The Leadership Summit - Udyam'10 organised by IIML Noida campus focuses on CSR & Sustainabil

The International Programme in Management for Executive(IPMX) students of IIM Lucknow’s Noida campus recently organised the Leadership Summit- Udyam’10. The central theme of the summit was “Architecting Sustainability”.

Online PR News – 15-November-2010 – – The Leadership Summit - Udyam’10 organised by IIM Lucknow’s Noida campus focuses on CSR & Sustainability

The International Programme in Management for Executive(IPMX) students of IIM Lucknow’s Noida campus recently organised the Leadership Summit- Udyam’10. The central theme of the summit was “Architecting Sustainability”.

There were two panel-discussions, moderated by Prof. Sushil Kumar of IIM Lucknow, as part of the event - "Sustainability: A business imperative" and "Healthy business via healthy environment".

Dr. Devi Singh, Director IIM Lucknow, who delivered the keynote speech, emphasized the increased awareness and importance of considering sustainability while managing business, as evident in recently launched courses on the topic by PGP and IPMX programs of IIM Lucknow.

The panellists for Sustainability: A business imperative were Mr. Subir Hazra, VP Strategic Planning, GMR Group, Mr. Karandeep Singh, MD, Sapient India, Mr. Poul V. Jenson, Director, European Business Technology Center, Mr. Ajay Davesar, Global Head Green Initiative, HCL Technologies.

During the discussion, Prof. Sushil Kumar of IIM Lucknow disclosed that Indian consumers are second only to the Japanese in terms of environmental consciousness, and are no. 1 in terms of sensitivity for corporates' attitudes towards sustainability (source: survey by Havas Media). He further demonstrated India's edge over the developed countries in this field by citing the example of India's usage of simple brooms to do the job of a petrol-powered cleaning-vehicles.

Mr. Karandeep Singh, MD, Sapient India acknowledged Prof. Kumar's point about consumer-consciousness in India when, in response to a question on whether companies are willing to spend to be 'good', he replied that companies had no choice. If they didn't, their customers would react, and demand for their brands would plummet. This was echoed by Mr. Poul Jenson when he said that CSR can help companies gain competitive edge currently but in near future it will become critical for existence.

Mr. Singh also urged companies to start publishing their environmental accounts in their annual/ quarterly reports, in an effort to encourage companies to start competing and differentiating themselves on this parameter. Mr. Subir Hazra hinted that laws regarding 'green business' may be in the offing soon, and that CSR could be backed by legislation in the future.

At this point, Mr. Poul Jenson alerted the audience to the challenges of implementing environment-friendly measures in India, as pricing issues limited import of relevant technology. He also said that the practice of (say) donating appliances like solar-cookers was not true CSR, since the initiative was sustainable only as long as the life of the product.

The panellists for “Healthy business via healthy environment” were Mr. Ranjit Gupta, CEO, Indiabulls Power Ltd, Mr. Anil Patni, Head Communication And Ext. Affairs, Tata BP Solar, Mr. V. Subramanian, CEO, Indian Wind Energy Association, Mr. Daman Sood, Vice President, Green IT Practice, Continuity & Resilience, Mr. Kula Saikia, DIG, Assam.

During the panel discussion, Mr. Subramanian started the discussion by mentioning that smoke used to be an indicator of growth earlier, and how the situation has dramatically reversed over the past few decades. He emphasized on the importance of development of new business-models by young managers emerging from institutions like the IIMs.

Mr. Daman Sood continued the discussion in the same vein by saying that investing resources into a business was like taking a loan from the environment and from the future generations, and that providing a sustainable environment was the only way to repay the debt. He also stirred interest amongst the businesses by citing several 'green' projects undertaken by companies, which resulted in substantial monetary savings to them.

Mr. Ranjit Gupta brought in a completely new angle to the discussion by saying that CSR was not a business' core-competence, and that some companies engage in CSR simply to 'check the box'. He said that businesses should be made responsible for contributing to sustainability (by way of money), but the actual implementation should be carried out by the Govt.