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Driving sustainability: Joint DACHSER - terre des hommes event in Mumbai

DACHSER’s customers and business partners in Mumbai attended a lively panel discussion about the theme “CSR 2.0: Creating Exponential Returns for Corporations and Society”. The event, organized by DACHSER India and the NGO “terre des hommes”, built an excellent platform for attendants to discuss how Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives can have a bigger impact in India.
Increasing impact of CSR activities was the key topic of the event

The paradigm shift in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) in India was the key topic of the event which served as a platform for participants to share experiences, expectations, aspirations and responsibilities to address social challenges. CSR as a means to manage complex sociopolitical issues is regarded as a great contributor to improve living conditions for e. g. ethnic groups, but the key question to many was: is it the time we should be welcoming a new, more transformative wave of CSR?

From left to right: Mr. Bharat Bambawale, leading brand and marketing practitioner and consultant to terre des hommes: Mr. Georg Graf, Regional Representative India, Freudenberg; Ms. Roshni Nugehalli, Executive Director, YUVA; Mr. Huned Gandhi; Mr. Noshi

Four years ago, Clause 135 of Companies Act commanded India-based companies a minimum spend on corporate social responsibility initiatives. Even if this made organizations invest in CSR initiatives, the long-term strategic commitment often remains at the periphery. Many companies feel challenged in terms of applicability, implementation and impact of the Clause 135. While NGOs play an important role in CSR, a certain jumble between methodologies of companies and NGOs makes sustainable programs bounce back.

Mr. Huned Gandhi, Managing Director Air & Sea Logistics India & Bangladesh, pointed out that it’s vital for companies to make a deliberate and enduring move to elevate education and living conditions in India. “While the CSR Act came up only four years ago, at DACHSER we have been focusing on long-term oriented initiatives since ten years. We made CSR an integral part of our vision based upon the principle ‘helping others help themselves’”, he explained.

The audience showed keen interest during the panel discussion

During the discussion panelists agreed that CSR is regarded as a voluntary initiative, directed by the prerequisites of society. It begins where the law ends and is crucial to maintain competitiveness of the prospering Indian market. Sustainability needs to be strongly supported by businesses. It is supposed to originate from within, not from outside.

“At DACHSER India, employee engagement in CSR is another supporting element,” Gandhi pointed out. Aside from representatives volunteering for CSR, DACHSER India is most willing to employ CSR recipients and invest in their training to help them compete in the corporate environment.

Ms. Ingrid Mendonca, Regional Coordinator South Asia, terre des hommes

“Even if legal obligation in CSR investments helps, the intrinsic motivation to improve conditions remains the key success factor,” added Ingrid Mendonca, Regional Coordinator South Asia at terre des hommes.

The event was highly appreciated by all participants who expressed their enthusiasm to attend comparable sessions in future and expressed gratitude towards terre des hommes and DACHSER for orchestrating the occasion.

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Corporate Social Responsibility at DACHSER

More information about DACHSER’s CSR activities in India and other countries can be found here