Importance of Professionals in Corporate Social Responsibility – Fiinovation

The advent of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in India opened new avenues for employment for people belonging to the social development sector. The mandate under the Companies Act, 2013 made it a more focused area for the businesses which might look at CSR in a strategic manner. Hence, the effectiveness of CSR initiatives lies in the hands of CSR professionals who are well versed about the concept and can utilize the initiatives for benefiting the organization.

It has been observed that in most of the businesses, there is still no CSR department, rather it’s the Human Resource department or the senior management which takes care of such initiatives, that too because of mandatory compliance. When called to enquire regarding the CSR department, most of the times the calls are answered by the HR and not by the CSR committee members. This brings us to the question that, are the businesses really serious about giving back to the society or considers CSR as a tick-box exercise?

The presence of CSR professionals in the organization is definitely an indicator of the seriousness of the initiatives. There are several benefits attached to having a CSR professional within the organization. Not only it provides chances to improve the social return on investment, but also improves the communication of CSR initiatives to the stakeholders. As a brand, businesses look to increase their consumer base and market outreach. CSR definitely provides an opportunity to boost the brand value, and the CSR professionals do play a significant role in devising implementation strategies.

Globally, leading CSR professionals have moved one step ahead and are looking not just to initiate ‘give back’ projects, rather incorporate the concept of being a responsible organization across the value chain. They help the corporate communications department to put a number on the value that has been created through the CSR initiatives. It is always recommended to not to give the job of handling the CSR manager position to someone in the HR or any other department, so that there can be a complete analysis on the social return on investment.

With increasing competition among the businesses, CSR could be an innovative mechanism to differentiate a brand from its competitors. The increase in effectiveness of the CSR programmes due to the presence of CSR professionals is definitely a motivating factor for the socially responsible investors. It is also due to the increasing demand of CSR professionals in the businesses and business foundations that several b-schools have started offering degrees in CSR. It is expected that in the years to come, the businesses which doesn’t have CSR professionals will look to recruit them to optimize their social return on investments. Hence, for a CSR professional the future seems to be bright in terms of employment opportunities, but their definitely will be more pressure on them with greater responsibility towards the organization and society at large.

 

By Rahul Choudhury

Media & Communications, Fiinovation

Fiinovation reviews: Amplifying CSR through Social Media

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Gone are the days, when companies use to contribute towards social causes without analysing the social return of investments. The Delhi-based CSR Consultancy, Fiinovation is of opinion that in today’s date, companies are not only doing good but they are also utilizing every possible medium to promote and spread awareness about their social campaigns and sustainability practices. Social media, being the favorite and most effective medium. Hence, it will be foolish of any corporate to ignore the power of social media rather they should use it as a tool to increase the footprint of their corporate social responsibility initiatives across the globe.

Using social media for promoting the good cause can lead to a plethora of business benefits ranging from increased stakeholders engagement, enhanced goodwill, brand visibility and competitive advantage. A joint study by the Pew Research Center and John S. And James L. Knight Foundation reveals that 63% of the space at Facebook and Twitter serves as a source for sharing news about events and global issues. Hence, it is also important to communicate the brand messages to intended audience through the channels preferred by the audiences.

As per cio.com, the 1.8 billion monthly active users of Facebook, sends out an average of 31.25 million messages every minute everyday. These numbers prove that social media platforms provide an influential network of passionate customers supporting brand’s initiatives and endeavors. Companies like P&G have leveraged the benefit of this spectacular stakeholder presence through their campaign, “Future Friendly Challenge” on Facebook. The program was launched to help customers save water, conserve energy, and reduce waste through several activities like donating clean drinking water to children for a day, pledging to save energy and reduce wastage and save energy for 90 days. P&G designed the strategy in a way that customers can send page invitations, educate their friends and motivate them to participate in the challenge. The brand also invited the followers to share their experience and tips on how to fulfill the objectives of this challenge.

