Shrikant Savangikar, Director, Business Excellence, Quality, Sustainability and CSR, SKF India Ltd., talks about what it takes to create sustainable social programs.
SKF’s CSR vision rides on strong core principles that are aligned to the organisation’s vision and mission. This has made the organisation a community care champion. Their work in the environment and community sphere is garnering critical recognition each year, the latest being CSR excellence award conferred by CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for sustainable development.
What are the driving factors for SKF’s CSR vision in India? How have you been fulfilling it?
SKF India’s vision driving the community care program is to create a positive change in the life of the communities in the vicinity of its operations and create a meaningful difference from recipient’s perspective. This vision comes from our outlook that the community care program should be derived from real need of the communities which, when fulfilled, should translate into the realization of communities’ aspirations and they should feel and endorse same. All our CSR programs are essentially long term, changing the lives of beneficiaries, and are about enhancing the core capabilities of these sections of society. The programs are not limited to one time help.
The larger context of our vision is embedded in SKF’s way of doing business by care of Business, Employees, Environment and Community – which is called “SKF Care”. Our “community care” model is in accordance with United Nations Global compact principles and principles of UN’s SDG’s.
In the area of community care, do you see synergies between your business purpose fulfillment and social responsibilities?
Sustainability is at the core of all SKF’s business processes and is essential part of all our strategies.
We are guided by the SKF Social Policy which delineates a framework to undertake activities with an intent of holistic development of the society and its citizens in which the business exists.
SKF believes that a successful business entity of today and tomorrow is one that understands the importance of responding to community challenges such as unemployment, illiteracy, and imbalance in ecology. Further, our ability to profitably manage and grow our business is the foundation by which we meet our social responsibility. We always find ways and activities by which SKF and its employees can make a positive and lasting impact on the society and the communities in which we operate.
How do you perceive your partnership with Sambhav and its implementing partner, LabourNet? What difference has it brought to the beneficiaries of your CSR program?
Through “Youth empowerment At SKF (YES)” program, we aspire to empower the underprivileged youth by creating employment opportunities at automotive OEMs and becoming entrepreneurs by setting up vehicle service stations with the know-how of modern automobile maintenance and servicing skills. Sambhav is executing our program at Bangalore and Haridwar, where 400 + youths have been trained so far and 80% are recruited in the OEM dealer network or at neutral garages. Some of them have started their own garages. Sambhav has a big presence in this domain across India and has created an ecosystem for mobilization, training and placement which makes a differentiator among all. This is ensuring an effective implementation of SKF’s CSR program, achieving intended objectives very well. The alumni connect is also having positive impact on job guarantee.
Do you perceive your CSR program for livelihood enablement a sustainable one? Please Explain.
At Youth empowerment @ SKF (YES) program, we focus on the quality of training. This is an enabler for youth to have confirmation for jobs by the garage / service center owners. We have made long term commitment to our beneficiaries for about two years where we make sure that she / he is having decent employment or can start entrepreneurship. Furthermore, our program makes the youth capable of creating his / her own future. When he /she becomes an entrepreneur through our program, he / she further generates new employment, turning into a Changemaker. He / she also becomes a responsible citizen by supporting the family and creating a skilled and capable community around. This will help create a solid foundation of a new ‘Skilled India’