Why Corporate Responsibility? Why Tata? Why India?

Molly TinkerLSE

 

Corporate responsibility is something that has captivated me this year, I first came across the concept during my studies of Environmental Governance and since then I have been fascinated. By no means is the concept of CSR without controversy but regardless it does make a huge amount of sense. Companies who often contribute to some of the world’s biggest problems are taking responsibility and playing a part in mitigating them and often all for a win-win scenario, be that improving their reputation, increasing consumer loyalty or avoiding losses. Thus after studying the concept in greater depth I have further fostered my interest.

India is a country that is advanced in developing the concept of corporate responsibility. In 2014 the government instated a law requiring businesses with annual revenues of 10bn rupees to invest 2% of their profits in corporate responsibility initiatives. The Tata Group have always been ahead of the game when it comes to corporate responsibility, two thirds of the stockholding of Tata Sons is held by Tata Trusts, the philanthropic organisation which I currently have the privilege of working for. When I came across the possibility of interning in corporate responsibility in India and with Tata I was hugely excited.

Putting aside my passion for corporate responsibility the prospect of living in India for eight weeks was also a unique opportunity. Prior to coming to India I had imagined the beautiful chaos of the country through programmes such as Indian Railway Journeys and, of course, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. India has always been a country I had hoped to visit.

So, how has it been so far? Everything I’d hoped for and more. I have met some hilarious and overwhelmingly welcoming people. Last week I had the opportunity to visit one of the Trusts’ projects in Mumbai where they are using cricket as a means for teaching life skills to school children, the work they are doing there was incredible and the kids were a pleasure; on my first bus journey back from work the bus driver (instructed by my colleagues; my Hindi has not reached that level yet) especially stopped the bus on the roundabout I knew so that I’d be able to reach home; I cannot recall the number of times I’ve been offered to try someone else’s food. Every journey even to work is a new experience for me and I cannot wait to explore more.