Through this simple initiative, P&G received tremendous Return on Engagement within a few months. The statistics show that around 20,000 followers participated in the challenge and saved water and energy as well as reducing wastage for 3 months. The clean drinking was donated by each of them, amounting to 20,000 days of clean water donation. Around 7000 posts were made and shared by the supporters comprising their tips and experiences leading to total active engagement of around 48,000. The above example of P&G, integrating CSR with social media strategy has not only amplified the good actions of the company but have also helped in generating large number of supporters across the social media platform. Additionally, this will create a lasting impact on the minds of customers, strengthen trust and loyalty in the brand providing them edge over their competitors. Fiinovation appreciates P&G for utilizing the social media platforms for spreading awareness about their CSR campaign as well as passively educating customers about the importance of safe drinking water and energy conservation.

Looking at the stupendous growth of social media platforms in near future, brands are not going to leave any stone unturned in communicating and promoting their CSR initiatives on the social networks. They find it the best and easiest mediums to engage their stakeholders and enhance their brand value.

Nike’s Digital Advocacy Director Laura Adams says social media has become instrumental in Nike’s evolution as a brand and as a socially responsible and more sustainable enterprise. “At the end of the day, it’s the people out doing work that are going to get us to achieve our goals,” said Adams.

Manisha Bhatia

Media & Communications

Fiinovation

Fiinovation Reviews – The Crisis of Healthcare system in India

Healthcare has been a priority agenda for the Indian government for a long time now. The healthcare system is a layered structure distributed till the Panchayat level. The nation has built medical facilities from multi-speciality hospitals to public health centres to cater the rising healthcare demand of its citizens. Although, India is a destination for medical tourism, but when it comes to achieving the healthcare goals, ironically it remains unsatisfactory even after 70 years of independence.

Fiinovation reviews that in India parents aspiring their children to become doctors is quite high. In fact, the profession is widely acknowledged as both noble and wealthy. Yet, as per the WHO norm of doctor-citizen ratio of 1:1000, the nation is short of approximately 500,000 doctors. The civic apathy is often visible when helpless citizens, especially in the rural areas has to suffer significantly, sometimes by giving their life. Several incidents like in Odisha where a man was forced to slung his wife’s dead body over his shoulders and carried it 10 kms highlighting the mockery of the medical system in India. In another incident, a child died in Kanpur after being denied admission in the hospital.

Such incidents highlights the irony of the society where at one hand so many people aspire to become doctors, yet situation is even worse in countries like Vietnam, Algeria and Pakistan. Fiinovation reviews that illegal capitation fees in private colleges, inequality in health-services facilities between rural and urban India and disconnect between the public-health and medical-education systems are issues which needs urgent focus.

On the part of the government, it can ensure that there is strict implementation of laws. It also needs to ensure a transformational change in the availability of doctors. A look back in history suggests that earlier there use to be only one doctor available for many villages for medical assistance. Today, the situation hasn’t improved much and villagers often have to visit the nearby urban areas to receive treatment.

Therefore, to understand the problems related to healthcare in India adequate measures needs to be taken. Fiinovation suggests that the corporations can also contribute their CSR funds towards the development of healthcare facilities in rural areas. Usually, the marginalised sections become vulnerable to diseases and outbreaks during the monsoons. Preventive healthcare needs to be promoted to such situations. Additionally, the cleanliness initiatives promoted by the government are also the best method to reduce the increasing healthcare burden of India.

Apart from this, Fiinovation urges the doctors to spend more time serving the needs of the poor in the rural areas. Through CSR the corporations can also fund the medical institutions as the fees in the private medical colleges are touching the 2 crore mark which is becoming a major concern for the rising imbalances. Some people argue that if someone is paying Rs 2 crore for his/her education, it is obvious that their focus would be more on the recovery of money rather than contributing towards society.

Therefore, let us hope that in the coming years, India will be better positioned to deal with the problems related to healthcare. Not only India should achieve the health targets in the Sustainable Development Goals, but ensure that it becomes one of the healthiest countries in the world.

By Rahul Choudhury

Media & Communications, Fiinovation

Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd – Tapping Indian Education Sector for CSR

Pandora Box of Opportunities yet to be opened…

With the fact that India holds a significant place in the global education industry the nation has over 1.4 million schools with over 227 million students enrolled and more than 36,000 higher education institutes. India has one of the largest higher education systems in the world. However, the huge potential for further development in the education system has not been unleashed yet.

As per statistics available, India’s online education market size is expected to touch US$ 40 billion by 2017. Another report suggests that the distance education market in India to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 34 per cent during 2013-14 to 2017-18. Moreover, the aim of the government is to boost the growth of the distance education in India while attracting more credible investment by the private players whereby giving them equal opportunity and level playing field to become partner in the India’s growth story.

