Csr Initiatives of Indian It Companies Sustaining and Enhancing Competitiveness in Today’s Business Scenario

Topics: Corporate social responsibility, Socially responsible investing, Social responsibility Pages: 18 (4584 words) Published: July 27, 2011
Sustaining and Enhancing Competitiveness in today’s Business Scenario Abstract

The idea of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not new to Indian companies. Growing number of Information technology (IT) companies with the direct involvement of employees are implementing CSR projects. Dedicated departments in most of the companies are looking into much more than just funding or getting involved in one-time projects. The trend is especially strong in IT companies with a young workforce that increasingly feels that they would like to contribute to the cause of creating a better society. Voluntarism to them means taking technology to the grassroots levels and to bridge the digital divide. CSR activities have their advantages like building a positive image and encouraging social involvement of employees. This develops a sense of loyalty for the organisation. CSR activities help bond employees as a team, and with the organisation, which in turn helps in creating a dedicated workforce that is proud of its employer. IT companies in India have realized that CSR makes business sense. Indian IT Industry has been harbinger of Indian economy and plays a big role in fuelling India’s growth. Today, it is also acknowledged to be one of the front runners in CSR, with initiatives spanning various sectors and themes such as education, health, poverty reduction general donations, social welfare schemes, rural development, web-based solution for adult literacy programme, creating a centralised data system on children for adoption. IT companies in India are increasingly sending out this message and a growing number of companies and institutions in India are seeking to link their own growth and survival to the social cause that they are promoting. The paper's purpose is to highlight the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives taken by the Indian IT Industry, which can help them to enhance their overall performance.

Keywords- CSR, IT Industry, Indian IT companies

1. Background

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is by and large the way in which a company accomplishes integration of economic, environmental, and social imperatives while at the same time looking after shareholder and stakeholder expectations. The success of CSR is determined by the way businesses engage shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, governments, non-governmental organisations, international organisations, and other stakeholders. It helps make inroads into areas where a company might otherwise not have had a presence, building a talent pool, capacity building in communities, being perceived as a socially responsible corporate among employees which adds to a sense of pride for an organisation. Corporate social initiatives with core objective of business philosophy is not a charity rather, it is a mean to sustain long term economic gain over other competitors. Hence, the idea of a business organization to maximize profits and also contribute to the society is mutually exclusive. Another definition given by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in its publication "Making Good Business Sense" by Lord Holme and Richard Watts is- "Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large" The key CSR issues include governance, environmental management, stakeholder engagement, labour standards.

2. Reasons for undertaking CSR initiatives

CSR initiatives require money and human resources then how does it benefit the organisation? It is also a widespread fact that in many cases no CSR work was done in reality but was shown on paper to claim for tax exemptions. Another argument is that companies use it as a tool for brand building. Companies counter the argument and state that getting...
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