Driving Impact in CSR Through Innovation & Talent


AMCHAM’s CSR Committee, organized a half day program on March 3rd in Bengaluru entitled ‘Driving Impact in CSR Through Innovation & Talent.’ Ms. Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM welcomed participants, gave an overview of the CSR Committee and encouraged companies to connect with USAID for the Corporate TB Pledge. Mr. Ajay Gopal, Community Impact Manager, Cisco Systems India, set the scene for the day, discussing the ways to leverage people and technology to solve social challenges and how to ensure programs can scale with government partnerships. Mr. Sanjay Koul, Vice Chairman, AMCHAM and Chairman – Karnataka Chapter, AMCHAM and Chairman & Managing Director, Timken India, discussed CSR trends in Karnataka in his opening remarks. He said Timken has built a school or hospital every year since 1990 and highlighted the fact that U.S. companies have always been giving back. The keynote address was given by Dr. Ashwath Narayan C.N., Deputy Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka. He emphasized the importance of quality education to achieve behavioral change and requested companies make nursery education their number one priority. He acknowledged the CSR work of American companies in the state. AMCHAM presented the Deputy Chief Minister with a momento and thanked him for his support.


‘Panel 1: Impact of Social Start-ups on CSR’ was moderated by Mr. Sunish Jauhari, India Leader, Ashoka with the following panelists: Prof. Bala Gurumoorthy, Chief Executive, Society for Innovation & Development, Indian Institute of Science, Ms. Sudha Srinivasan, CEO, N/Core and Mr. Ananth Aravamudan, Energy Sector Lead, Villgro Innovations Foundation. The session touched on the need to raise awareness that CSR funds can support incubators, adopting villages to test start-ups, examples of success for IoT based platforms, using knowledge for the public good and the immense effort it takes to get corporate on board to support start-ups.


Mr. Venkatesha Murthy (Venky), Managing Director, Vans Chemistry, gave an overview on how his company has an integrated, turnkey technology that adds value to the planet by transforming e-waste. The Singapore based company also offers IT asset protection, accountability and traceability and an enhanced CSR, EPR system to clients.


‘Panel 2: Driving Value Through Employee Engagement’ was moderated by Mr. Shalabh Sahai, Co-founder & Director, iVolunteer with panelists Ms. Sangita Ghalay, Co-Chairperson – CSR Committee, AMCHAM and Head – CSR, Honeywell India, Mr. Deepak Prabhu Matti, Director – CSR, Global Head – Cognizant Outreach, Cognizant and Ms. Brinda Poornapragna, CEO, eVidyaloka Trust. This panel focused on employee volunteerism and how to encourage it in organizations so that people can find more purpose. Success stories of programs that use Skype to teach children remotely, initial pitfalls of volunteering, setting up volunteer councils in corporates and enabling people through their passions were just some of the topics discussed. Both panels were followed by an insightful Q&A session. The program concluded with a vote of thanks by Ms. Valerie Swope, Program Coordinator, AMCHAM.