corporate social responsibility in telecom industry

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A Research Paper On


Submitted as a part of the CSR paper in the Fourth Semester of Masters of Business Administration Year 2012

Submitted to:

Ms. Shilki Bhatia

Submitted by: Saurav Ner (118) Ankush Bhat (117) Vinod Kumar (114) Dhruv Wadhwa (111) Vikrant


Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5

Topics Abstract Introduction Literature review Objectives of the study Research methodology Conclusion Limitations Bibliography Annexure

Page No.3 4-5

Chapter 1: ABSTRACT

This paper examines the essence of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which is defined as the ethical behavior of a company towards the society. It involves a study of the CSR initiatives taken up in the telecom sector in India. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is of high relevance for the telecom industry as this sector has a strong impact and a high dependence on the economy, the environment and on the society. In this project a study is done on the CSR practices of the top three telecom companies in India - Airtel, Aircel and BSNL to find out what and measures these companies have taken in India as a part of CSR initiatives. In the study we would further be describing about the major steps taken by the above mentioned companies to adhere to the corporate social responsibility in the country.


What is CSR? There are a variety of definitions of CSR and no overall agreement but our own definition is: CSR is concerned with treating the stakeholders of the firm ethically or in a responsible manner. Ethically or responsible means treating stakeholders in a manner deemed acceptable in civilized societies. