NASSCOM Foundation Releases the Industry CSR Trends Report

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Increasingly more and more companies are looking beyond the states with their headquarters, to fund CSR projects in remote locations across India

India CSR News Network

NEW DELHI: NASSCOM Foundation at its flagship event, The CSR Leadership Conference (CLC), is releasing a report, titled, ‘Catalysing Change Through CSR’ which gives a sector update in the nature and spread of CSR initiatives in the IT Industry, in the third year of operationalisation of CSR mandate.

The report puts to the fore the indicative trends in the CSR spends of the industry (IT and financial services) which together account for 2nd largest sector wise spending in CSR. Some of these trends include:

Increasing number of companies investing in non-headquarter geographies with 53% of companies working outside their home state as well: Geographically, while maintaining focus on states that host headquarters: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Telengana and NCR, companies are now increasingly going to non-headquarter locations for CSR, indicating growing equity in the distribution of projects between urban and rural areas and the seriousness of their CSR interventions.

Education and Employable Skills form the major chunk of CSR spend: About half the companies interviewed have spent more than 70% of their CSR spend in education and employable skills initiatives.

Company leaders driving Volunteering efforts: The study puts to light the fact that that the IT Industry leadership is as involved as the junior most resource when it comes to volunteering for a cause with them forming a substantial 29% of the total volunteers.

‘Technology for Good’, A Reality: Increased importance on technology integration in various stages of CSR lifecycle, including, innovative solutions for projects, monitoring and reporting and volunteer matching.

Clear cut path to monitoring astuteness for CSR projects: Companies have become increasingly aware of outcome assessment and close monitoring implementing agencies as evidenced by the growing frequency of report submissions from partner organizations, and greater on-ground frequency of CSR team.

Persisting Roadblocks: A large percentage of companies surveyed spoke of identification, selection and due diligence on NGOs and the absence of robust tracking process as biggest challenges in CSR project undertakings.

Dr. Ganesh Natarajan, Chairman, NASSCOM Foundation, said, “It is great to see that the industry has widely accepted the CSR mandate and has been reporting full utilization of its allotted CSR funds.”

Commenting on the fact that around 70% of the CSR money is being spent in Education and Employable Skills space, he further adds, “Education and employable skills are the key to most of India’s social problems. An industry which has grown solely by investing into knowledge and key skills, realizes the difference a skilled knowledge society can make and therefore, a major chunk of the CSR funds has been dedicated to education and employable skills.”

The report was released at India’s largest Industry based CSR event, The CSR Leadership Conference. The event saw over 300 CEOs, CXOs, CSR Heads, HR Heads of the top most companies from across various industries with the NGO Leads, Government officials, thought leaders, Tech4Good champions, social innovators come under one roof to discuss and create collaborative and innovative ways of fulfilling the most important Social Development Goals for India like education, skills, health, environment and help create a roadmap to a new, developed India.

Shrikant Sinha, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said, “As the companies mature to creating and sustaining their own long term CSR initiatives, the time is ripe for the companies to now come together and address the larger social causes and bring about a country wide change. The CSR Leadership Conference is attempting to make this collaboration happen by bringing over 300 representatives and decision makers from across sectors under one roof to discuss about India’s Social Development Goals. The conference is also helping draw a roadmap for the next few years and guide the industry CSR towards creating maximum impact.”

Being hosted in the capital, the conference created a unique platform for a much required dialogue between some of the best policy and business minds to take the discussion on solving Indian socio-economic challenges through innovation and collaboration, forward.

An impressive and diverse speaker line up which included, Aruna Sundararajan, Awanish Awasthi, Gaurav Dwivedi, Dr. Dinesh Tyagi from the government, Debjani Ghosh, Intel; P. Balaji, Vodafone; Vikas Goswami, Godrej, R. Chandrasekhar, NASSCOM; Raman Roy, Quattro from the corporates and Dr. Hameed Nuru, World Bank; Nisha Agrawal, Oxfam; Nishant Pandey, American India Foundation from the development sector among many others discussed the many challenges in the socio-economic space.

The conference culled out the agenda for the CSR ecosystem of the next year and sensing the pulse of the stakeholders’ involved.

The CLC which started primarily as an IT-BPM industry specific CSR conference, has widened its approach and has come out to help companies from across various industries in fulfilling their CSR goals in a meaningful way.

This year’s CLC hosted the leadership from Electronics Manufacturing companies like Dell,HP Inc and Intel  Banking and Financial services firms like HSBC, Synchrony Financial, Sun Life Financial, Macquarie group; Retail companies like Walmart; Telecom and VOIP companies like Vodafone and British Telecom; Education domain companies like Ellucian and 4 C Learning; Engineering and R&D companies like CISCO and Aricent and IT-BPM companies like NTT DATA, Wipro, Microsoft, Accenture, Mphasis, Sonata Software, Hinduja Global Solutions, Mercer, Concentrix among others.

Through its unique Walls of Impact and Networking spaces, the CSR Leadership Conference also provided a opportunity to NGOs like Akshaya Patra, Humana People to People India, Magic Bus, Save the Children, American India Foundation and many others, to showcase their work to the corporates and connect at a programmatic level.

The report

The survey saw participation from over 70 major IT companies with a big imprint on CSR, deploying employee skills and technology for delivering scalable and sustainable social impact. The survey reveals companies are devoting themselves to working towards relevant and systemic alignment with Sustainable Development Goals. There is increased involvement from senior leadership helping add vigour in social impact programmes, developing successful collaborations with implementing partners, choosing geographies beyond headquarters and leveraging technology and innovation to create impact.

CSR, in the IT sector, is thus well engrained in the system, and endeavours are on with regard to making it more structured, perceptible and impactful. The report is a first of its kind IT sector focussed compendium of CSR endeavours in myriad ways to tackle the challenges faced in the education system of the country.

The report can be a good reference point for aspiring companies in learning from some of the most nuanced projects undertaken by the industry in the space of education, volunteerism and technology for good. To name a few of the companies being featured in the report: Sonata Software, Hinduja Global Solutions, Wipro, HP Inc, Tech Mahindra, Cognizant Technologies, Mphasis, Aricent and twenty others. 

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