Dear Friends and Supporters,
The year for LabourNet has been an exciting one with several accolades and laurels coming in the form of awards. The Most recent one as a ‘Champion Training Provider- Fee based Model” was bestowed upon us by MSDE by The Honorable Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley. This was certainly a very colourful feather in our cap. I couldn’t resist sharing this news with you before moving on to our theme for our Editorial for this quarter on CSR Strategy.
In the light of the recent spate of show-cause notices issued by the Ministry to more than 1000 companies for CSR violations, it makes one wonder why the companies are unable to reinvent CSR mandate and project a more humane face of the organization?
Is CSR just compliance?
A corporation’s primary objective is undoubtedly to generate profits and benefits for its stakeholders. So, how does CSR fit in this objective?
Good practices begin at home. With the unprecedented growth in human population from 600 million in the late 1900s to 7.2 billion today has put unimaginable pressure on the planet—its land, water and all other resources. Understandably, government alone cannot be responsible for sustenance of life. Increasingly, corporations need to think of ways to provide education, good health and good lives for all of the communities that it serves, and ensuring that natural resources are optimally used.
CSR helps in building a positive brand image. Customers are likely to align with organizations that are credible. A company’s communication regarding its contribution to the environment or society can build credibility and thus indirectly augment branding – external and internal. Employees’ sense of belonging to a responsible organization enhances brand loyalty and corporate citizenship.
Strategic CSR for better value chain. An organization’s CSR strategy, if devised well will add value to the communities it serves or supply chain it uses, erode costs or help penetrate different markets. It is no longer limited to isolated, feel-good initiatives.
Besides, CSR funds today can be used in combination with several government schemes such as the National Apprenticeship Program Scheme (NAPS) that can directly contribute to a cost benefit for the organization as the corporation offers experiential learning to an unskilled person and helps him chart out a career.
While organizations across the globe are adopting CSR as a philosophy, it’s about time for organizations to start looking at CSR as a business strategy and an investment that has a stronger ROI than many marketing initiatives.
On a closing note, we would love to hear your views on the above or other topics. Do drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org for any discussion.
Till next time…
Monisha Banerjee, On behalf of LabourNet.