Here's what experts have to say about CSR - Dr Joy Deshmukh Ranadive, global head, corporate social responsibility (CSR), TCS


Organisation:  Ngobox

Dr Joy Deshmukh Ranadive is an economist by training and a renowned gender expert

Posted On:  11 Jul . 2017
Here's what experts have to say about CSR -   Dr Joy Deshmukh Ranadive, global head, corporate social responsibility (CSR), TCS
 

Not content with being a powerhouse in the world of information technology alone, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is keen to make a substantial difference to the environment and the community, thereby impacting future generations positively.

Spearheading this sense of responsibility is Dr Joy Deshmukh Ranadive, global head, corporate social responsibility (CSR), TCS. She says, “Sustainability is part of our business. It is the element that keeps us balanced. We strive for economic responsibility, seeking to earn profits sustainably, and social responsibility, looking after our planet and people.” The company addresses issues relating to health, education and environment, with a focus on long-term sustainability.

There is a lot of work that goes into fulfilling the CSR agenda. Meeting partners and evaluating the goals achieved, forging new partnerships and keeping in touch with regions around the world are crucial elements of her work. She also represents TCS on the Tata Sustainability Group governing committee, and the steering committee.

A global canvas

The fact that TCS operates in 45 countries adds to the challenge of her role. Joy says, “We guide our people on the areas in which they should work. Beyond that, each region has the freedom to attend to its own demographics and needs.”

This freedom allows her team around the world to do justice to the specific needs of their regions. Joy says, “Our team in Singapore initiated a programme called Shine Seniors, and created an app to help seniors to get different kinds of help.”

Building skills of children and youth alike is one area that is close to the heart of TCS. In the US and the UK, teams work to promote interest in STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths] education and careers. In India, the team organises a mentoring programme called Bridge IT, which promotes digital entrepreneurship.

The company’s Adult Literacy Programme has made a positive difference to over 380,000 people, including over 126,000 people in FY17 alone. Available in nine Indian and two African languages, besides Arabic and a soon-to-be-available Spanish version, the programme has been lauded for its ability to successfully build functional literacy within a short time.

Building for change

TCS builds IT systems for organisations working in the area of health. One of its projects involves working with the All India Institute of Medical Science in New Delhi, to streamline their systems. “This support,” says Joy, “enables them to function more effectively.” The company works on the Lifeline Express project with Impact India Foundation (IIF), as well as a donor management system for IIF. It has also built the backend system of Childline, a helpline with an easy-recall number – 1098 for children in distress; TCS continues to maintain the call centre.

TCS’ CSR projects are designed with long-term impact in mind, so they can sustain themselves if and when the company pulls out. Joy says, “Instead of training the community directly, we train the trainers, who then keep the programme going.”

In each case, the CSR team, with Joy at the helm, keeps in touch with all non-governmental organisations to monitor the work being done and the results achieved.

What keeps her going through the phenomenal work that TCS achieves in CSR are the stories of each precious life that is touched and transformed. Joy’s morale is boosted further when women are empowered as a result of the programmes. She says, “Gender development and women’s empowerment have been my life’s work.”

CSR is the mantra

Joy and her team are always on the lookout for projects where they can make a difference and enhance the impact being achieved. TCS supports these efforts wholeheartedly. It also appreciates Joy’s contribution and her domain knowledge and expertise.

This appreciation is an acknowledgement of her competence, and a validation of her decision to move to the corporate sector. Having worked for over two decades in the social sector, the decision to join TCS was like stepping out into the unknown. “But the best thing about TCS,” she says, “was that I never felt an outsider.”

While the experience of working in the corporate sector was a new one, Joy was familiar with the effort required to run a large department. In her previous stints, she had been the director of the Indian School of Microfinance for Women, Ahmedabad, and the country director, International Center for Research on Women, India.

Joy’s years in the social sector have helped her foster greater collaboration with the NGOs, and enhance the size and scope of the programmes. It is this breadth of learning and experience that have helped her strengthen TCS’ CSR efforts, and keep the company’s social heartbeat strong.

 

Source: Tata Sphere

 

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