Vodafone making a 'World of Difference'


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33  Vodafone Employees | 8 Weeks | 29 Diverse NGOs | Nearly 15,000 hours 
 One Aim – Make a World of Difference.

Vodafone, one of India’s leading telecommunications service providers, is back with the third season of 'World of Difference' (WOD) programme in India. Managed by Vodafone Foundation, ‘World of Difference’ is a flagship volunteering initiative that enables passionate employees to come together and work towards social change.

Operational in 22 countries worldwide, the WOD programme is Vodafone’s unique corporate giving initiative which mobilises employees to take time out of their regular tasks and work for a charity of their choice. The programme goes beyond the traditional “cheque book charity” approach by providing people a unique opportunity to donate time and skills to a charity of their choice.

Mr. Rohit Adya, External Affairs Director, Vodafone India Limited believes, “The World of Difference programme is an integral part of our commitment to contribute to society in the most meaningful way. Our employees are true representatives of the commitment. In return, we gain from the rich experiences and learning that they bring back from their stint in the programme. Over the past three years, we have seen a phenomenal response from Vodafone employees to participate in and commit their best capabilities to this initiative. We will continue to look at better ways and means to spread the benefits of this exclusive employee volunteering programme to more communities,”

A core component of this innovative initiative is the Giving Championships with GiveIndia as the fundraising partner. As the 33 employees work with 29 NGOs for 8 weeks, entire Vodafone family participates to raise funds through Giving Championships for the NGO “Educate Girls”. This year, Vodafone employees, their friends and families are aiming to send 30,000 out-of-school girls back to school for at least one academic year by raising a sum of INR 75 lakhs. To send these girls to school all the circles a putting in efforts through dedicated fundraising pages. It’s an exciting time with innovative ways of fundraising like auctions, charging parking for donations, chai day donations, housie, book sale, golfing events, pot luck, birthday cake donations, data rush being tried out by circles. The healthy competition between the circles to raise more funds and support more girls is reflected on the leaderboard.

Vodafone has involved not only the internal stakeholders but also customers through the Giving Championships. Vodafone retail stores across India are selling special school themed ZooZoo and Zumi merchandise thus supporting Educate Girls.

With implementation partner Dasra, the 2014 programme saw 33 employees working with 29 NGOs in women and education causes, inline with the focus areas of Vodafone Foundation. The World of Difference programme is not only as an initiative to contribute to society, but also a key skills development programme for employees. Vodafone Foundation imparts adequate social-sector training, mentoring and ongoing support to all the participating employees. An innovative and engaging mobile application was also developed to facilitate field reporting, on-going monitoring and to raise the level of interaction with the Vodafone volunteers during their eight-week project placements.

We wish Vodafone all the very best for this innovative and fantastic initiative of engaging employees and providing an opportunity to employees to make a difference and become socially aware corporate citizens. You can make a difference too - Click here to do your bit.

Since its introduction in India (November 2011), WoD has seen participation of 78 employees donating over 38,500 man-hours, while working on 73 unique social projects with diverse NGOs, spread over eight-weeks away from their home, office, friends and family, these inspiring individuals have successfully managed to build leadership and capacities for NGOs, using their skills, expertise and passions.

Vodafone Cycling Marathon 2014 - Driving Good Health and Giving Back to Society


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In a city with population of more than 8.5 mn, 23 lac vehicles on road traffic jams and 10k accidents in a year Vodafone wanted to empower people beyond telecom products and services.  Hence the idea of Vodafone Cycling Marathon was born.

Our environment has drastically changed and is affecting people’s health. The fast-paced lifestyle, pollution, and eating habits are impediments to good health and well being. Cycling also helps cope up with heavy traffic, pollution and adopting an eco friendly lifestyle. Cycling is one of the emerging trends that promotes health lifestyle and helps preserve environment. Vodafone Cycling Marathon is an event by Vodafone’s Karnataka Circle to give back and connect with community at large.

Vodafone went a step ahead in its commitment to give back and create positive impact on the community by donating INR 10 lac generated by registration for the event through GiveIndia.

In words of Mr. Atanu Batabyal, Business Head – Vodafone Karnataka, “We are really happy to see the enthusiastic response to the maiden edition of VODAFONE CYCLING MARATHON 2014.  Our effort to encourage people to adapt eco-friendly lifestyle is truly getting its impetus. We whole-heartedly thank all the participants for their support. As a responsible corporate, we’ve championed several projects and initiatives that have helped improved lives and created a positive impact in the community. We are really happy to share the proceeds generated through registration for VODAFONE CYCLING MARATHON 2014 of INR 10 lakhs with GIVE INDIA to support the work done towards the cause of environment, child education and women welfare.”
Mr. Atanu Batabyal, Business Head, VodafoneKarnataka
Circle handing over a cheque of INR 10 lac to
Ms. Karpagavalli Sundaram from GiveIndia

GiveIndia will help Vodafone direct these donations in the areas of environment, women empowerment and education and will provide a details report of utilization of funds.

