CSR is instilling the feel of volunteering in corporates. Rusen Kumar, Founder IndiaCSR tells us his version of the evolution of CSR in India., The Seeker reports. ‘The Seeker‘ is a magazine powered by Megarth and is about people and their journey. Our journey as a magazine started on January 20, 2012 and since then we have launched five issues. This the magazine that focus on what is happening around in pockets and how people working at the grassroots’ level are changing the scene and making things better.
What led to your start?
We started on a mission to promote and communicate the best practices of Indian corporate. Prior to India CSR there was no effective platform that highlights Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR) related development in India. While working with corporate I found that there was a lack of such kind of platform where corporate can explore their best practices on CSR and sustainably related initiatives and development. We are live since January 2009. We have completed successfully 3 years and I hope that we are fulfilling the Nation’s need.
We have emerged as the leading and only Indian business network for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) dedicated to making significant contributions through adding new dimensions and perspectives to the domain of CSR and Sustainability. It is a platform that enhances companies’ need to share ideas on their CSR best practices and discuss collaborative projects between the firm and its end stakeholders.
What do you hope to change the face of CSR in India?
India is one of the fastest growing economy and corporate who have operations in the country are playing crucial role in building the new and prosperous India through innovative products, services and passion to work for the society at large. We will take CSR communication in the new heights and we have planned to organize series of conference, workshop, training and seminars to provide the best forum to share the knowledge this domain. During the international conference on CSR & Competitiveness we have released book “CSR & Competitiveness-Essential of the corporate India and its sustainability”, which is garland of 19 case studies and research paper from expert and researcher across the globe. Our aim is to identify and recognize the efforts of companies in integrating and internalizing CSR in to their core business operations. Our mission is to support practitioners and organizations in building responsible and sustainable business in India and in this way to contribute to sustainable development of societies at large. We implement our mission through the provision of information, knowledge, tools and by building a community of people and organizations focused on CSR.
How receptive have Indian companies been to discussing their CSR?
CSR in India has added new paradigms in the light of changing government, regulatory environment, peer pressure, compulsion felt as a result of globalization and the quest for global corporate hegemony. In India, CSR still has a long way to go. Corporates are doing well but they hesitate to share and communicate their best practices due to cultural inhibitions. We are continuously trying to encourage the companies to share their best and innovative CSR practices. Communicating the CSR literature is at very early stage in India.
Your Views on Corporate Citizenship?
Corporate Responsibility has been captioned under many means, including corporate citizenship, strategic philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, CSR, social responsibility and other. CSR is centered on idea of creating “shared value”. In my opinion, the prime role of the business and trade is to create value for its shareholders and develop innovative products that solve the the problem of society and spread happiness in community where they have business operations. Responsible business practices & CSR is essential for business survival and biggest CSR is ethical behavior towards its stakeholders.
Worldwide, Business houses enjoy a dominant position and command a lot of resources. These firms are the most efficient and effective institutions in managing and utilizing resources for attaining specific goals and purposes. In the new paradigm of socio-economic development, it is being widely regarded that if business also takes care of developmental needs of the country then to some extent it will be of great help specially for developing countries like India, where about one third of the population lives below poverty. But philanthropic charity giving does not bring any benefit to the profit driven firm. Hence the firm seeks to optimize their CSR activities towards developing a competitive advantage which would benefit their bottom line growth.
How can we expedite the process of information sharing on CSR?
We have successfully organized international conference themed “CSR & Competitiveness” in Mumbai, business capital of India. More than 100 participants from corporate, non-profit, education and consultancy sector enjoyed by listening and networking with 22 speakers from different domain in the event. In India such kind of events are need to be organized and we are exploring the opportunities.
How do you envision the future of CSR?
We need a an inspiring network of business people working towards the common goal of sustainability. Our aim is to support practitioners and organizations in building responsible and sustainable business in India and in this way to contribute to sustainable development of societies at large. We implement our mission through the provision of information, knowledge, tools and by building a community of people and organizations focused on CSR.