Business magnate, investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett had once said that if you’re in the luckiest 1% of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99%. While the initiatives by the likes of Buffett, Bill Gates, Azim Premji and Shiv Nadar fall under the traditional definition of philanthropy, the corporate India like their counterparts elsewhere in the world have been engaged in using their resources – monetary or otherwise – as part of their efforts of giving back to the society.
Paving way for a structured CSR initiative that can also enable the India Inc to play a pivotal role in the government’s social development agenda, the Government of India through the Companies Act, 2013 brought to forefront the idea of corporate social responsibility. During the last one year – since April 1, 2014 when it became mandatory for profit-making firms to divert 2% of their profit-after-tax to CSR activities – the entire landscape of CSR in India has changed radically.
While companies, including majority of the public sector enterprises that have been spending on CSR already had some sort of a structure in place, for majority of the others who had to massively multiply their CSR spending, it is proving as difficult to spend money as it is perhaps to earn it. Most of these companies have failed to spend the minimum 2% of their profits on social responsibility activities in the first year. And they are struggling with the procedural and infrastructural requirements.
According to experts, it would take some time for private companies to get used to the process before they can successfully spend the mandated percentage of their profits on CSR activities. However, they do believe CSR is here to stay.
The Governance Now REFLECT series on CSR for Inclusive Development will focus on how corporate can align their CSR initiatives with their core business objectives, their brand, image & reputation and create a win-win situation for the business and the society.
|Le Méridien, New Delhi
||30th September 2015
09:00 AM onwards