The donations will be used for the following causes via the NGO Tropical Research & Development Centre, Bangalore to help preserve environment
a.    By sponsoring plantation of wild tropical fruit trees for 500 households. It will not only help the environment but will also provide livelihood to farmers.
b.    Other part will help villagers get regular water supply through a water tank or pond rejuvenation.
c.    Eco-friendly boiling water chulas will be provided to 80 households which will help improve health of a woman since she will not have to inhale the smoke of wood lit chulas and will also save help save energy and environment.

Vodafone will also support 1 month education and residential care of a child at Ananya Shikhsha Kendra.

Cycling Enthusiasts during the event
The event in Bangalore on Feb 09 had four different categories of races. Marathon saw an overwhelming response with hundreds of cycling enthusiast take part from across the country. The carnival arena of the Marathon saw performances by India's premier fusion rock band Indian Ocean and cycle stunts by professionals.

Giving Matters at Deutsche Bank


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Deutsche Bank is a fully integrated financial services provider to Indian corporate, institutional and individual clients. This month we find out how the organisation excels in engaging its employees through the various CSR initiatives.

We had the pleasure of interacting with Mr. Linus Chettiar, Vice President, Group Communication & CSR, Deutsche Bank India. Linus has been instrumental in setting up the CSR vertical in Deutsche Bank. He tells us about the various platforms adopted to promote giving culture, challenges faces and the road ahead.

GiveIndia: What is your role and for how long have you been with the organisation?
Linus: I have been associated with Deutsche Bank for almost 6 years now and currently hold the position of Vice President, Group Communication & Corporate Responsibility, India. I have been responsible for formulating the Corporate Responsibility (CR) structure and heading the Corporate Responsibility efforts at Deutsche Bank India since the start in 2008 with principal focus on providing in education to underprivileged children.

GiveIndia: What is the idea of giving at Deutsche Bank and what platforms have you adopted to ensure Giving culture? Are there any ‘must do’ activities for employees?
Linus: Corporate Responsibility at Deutsche Bank is a voluntary effort as far as employees are concerned. Our goal is to provide opportunities/platforms to employees to fulfill their passion to give back to the society.

While Payroll Giving Programme is one of our ongoing initiatives that gives the employees a choice to donate to 180+ credible NGOs, we do have an array of volunteering activities that we organise annually. 26% of our employees in India chose to volunteer for charity work in 2013.

Here are some examples of our initiatives:

India Volunteering Week:

Deutsche Bank volunteers helping to build girls hostel at
Pali Ashram Shala near Lonavala

Deutsche Bank has presence across 17 cities. We did not want the Corporate Responsibility efforts to be restricted only to the employees in the metro cities. Thus to involve employees from smaller cities like Salem, Vellore, Kolhapur, Moradabad started with the India Volunteering Week. During this week, employees get an opportunity to volunteer with NGOs in their cities. We help them by finding the NGOs and are also open to employees choosing the NGOs they want to volunteer with. It has been a success with over 1,000 of our colleagues participating and putting in over 3000 of volunteering hours. The activities ranged from building a girls hostel in Pali ashram shala, playing sports with under privileged kids and teaching to vaccination of animals.

Trade for a Cause:

Trade for a Cause is a virtual trading game conceptualized and developed in-house as a fund raiser for worthy causes, while providing an exciting opportunity for employees to sharpen their trading skills in a simulated market environment.
Deutsche Bank employees cleaning Juhu Beach as a part of
India Volunteering Week
By making a donation, employees support the cause and as an added advantage, join the trading game. Employees enthusiastically join the fund-raising efforts and help make a difference. In Trade for Cause 2013, we provided employees an option of contributing smaller sums over a period of 6 months through GiveIndia. Providing a solar light to a home costs ~INR 3,500 and Trade for a Cause 2013 has raised funds to help light up approximately 500 homes.

Teachers Day Celebrations:

The primary focus of Deutsche Banks’ Corporate Responsibility activities in India is educating under privileged children and, to this extent, we are associated with 10-12 NGOs in Mumbai alone. To honor the teachers of these NGOs, we have been organizing a Teachers Day celebration since the last 5 years. More than 100 staff and students from these NGOs visit the Deutsche Bank office and join the celebrations which involve innovative competitions, surprise gifts and lots of enjoyment for all.

