Here's Why CSR Should Be A Part Of Your Business Model

Last updated 5 Apr 2018 . 1 min read

Shalini Dabholkar is the founder and principal consultant at SocioCatalyst. SocioCatalyst is a CSR consulting firm that bridges the gap between Corporates and NGOs for social development. Shalini shares with us a brief note on the difference between philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR, and the need to incorporate it into a business model for sustainable development.

“While Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR is not new to India, the amendment of Section 135 and Schedule VII of Companies Act, 2013, has changed everything about it. It makes qualifying Companies spend at least 2% of their average annual profits towards CSR, bringing in a strategic shift from philanthropy to corporate giving in India.

Philanthropy usually ended with a voluntary donation, but Corporate giving demands transparency to shareholders on the utilisation of funds and impact being created in the society, which requires an organised and structured approach to social responsibility.  With stringent FCRA regulations and continued Government incentive schemes, the landscape is evolving much faster than expected.

One can see both science and art come into play here. Science is bringing with it structured approaches through due diligence in identifying credible CSR partners, operational policies, grant assessments, NGO audits, Social Return on Investment and so on, creating accountable frameworks for Corporates.

On the other hand, Art of CSR lies in real social value creation through business synergy in developmental initiatives. It is important to create strategic business goals that include CSR at its core, to build value for communities, its businesses are involved in and provide long-term social value to all stakeholders. Development based social innovation could lead the way forward in creating futuristic solutions under CSR.

One must remember the saying - "Give, not what you have, but what is needed." As much as corporate houses contribute finance to development, they have an equal responsibility in providing next-generation technology, mass media marketing platforms, visionary leadership and skilled resources to create radical social change in giving the country what it really needs.

Rather than as a mandated law, CSR should be looked upon as a great opportunity for business houses to apply their innovation and creativity to solve sustainable developmental issues faced by the country while strengthening their own credibility in existence. A fine balance between this science and art could define how we shape the future of India, responsibly.”


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