CSR interview of R Baskar Babu, MD & CEO of Suryoday Small Finance Bank Ltd

NEW DELHI: Majority of our CSR work of Suryoday Small Finance Bank Ltd is dedicated towards financially educating women in communities where they operate. R Baskar Babu, MD & CEO of Suryoday Small Finance Bank Ltd explaining the corporate social responsibility of Suryoday Small Finance Bank Ltd. Excerpts of an interview:

How are you using microfinance to empower women in India and what are your plans to scale up your operations?

When women get access to financial services, many are able to invest in their talents by starting or expanding their businesses. They can purchase equipment or buy supplies in bulk, helping them increase cash inflows every month, making them breadwinners for their families, putting food on the table, enabling their children to attend school and provide a safe home for their families. At the same time, they provide goods and services to their communities and build assets and jobs for society at large. This financial independence creates, empowered women. Currently suryoday extends it CSR initiatives to all areas of operations and will continue to do so as the network grows.

What are the various CSR initiatives at Suryoday Small Finance Bank. Please provide a brief on each.

Majority of our CSR work is dedicated towards financially educating women in communities where we operate, apart from that we conduct preventive health care camps, skilling programs and tree plantations as a part of CSR initiatives.

Can you elaborate on the Financial Literacy Programs camps initiative? What do you aim to achieve with this initiative?

Financial literacy program is delivered in vernacular language and is designed to be a confluence of financial, credit and debt management education, which can help them make financially responsible decisions – that affect their everyday lives.

What is the impact and reach of the initiatives? What are the highlights/achievements till date?

In the previous financial year, bank’s CSR team conducted 3500 plus programs and trained 65000 plus beneficiaries on various aspects of financial literacy.

How is the top leadership in your company involved in the CSR management in your organization?

Suryoday’s leadership team has always laid great emphasis on CSR programs and chooses to personally review the activities every month. There are constant influxes of ideas from them and in many special initiatives they volunteer and join along with the team.

What are your future for CSR?

We plan to extend the financial literacy program to digital financial literacy, also the bank is in the phase of expanding to new geographies and so we would also like extend the CSR activities to all those new geographies.

What are the current CSR spends to achieve the goals set and projects identified?

We see these activities as way of creating a positive impact on communities we work with and would continue to do so in a meaningful manner. In financial terms current spends exceed the required spent as per CSR Act , 2013 . However, that is not the guiding factor.

Thank you so much R Baskar Babu for sharing your valuable thoughts and time for India CSR Leadership Interview Series.

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