Align­ing & in­cor­po­rat­ing CSR with busi­ness strat­egy key to max­imis­ing so­cial im­pact

FICCI Business Digest - - Contents -

A so­cial en­ter­prise is an or­gan­i­sa­tion that ap­plies com­mer­cial strate­gies to max­imise im­prove­ments in hu­man and en­vi­ron­men­tal well-be­ing. This may in­clude max­imis­ing so­cial im­pact rather than prof­its for ex­ter­nal share­hold­ers,” said Daniel McQuade, Di­rec­tor, Ven­ture for All, while ad­dress­ing an en­trepreneur­ship ses­sion on 'Ven­ture for So­cial En­ter­prise - De­sign­ing, Im­ple­ment­ing, and Scal­ing So­cial En­ter­prise/CSR So­lu­tions for the Ben­e­fit of Marginal­ized Pop­u­la­tions', or­gan­ised by FICCI Ladies Or­ga­ni­za­tion (FLO) in New Delhi on May 28, 2015.

McQuade spoke about the im­por­tance, con­nect and need for so­cial en­ter­prise and CSR, stat­ing that Cor­po­rate So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity (CSR) refers to a busi­ness prac­tice that in­volves par­tic­i­pat­ing in ini­tia­tives that ben­e­fit so­ci­ety; em­bed­ding sus­tain­abil­ity into the core of their busi­ness op­er­a­tions to cre­ate shared value for both the busi­ness and so­ci­ety.

He said that the three key take­aways for a suc­cess­ful sus­tain­able CSR pro­gram were align­ing and in­cor­po­rat­ing CSR with busi­ness strat­egy and in­te­grat­ing it across all op­er­a­tional func­tions, thus mak­ing it easy to in­vest (not spend) the funds nec­es­sary to achieve its ob­jec­tives; im­ple­ment­ing an open in­for­ma­tion strat­egy for more trans­par­ent in­for­ma­tion shar­ing with mul­ti­ple stake­hold­ers; and lever­ag­ing trans­parency to in­crease the level of en­gage­ment of key con­stituents and cus­tomers.

McQuade added that with all the three steps in com­bi­na­tion, the CSR pro­gram could be­come a ver­ti­cal in com­pany's com­pet­i­tive strat­egy. Do­ing all three steps right, would im­prove com­pany's value re­la­tion­ships with all key stake­hold­ers, de­velop more loyal cus­tomers, lower cost, in­crease rev­enues and in­crease brand eq­uity and stand­ing in so­ci­ety.

High­light­ing the met­rics crit­i­cal to mea­sure and mon­i­tor ex­ist­ing and new ven­ture suc­cess, he said that fo­cus on out­comes, learn­ing from oth­ers, lis­ten­ing to your stake­hold­ers, build­ing brand eq­uity, and mea­sure, re­fine and tweak, mea­sure again, are the mantra for suc­cess. McQuade also stated the three key en­ablers to an ef­fec­tive sus­tain­abil­ity ap­proach, which in­cluded vi­sion and strat­egy; gov­er­nance struc­ture; and mon­i­tor­ing and re­port­ing.

Ar­chana Garodia Gupta, Pres­i­dent, FLO, said that the ob­jec­tive of the en­trepreneur­ship ses­sion was to em­power the mem­bers with the right in­for­ma­tion to­wards con­tribut­ing mean­ing­fully to eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment. In essence, it is an amal­ga­ma­tion of the busi­ness acu­men and skills of an en­trepreneur and so­cial causes en­deav­or­ing to change so­ci­ety for the bet­ter. The need is to un­der­stand the ne­ces­sity of prac­ti­cal, in­no­va­tive and sus­tain­able ap­proaches to ben­e­fit so­ci­ety in gen­eral, with an em­pha­sis on those who are marginalised and poor.

Vinita Bimb­het, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent, FLO and Dr. Manju Kalra Prakash, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, FLO, also shared their per­spec­tives on the topic.

Daniel McQuade, Di­rec­tor, Ven­ture for All, ad­dress­ing an en­trepreneur­ship ses­sion.

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