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Unformatted text preview: and economically disadvantaged sections of society in
Education, Health & Environment sectors 1 .
It is quite evident that such CSR initiatives have to rely on local innovations, commonly known in India
as ‘Jugaad’. However, in today’s context, these innovations should evolve sustainable enterprises,
which have potential to scale up and in process lead to inclusive growth.
This paper therefore focuses on the CSR initiatives for community-development and broaches a
methodology to measure their scaling potential for inclusive, sustainable growth of the country. The
scope of the paper can be summarized as follows:
1. It highlights the need of Innovations and Enterprises in a company’s CSR initiative for inclusive
and sustainable growth
2. It analyzes a few enterprises that have helped low income people to better their lives and
livelihoods. The analysis is based on “lenses” developed by the author out of his own
experience, interaction with officers of the Planning Commission, Government of India and
secondary research during his curriculum at the b-school 1 Sustainability Review 09‐10, Mahindra’s Alternative Thinking, a CSR initiative of the group 4 | H o w s h o u l d y o u m e a s u r e C S R ? 3. It examines key challenges faced by social enterprises to scale up their operations from local to
national level Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – Why is the term nebulous? As part of CSR, a business should embrace responsibility for the impact of its activities on the
environment, consumers, employees, communities and all other members of the public sphere. Since
this covers stakeholders across various levels of the value chain, measuring impact of any CSR
initiative on the society becomes nebulous. More so because the practice of CSR is much debated,
sometimes even criticized and often merged with development of business ethics.
To make matters worse, measurement metrics are indefinable as different companies follow different
CSR approaches. Therefore no generic framework exists to evaluate the impact of CSR on the society. Businesses CSR
Figure 1: Various Approaches to CSR Innovations & Enterprises Looking at CSR from a different perspective The approach which is becoming more widely accepted, particularly in developing countries like India,
is the community-based development approach for CSR. In this approach, corporations work with local
communities to better themselves.
Therefore in order to focus on one of many definitions of CSR, the author regarded a business’s CSR
initiative to be a stand alone social enterprise and developed lenses to measure its impact on the larger
society. Further in order to sustain these social enterprises, the author believes that they should be
governed by innovative ideas tailored to a stratum of an economy and perhaps customized to a
geographical location as well. As such, innovations and enterprises together can lead to a society’s
inclusive and sustainable growth, an objective that all corporate must strive to achieve.
Hence, in this...
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- Winter '14