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Willingness To Work For Society Has Its Own Healthy Dividend

The panel came to a consensus that ‘whatever a business group do and whichever way it opts, but it is the willingness to work for a society which always pays you back with rich dividend

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Social responsibility has enlightened sustainability and also looks at how people have transformed various aspects to be sustainable. This was the central idea of the high-level panel three of the last discussion on the inaugural day of India Sustainability Standards Conference. It was an idea from the session to learn like a toddler and symbolise aspects to learn them in a somewhat perfect matter.

Speaking at the session Vimal Mahendru, the president of Legrand India has shared, “I have learnt it from an experience where a group of students from ISB Hyderabad visited a village named Toli in Himachal Pradesh. The village has no electricity, no road and almost no facilities. When the group of students tried to throw the trash and started searching for dustbins, they did not find them as villagers were more involved in reusability of wastes.” It makes us think that reusability or how to go for full utilization of resources is something that can give us the lesson of sustainability.

He has also said that sustainability should be holistic in nature and stated how his group works with the retired workforce to carry their experience in the new workforce. Indulgence of standardisation of Business items in most positive ways is also useful in attaining sustainability said Vimal.

Anant Ahuja, Director of Shahi exports shared how his client ‘GAP’ has enabled their group to enhance the condition of women workforce, which was more in the core of entire workforce but highly unskilled. Anant has also shared how Shahi exports have implemented PACE program of GAP which improved the capacity of their women workforce.

The best approach is to transform from profitability as the core idea of CSR to imbibe moral obligation of CSR in your own soul, said Rana Som of Birbhum coal fields limited, a group that has worked in remote areas like Birbhum which is in the epicentre of full impact of India's red corridor of Naxal terror. Rana has also shared how they have dealt with the situation of disparity among a high profitability mining group with least wealthy labours.

Rana also shared that their group has worked hard to change the green sight of the mining area in Birbhum. It is to be noticed that usually a minefield is barren inside and no greenery can be found inside.

While it came to idea implementation on the ground to realize leadership values for sustainability in business, the panel had a different set of experience.

Rana Som focused more on the set up of model sectors for the decentralized approach in business functions.

While Anant, the youngest panel member stressed more upon the return on investment (ROI) driven sustainability standardisation, though he accepted that a huge business and nature of workforce size in a business also has a major role in deciding the practice a leader should choose. He also shared how their group came up with an organisational development department to resolve workforce issue.

We focus on innovative reward approach, said Vimal.  We run an organization which deals in electric equipment manufacturing and innovation is the core of our business. Legrand pushes more towards R&D and it lets a person evolve one day or the other continued Vimal.

Answering to the question from BW Businessworld if trusteeship philosophy of business by Gandhi has more relevance in India? Rana Som has responded that this philosophy was more suitable for public sector enterprise than a private group. India has gone through multiple transformations and trusteeship philosophy has its relevance in few areas.

The panel came to a consensus that ‘whatever a business group do and whichever way it opts, but it is the willingness to work for a society which always pays you back with rich dividend’.

Tags assigned to this article:
legrand india sustainability csr PACE