Client Speak: Mr. Venugopal. A.N, President, RMZ Foundation
Tell us about how your CSR programs are integrated with your business goals.
Our CSR programs are interwoven with our business. Whether it has to do with a construction project, the choice of the site or the living conditions of the workers and their families, RMZ Foundation makes it a point to extend our impact through sustainable models. Our core sustainability philosophy is founded on the three principles of environmental, economic and social impact.
Our social initiatives are aimed at creating community impact as way of giving back to society. Some of our CSR activities center around Advanced Education, Urban Development and Securing Livelihoods and Revalue ecosystems. As you are aware workers are the most vulnerable on both social and economic fronts. Our endeavour is to improve the quality of their lives through vocational training, create awareness about safety and impart required skills for better productivity and higher wages.
What are the some of the typical issues that you are addressing in the construction sector?
RMZ foundation is keen on contributing to the socioeconomic development of the construction sector. We see a huge skill gap in construction sector apart from other challenges such as absenteeism, low productivity, etc. As a part of our sustainable program we encourage skill development of construction workers to make environmental, economical and social impact on the community.
As you know, out of 40% of the total construction workforce, only 2% to 3% are technically qualified. This is a big hurdle in ensuring gainful employment for them. We tie up with training partners who can train the workers as per the needs of our contractors. And, most importantly, we consider training and skill development as holistic activity that should secure the livelihoods of workers through proper shelter, access to basic amenities like safe drinking water, right working conditions and utmost adherence to hygiene and safety standards.
How did LabourNet meet your expectations in realizing your CSR goals?
One of our major CSR partners is LabourNet and we work closely with them for training the construction workers. Our contractors are made aware of the benefits of training and they are encouraged to send the workers to get trained in skills like masonry, bar bending and shuttering carpentry.
Our objective is to ensure that training results in better productivity, wastage reduction and practice of safety standards. We are very keen that the workers, supervisors and engineers follow them carefully.
Through our contractors, we have positively impacted 600 workers on our sites and currently we have more than a 1000 workers undergoing different training programs. The workers were initially unskilled or semi-skilled and they were put through a rigorous but workplace-friendly, onsite skilling process and trained suitably. We are happy to see considerable improvement in the productivity and quality of work for the skilling interventions.
Last year, we collaborated with LabourNet to set up the Mini Skill Development Center at the construction site of RMZ in Eco World, Bengaluru. The center will provide training in trades like carpentry, bar bending and basic masonry to our workers. The center follows the prescribed format from the government for executing RPL, assessments, training and certification; at the same time, we aim to meet global standards and quality parameters as our agenda is to empower the workforce to meet international norms in construction.