IT organizations of manufacturing companies are not merely restricting themselves to aligning IT to the business objectives of their respective companies. Many of them are also pitching in with technical support to their companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. We spoke to CIOs from four manufacturing giants across the country to understand their involvement in ‘giving back to the society.’
Anil Kulkarni, GM IT at Larson & Turbo Heavy Engineering:
One integral part of the IT solutions with CSR is the work towards reducing carbon footprint and the technology to monitor and help regularise energy, water and electrical consumption.
Kulkarni explained how the tech team is extending its efforts to help monitor energy usage. “Energy management is brought under enterprise asset management and there are various censors which are embedded on the energy management/consuming devices which feed this information into our data centre and based on that we make an analysis,” he says.
These analysis help regulate energy consumption vital for manufacturing giants like L&T. “Based on these censors and their input we have identified the various spots that are consuming excessive power, we have taken steps to minimize the power, water, energy wastage,” Anil adds. L&T has also been tracking the welding machine up-time and fuel consumption.
L&T’s IT team also provides hardware support to schools in Maharashtra and Gujarat. “We have a disposal policy for our IT hardware which is a very structured program to take these laptops/desktops to various schools and set up labs there. Around 20-23 laptops were given away in the past three years,” Anil says.
Prakash Dharmani, Global CIO, Essel Propack
At Essel Propack, the IT team looks at refreshing new ways to employ the required candidates from low-income backgrounds as part of its social responsibility program.
“We go ahead and recruit candidates who may not be from an A class institute, but have the skills and calibre. And they do not come through any third-party agencies but we do look at their skill sets and evaluate whether they are deserving candidates.” says Essel Propack CIO, Prakash Dharmani. A regulated process is carried out to monitor their performance and the candidates are retained accordingly.
Talking about how the recruitment procedure takes place he says, “There is no formal process as such. As and when we get requests from our NGO partners and through our promoters we review them.”
Dharmani also explains, it is a call taken jointly with the HR team, keeping the vacancies in mind. “We have recruited one person more than a year ago and two others joined us in the last six months as software developers.”
Vijay Sethi, IT and CSR Head, Hero MotoCorp
Hero MotoCorp has been active with advertisement campaigns for its CSR initiatives, highlighting road safety. The Hero Ice App has been rolled out and has recorded 165 downloads since July 2016. The other areas of social responsibility includes women empowerment with “Humari Pari,” “Educate to Empower,” for destitute chidren and “Happy Earth,” for environment. It also has a program called `We care’ under which it sets up science labs in schools and sends mobile medical vans to rural areas.
Vijay Sethi, IT and CSR Head, Hero MotoCorp said that what is also as important is monitoring these initiatives. Until now, the department was using excel sheets, reports and pictures as records. “However, to streamline the work done for CSR, we have completed the pilot project for a Geotagging app for our executives. It should be active sometime this August,” said Sethi. This will enable the on-field officers to click a picture with a Geotag and notify the rest of the team with the required details.
For Sethi, it works to take charge of both the technology as well as the responsibility to “give back to the society” as a corporate. “In today’s time if I have to create awareness on any social issue or ensure a hard-hitting impact of the social initiatives, IT, especially in social media, plays a huge role, and being also part of IT one can ensure things move at a very fast pace.”
Pratap Pat Joshi, CIO, Mercedes Benz:
The Germanl car-maker runs a skill development program. Its objective is to help increase employability and provide quality education in the rural and local areas. “We have given out 25 to 30 computers so far to provide training to the children in schools, so they get basic technical knowledge,” says Pratap Pat Joshi.
“We support HR with IT expertise and coordinate with them accordingly, especially to help deploy the computers in Talegaon and Negoje in Pune. There is also an internal system where our teammates are nominated to help train/teach school children for technical skills development,” he says.