We had the pleasure of interacting with Ms. Namita Vikas, Senior President and Country Head, Responsible Banking, YES BANK Limited.
As the Chief Sustainability Officer, Namita spearheads Sustainable Development and CSR, thus driving sustainability principles within its core operations and its value chain towards creating stakeholder value. She tells us about various platforms adopted to promote giving culture, challenges faced and the road ahead.
GiveIndia: What is your role and for how long have you been with the organization?
Namita: I have been associated with YES BANK for 18 months and head Responsible Banking, which is the CSR and Sustainability team as a Senior President & Chief Sustainability Officer.
GiveIndia: What is the idea of giving at YES Bank and what platforms have you adopted to ensure Giving culture?
YES COMMUNITY, the Bank’s unique community engagement initiative, aims at building strong community relations resulting in meaningful conversations towards social transformation. It is held at all YES BANK branches to connect with communities on relevant social and environmental issues and covers over 250 cities and 28 states of India.
We engage with our customers on international days of prominence, recognizing / celebrating environmental and social aspects. A yearly calendar of events is predetermined and on these days, we organize awareness sessions for the customers at branches or town halls, and encourage them to commit to work towards change. This is done by either running a campaign to impact social/environmental change and/or encouraging a call for action in the form of money or kind, from customers.
YES i CARE, our employee engagement initiative aims at sensitizing and involving employees on social and environmental issues through awareness sessions and providing volunteering opportunities, creating avenues for giving back to society.
As an organization, we support various organizations and drives which we have seen improves the culture of Giving. Few of them include: Nanhi Kali, where the Bank sponsors over 50 girl children for Education, semiannual Collection drives for Goonj among others.
GiveIndia: Speaking of Payroll Giving, till date over 1,000 employees from YES Bank have chosen to contribute Rs. 46.5 lac towards the programme. Do you think Payroll Giving adds a new dimension to the host of socially engaging activities? If so, how is Payroll Giving working out for the employees?
Namita: The Payroll Giving program definitely increases the sphere of influence in the Bank towards Development. Thus far, the contributions from our employees spanned across causes, such as Children to Elderly care. I believe that the Payroll Giving is the first step towards steering social consciousness in employees. We have built upon this platform, many cause-driven internal month-long campaigns, where we encourage the employees to donate the pooled money in their respective GiveIndia accounts to the cause we endorse that month. We see that Payroll Giving is gaining significance in the amounts contributed and the increase in employee enrollments.
GiveIndia: Given that employees at a bank are largely preoccupied with targets, sales and numbers, how easy or difficult does it become for you to get employees engaged at CSR initiatives?
Namita: It is a challenging responsibility to implement sustainable practices in a service-oriented organization which has no visual negative impact. The greatest challenge I believe, is to communicate the importance of an individual’s role towards development. It needs to be simplified from a theoretical mammoth that it is usually considered to be to a few actionable steps. This can be achieved by engaging with key influencers and stakeholders within the organization and endorse the extraordinary practice of Giving which only adds to the triple bottom line.
GiveIndia: Lastly, what is the future of Giving at Yes Bank?
Namita: Continuing with the trend of Payroll Giving, since 7 years, I only see the future of Giving, increasing multi-fold. We are seeing an average rise of 8% year-on-year in Payroll Giving so far, and with increased internal engagement, this should further improve.