IICSR skilling up India with CSR education eco-system

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New Delhi: Ms Harsha Mukherjee, Founder and Managing Director of International Institute of Corporate Social Responsibility (IICSR) has curated India’s first Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in CSR for MIT WPU, Pune. In order to cope with the growing demand for CSR professionals, she has developed a CSR education eco-system that would create a pool of trained talents across the country.

“We are committed to contribute towards social and economic development of the country and we are sure to achieve our vision to create a pool of trained CSR professionals and bring a sustainable transformation in the employment landscape across the country,” Mukherjee said.

According to her, companies across the country have scaled up their efforts especially after coming in the ambit of mandatory CSR initiatives under Companies Act amended in 2014. More than 8,000 companies fall in this purview and each of them needs to hire CSR professionals for their operations, while CSR spending has been on the rise with a whopping 28 per cent increase in the last financial year.

“For many corporate, this strategic shift is difficult and is compounded by the scarcity of CSR talent to create scalable long-term strategy and implement it. While several thousand jobs have been created because of this amendment, several CSR jobs at all levels lie vacant. There is a towering gap for CSR professionals with a burgeoning number of over 2,00,000 workforce. In these testing times looking at the future prospects a career in CSR would be the most rewarding and sought after,” she said.

Large and mid-sized private and public sector companies across industries such as FMCG, BFSI, Real Estate, Pharmaceuticals, Media, etc are now talent hunting for CSR specialists at different levels from middle to senior levels, including Heads with salaries from 18 lakh to over one crore annually.

Ms Mukherjee pointed out that CSR has the potential to address the socio-economic and political inequalities. “Given the scope and scale of social development, CSR as a development tool becomes even more effective with the CSR education ecosystem. Focusing on enhancing and enabling enterprise competitiveness in a market-driven environment, I (Harsha Mukherjee) have developed and established an institutional framework to create a new breed of trained CSR professionals,” she said.

CSR is a specialised and emerging area of management both for the corporate and academics that consist of several specialised components which are not covered in general management. IICSR’s approach and philosophy differs from general Management and with its curriculum would help in better grooming of students, who would be able to co-relate and differentiate between a typical welfare project and people benefit through corporate participation by CSR.

IICSR will provide the opportunity for the students to develop their career by combining social issues with business perspectives. Sustainability reporting falls under CSR and it is linked with industrial relations, supply chain management, R&R and brand values etc. This will equip the candidates with the knowledge and skills to tackle business and society for the benefit of the people. “We, at IICSR, strongly believes that skilling is a critical ingredient of the overall ‘Skill India’ initiative and CSR will play a great role in skilling for better tomorrow,” she pointed out.