Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Is it always about making profit?

After reading this week’s articles “Creating Shared Value” by Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer and “ITC Limited’s Dairy Development Initiative: Corporate Social Responsibility or Shared Value?”, one more similar company popped my mind, JSW Steels Ltd. JSW Steels Ltd is $11 billion company, one of the biggest steel manufactures in India. It is part of O.P. Jindal Group a $15 billion group. I come from a nearby town called Hospet and was lucky enough to intern in JSW Steels Ltd in June 2015 for two months.

During my internship at JSW Steels, Bellary, we were exposed many programs undertaken by the company for the betterment of the society and in some programs how both society and companies are profited. 'Janam Se Janani Tak' is one of the program that they have undertaken. The program trains the underprivileged women for tailoring and takes care needs of children under 14 years of age. The parents or the women are given the task of stitching the uniform of the company labors and makes payment to the women to meet their needs. The company makes a partial investment in buying the required equipment and finance the rest. The requirement is larger than the production by this program so they partially outsource them. The company saves a bit of money from this program but that is negligible, but giving them opportunity to improve their living standards is good initiative.

The company runs in an area where the availability of water is less. The agricultural fields around the factory were all almost dried up. And the company had problems in disposing the waste ‘Slag’ produced during the process of steel manufacturing. The company came to know that the waste material can be utilized to produce special type of cement called slag cement, which had large applications in infra-structure development. So they planned to buy all the lands around it and build a cement factory and provide the famers with new employment so that they can overcome the losses incurred due to drought and provide them employment which can guarantee them a fixed income. Although the company was more profited than the famers, I would say the famers were reborn with this opportunity from death due to hunger cause of their poverty and increasing debts. The company also takes care of the schooling needs of the children of the workers and famers. In India providing a quality education is more expensive which the company is providing it for free.
The area around the industry is very under developed. Electricity and portable water were a luxury. Even though there is reservoir near by the supply of water is not proper. The company needed more water for its process and it used to generate electricity on its own for its needs. The company decided to come up with a solution that profits both the company and the society. It asked the government to provide water for factory and it would build infra-structure for it and provide electricity for cheaper rate for supply around the area. They also proposed to build OR water treatment plants to ensure quality portable water supply to the people.

The company didn’t gain much (in terms of revenue) but it is known for its welfare activities around the nation. These activities are improving its brand value and there are few people buying from this company only for these activities. Sometimes it’s not only about making profit, the betterment of the society around you also contribute to your success.

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