Deutsche Bank employees cleaning the
National Park, Borivali
Deutsche Bank Champions:

Unlike most corporate titles that are rungs in the hierarchy, this one is a leveler. All employees are invited to be dbChampions. A Champion allies with any one of the bank's non-profits and plays a decisive role in plotting its path of action, social drill for the year, as well as influencing the outlay for that NGO.

GiveIndia: Speaking of Payroll Giving, approx 500+ employees from Deutsche Bank have chosen to contribute 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?
Linus: We have been associated with GiveIndia’s Payroll Giving Programme for almost 6 years now and it is an essential part of our Corporate Responsibility efforts. Often employees are tied up for time and Payroll Giving Programme serves as a good platform to make a difference. It is one of the arrows in the quiver of our Corporate Responsibility activities, and goes hand in hand with our volunteering efforts.

GiveIndia: Given that employees in a bank require to be constantly at their desks and are largely preoccupied with targets and numbers, how easy or difficult does it become for you to get employees engaged at CSR initiatives?
Linus: One of the most important pull-factors for employees to volunteer is high involvement from senior management. They lead by example and are regular at participating in most of our programmes. This backing from senior management, not only in India but globally, encourages and motivates the employees.

Most of our CR activities revolve around volunteering. Since employees are tied up with their routine tasks and job responsibilities we have tailored our programmes to their needs thus making the effort sustainable. For instance, we encourage employees to volunteer during the weekends. In order to ensure that employees don’t have to volunteer week-on-week, we have created a huge pool of volunteers. This ensures a gap of 4-5 weeks for a volunteer between the activities. To further support the efforts of our employees, the Bank also offers one day of paid volunteer leave per year.

We also recognize our volunteers for their efforts with awards in town halls etc. Recently a volunteer from India secured 2nd position in the ‘Global Volunteer’ event while competing with colleagues across the world. The volunteer was recognized by our Global Co-CEOs Mr Anshu Jain and Mr. Jeurgen Fitschen.

GiveIndia: Lastly, what is the future of Giving at Deutsche Bank? Apart from increasing participation in Payroll Giving Programme, our goal is to increase employee participation in volunteering/giving activities to 50% in the coming years.
Linus: Of our 10,000 strong work force in India, we would want at least 5,000 employees to be associated with giving back to society in any form.

Panel Discussion on Inclusive CSR


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GiveIndia hosted a panel discussion on ‘Inclusive CSR – Attaining progression in Corporate Giving through employees and consumers’ in the India Non Fiction Festival in Mumbai. 

The session brought together pioneers of Inclusive CSR in the country like Archana Raghuram: Director, Cognizant Outreach, Chinmay Sengupta: COO, ICICI Foundation, Linus Chettiar: Vice President, Group Communication & CSR, Deutsche Bank, Nina Screwalla: Global Head, TCS Maitri and Indranil Choudhury: VP-HR, HDFC Life to share their organizations’ experiences and best practices.

The Panel
Ms. Archana Raghuram
Archana Raghuram, Director, Cognizant Outreach who set up Outreach in 2007 said, “The best decision Cognizant made while launching Outreach was keeping it purely voluntary and making it a grass root program, allowing employees to decide what they wanted to do. Volunteering is now a culture within the organization with over 45,000 active volunteers, 5 lac volunteering hours effecting 4 lac children.” Archana also mentioned that since 2011 Cognizant started publishing ‘Impact Index ‘ that has helped quadruple the participation.

Mr. Chinmay Sengupta
Shedding light on how ICICI engages its customers in corporate giving, Chinmay Sengupta, COO, ICICI Foundation said, “During the Joy of Giving Week, our customers could donate through ICICI’s 11,000 ATMs across the country, leading us to raise 17.5 million rupees. Customers were actually thankful to us for providing such a platform.” ICICI Foundatoin has recently launched ICICI Academy of skills with 7-8 centres across the country to provide vocational training to the youth and help them secure jobs. They have also been working on elementary school books with Rajasthan and Chattisgarh government.

Mr. Linus Chettiar
Linus Chettiar: Vice President, Group Communication & CSR, Deutsche Bank, “At Deutsche Bank, we follow the inverted pyramid approach and have the DB Champions lead the initiative. Last year, we had 2000 volunteers who put in 17,000 manhours to make a difference. We also have the India Volunteering Week, where employees can commit time and effort in their own cities towards a cause” Linus also talked about the success story of Rajesh who secured 70% in his 10th exams with the help of DB employees despite loosing both his hands.