Indian education sector is poised to witness major growth in the years to come as India will have world’s largest tertiary age population and second largest graduate talent pipeline globally by the end of 2020. Current statistics reveal, that the education market is worth US$ 100 billion. At present, higher education sector witnesses spending of over Rs 46,200 crore (US$ 6.96 billion), and it is expected to grow at an average annual rate of over 18 per cent to reach Rs 232,500 crore (US$ 35.03 billion) in next 10 years. India’s IT firms are working with academic institutions and setting up in-house institutes to groom the right talent as these companies move to Social media, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) technologies.

Another favourable data released by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) shows that the total amount of foreign direct investments (FDI) inflow into the education sector in India stood at US$ 1,171.10 million from April 2000 to June 2015 which is quite impressive. Therefore, keeping in view the robust growth happening year on year in the Indian education sector with steady flow of investments from different quarters. Time is ripe for corporations to plan & take up more CSR activities in accordance with the law that will certainly bring desired results.

The government of India has already announced several initiatives to strengthen the educational framework in the country with main focus on Skill Development. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Skill India initiative – ‘Kaushal Bharat, Kushal Bharat’. Under this initiative, the government has set itself a target of training 400 million citizens by 2022 that would enable them to find jobs. The initiatives launched include various programmes like: Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015, Skill Loan scheme, and the National Skill Development Mission.

So far so good, education sector has already seen a host of reforms and improved financial outlays in recent years that could possibly transform the country into a knowledge haven. With manpower resource already gaining significance in the overall development of the country, development of educational infrastructure is expected to remain the key focus in the current decade. In this scenario, infrastructure investment in the education sector is likely to see a considerable increase in the current decade. Therefore, corporations must come forward and roll out an effective CSR project with a long term plan to align their objectives with the opportunities that the Indian education sector is offering.

It will be really fruitful if organizations start evaluating their business models and practices and plan their CSR intervention where investment is focussed upon imparting skill based education and tapping the youth which are looking for skill based employment. This will in-turn give stakeholders the value for money being invested and the desired impact can be assessed in due course of time.  It is needless to mention that Indian education sector will be offering plethora of opportunities in the coming years but the question remains that how corporations & private players will exploit them to the best of their potential.

Rohit Kaul

Senior Program Manager, Media & Communications – Fiinovation

Orange the world: Change the mind set to end violence against Women

There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women. How can we even think of development when half of the world’s population is oppressed and is discriminated. From centuries women have been denied from their basic rights. As the society evolved laws were made on gender equality. We have made rules to protect women and to give them equal opportunities and importance in every day life. But have we changed the mentality of the people who thinks women to be inferior than men? The mentality which treats women like an object or an ornament to showcase?

The answer to this is “no”, we have not change our mindset on treating women with humanity. As the UN celebrates “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women” on 25th November, here are some facts which will make us think about the kind of equality we share between the genders. One in three women in the world have experienced physical or sexual abuse. Worldwide, more than 700 million women living today were a victim of child marriage,amongst which 250 million girls were married before the age of 15.

Even in India the situation is bad as the rest of the world . According to a survey held in January 2011, on “the International Men and Gender Equality”, revealed that 65 percent of the men believe that women should tolerate violence. While 24 percent admitted that they have committed an act of violence against women at some point of life. It is this mentality which gives birth to incidents of domestic violence, sexual and physical abuse of women. Other incidents of violence like harassment, assault, and chain-snatching, etc are a day to day affair in the modern Indian society. Violence against women has grown to a great extent in India. Dowry deaths, murder, bride burning, etc are some of the harsh realities of our society.

UN has initiated a campaign named “Orange the world: End violence against women” to spread awareness on the increasing incidents of violence against women. Initiatives like these are admirable and necessary for sensitizing people and change their thought process which indulges exploitation of women. Violating the personal space of anyone is against human rights. If we want to make this world a better place to live in, then safety, security and empowerment of women should be our utmost priority.

By – Karan Pundir

Media and Communication Team | Fiinovation

Digital Revolution vs Social Revolution

 

“If Facebook were a country, it would be the third most populous one and the most connected. Google today has made teachers less awe-inspiring and grandparents more idle. Twitter has turned everyone into a reporter. The traffic lights that need to work the best are on CISCO routers.”

