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Centre for Insurance Training, Research & Development

Centre for Insurance Training, Research & Development

Industry Perspective

The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Challenge & The B-School Response

“India has an opportunity to become one of the world’s most dynamic economies.... Seize It!” Managing Director, IMF

The Indian economy today, particularly the manufacturing and servicing sectors, appears to be moving in the direction of high growth and economic stability. The inflation has fallen to about 5 percent, partially supported by easing of petroleum prices, while increased FDI and remittances have contributed to the steadying of the Re/Dollar rate, leading to a record low in trade deficit - 6.8 billion USD, in February 2015, as against USD 20 billion in October 2012. The Government, the RBI and the entire regulatory and administrative apparatus appear to have launched a series of well coordinated liberalised policies and programmes/initiatives, focusing on macroeconomic, transparent management, to achieve dynamic, yet inclusive, growth. Not surprisingly, the IMF believes that we will achieve a 7% GDP growth rate, as against the global average of 3.5%.

The corporate sector and financial markets seem to have welcomed this, as exhibited by the BSE Sensex, crossing the 30,000 mark, as a part of the post-budget hype. The ‘Make In India’ programme of the government is now gathering momentum not only in India, but globally, since the NRIs and foreign investor community have taken a serious note of this initiative. With the RBI promoting the ‘Make For India’ slogan, backed by reduction in the repo rate, the stage seems set for accelerating and sustaining the growth rate, through multi-pronged interventions, in the marketplace.

There is little doubt that as industrial growth gathers momentum, it will eventually spur the employment market, both in the conventional and sunrise sectors, including health/pharma/bio-technology, ITeS, green and bio-energy, environment and eco-preservation, as well as hospitality and retail. With the revamping of the whole range of labour laws, there is little doubt that there will be a spring in the step of the corporate recruiter, as organisations continuously seem to be shedding the flab before gathering more muscle to face the marketplace.

This is undoubtedly divine music to the B-schools, who have been searching the economic horizon for the better part of this decade. As we transform the terracotta B-School apprentices into Centurions, e-empowered with digital weaponry, they anxiously await their turn to charge the corporate arena, to seek their chosen place in the sun. Unlocking unique consumer insights from big data, they work hard on mass customisation of products and services. Crowd-sourcing ideas to shape their strategies, they seek critical inputs, by searching the social media and resort to outsourcing, to cut costs. The effort to build a lean-and-mean organisation continues unabated, while mergers and acquisitions make strange bed-fellows, with avid competitors, sharing the same bench.

We at MET are continuously retooling and reshaping our learning modules, to ensure business leadership and ownership covering the conventional building blocks of marketing, finance, HR, operations, systems... These are delivered through state-of-the-art learning technologies, supported by a broad range of eCommerce tools, which help in global networking. Digital Business Management is no longer a magic wand, but an essential alphabet, to unravel the mysteries of the marketplace. The successful hosting of a unique B-school competition DigiMET has galvanised netizens from all parts of the country, with curiosity giving way to creativity and value at MET.

Universally, there is a growing concern among the corporate stake holders about the societal unrest caused by dichotomy wherein 80% of global wealth is held by 20% and vice versa. It is also a fact that only 5% of these rich hold 80% of the global riches. This could be the result of single minded focus of critical financial tools to make the rich richer. Hence B-Schools globally are straining to sensitise Management professionals to reach out to the under privileged and differently abled sections of the society while striking the right balance between development and conservation.

Welcome to the rise of the Corporate Social Responsibility challenge, which is being taken on headlong, by the Indian corporate sector as well. Based on recent provisions in Corporate Taxation laws, with effect from 2015, two percent of the three-years of average profits are to be spent on CSR initiatives. While the details of the scope of this provision are being worked out, this new challenge of identifying opportunities in this domain has led us to focus our students’ attention on studying and evolving innovative CSR projects, in companies of their choice. Thus, every year, students will identify new avenues for CSR adoption, broadening and deepening the corporate reach, to provide relief, care, concern and compassion to society at large.

We believe that while the society receives the benefits of corporate wealth creation, through its innovations in products and services, they also feel, in some measure, the impact of turbulence in the eco-system. Through fine tuning of CSR activities, it is possible to achieve a balance between wealth creation and ecoconservation, thus reaching out to the weakest sections of the society. By sensitising our students to these harsh realities, through our MET Seva programmes, we seek to shape future managers, committed to building an inclusive society.

Welcome to the new academic year that will focus on creating management professionals, who will respond to the CSR challenge to make India one of the “world’s most dynamic economies”, as predicted by the IMF Chief.

Prof. (Dr.) Vijay Page
Director General
MET Institute of Management