“We spearhead initiatives that contribute to the society”
Yadupati Singhania, Chairman and Managing Director, JK Cement, stresses that the choices the company makes in its daily business operations directly or indirectly affects its stakeholders and the planet as a whole
Both the company and the community benefit from CSR initiatives. Do you subscribe to this?
Any CSR initiative has to support a co-creating culture, where both the community as well the company can thrive. We firmly believe that the choices we make in our daily business operations directly or indirectly affects our stakeholders as well as our planet. Therefore, we have consistently supported the development needs of the society by making our products more efficient, mitigating our environmental footprint, fostering our human capital and enhancing the quality of life of the communities around our operations.
Can you discuss your company's CSR journey?
JK Cement is renowned for pioneering various initiatives and technological breakthroughs in the Indian Cement Industry, and is one of the foremost participants in India's industrial growth. Being a responsible corporate citizen, we have always focused on and spearheaded initiatives that contribute to society like creation of public infrastructure, health initiatives and initiatives for educational growth.
Driven by the solid vision of philanthropic enterprise of its founding fathers, JK Cement stands firmly committed to its obligation towards the society, stakeholders and the environment. We participate in the holistic development of the communities in which we operate. Our strategies and initiatives have brought smiles to numerous families. We have built schools, colleges, training institutes, hospitals, temples and other social infrastructure, as a part of our community intervention. Our in-house policy for the upliftment of the masses finds reflection in a comprehensive and ongoing outreach programme, entailing participation in various social, charitable, healthcare, educational and religious initiatives.
What is your opinion of the current phase of corporate social responsibility in India? What are the main challenges that the field is facing?
Corporate Social Responsibility is ingrained in many Indian corporates including JK Cement, where the dharma of giving back to the society acts as a guiding star in all we do. It was logical then, that we welcomed with excitement the Government's decree that made it mandatory for all corporates to necessarily invest 2% of their bottom-line in CSR activities.
Notwithstanding the initial enthusiasm, the actual execution of these CSR goals has remained challenging. Some big hurdles include finding a project that suits, trust in the executing partner, lack of adequate talent are some of the overarching challenges at present.
Despite these challenges, Indian corporates are doing some great work on affecting societal change. As time goes by, the deployment of these CSR projects attain some level of maturity, and these teething problems can be better dealt with. Also, most corporates will have to move beyond assigning HR and communication professionals to CSR teams, and get CSR specialist professionals who have an expertise as well as inclination to work in the field of CSR.