On 23rd November 2015, Essar Foundation organised a talk by Mr Mark Kramer, a renowned global expert on Strategy and Shared Value, at Essar House in Mumbai. Mr Kramer is the Founder and Managing Director of FSG (www.fsg.org), a nonprofit consulting firm that helps organisations achieve social impact by applying research, strategy and evaluation to better solve social problems. Fifty business leaders from Essar and other companies attended the event.
Mr Adil Malia, Group President, Human Resources, at Essar set the proceedings in motion by delivering the welcome address. Mr Deepak Arora, CEO, Essar Foundation, made introductory remarks and informed the participants of Essar Foundation’s work, which include Shared Value initiatives, which led it to win the prestigious Porter Prize in 2014.
The focus of Mr Kramer’s talk was on “Strategy and Shared Value” and the way organisations were using it to create wealth for themselves and the communities with which they interact. He mentioned that some of the best examples of creating Shared Value were from India and that it was integral to the country’s culture.
Mr Kramer said that Shared Value is about co-creating value for the business and society. He gave different examples of companies that have been adopting new ways of engaging with social issues, and how they could tap into various uncharted market opportunities for themselves and for higher profits and productivity.
Mr Anil Jain, Managing Director, Jain Irrigation, was present at the seminar and shared examples of his company’s efforts towards creating Shared Value. He said Jain Irrigation worked closely with farmers, without considering them as simply customers. The company provides them with useful insights on transformative agriculture practices, also creating business opportunities for them. Dr Amit Kapoor, Honourary Chairman, Institute for Competitiveness, summarised the event with his closing remarks.
Earlier this year, at the second NHRDN Summit on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Mr Deepak Arora had spoken of how the CSR provisions under the Companies Act 2013 had inspired this unique model for corporates to adopt.
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