Ms. Nina Screwalla

Nina Screwalla, Global Head, TCS Maitri spoke about the legacy of the Tata group of giving back to society and said that the group gives back almost 50-60% of its profits annually. She also mentioned that TCS Maitri has clocked 74,000 man hours with 43,000 volunteers. Ms. Screwalla said, “TCS Maitri has been involved with training of blind beneficiaries and providing for basic infrastructure for a school in Panvel. Jute bags used in the Mumbai Marathon 2014 were made by women beneficiaries of TCS Maitri's activities.”

Mr. Indranil Choudhury
Talking about how HDFC Life distinguished itself from its parent company, Indranil Choudhury, VP-HR, HDFC Life said, “HDFC Life focuses on financial literacy and children’s education. We started with small tie ups with BMC schools in 2011 but currently reach out to over 15,000 children for financial literacy.” HDFC Life has also involved its customers and channel partners in its CSR activities and mapped products to the underprivileged to provide security.

The session ended with a panel discussion where each of the speakers shared insight on choosing the right partners for their initiatives, their views on the CSR Mandate and how CSR can fuel the development of India.

Giving Matters at Tata Capital


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We start the New Year on a high as we showcase giving culture at Tata Capital, part of the iconic Tata Group known for its spirit of Giving back to the community since centuries. We have all heard about the rich philanthropic culture of the Tata Group which is well imbibed in all the Group companies. 

This month we had the pleasure of interacting with Mr. Amar Sinhji, Head, Human Resources and Corporate Sustainability.  Mr. Sinhji has more than 22 years of experience in the industry and is responsible for setting up Human resource function and all the related policies and practices at Tata Capital. It was interesting to know about 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 organisation?
Mr. Sinhji: 
I head the Human Resources vertical and am also a Member of the Management  Committee at Tata Capital. I have been with the company since its inception in 2007.  I also oversee the functions of Administration, Infrastructure , Learning & Development and Corporate Sustainability.

GiveIndia: What is the idea of giving at Tata Capital and what platforms have you adopted to ensure Giving culture?
Mr. Sinhji: In addition to getting employees to sign-up for the GiveIndia program for donations through their salaries, we run other such initiatives from time-to-time. We have donation drives at our offices, where employees are encouraged to contribute old clothes, toys etc to needy children. We also run regular blood donation drives.

Tata Capital employees campaigning to reduce carbon
We support a number of NGOs in Mumbai and around the country and encourage employees to donate both money and their time as much as possible. We have even run initiatives on Social Media, which encourage not only employees but our Facebook & Twitter followers to participate in our CSR endeavors.

GiveIndia: Given that employees in the finance sector are largely preoccupied with targets, sales and numbers, how easy or difficult does it become for you to get employees engaged at CSR initiatives?
Mr. Sinhji: We have a nascent Volunteering Program at Tata Capital. In keeping with the Tata spirit, a lot of our employees take time out of their hectic schedules to participate in the same. There is even an award in our Annual Achievers Awards for the person who has contributed the most time & effort to the CSR programs in the company.

Tata Capital supported Aured in Mumbai Marathon 2014
GiveIndia: Speaking of Payroll Giving, 300+ employees from Tata Capital have chosen to contribute 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?
Mr. Sinhji: The payroll giving program is a unique and innovative method of getting employees to contribute to charities. A lot of employees want to donate but can’t due to lack of time and awareness of the right channels. The payroll giving program is an excellent initiative to tackle this issue. We see more and more employees coming on-board to the program and hope that as the company grows we will have a much larger contributing base of employees.

GiveIndia: You have also been participating in the India Giving Challenge for past 2 years now. What, in your opinion, generally works or doesn't work during those six weeks of fundraising?
Mr. Sinhji: This year saw a substantial increase in the contribution from employees at Tata Capital, during the India Giving Challenge. What works well for us is that we encourage our employees to contribute to our associate NGOs, with whom who we have regular, ongoing projects. We create communication that highlights each of the NGOs and the work they do. This helps employees make an informed choice.

Blood donation campaign at Tata Capital
This year, we also individually contacted all employees who had large balances in their Payroll Giving Buckets and urged them to donate, which really made a difference.

GiveIndia: Lastly, what is the future of Giving at Tata Capital?
Mr. Sinhji: In addition to Payroll Giving, Tata Capital already has certain programmes being conducted year on year. For example, we run a Blood Donation Campaign across locations in May, therefore May is designated Blood Donation Month since 2011.

Likewise, we conduct a non-monetary donation drive(Books, toys, clothes) in association with Goonj as a follow up to the ‘Joy of Giving week’.  2013 was the fourth year of this initiative, with 9 offices participating pan India. Every December, we put up Christmas Wish Trees and employees donate gifts for underprivileged children.

The future looks promising. We plan to build on these initiatives and create more volunteering avenues for employees and their families to encourage a giving culture not only at the offices but also at home.