At the MAPS group of institutions, we beleive that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has slowly emerged as a significant theme in today’s business community. It forms one of the most important part of the MBA curriculum. CSR can mean anything from:
• Managing business in such a way so as to have a positive impact upon society,
• Being conscious of the interests of the shareholders,
• Reducing the negative impacts that a company may have on the environment,
• Transparency of the corporate dealings and
• Ethical behavior
In recent years, CSR has become a fundamental business practice because the chief executives and MD’s have understood that CSR is essential in achieving effective leadership and good business. Corporate Social Responsibility is becoming all the more prominent with every passing day in the Indian corporate scenario because the organizations have realized that along with growing their business, it is equally important to build a trustworthy relationship with the community and also, that the impact they make on society and environment directly effects their relationship with their stakeholders.
CSR is not really a new concept. Companies like Microsoft and the Tata Group have been involved in serving the society since many years. Let us look at a few examples of how corporates have been working on implementing this responsibility within their system:
Microsoft – has been working with organizations such as Save the Children and the World Food Program to provide technology based development assistance.
Infosys – Has been involved in plenty of community development programs since a long time. In 1996, it promoted the Infosys Foundation as a not-for-profit trust to which it contributes annually. Infosys has also taken initiatives and worked in areas such as community service, rural development , employment, healthcare and education for the poor.
Mahindra & Mahindra – Have a trust by the name of K C Mahindra Education trust which promotes education in the rural areas and helps in transforming their lives. The Trust has already provided more than 7.5 crores in the form of scholarships and grants! Another of their major contributions is that they have been providing assistance in various forms to almost 3,500 underprivileged students in rural areas and plan to increase the number to 10,000 by the next two years!
Reliance Industries Ltd. – Under their project ‘Dhristi’, they have successfully restored the eyesight of more than 9000 people from the economically weaker section of society! Its other contributions to society have been in the areas of health, education and development of infrastructure in the rural areas.
Thus, we can understand that CSR has come a long way and the corporate have clearly shown that they are ready to make significant changes in the society and help in bringing about extensive social change.
HEre is an interesting slides on the corporate Social Responsibilty - the definition, case studies and firms involved globally.