CSR should be part of corporate culture, says Suresh Senapaty

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) should be part of the culture of companies who should consider it a duty to implement, said Wipro Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer Suresh C Senapaty on Saturday.

Delivering the keynote speech at a seminar on ‘Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)’ organised by the Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FKCCI) and  Abhaya Foundation, Senapaty said that the immense resources at the command of companies brings a great responsibility to give back to society.

“Among the top economic entities globally, we have 87 corporates and 63 countries. Revenue generation of the number one corporate is greater than the total GDP of 171 countries. So, there is some sense in assuming that the community would be interested in a share of the disproportionate part of resource resting in the hands of a few corporate entities,” he said.

“I will not say it is in any manner a gift or in any manner a discretion to spend or not to spend (CSR), but it is their duty,” he said.

Senapaty said there should be a mechanism to give back to the society.

“The CSR norms will pave the way for that. Wipro has already implemented its CSR activities via educational activities and adopting villages. Our Chairman Premji has vowed to spend Rs 10,000 crore on charity activity,” he said.

CSR spend set to grow

“According to a study, in 2007, companies spent $2 billion for CSR activities. But now it has reached $45 billion. This shows that the spend will grow further,” he said.

According to Senapaty, the mandate of giving out for CSR activities should be internalised by corporates instead of being forced through legislation. GMR Group Chairman G M Rao said that the divide between rich and poor is increasing.

“We should empower the community by giving quality education which can change their destiny. CSR initiatives can play an integral part,” he said.

“We have constituted an organisation which gives skills development to people in the coastal villages of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh which has helped change their lives,” he said.

FKCCI president S Sampathraman said that CSR activities should be imbibed in the Indian corporate psyche.

“Our businessmen have been generous in giving money to society. Even without legislation, they are ready to reach out to the needy. It lies within our DNA,” he said.

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