“CSR in India is in a welcome phase of transition, where gradually but surely, the need for greater strategic planning and deployment of CSR professionals from the non-profit sector is being felt. In the coming times, we would see more CSR entities working on initiatives with consultative design, measurable results and significant room for experimentation. Future development in the sector requires treating CSR as a social investment, instead of a cost centre. Substantial change requires focus on the process and long-term targets while ensuring delivery is in the intended direction.”
Deepak Arora is the CEO of Essar Foundation, which is the CSR arm of Essar. He has more than a decade of experience of working in prominent positions with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group. He was among the first people to lead cluster development for small and medium enterprises across diverse sectors in India. In his various roles he has spearheaded rural development programmes across 12 countries in Asia and Africa. While previously heading CSR at Cairn India Deepak pioneered use of the IFC valuation tool.It is a tool that helps in calculating the IRR of social investments. With Essar Foundation, he has led the organization’s initiatives to win several accolades, including the much coveted Porter Prize for enabling social progress in 2014.