How CSR Initiatives are Driving Digital Inclusion in India

CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility is a mandate in India. Such initiatives in all fields are highly benefited by technology.

Data-driven intelligence, efficient planning, and effective collaboration can contribute to maximizing the impact of CSR. Therefore, having a technology driven approach to CSR monitoring and impact assessment is of great value.

Is CSR a Marketing Tool?

Well executed initiatives that inspire real world changes can help companies build brand reputation and loyalty. They demonstrate a commitment to social and environmental issues. Therefore, they can be useful as a marketing tool too.

Integrating CSR into digital marketing can help companies connect with consumers and their values. Social and environmental related activities can provide companies with deep and engaging content. This content is helpful in engaging with stakeholders on social media and other digital platforms. They bring a human element to one’s organization that can also enhance reach and impact.

CSR and Digital Literacy

The widespread access to the internet in India can be a wonderful opportunity for communities across the country. However, true digital inclusion can only happen by creating access and user ability to technologies. For example, smartphones and computers. Here CSR initiatives are making a difference. Now more than ever, the nation needs corporates that invest resources in upskilling activities. Especially in rural areas, this will be crucial to India’s economic development and progress.

Here are three CSR activities powering India’s youth to be future ready through digital inclusion:

Tata Consultancy Services: Youth Employment Program

The Youth Employment Program stands as TCS' flagship CSR initiative. It aims to enhance the employability of women hailing from rural colleges and unemployed graduates. It is particularly focused on those hailing from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The fundamental objective is to empower marginalized and underserved graduate youths. And to equip them with the essential skill sets, communication proficiency, self-assurance, and technical knowledge needed to enter the job market.

Exposure to industry practices and vocational training renders these young individuals qualified for employment opportunities in various sectors. That includes corporate enterprises, government institutions, and other small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

This initiative also contributes to the enrichment of the nation's talent pool. It fosters greater diversity and gender equality. The training curriculum curated by TCS experts places a strong emphasis on meeting industry requirements. Meanwhile a mentorship model involving teaching, coaching, and guidance, prepares trainees for both internal and external job placements within TCS.

ICICI: Academy for Skills

The ICICI Foundation supports the ICICI Academy for Skills. It equips disadvantaged youth with industry-specific skill sets and pathways to gainful employment. It is operating across 27 centers spanning 19 states. This initiative offers over 13 diverse and multifaceted vocational training programs on a pro-bono basis. These programs help prepare young India for successful integration into the workforce.

Additionally, the academy provides training to foster financial literacy and adaptability in structured work environments. Up until March 2020, the Academy had trained more than 145,000 urban youth, with 42% of them being women. Upon completion of the training, beneficiaries often secure employment through the Academy's extensive placement network. This involves the participation of over 400 companies.

Tech Mahindra: Skills-for-Market Training (SMART)

The Skills-for-Market Training (SMART) program is yet another prominent CSR initiative. This program spans a network of over 100 centers situated in 11 different locations across India. These encompass SMART Centers catering to individuals with disabilities, and SMART-T Centers focusing on technical trades training. In 2019, the Mahindra Foundation further expanded its commitment by establishing the SMART Academy for Digital Media in Hyderabad. This academy is solely dedicated to offering courses in English proficiency, basic IT skills, soft skills, and technical skill sets.

The academy offers six-month certificate programs in graphic design, web design, animation, digital marketing, web development, logistics, and supply chain management. Additionally, internship opportunities are accessible to facilitate practical on-the-job training within established industries. The overarching objective is to reskill young individuals within an innovation-driven environment. This enables them to stay competitive and adaptable in today's ever-evolving world.

India is committed to adopting digital services as they improve citizens’ quality of life, promote financial inclusion, and fuel economic growth. Therefore, it is critical for us to ensure that social, economic, and digital reforms get implemented in our CSR efforts to be fully inclusive.

You can now take your organization’s CSR activities to the next level with SoulAce. As pioneers of optimized processes in this field, we continue to evolve to meet the latest CSR needs in Digital India. With over a decade of experience behind us, we provide a tech-forward platform that has aced the art of strategizing your CSR. We provide you with the latest monitoring and evaluation tools, so you can access all your CSR data at the click of a button.