Seminar on “CSR – The Blue Horizon of Community Development” Friday, September 5, 2014 Bengal Club

Amcham Eastern Region and it’s HR & CSR Subcommittee organized a seminar on “CSR – The Blue Horizon of Community Development.” With new regulations under the modified Indian Companies Act emphasising on CSR activities and making some initiatives mandatory, there has been some confusion and misunderstandings about the actual provisions introduced. The event aimed to provide clarity about various provisions as well as share the best practices being followed by leading organisations in the same space, and to encourage American Companies to get more involved in CSR activities and also to facilitate them on carrying out the same

What happens when some of the biggest names in Industry meet at a seminar hosted by sponsors Acclaris and Genpact, with Ms Helen LaFave, US Consul General the Chief Guest. The answer is not just business pep talk, but looking beyondThe Blue Horizon Of Community Development as the event was appropriately titled with CSR being the theme.CSR was the most trending topic at one of the oldest clubs in Kolkata, with representatives from Nasscom, Genpact, PwC sharing the dais with spokesperson from city NGOs doing incredible work on the field. Ms Amada Kidwai, Regional Director Amcham Eastern Region introduced the Chief Guest and Panellist to the audience. Mr. Suranjan Bhanja, Chairman Amcham Eastern Region spoke about the evolution of CSR activities over centuries. Mr. Ashish Sen, Chairman of Amcham Eastern Region HR and CSR Subcommittee highlighted the importance of CSR as part of his welcome remarks and hoped that this seminar would help bring together NGO’s and American Companies to inspire ideas for more such valuable partnerships
Ms Hele LaFave said that the U.S. Department of State has a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and provides guidance and support for U.S. companies to undertake socially responsible corporate activities and ethical business practices that promote sustainable development.
What started with much clarity from Ms Rumi Mallick, Vice President of Nasscom Foundation and the keynote speaker on the Companies Act mandate of CSR, gradually moved into sharing of best practices from MNCs. Ms Susmita Malik, Global CSR Leader, from Genpact shared Genpact’s views on CSR & deliberated some of the flagship initiatives of the organization. On behalf of PwC India Foundation, Ms Shveta Verma, Associate Director, provided an insight into PwC’s philosophy and way forward in CSR. Mr. Niraj Agarwal, also from the PwC offered a blueprint on what steps any company willing to foray into CSR can quickly adopt & get started. Representatives from Udayan Care & United Way (Kolkata) respectively, presented their work in the field of education, employability, school upliftment, welfare of the girl-child. The programme ended with Vote of Thanks from Mr. Dinesh Agarwal, Vice Chairman Amcham Eastern Region, followed by networking over high-tea. The delegates& presenters looked visibly enthused at the culmination of the event, exchanging contacts & pledging to meet with each other soon to do some good community work.