"Complete giving is real CSR"
Pankaj P Shah, CEO and Managing Director, PG Foils, talks about how the company has changed the lives of people
How do you think both the company and the community benefit from CSR initiatives?
Yes, good CSR is always beneficial for both the company and the community or the people who it is meant for. In Pipliya Kalan, there are a number of people working with PG Foils; their immediate families have benefited from the healthcare services that we have provided. There have been instances in our factories too where workers have been injured and we have given them immediate medical attention at our own hospital. So, it is not only in our case, there are many organisations where both the company and organisation have benefited from their CSR activities.
Can you discuss your company's CSR journey?
This company was established by my father Parasraj Shah. It was his idea of getting into the foil business. At that time there were only two multinational companies in India, India Foils and Indian Aluminium. We were just the third company and that too an indigenous firm that got into this business. There was a lot of struggle for us while setting up the business as we were up against multi nationals. But today we are on the number one spot in this business. The Nanesh PG Memorial Hospital was my foremost initiative into CSR and then the company took it over. The inspiration to start a hospital came when I lost my father in a car accident. Had he received medical attention at the right time, he could have been saved. It's only when I felt the pain of losing someone special that I realised that I need do something. The hospital started getting popular with the people around and we thought of increasing the scale of the hospital. Some time back I had surplus inventory of trucks that I was using for my business which I converted into buses and made them into fully-functional ambulances. When Bhuj was hit by an earthquake, we were the first ones to provide medical assistance to the affected people. We have received appreciation letters from Ireland, France, Germany and even Holland. Everything from admission, treatment, consultancy, medicines, food, lodging is completely free at our hospital.
What is your company's CSR implementation method?
There is no set procedure or processes that we have outlined for our CSR projects. We have constantly believed in the motto of selfless giving, the rest has fallen into place. Everything here is being offered free of cost. There is no charge whatsoever from the patients.
However, since we have built a hospital there are certain constant requirements that we have to fulfil. We have already started work on a new building which will have Gynaecology services, a physiotherapy ward and also a better storage system for medicines. There is a yearly budget that is prepared and we have maintained a corpus fund for our project. The monthly interest accrued from the fund is used for the running of the hospital. We also get free medication from the companies we are working with. They realise the work we are doing and offer medicines free of cost.
Many of our employees working with PG Foils and Prem Cables are voluntarily working for the hospital.
What is your CSR team's strength?
The strength of our team is the thought of selfless service. The entire team of Nanesh PG Memorial Hospital works like it's their own hospital. There is immense motivation in the entire team. They have a sense of ownership and give their best in any work they do. Atika A Shah, who takes care of the administration and management of the hospital, has devoted herself completely.
What is your opinion of the current phase of CSR in India? What are the main challenges that the field is facing?
CSR should be the responsibility of any organisation. It should not be done just because it is mandated by the government. Any organisation builds itself from the community it serves, which makes it imperative to give back to society. There are a large number of people that are doing CSR from their heart and doing it selflessly. I don't think there are any challenges that are being faced by anyone doing CSR. There should be an intent to do real good work.