In 2015, Gateway House came out with a fantastic article tracing the history of CSR in the country. Key insights from the article reflected how corporate giving has been channeled through the 19th century, be it under the helm of religious practices, close political affiliations or just the changing patterns in national economy and regulations. Whatever be the cause and motive, it cannot be forgotten that companies have played a significant role in social giving since a long time. With a timescape so big, it is interesting to know how certain companies are upholding such traditions for so long. A few of them that I really admire are:
The Tata Group
The Tata Group has garnered a wide reputation for being the vanguard of responsible business in India since a century back. Founded by Jamsetji Tata, the principle of giving back to the community has been strongly embedded in the Group’s core values. According to a recent findings on India’s top companies for Sustainability and CSR 2016 by IIM Udaipur, Futurescape and Economic Times in their recent exercise in profiling 217 companies, four companies from the Tata Group made it to the top 10 list. According to an article in Economic Times in 2014, the group along with its philanthropic arm the Tata Trusts has spent in excess of 8000 Cr over the last decade.
Mahindra & Mahindra
The flagship programme ‘Nanhi Kalhi’- focus on girl child education, has been running steadily since 1996. As per an article in The Economic Times, Mahindra & Mahindra ranked first in the top companies for CSR in 2014 with focussed interventions on the domains of education, public health and environment.
Wipro has managed to develop a strong foot hold when it comes to social giving. Wipro Cares, a not-for-profit trust which makes significant contributions in the areas of education, community service projects and social development has been effectively running around 18 projects with consistency. Wipro’s commitment to social development is also reflected in company’s value system and leadership as Mr. Azim Premji, according to an article in The Hindu in 2015, stated that the ‘Trust supports the work of The Azim Premji Foundation and Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives and thus a very significant part of the value created by Wipro, goes towards social causes.’
With the rising focus and pertinence of CSR in our country, we are witnessing a surge in good CSR practices being adopted by other companies as well. In time, I’m sure the list of good initiatives and practices under CSR will only grow bigger and more companies will showcase sustainable and good social impact.