The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not a new concept anymore (Schedule
VII of the Companies Act, 2013). The corporate world today is very well aware of
its effects, not only in in India but around the entire globe. World
organizations such as World Bank, UNDP, OECD, European Commission, and
various multinational corporations have all lent their support to the CSR
It is still primarily humanitarian in nature, but it has progressed
from nation and institution building to community development with global
ramifications. India being a developing country has started sensing its need
early in 2014 and since then all big names today like TATA, Reliance, Wipro, TVS
etc. has emerged as a great supporter of this concept. CSR in marketing refers
to the practise of managing economy in a manner that is both profitable and
socially and ecologically sustainable.
Customers, particularly the common
people, expect companies to be honest, trustworthy, compassionate, fair, and
environmentally sensitive. A company's overall financial, legal, ethical, and
social aspects in its operations can be defined as CSR. It can be described as a
positive contact between business and society.
Growth of CSR in India
Phase 1- (1850- 1914)- This era was dominated by values and traditions. Setting
up of temples and religious institutions by the elite was the way to help the
society. Big industries like TATA, Birla, Bajaj, Godrej etc. promoted the
concept of CSR in their own unique ways by setting up educational institutions,
facilitating healthcare, developing charitable trusts for the betterment of the
Phase 2- (1914- 1960)- This is the time when the wave of independence was at its
peak. The famous idea of trusteeship by great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi
encourages the rich strata to contribute the wealth to the downtrodden. The idea
was to uplift the society by working towards women empowerment, more and more
educational facilities, eradicating poverty etc.
Phase 3- (1960-1990)- A sudden growth in PSUs i.e. Public Sector Undertakings
was seen during this time. It was to ensure better distribution of wealth and
other resources to the society. The sudden shift resulted into a lot of
malpractices for example corruption, degrading environment etc. As PSUs had a
low success rate, there was an inevitable swing in interests from the public to
the private sector, with the latter being more involved in socioeconomic
development. Intellectuals, lawmakers, and entrepreneurs organized a nationwide
conference on CSR in 1965, with a focus on social public accountability and
Phase 4- (1990 onwards)- The wave of liberalization, privatization and
globalization boomed the country's economic growth. CSR by now was started to be
seen as a sustainable business strategy across the nation. This accelerated
industrial progress, allowing businesses to make greater contributions to social
responsibility. What began as a gesture of kindness, evolved into an
understanding and acceptance of responsibility.
Challenges faced by CSRLimited knowledge:
There is little or rather no knowledge of CSR along the
common people. The responsibility lies solely on the companies to create
awareness and impart knowledge to the commoners regarding the same so that they
can avail the full benefit out of it.
NGOs inactivity: In rural and remote areas, there is a lack of well-organized
voluntary groups that can assess and identify real community requirements and
collaborate with businesses to ensure the successful execution of CSR
Role of Media:
Brading is required and so are advertisements. Companies should
spread the word of their ongoing CSR projects with the help of media. All this
not only promotes the goodwill of the companies but also makes the general
public aware of the opportunities which they can make use of.
Record keeping of all the CSR activities is necessary in terms
of saving time, energy and resources by not repeating the tasks which has
already been worked upon. Variety is required to avoid monotonicity.
Narrow outlook towards CSR activities:
Government organizations and non-profit
organizations do not value these projects as much as they should. A very limited
perspective has been seen in terms of valuing and supporting CSR. As a result
leaving the corporate world confused as to whether they should continue with
such activities or not.
Some companies do not want to open up their funds which have been
used for the CSR activities, in front of the public, which in turn creates a gap
of trust between both the sides. This not only effects the goodwill of the whole
corporate structure but also encourages hindrances in CSR activities.
CSR motive in India:
The role of CSR in India is to promote education, eradicate poverty, uplift the
position of women, combating diseases like HIV/AIDS, various flues etc. They
also contribute towards Prime Ministers Relief Fund and other national funds to
fights against emergency situations arising in the country. Organizing skill
developing programs, setting up camps, creating awareness regarding various
social taboos, are a part of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Current status of CSR in India:
Although CSR has been related to all the social activities which a company
performs towards the society which in turn is all a voluntary work but the times
have changed now. Today the goodwill of a company depends majorly on how
efficiently it is working for the society by doing donations, helping the lower
strata of the society, setting up educational institutions etc. Moreover, the
current times have been a bit harsh on all of us where these companies got a
golden opportunity to step out and offer assistance in all ways possible. We
have never been this helpless ever and it was time for all to join hands and
help each other in all manners possible. As a result CSR became an inevitable
part of the corporate world.
Legal ERA of CSR
In the year 2009, it was the first time when the government of India started
taking the concept of CSR in a serious manner. It was ruled much before, that
any company to excel in its field, it is required to promote CSR. In the year
2009, first time a clear distinction was drawn between philanthropy and CSR. The
guidelines drafted out in 2009 further got revised in the year 2011.
The Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) required the top listed 100
companies, as per Clause 55 of the Listing Agreement, to disclose their CSR
activities in the Business Responsibility Reports (BR Reports) that accompanied
their Annual Reports, marking the transition from a voluntary to a regulated CSR
With the introduction of Section 135 of the Companies Act 2013, CSR activities
of corporations were made legally mandatory for the first time (MCA, 2013). Not
only was CSR implementation made mandatory, but so was reporting. However, it is
up to the corporation to decide how the CSR cash will be spent. The law has a
"compliance-or-explain" approach to non-compliance, with no stated consequences
for non-compliance. India is the first country in the world to make CSR
expenditure and reporting a legal requirement for covered corporations.
Indian companies which topped CSR in 2020-2021
Narayan Murthy and Sudha Murthy led Infosys bagged the top position in 2020
statistics to get involved in CSR activities spending Rs. 360 crores towards the
same. According to Ms. Murthy, CSR can't be merely a job, it's a passion,. As
a pivotal organization for project implementation, the Infosys Foundation
generally collaborates with non-governmental organizations. Humanitarian
activities related to COVID-19 took the hue followed by educational and various
health related projects.
- Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
Mahindra & Mahindra has proved itself to be the most sincere company in dealing
with the environmental issues. It is estimated that the company has spend
approximately Rs. 93.50 crores in CSR activities during the difficult times of
the pandemic. In 1996, Mr. Mahindra launched Project Nanhi Kali, which grew to
become India's largest CSR initiative for the education of girls. The programme
not only provides free education to low-income girls in rural and urban areas,
but it also empowers their families. When you see how the same girls who
benefited from Nanhi Kali are growing up and giving back to the programme by
mentoring young girls, the success stories become even more fascinating.
- Tata Chemicals Ltd.
Despite the fact that the company's CSR budget for 2019-2020 was set at 21.39
crores, it spent 37.81 crores on community development programmes. Tata
Chemicals' business philosophy prioritises improving the quality of life and
supporting sustainable and integrated development in the areas where it
operates. Tata Chemicals invests INR 12 crores on CSR each year, with wildlife
conservation accounting for 30% of the TCSRD's expenditure. The money is split
across the company's three locations: Mithapur in Gujarat, Haldia in West
Bengal, and Babrala in Uttar Pradesh.
- Vedanta Ltd.
Vedanta Limited is involved in a variety of CSR programs, including water,
energy, and carbon management. Vedanta has generated 1,653 units of renewable
energy, with solar power projects set to produce 22 MW of power, based on its
sustainability pillars of zero harm, zero waste, and zero discharge. Fly ash,
slag, and plastic are among the high-volume low-effect wastes that are recycled
at a rate of around 92 percent. Green mining is becoming increasingly important
to the organization. footprint.
- Wipro Ltd.
In the last few years, Wipro has spent more than the required CSR expenditure.
The CSR programmes are implemented through a variety of channels, including the
Wipro Foundation, a distinct trust established in April 2017, Wipro Cares, the
employee contribution trust, and, in some circumstances, directly through
functions and groups inside Wipro Ltd. Wipro's implementation strategy is to
collaborate with partners who have a proven track record in the various domains.
The majority of the initiatives are multi-year, long-term programmes.
Apart from delivering routine health services, the focus of the company is on
increasing community capacity in terms of increased awareness and increased
self-reliance in handling their own primary health care needs. Wipro has
assisted those affected by the Karnataka Floods, Bihar Floods, Odisha Floods,
the Japan Tsunami, Hurricane Sandy, and the Philippines Cyclone in disaster
- Hindustan Unilever Ltd.
Hindustan Unilever Limited, also known as Unilever or HUL, operates under the
USLP model (Unilever Sustainable Living Plan). The plan, which was unveiled in
2010, aims to achieve long-term growth by leveraging the company's world-famous
brands while also saving expenses, lowering risks, and increasing goodwill. USLP
has three global objectives: to assist more than a billion people in improving
their health and well-being, to lessen the impact on the environment of its
goods, and to strengthen economic growth as their businesses develop. It has
estimated that the company spent a huge amount of Rs. 142 crores on CSR
activities in the year 2020.
The above listed are few among those companies which are actively working day
and night for the betterment of the society. They have a big share in supporting
the economy of our country. Non-governmental groups and government agencies
often have a limited perspective on corporate social responsibility (CSR)
initiatives. As a result, people are unsure if they should participate in such
activities in the medium and long term.
This is mostly due to the fact that common people have little or no knowledge of
CSR, since no genuine attempts have been made to raise awareness of CSR and gain
the trust of local communities. As an inherent component of good business
practice, there is a need to improve company understanding and active
participation in equitable social development. CSR is still a very misinformed
topic for many but its growing demand and success together with a zeal to work
towards the betterment of the society, makes it a boon for the Indian society.
- Sarabu, Vijay, Corporate Social Responsibility In India: An Over View.
Journal Of Asian Business Management. 9. 53 – 67, 2017.
- Kuldeep Kumar Chauhan and Shuchi Dawra, Corporate Social Responsibility
(CSR) in India – Evolution and Challenges (From Ancient Period to Present
Age), Volume 15, International Journal of Applied Business and Economic
Research, 2017, https://www.chitkara.edu.in/global-week/faculty-data/cbs/Shuchi-Dawra/RP-KKC-2.pdf
- Available at: https://thecsrjournal.in/top-indian-companies-for-csr-in-2020/