‘Committed towards the society’
Ranjit Singh, Head, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., elaborates on the company's integrated and holistic development activities in the areas of road safety, skill development and community development.
Both the company and the community benefit from CSR initiatives. Do you subscribe to this?
Sustainable businesses are the bedrock of all future growth. At Maruti Suzuki, we take pride in our social, environmental and economic responsibilities, and our actions are motivated by a single thought - the need to take care of, and add value to, our communities and our ecosystem. We believe in the vision of creating a healthy environment, which in turn, contributes to our own sustainability. With this vision, we have dedicated ourselves to transforming the lives of people across 24 villages in Gurugram, Manesar, Rohtak and Hansalpur.
From a community and social responsibility standpoint, we undertake comprehensive need-gap analyses. Through our interactions with community at large, it became evident that water, sanitation and education are the three critical areas for intervention. With awareness drives, behavioural change projects, the attitude of apathy has curbed and there has been a significant shift in the needle. Today, the villagers have also started taking up the onus to improve the lifestyle and well-being of the communities and work hand-inhand with us to realise this vision. We conceptualise and execute CSR initiatives to tackle teething issues at a local level while addressing endemic problems at a national scale. CSR is not just a mere tick-in-the-box for us. We intend to develop a sustainable, mutually beneficial and inclusive socio-economic ecosystem.
Can you discuss your company's CSR journey?
A holistic, impactful, influential Corporate Social Responsibility practice is embedded in the DNA of Maruti Suzuki. True to being a pioneer in the Indian automobile sector, we were the first company to take up the cause of safe driving and training in the country. Maruti Suzuki contributes to all the 4Es of road safety. Our vehicles are designed, engineered and extensively tested to meet advanced safety standards. We support enforcement and emergency care by creating customised ambulances, interceptors and patrol vehicles, and offering them free of charge to police and enforcement agencies. Recently, the Company started a nationwide social awareness campaign called #PehniKya to promote seat belt use among car users.
We are striving to break myths around seat belt usage and make people realise its importance. Today, Maruti Suzuki has aligned itself with the Government's vision of Skill India and 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'. We are working closely with 141 ITIs across 27 states. We have set up the first Japan-India Institute for Manufacturing (JIM) in Mehsana, Gujarat. We have also undertaken extensive measures to enhance different areas of water, sanitation and education across 24 villages in Haryana and Gujarat.
What are the key focus areas of your company's CSR?
The three key pillars that form the foundation of our CSR are community development, road safety and skill development. While implementing social development campaigns, we are guided by some core principles:
Consolidating efforts rather than spreading resources thin over projects. This helps us in delivering demonstrable value to people's lives.
Mapping the needs of the communities and undertaking relevant projects.
Enhancing employability of the underprivileged youth with skill development programmes to make them industry-ready, efficient, vertically mobile.
Promoting safety of all road users by creating infrastructure and curriculum for quality driving training and spreading awareness about safe driving.
What is your company's CSR implementation method?
Our CSR projects follow a structured, organised and cohesive implementation policy. Campaigns are rolled-out and completed in a time-bound manner with clear objectives, planning and targets in place. Robust monitoring and evaluation parameters are undertaken for impact assessment. We have a CSR Committee of the Board, with a duly approved CSR policy. Each CSR project is audited by internal and external statutory auditors for compliance as per the law.