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11718Fwd: [karmayog] IIM-A alumni to catalyse CSR centre

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  • Thiagarajan Arunachalam
    Jun 18, 2014
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      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: 'Pearl - Karmayog' info@... [karmayog] <karmayog@yahoogroups.com>
      Date: Tue, Jun 17, 2014 at 3:44 PM
      Subject: [karmayog] IIM-A alumni to catalyse CSR centre
      To: karmayog@yahoogroups.com


      Source:The Hindu Business Line

      URL: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/csr-as-an-antipoverty-instrument/article5979170.ece



      IIM-A alumni to catalyse CSR centre


      The country’s top B-school, the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A), along with its alumni, intends creating a think-tank and a centre that will address corporate social responsibility in a holistic manner.


      This centre, when it takes off, will look at synthesising the various CSR initiatives by individuals, many of them alumni of IIM-A, undertake research, train managers for the NGO sector and play a role in accrediting organisations in the CSR sphere.


      ‘Conscious capitalism’

      Says IIM-A Director Ashish Nanda, “We believe responsible citizens in business want to practice conscious capitalism. A number of our alumni are already actively involved in the social sector. And with the new company law provisions, organisations are required to undertake CSR activities. We would like to help them perform these activities in an effective manner.”


      S Rajagopal, president of the Chennai chapter of the IIM-A alumni, says the local association has been planning to involve itself more in CSR activities and IIM-A’s commitment adds heft to the effort. “We plan to build a CSR centre at IIM-A, it will need financial commitment, and the Chennai chapter has said it will help raise funds to set up the centre,” adds Nanda, speaking to Business Line after a meeting with the alumni in the city.


      B Santhanam, Managing Director of glass maker Saint-Gobain, and a 1980 alumnus, says the genesis of the idea came about as quite a few are already involved in CSR and are running successful NGOs. Many from the batches of the ’70s and ’80s are in CEO and CXO positions now and have the ability to make a difference, considering that almost 25,000 crore of corporate money is expected to be spent on CSR activities as mandated by the new law. IIM-A, which is 50 years old, has around 12,000 alumni.


      Poor reach

      As companies are jumping onto the CSR bandwagon, “despite their best efforts, we see many sub-scale activities that while meeting the CSR criteria do not bring about the large-scale outcome that the country needs, especially in key sectors such as education, skills, health, women and child welfare,” says Santhanam.


      The big issues that are confronting CSR efforts today are scalability, replicability, accreditation, measurable outcomes and last but not the least matchmaking. There are companies and individuals who want to contribute and areas that need funding. “Then there are issues of NGO management; like a company, an NGO also needs vision, strategy, leadership and HR management. Most importantly, IIMA can play a catalytic role in CSR by structuring the agenda, helping companies incorporate it as part of their strategy, creating standards and systems that ensure measurable outcomes and all with a view to achieve scale and speed at a national level. ,” explains Santhanam.


      Director Nanda explains that the centre, when established, can focus on four core issues: accreditation and matchmaking based on NGOs’ capabilities. Second, it will conduct research and case studies to highlight effective and ineffective practices. Third would be education of NGOs and students in the CSR sector. Lastly, the centre will look to have an impact on policy and practice. “What this meeting with the Chennai alumni clarified for me was that we should consider the centre as an open platform where practitioners can work together with the faculty,” he adds.