True to being a pioneer in the Indian automobile sector, Maruti Suzuki was the first company to promote safe driving and training in the country. Maruti Suzuki envisions road safety in its flagship Corporate Social Responsibility arena.
The company collaborated with the Delhi government in 2000 to set up the Institute of Driving and Traffic Research (IDTR) at Loni in North East Delhi. Since this first venture in 2000, the company has successfully extended this PPP model to other states. The company has worked out a detailed course content and curriculum for driving training based on successful international models from Europe and Singapore. This facility is today considered one of the ‘model institutes’ in promoting road safety in the country.
Inspired by the success of IDTR Loni, the company established another one in South Delhi. It has trained over 700,000 people in safe driving through them, out of which 100,000 underprivileged people have been trained free of cost. Presently IDTR initiatives are operational at 6 locations in 4 states – Delhi (2 institutes), Haryana (2 Institutes), Gujarat and Uttarakhand. In recent years, many more state governments have requested Maruti Suzuki to establish similar IDTRs in their states.
In partnership with its dealers, Maruti Suzuki has created Maruti Driving Schools in urban neighbourhoods to enable middle class families to learn car driving. At the MDSs, Maruti Suzuki has created a sustainable business model to impart high quality driving training at the doorstep, made possible by localized simulators, professional management and monitoring. To widen the impact of MDS, MSIL also sponsors training of underprivileged youth who aspire to be drivers.
One of the most recent examples of expanding its PPP model, Maruti Suzuki set up Road Safety Knowledge Centers (RSKC) in partnership with the local police in Haryana at Gurgaon, Karnal, Faridabad and Sonepat. This was to enhance awareness on Road Safety for daily commuters, especially the traffic offenders. RSKC is a first step to improve city driving habits and enhance awareness on road safety. At RSKC, Maruti Suzuki has set up a special facility that offers a “one day refresher training” to traffic violators.
In the technical education/skill development area, MSIL has adopted 10 state-run ITIs (one each at Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, two at Goa, and four at Haryana.) with an intent to transform them into the Centers of Excellence. The company plans to increase the total number of ITIs to 50 by 2015. An industry leader like Maruti Suzuki brings with it technical know-how, expertise and helps establish a connect between contemporary industry practices and the institution.
It is this critical input which makes contribution of an industry valuable and helps such PPP models to excel. It includes, improving infrastructure of the facility by putting a detailed Institute Development Plan. Its initiative also includes suggestions on upgrading curriculum, upgrading teaching infrastructure, introducing special life skills in the curriculum, facilitating Industry exposure to students through factory visits etc.
In addition, ITI teacher training is another important facet of this programme. The company shares the industry best practices with these institutions. In addition the company also works with 38 other ITIs across the country where the focus is on upgrading the training in the ‘automobile trade’ specifically. This has direct relevance to the company’s service network needs for trained manpower.
The company is also involved in community development services around the Manesar unit and has taken responsibility for four villages in Manesar. One of the many initiatives the company has undertaken is complete infrastructure upgradation of primary and middle schools in these villages.
MSIL is also setting new benchmarks for volunteering efforts by its employees and expects to be able to enlist their families and friends as well. Called e-Parivartan, the ‘e’ standing for employee, Maruti Suzuki’s volunteer programme, and part of its larger corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts, was launched last year to create a platform that would enable Maruti employees to engage in social and community work. Two hundred employees have already registered with the initiative. The e-Parivartan programme identified NGOs across the national capital region where Maruti Suzuki employees could go and volunteer on Sunday mornings.
The programme offers a bouquet of volunteering options – mentoring, teaching, community development, raising environmental awareness and organising health camps. Since its launch in November last year, the programme has enabled Maruti Suzuki employees to put in over 3,200 hours of active volunteering.