Emerging Trends in CSR in India Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR as is popularly known is a system of gauging an organization’s bearing on society and weighing their responsibilities. CSR is not just about getting involved in some charitable practices or having ecological responsibility and a recycling policy. It is about the whole representation of the company which is to be considered, from internal practices to their clients, taking in every stride that a business takes during its usual operations.
It is a continuous commitment that companies should have towards the economic, social and environmental development of the community in which they operate. Several companies have now enthusiastically taken up to the cause of CSR in countries with rising economies such as India. Corporate social responsibility is sustainable, which involves companies to take up activities without having negative impact on their business.
In India several companies have started realizing that it is a sensible move to take up CSR activities and integrate it with their business process. Corporations are becoming increasingly aware of their role towards the society. They are responsible bodies that feel a sense of duty towards the common welfare and the environment. This comes with a growing realization that they, as an integral part of this society themselves, can contribute to its upliftment and empower of the entire country in turn.
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Thus Companies now are setting up specific departments and teams that develop policies, strategies and goals which are for their CSR programs and allocate separate budgets to support them. These programs are based on well-defined social beliefs or are carefully aligned with the companies’ business domain. In the modern era, the new generation of corporate leaders considers optimization of profits as the key, rather than the maximization of profit.
Hence there is a shift of paradigm from accountability to shareholders to accountability to stakeholders. The focus has been on initiatives that are people-centric with active community participation at all levels. Moreover, the corporations themselves have moved away from the charitable initiatives like giving financial grants or sponsorships to providing products and services in a manner that would make a real difference in the target communities.
Companies today are aiming a host of programs and schemes in several areas like education, healthcare, rural development, environment protection, protection of artistic and cultural heritage and disaster management that are modified to meet the specific needs of the target group and for the successful implementation of these schemes corporations devote not only financial resources but expertise, manpower, products and services. Corporate Social Responsibility is increasingly becoming an important aspect of corporate behavior and thus imperative to the business.
There are several reasons attributed to this, one being that the potential partners wants to work with companies that are sustainable and has a clean and good image in the society. Employees too want to work for a company that’s making a difference, prospective employees look to CSR reports and other information to get a sense of the corporate culture. Thus the corporations which are private initiatives are becoming more like public institutions whose survival depends on the consumers who buy their products and shareholders who invest in their stocks.
A concern for social and environmental development should be made a part of every corporate entity through its inclusion in the annual agenda backed by strong and genuine programs. Thus corporate contribution to the society, environment and business when guided by enlightened self-interest leads to improvement of the quality of life for all. Also effective corporate responsibility requires a good level of commitment from the entire organization and especially the top management who can ensure that not only CSR is practiced in their organizations but is also practiced well.
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