In last month’s 2nd NHRDN Summit on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Deepak Arora, CEO, Essar Foundation, spoke of how the CSR provisions under the Companies Act 2013 had inspired a unique model for corporates to adopt. Corporates could now do social development work in association with non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Speaking on “How to Measure, Communicate & Create Better Impact of CSR Efforts”, Mr Arora pointed out that the strength of NGOs in mobilising communities helps develop more lasting relationships between businesses and their associated communities, creating shared value (CSV) for both entities. Both corporates and NGOs need to collaborate on communicating the value proposition they jointly bring to the table, he added, while addressing the audience at the conference, which was organised by the Gurgaon-based National HRD Network and the Noida-based Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH).
True to this philosophy, the Essar Foundation has always had more than CSR in mind. The organization’s social development efforts have been directed towards creating shared value. The Foundation consciously chose to evolve from CSR to CSV in a way that enabled the various communities related to Essar’s businesses to thrive and grow alongside the businesses themselves.
The concept of ‘Creating Shared Value’ works on the basic principle that the proficiency of a company and the wellbeing of communities related to it are interlinked. As a result, economic progress goes hand in hand with societal progress to create multiple positive outcomes.
This approach continues to win accolades for the Foundation. In 2014, it won the Porter Prize for Enabling Social Progress—a recognition that acknowledges outstanding performance in the industry in working towards uplifting social indicators.