Do you have any qualifications or experience in poverty alleviation, environment conservation and management, gender empowerment or public health?
There’s good news for you and many other development professionals. Between now and 2020, India will need almost 100,000 people with these, and other development-related qualifications, to fill up new jobs that will be created.
How? According to the new Companies Act, from April 1, every company with a net worth of at least Rs. 500 crore, or annual revenues of above Rs. 1,000 crore or a net profit of more than Rs. 5 crore will have to spend at least 2% of their average net profits for the past three years on corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.
Result: an additional Rs. 22,000 crore will flow into sectors such as education, healthcare, women and child welfare, etc. and companies and non-government organisations (NGOs) will need qualified people at all levels to manage the much larger social sector projects that this humungous sum will generate.
“This spending will also have a multiplier effect and generate many indirect jobs as well but we don’t have any estimate on numbers or sectors,” said Parul Soni, executive director and practice leader, development advisory services, EY, which has done extensive studies on the subject.
Many companies will have to increase their allocations for CSR. The Mahindra Group, for instance, which has been spending about 1% of its net profit on CSR activities since 2005, spent about Rs. 75 crore last year. “This will rise to about Rs. 175 crore next year,” said Rajeev Dubey, president, group HR, corporate services and aftermarket sector, M&M.
The Tata Group, on the other hand, spent over Rs. 1,000 crore on CSR over the last two years, and was by and large compliant with the 2% rule, said Mukund Rajan, member, group executive council and chief ethics officer, Tata Sons.
“This will be the new sunrise sector for job seekers,” said Nikhil Pant, chief programme executive, National Foundation for CSR, IICA.
Providing education for girls and underprivileged children, skills development and women and child healthcare, especially in far flung areas are high on the list of corporate philanthropists.
So, there will be many more jobs for teachers, health workers, doctors and volunteers as large sums of money are invested in new schools, health centres, potable water management schemes and rural sanitation projects, among others.
According to recruiters, a field officer can earn an average salary of around Rs. 3 lakh per year, junior and middle-level programme managers can earn Rs. 10 lakh while vice-president-level executives could be anywhere upwards of Rs. 50-60 lakh.
“I think this money can make a huge difference if companies synergise their skills and knowledge with those of non-profits who bring their understanding and experience of development processes,” said Rajan.
Firms have come together for maternal and child mortality projects. Analysts said more such pooling of resources are needed for CSR to have an impact.
“Let’s say, 13,000 out of the 16,000 affected companies, have just Rs. 50 lakh each to give. Individually `50 lakh will not go too far. We will see no major impact unless there is a pooling of resources,” said Noshir Dadrawala, CEO of Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy.
Many companies have now begun to evaluate their CSR strategies and are expected to redraw their plans (increasing spends, geographical and target areas etc) from the beginning of 2014-15, executives said.
And that can only make the future rosier for job seekers.