What are the CSR initiatives taken at Titan for COVID-19 Relief? How has been the overall impact?
Titan has been quite instrumental in terms of undertaking responsibility for social development and growth since inception and when the country was being hit by the pandemic, we took initiatives at three different levels to ensure an end-to-end relief for all the people within and outside our ecosystem.
At company level, we contributed a sum of 1 crore to the Tamil Nadu CM Public Relief Fund and committed a sum of Rs. 7 crore from the CSR funds of FY 2020-21 towards the One-Tata Group efforts.
At the local level, we helped in raising funds from various industries for setting up a COVID-19 special ward at ESI Hosur. We contributed approximately 32 lakh towards ventilators, ICU beds and hospital equipment at Hosur, Vellore and Mysore. Food and water was provided to over 12,000 migrants, students, doctors and frontline health workers alike. For public safety from the deadly virus, we provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the tune of 26 lakh at Hosur, Sikkim, Bengaluru, Chikkaballapur. The company also provided about 100 barricades to Traffic Police at Bengaluru for lockdown support in containment areas. Support was extended to charitable hospitals to augment their infrastructure and to extend medical care to slum dwellers. Less privileged students were supported with tablets and mobile phones to continue their online education. Support to restore livelihoods of the urban and rural poor has been undertaken.
At an employee level, many of our staff, franchisees and vendors contributed in their individual capacity towards local support for food and protective gear for Covid-19 warriors. Apart from that, one day salary contribution was made by Titan employees amounting to 70 lakh to Tata Community Initiatives Trust.
Brief a little about how lives of people in Uttarakhand has changed after initiating the Orchard management practices
The torrential rains and flash floods of 2013 changed the geography of Uttarakhand. As a result of which, hundreds of farmers were left to deal with the consequences of the calamity. With a determination to help these communities, we extended our helping hand to the Integrated Village Development Project by the Himmotthan Society, an initiative by Tata Trusts. Demonstration of improved agriculture practice was carried out in 20 villages; 757 project beneficiaries were covered under the various agriculture and horticulture related activities. Further, 5 hectares of land was taken up for apple and peach orchard development. The project also focused on identifying families who had lost their land during the flash floods. Across 6 villages, 4 hectare land was reclaimed. Around 21 families were supported with this activity in four villages and more than 125 persons took part. With quality planning materials and carefully planned orchard management practices, we were able to rebuild their lives through alternate livelihoods.
What are the sustainable initiatives taken by the company at a manufacturing level?
As a responsible manufacturer, Titan recognises the importance of the use of natural resources to create high value products. The Company is dedicated to minimising the negative environmental impact of its operations including from the manufacturing units, karigar centres and office spaces. The Company implementing several initiatives to reduce specific energy and water consumption across its manufacturing locations. The watch division’s manufacturing plant at Hosur has been awarded with CII Green Co Rating under “Silver” category in recognition of the initiatives taken like energy efficiency, green energy substitution, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and initiatives to reduce environmental impacts through several environmental /energy management systems. Further, investments in renewable energy systems have enabled in using 7.92 lakh units of solar energy and 125 lakh units of wind energy at watch and Jew manufacturing plants. These initiatives translate into 23% of total energy needs being met through renewables.
With several years of CSR (mandated and voluntary) behind you, how do you think the CSR-NGO relationship has evolved, if at all? Where will it go?
The future of CSR-NGO partnerships is closely linked to the transformation of the corporate sector as it responds to its employees, consumer demand and visionary leadership. in my opinion, the association has been an avenue to address critical issues around the globe. An honest and strong partnership occurs when you fully leverage the innovation and expertise of one partner with the relationship of the other. It’s no more about giving things away but building up people, who in turn build up their community. Most importantly Co-Creation of solutions will be the order of the day. Both Corporates and NGO’s who have realised this have been able to create successful models of change.
What does Titan want to tell NGOs/CSOs who want to partner with them for long term?
We at Titan, continue to work in sectors that are either unorganised or characterised by poor business practices and ethics. Whether it is in the watches, jewellery, eyewear or even the Indian Dress Wear business, the Company strives to work in these sectors to create business models that transform business practices into those of organised sectors.
The CSR policy at Titan Company mainly focusses on working with the underprivileged girl child through education, skill development for the underprivileged youth and working with arts and crafts and Indian heritage . NGO’s and partners those who wish to wish to engage with the company in creating value based engagement models around the above policy, yet bringing into fore the mutual expertise and learning for the benefit of the community are always welcome to dialogue to create possible sustainable solutions.
Tell us more about how Titan is empowering youth with ‘skill development for underprivileged’ programmes
Skill development for less privileged youth is one of the focus areas of Titan’s CSR initiatives. Unemployed youth from urban and rural areas are mobilized, counselled, assessed for their strengths and aspirations and put through training programs which are aligned to the job market requirements.
All skill development programs are conducted under the brand name of Titan LeAP, and during the year, our centre of excellence for skill development set up at Chennai, trained 715 youth. A variety of programs are offered for youth in the age group of 18-35 in the categories of educated unemployed and educated underemployed. Many programs that are designed for the less privileged disabled were also supported. All Titan LeAP programs work towards empowering youth to earn a minimum average monthly salary of Rs. 12,500. We have also launched skill development programme for the differently abled youth in Chennai, besides adopting two government Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in the tribal region of Tamil Nadu for holistic engagement. Across all Titan LeAP programmes we have skilled 12,000 youth.