Social responsibility of a business doesn’t end with CSR, says Vinita Bali in Pune
Vinita Bali, former managing director and chief executive officer of Britannia Industries, was in the city on Wednesday to be part of the lecture on ‘Social Responsibility of Business ‘ organised by Pune International Centre (PIC).Updated: Dec 21, 2017 14:43 IST
Social responsibility of a business cannot be confused or equated with corporate social responsibility (CSR), said Vinita Bali, former managing director and chief executive officer of Britannia Industries.
Bali was in the city on Wednesday to be part of the lecture organised by Pune International Centre (PIC). Bali spoke on ‘Social Responsibility of Business’ at the program held at Mahratta Chamber Of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA). Also present on the occasion were Vijay Kelkar, vice-president, Pune International Center (PIC) and Satish Pradhan, former chief and executive vice-president, Group Human Resource, Tata Sons Limited.
Sharing her views, Bali emphasised that the social responsibility of businesses is not just about corporate social responsibility. She said that a socially responsible business is one which makes profit through serving society. “Profit is not a bad thing. If it can be generated while addressing the problems that communities face, then it is a socially responsible way of doing business. Social responsibility is how businesses conduct itself. In every business, there is an element of social responsibility which needs to be understood,” said Bali.
Bali added that currently, there is a lot of talk on innovation, but it can be seen that around 90 percent of innovations are designed to solve problems of the rich and not of the poor. “There is huge funding available for bringing in innovations or processes for delivering pizza faster or delivering groceries and salads at the door step. But there is no innovation in addressing issues like undernourishment or malnutrition even as these problems are huge in India,” said Bali.
Bali further stated that if business is a microcosm of the society, then it has to operate in a socially responsible way.
Speaking about CSR, Bali said, “The logic of CSR doesn’t appeal to me. If businesses are disconnected from the people it serve, then spending two percent on CSR doesn’t make sense. Today, most of the CSR money is seen going into either education or healthcare. Companies who put this money do not have the right skills to implement their programs for bringing about a change in that sector. So most companies are relying on non-governmental organisations (NGO). Few good NGOs are getting overburdened while many others are coming up as there is a huge demand,” said Bali. She added that business being socially responsible, irrespective of the two percent of CSR, is important.
First Published: Dec 21, 2017 14:41 IST