Garware Wall Ropes Ltd - Mr. Rajendra Shivaraikar

CSR Times: Can we just start with a brief about your organization in terms of the CSR activities that you undertake? 

Mr. Shivraikar: I am sure you must be aware of the Garware Group. We have a legacy of giving back to the society since 1960’s when our founder late Shri Abasaheb Garware started activities like building Garware School for girls and Garware College. We have also started Garware Bal Bhavan in Pune for children development through fun activities. So CSR, I would say is a part of our ethos. The areas that we focus on are education, healthcare, environment and skill development. It’s our belief that giving back to the society should not be just at the organization level. Every individual has a capacity to give back to society and one must understand their responsibilities and be accountable for it. This is our belief of social responsibility. So I would say we are basically driven by these principles on a personal as well as at organization level.

 

CSR Times: As a matter of fact you started wayback in 1960 when there was no concept of CSR.

 Mr. Shivraikar: Exactly. This terminology was coined much later. I think about 15-20 years ago, and CSR is something which we have been doing for over 50 years now.

 

CSR Times: Your website lists all your social activities under Social Engineering. Can you tell us what it means and why have you named it Social Engineering?

Mr. Shivraikar: Social Engineering means influencing society on a large scale. It is our thought process to take up projects that impact basic foundation of the society and which leave a lasting impact. The Skill Development initiative is one way of creating the desired impact on the society.

Let me explain this with an example. We train women in rural areas to make them employable for doing industry jobs that require specific skills to aid in ensuring a decent livelihood.  Through experience, we found that it was difficult for these women to travel to far away factories and then work for eight long hours. So we adopted the Lizzat Papad Model and took work to them. We have identified certain small locations where work is provided. These women can go there, do jobs with flexible timings as they have to take care of their children and family as well. These women work hard and make a handsome earning out of it.

We also take care of the health of women by conducting health camps for them. We arrange picnics for their children too. Special camps for skill development are organized to enhance and update their skills on a regular basis as per industry standards. The idea is to get involved and practically work with them to ensure that the changes we intend to bring about in the society happen. We simply cannot give donations and feel happy about it. This is what we mean by Social Engineering.

 

CSR Times: How do you evaluate social work? Do you have any evaluation methodology related to that the work that you do?

Mr. Shivraikar:  We do not have an evaluation matrix to measure the output of the CSR activities we do, but as I mentioned earlier, we actively participate in the various initiatives we undertake and closely monitor each and every aspect of execution. 

 

CSR Times: Do you create impact assessment report of all these activities?

Mr. Shivraikar: We do have our own feedback mechanism through which we collect feedback. From this year onwards, CSR has become a Board level activity and it will be reported in the form of a CSR Report. 

 

CSR Times: And what are your views related to current CSR scenarios in India. Since you have been doing social work for more than five decades, do you have any suggestions on improving it? 

Mr. Shivraikar: There are corporates who have been doing CSR for a long time. Now obviously with the change in the Companies Act, more funds will be available. However, it is important to utilize funds wisely and in an utmost beneficial manner, hence it would be a good move to lay down some guidelines for CSR initiatives and align them with the national objectives. This way, all the efforts and initiatives undertaken get channelized in a proper cohesive manner. 

 

CSR Times: Who according to you can decide these guidelines? Should it be the corporates or do you think they must leave the decision on the government?

Mr. Shivraikar: In some way these guidelines have started coming right from the PMO to the different administrative bodies. It should be more of a collaborative effort between the government and corporate to work out a mechanism to decide guidelines, lay out impact measurement criteria, and address any hurdles that need to be overcome.  

 

CSR Times: Speaking in context with Prime Minister’s “Make in India” vision, if we don’t provide any skill development training to the youth nor to those who are in rural areas will it not be difficult to create small scale industries? So do you think industries should start working on “Make in India”: and also put their money and resourcesfrom their CSR expenditure towards this vision?

Mr. Shivraikar: Any CSR activity is bound to aid the growth of the society and the economy overall. A skill development program will make a skilled person out of a rural youth thus aiding his employability and further contribution to the industry and economy. We have been taking these initiatives for a long time now. Let me give you an example of how imbibing skills into the youth adds value to the industry and economy. For our international customers, we started by supplying only webbing for their fishing needs. But as we moved forward, we learnt the key requirements of our customers in the fishing activity and started providing them with value added application focused products. To augment this, we skilled the rural youth in and around Wai to aid us in making products to the desired specifications of our customers. This aided in the growth of our company wherein today we export our products to 75 countries globally. This in turn fetches foreign exchange thus aiding the economic growth. It is out of the skills that we have imbibed in the local people that have helped us reach out to consumers around the world. I believe, this is one way of contributing to “Make in India”.

 

CSR Times: Do you work in collaborations with other NGO’s and organizations? 

Mr.: Shivraikar: Yes, we understand that some of the NGOs have certain capabilities, especially when it comes to implementing large scale projects with the participation of local people. So our current year plan is to associate with Rotary Club to work on making Happy Schools. By Happy School, we mean a school that will have all the hygiene aspects required in a good school like good drinking water facilities, separate toilets for girls and boys, good building, proper benches, facilities for sports, a library and an E-learning facility. We will be developing Happy Schools in coastal area where children of the fishing community study. 

We also plan to enhance healthcare facilities at Wai region by installing a Dialysis Unit and a Coronary Care Unit.

 

CSR Times: As a matter of fact if you combine a couples of NGO’s who have expertise in different areas then it can create a difference. 

 Mr. Shivraikar: I think what is important is to get these expertise and skills together on one platform to achieve a common objective. 

 

CSR Times:If you collaborate with small NGO’s for your CSR works, as you mentioned earlier about your association with Rotary, then obviously we’ll be able to work effectively.

Mr. Shivraikar: Each of the various CSR activities requires some expertise for successful implementation and sustenance. If we collaborate with someone who has been there and done that, it always helps. So we do get in touch with such NGOs because our idea is that whatever we do, we try and do in a scalable model. We start something in a small manner and then post the learning curve, the scalability can be done. So rather than working on multiple initiatives, our focus would be to identify certain ventures that have got good potential and then keep rolling it across.

 

About Mr. Rajendra Shivaraikar:

Mr. Rajendra Shivaraikar is AVP – Manufacturing Excellence and member of CSR committee - Garware-Wall Ropes Ltd. He has more than 33 years of experience in operations management, he is not only expert in operational excellence & lean management systems, but a staunch lover of nature and Sports with a strong desire to work for Social Cause.

 

About Garware Wall Ropes Ltd:

Garware-Wall Ropes Ltd. (GWRL) is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company, established in 1976 and is a leading player in Technical Textiles, specializing in providing customized solutions to the cordage and infrastructure industry worldwide. A global player, the company is known for its innovation in the field of fisheries, aquaculture, shipping, sports, agriculture, coated fabrics and geosynthetic. GWRL products are manufactured in state-of-art facilities at Wai and Pune (both in Maharasthra, India) marketed in more than 75 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit http://www.garwareropes.com

 

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