Illuminating lives in more ways than one

A leading power manufacturing company based in Mumbai believes in illuminating lives in more ways than one. Besides being a leading entity in the power and energy industry, it strives to brighten up the lives of people not only through its technology but also through its CSR initiatives.

Since 1984 it has evolved as a leader in power generation, using diesel as well as alternate fuels and wind, to supply power to customers. This has been accomplished through a successful partnership with a leader in engine manufacturing company. And till date it continues to be at the forefront in the development of new products and technologies for power generation.

Its vision includes improving the quality of life of all its stakeholders. Within the company, CSR has always been viewed as a commitment to building sustainable strategies to continuously transform the lives of communities within the company’s sphere of activities, thereby building an organization invested in the betterment of social causes. In the year 2012-13, Samhita Social Ventures, as a leading CSR consultancy firm, assisted them in developing and implementing its CSR initiative by providing an end-to-end CSR strategy.

Samhita designed a program to help the communities in Tamil Nadu with education as the key focus area. A distribution camp was organized for school students in Veernam in Tamil Nadu on February 9, 2013. Approximately 660 education kits consisting of school bags and stationery were handed out to students and teachers in Government Higher Secondary School, Vellanlankulam, Tirnulveli District.

This particular school was chosen as it was an integral part of the 16.5MW Wind project of the company in Veeranam. The power manufacturing company purchased the material from Chennai, which was then delivered on site a day before conducting the activity. In alignment with its focus on education, this activity was meant to encourage students to perform better academically and retain them in schools. The students were also explained the importance of environmental conservation which is embedded deeply into the beliefs and practices of the company.

It was observed after the monitoring and evaluation of the project that the academic performance and concentration levels of the students had improved. It was easy for them to carry their books, bottles, tiffin boxes, stationary etc. and also prevented loss and theft of their belongings. The headmaster of the school affirmed that they were grateful to be supported by the company and looked forward to seeking more support in the future. The activity was whole heartedly supported by the employees, the school, the gram panchayat, the ward members and the village residents.


Role of Samhita

– It is essential that the benefits of an industry are fed back into the growth of an organization. This can only happen when its CSR is aligned to the expectations of its stakeholders. Stakeholder engagement is the process by which an organisation identifies its key stakeholders, both internal and external. Samhita helped in identifying, nurturing and responding to the needs of the stakeholders of the company through a detailed and step wise procedure. Once the stakeholders were identified, they were prioritized to be included in the engagement process.

Benefits – The benefits of engaging stakeholders were highlighted by Samhita. Samhita also prioritized and narrowed down all the stakeholders to three major groups namely employees, communities and vendors.

– The needs and requirements of stakeholders were researched and different methods were adopted by Samhita to understand each stakeholder group. For understanding community needs, Samhita conducted a community needs assessment at two plant sites namely Veeranam and Theni in Tamil Nadu. The methodology adopted was qualitative, conducting interviews with key authorities in the villages – sarpanch, asha worker, anganwadi workers and the local doctor and discussions with villagers.

Benefits – In the absence of an investigative methodology as adopted by Samhita, the needs of the stakeholders would have not been brought to light. Samhita undertook a gamut of activities to not only identify the needs of internal stakeholders but also to align them with the priorities identified by the community. It also suggested methods of engaging all the stakeholders in the CSR implementation.

– The findings from this needs assessment helped identify the focus areas where the needs were most critical which in turn helped in the design and implementation of the CSR projects. The data analysis suggested that issues faced by these communities predominantly centred on school education and health care provision. Matching the expectations of the internal stakeholders and community needs, Samhita recommended focusing on school education for the CSR activities in 2012-13.

Benefits – Samhita helped in identifying a sector that needed improvement in the two identified locations. It also made sure that the cause was aligned to the beliefs and principles of the power manufacturing company.

– Samhita designed programs for partnering with schools in the identified areas to implement the CSR activities. Samhita designed education kits to be distributed to students of schools. The objective of this project was to increase the academic performance of the students and reduce the school drop-out rates.

– Post distribution, Samhita also helped in monitoring and evaluation of the CSR program. A follow up by the site engineers along with the impact assessment of Samhita helped in measuring the impact of the program.

Benefits: Samhita helped identify the loopholes and the plus points of the program. Both the qualitative and quantitative impact was presented to the company so that their future CSR initiatives are planned accordingly.

The leading power manufacturing company has planned to further education as a cause and implement more programs and activities in the coming year. The power generated by this company also personifies the standard of education it aims to raise in the coming year and a number of other causes like health it aims to take up under its CSR agenda. And with organizations like Samhita assisting and guiding them at every stage of the process, they believe that they would achieve success and realize their goals.