– Narendra Modi at Silicon Valley as on 26th September 2015

Digital revolution has become the backbone of economic, technological, and social prosperity after the industrial revolution. Driven by high-speed Internet connectivity and innovative products and services it has became the next verge in ones life that one can’t live without. The creation of World Wide Web helped revolutionize the communication systems and made Internet an essential part of every business and in person. The medium of communication has changed rapidly and mobile communication has become an inevitable part of life. The Internet users rose as mobile devices enabled easy and faster connectivity. Instant messengers and chat-rooms replaced the voice communication while e-commerce is bringing a paradigm shift in the way people shop. We are now getting into the era of Internet of things and augmented reality.

India has become the second largest country of 352,340,854 Internet users, leaving behind United States and Japan. India has nearly 970 million mobile phones of which over 95% are wireless phones and over 22% are smart-phones. India also has nearly 100 million broadband connections, and there are many low-cost handsets and rich smart-phones which are now available for less than Rs 10,000.

On the social media front LinkedIn, the world’s largest online professional network with over 364 million members globally, said it has crossed 30 million members in India. WhatsApp, which was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion in Feb. 2014, had 700 million global users, of these, an estimated 10% users are from India. Facebook itself has around 1.3 billion global users and about 110 million in from India.

The advent of new information technologies and communication platform has not only connected the people all round the globe but also provided a source where they can shout out loud to make their voice listen globally. Digital media has helped very much in revolutionizing social change in India or globally. The very best example can be quoted is during the Nepal earthquake through Facebook. Over Seven million people in Nepal used Facebook to reach out to over 150 million friends and family members across the globe. More than 150 million friends were notified and those updates let people rest and relief efforts remain focused. Facebook gave people the opinion to support local relief efforts and in just two days, more than half-a-million people donated and raised more than $10 million to support the relief effort. It also said that the social networking site raised over $10 million (Rs 1.2 billion) in just two days for the victims.

Digitalization will not only solve the world problem but it has served a very powerful tool in imparting democracy, education and justice on a national and international front. It has widely helped in advocacy and activism. Digitalization has put oft-ignored disease into the collective consciousness and it’s not a big surprise that it got laws changed in India.

Yes, there is more need to be done…the more of us take on the burden, the lighter the weight will be.

By – Anand Kumar

Deputy Manager – Media Campaign, Fiinovation

Best movie dialogues that dared to break the social stigma

  • Rang De Basanti

“Koi bhi desh perfect nahin hota, usse behtar banana padta hai”

Rang De Basanti

Rang De Basanti

Source – http://www.glamsham.com/movies/dialogues/rang-de-basanti-dialogue/485/0.htm


  • Chak De India

“Mujhe states ke naam na sunayi dete hai na dhikai dete hai, sirf ek mulk ka naam sunayi deta hai I-N-D-I-A”

Chak De India

Chak De India

Source – http://www.filmyquotes.com/movies/6


  • Shri 420

“Aaj gareeb bhi gareeb ko nahi pehchanta”

Shri 420

Shri 420

Source – http://www.filmyquotes.com/movies/589


  • English Vinglish

“Mard khana banaye toh kala hai, aurat banaye toh uska farz hai.”

English Vinglish

English Vinglish

Source – http://www.filmyquotes.com/movies/250


  • Swades

“Main nahi manta hamara desh duniya ka sabse mahaan desh hai, lekin yeh zaroor manta hoon ki hum mein kabliyat hai, taqat hai, apne desh ko mahaan banane ki.”

Swades

Swades

Source – http://www.filmyquotes.com/stars/193


  • Lage Raho Munnabhai

“Desh toh apna ho gaya hai, lekin log paraye ho gaye hain.”

Lage Raho Munnabhai

Lage Raho Munnabhai

Source – http://www.filmyquotes.com/movies/574


  • Paa

“Yeh mera tera, tera mera … is duniya ki sabse badi problem hai.”

Paa

Paa

Source – http://www.filmyquotes.com/movies/562


  • Gandhi My Father

 Hindustan ka dil uske gaon mein dhadakta hai.”

Gandhi My Father

Gandhi My Father

Source – http://www.filmyquotes.com/movies/1043

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