CRY CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY SUMMIT

 

7th March, 2012 Mumbai: Representatives of Corporate India gathered today to learn, share and discuss how Corporate Responsibility is a key contributor in bringing about social change at the CRY Corporate Responsibility Summit. The event brought together key international figures in CSR as well as stalwarts of CSR in India who discussed how the magnitude of human rights issues in India requires a convergence of efforts from all sectors – the government, civil society and corporates.  The summit was attended by representatives from key corporate houses in India, including Barclays Bank, ANZ, Marico, HPCL, IDBI Bank and eClerx Services Ltd.

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The opening plenary session was led by John Elkington – one of the world’s greatest influencers on sustainability and author of the term ‘Triple Bottom Line’, who spoke about the criticality of CSR in the context of India’s socio-economic situation. “It’s time to look at that kind of sustainability which goes beyond corporate responsibility, where business is at the forefront of change.Children and young people are the future. Business has a key role in creating shared values, encouraging young people to be entrepreneurs and celebrating their successes and failures.”

Addressing the plenary, Puja Marwaha, CEO, CRY said, “When there are sections of society left out of growth and are consequently displaced, it is the children who suffer the most. Now is the time for corporate India to come together and take action, and ensure a lasting change in the lives of children in India.”

Through this summit, CRY underlined the criticality of child rights in this context, as children are the most vulnerable stakeholders in this scenario, often most impacted by factors like environmental pollution, reduced capacity of families to earn and the displacement of communities.

The CRY CR Summit is a step towards defining a clearer CSR strategy for corporates in India as CRY’s own experiences, as well as several industry reports indicate that a majority of companies in India are still to clearly define a CSR strategy.

The summit was attended by some of India’s most experienced CR players. Those who shared their experiences included, amongst others, Nitin Paranjpe (Chairman HUL), B.S. Nagesh (Founder TRRAIN) and C.K. Venkataraman (COO Tanishq).

Nitin Paranjpe, Chairman, HUL said, “For businesses, ‘Doing well by Doing good’ is the mantra.” While speaking about hiring people for businesses, C.K. Vekantraman, COO, Tanishq said, “Let’s not go to ITIs, let us go to villages.” He said this approach brings benefit to the local communities as well as businesses.

Addressing the closing session, Ola Lohman – an expert on CSR associated with the Swedish Institute spoke about the future of CSR in India.

“For the next 20 years the CSR movement will change. The way companies approach CSR will change. It’s a question of efficiency, cost and profits for companies,” said Lohman.

Earlier during the day, some of the key speakers- Rama Iyer (Founder and Director – White Kettle Consulting), Gaurav Rajput (Director Marketing, Aviva) and R. Balakrishnan (Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Lowe Lintas India) participated in a panel discussion headed by Jean-Michel Dumont (Chairman Ruder Finn, Asia) on the Impact of Corporate Responsibility on Brands.

For more information please contact Priya Zutshi – priya.zutshi@crymail.orgor call +919820190247

Note to the Editor: CRY – Child Rights and You (formerly known as Child Relief and You) is an Indian NGO that believes in every child’s right to a childhood – to live, learn, grow and play. For over 30 years, CRY and its partners have worked with parents and communities to ensure Lasting Change in the lives of more than 20 Lakh underprivileged children. For more information please visit us at http://www.cry.org/