Indian multinational conglomerate Mahindra Group, including Tech Mahindra and its subsidiaries, reported spending over Rs 240 crores on corporate social responsibility (CSR), in the domains of education, health and environment for the financial year 2019.
“One of our key messaging pillars is the fact that ‘Mahindra cares’ and this is aligned to our core purpose of Rise, which is about driving positive change. We’ve been actively involved in the betterment of social welfare of the society even before the CSR ruling of the 2013 Companies Act came into existence,” Ruzbeh Irani, president group communications, and ethics and chief brand officer, Mahindra Group, said.
According to the company, Mahindra Group pledged a percent of its PAT to CSR activities in 2005 until 2014, post which the company diverts two percent of its PBT towards CSR activities.
Mahindra Rise, the company’s CSR arm recently launched Celebrate Differently, under the group’s theme of Rise Against Climate Change. The campaign is a citizen-first initiative rolled out in the month of June under its ‘Hariyali’ banner. Urging people to ‘plant a tree’, Mahindra released a bilingual digital commercial video to promote and market the campaign. “We started our cause for the environment back in 2007 wherein we made a commitment to plant a million trees every year. With this new campaign, we are providing citizens with the opportunity to make a difference themselves to the cause,” Irani added.
The company informs that under the Mahindra Hariyali initiative, over 16 million trees have been planted in the past 12 years, with a commitment to plant a million trees every year.
Irani reveals that Mahindra Rise prefers digital and social media as a platform for cause marketing over TV. This is primarily because the target group (TG) are millennials and Gen Z’ers. “We want to spark conversations and that can be done only in the social and digital space. Since a large proportion of the country’s population are millennials, we are appealing to the right people both in terms of reach and willingness, ” he noted.
Beside Celebrate Differently, the initiatives rolled out under girl child education like ‘Nanhi Kali’ have enabled and educated over 165,000 girls. The company also supported a pilot project for Project Nanhi Kali 2.0 which will help aspiring girls complete their graduation as well as achieve proficiency in spoken English and digital literacy.
Lastly, employee social options or ESOPs is an initiative through which employees ‘give back’ to the society, stated Irani. Employees are encouraged to participate in initiatives like health camps and youth skills development through this programme, a common practice among most large corporates.
Many of these are designed to cater to specific local needs, such as a 14-day programme for women in the automotive plant in Mumbai to develop their personal skills. As per the company, in FY19, 91 thousand ESOPs volunteers contributed nearly 600, 000 (6 lakh) man-hours to the initiative.