on CSR. A thought leader, specialising in public policy/affairs, rural development, enterprise development: “Good and honest fulfilment of CSR, is a necessary condition for good and honest PR. The book elucidates opportunities of leveraging and perils of confusing the two.”
Sarita Bahl, recognised by Reputation Today in #Mighty50 in PR & Comms; Corporate Affairs and CSR thought leader; advocate, Mumbai, India: “A must-read book for those seeking to understand what meaningful CSR is all about as the world clings to a new normal in the pandemic. Sangeeta has crafted an enduring narrative that is heart-warming and at the same time hard-hitting. A book that will surely outlast the pandemic!”
Read this book and be inspired by the many great interviews within the book; it is a game-changer!
SPECIAL E-BOOK OFFER TO INDIA CSR NETWORK MEMBERS
India CSR Network together with Sangeeta Waldron and her publisher, LID Publishing, are pleased to offer the E-book edition of Corporate Social Responsibility is Not Public Relations at a special price of 3.00 UK Sterling to members of the India CSR Network. To order the E-book, please send an email to LIDsupport@lidbusinessmedia.com and include the following in the subject line: “E-BOOK – INDIA CSR”. Please also provide your name and telephone number. LID Publishing will then contact you by email to arrange payment and delivery of your E-book. (The information that you provide will not be stored or used for any other purpose.)
Sangeeta Waldron is India CSR’s Contributing Global Editor. She is based in London, UK writes on international affairs, broadening India CSR’s news scope to bring you the best stories from around the world.