Creating Shared Value for Profit

Corporate Social Responsibility occupies an ever important space in every company’s annual report. It shows the organizations responsibility towards development of the society, especially in a country like India where there are still homes without the basic healthcare facilities.

But the question remains that what value do organizations get by serving the community? In these tough economic times when the sustenance of organizations is questioned, why spend the investor’s hard earned money towards such activities.

Instead companies should look at creating “shared value” in the society. Society should be developed in a way by which it benefits the stakeholder’s i.e. the people and the organization. A fertilizer company can conduct agricultural workshops for farmers, teaching them about various scientific and best practices. This will enable the organization to connect with the consumers -farmers and increase sales. A BPO/KPO company can provide computer literacy and English speaking skills to villagers, who can contribute back when company can use the trained resources to open KPO or BPO operations nearby and reduce costs.

We live in a business world, which worships the great tribal god – innovation, as a necessary condition for existence and growth. But there has been many instances that even efficacy of innovation has been doubted and has often boomeranged on the organization. In such scenarios the society could be the last straw to the drowning man, by effective contribution through variables like costs, sales etc. which can be controlled by organization.

Every enterprise is a part of a society and it should develop in a way that the value created is “mutual” or shared. With the integrity of the developed society and skilled labour, it can create a weapon of sustainable competitive advantage, capable of destroying any competitor.

Taking employees for village visit to teach at local schools or donating some funds to NGOs can be called as “Corporate Social Responsibility” , but it won’t  eradicate poverty or yield better crops or rescue the organization in times of crisis. Organizations should plan and contribute to the society in a way that almost every page of their annual report talks about the importance of society to the organization.

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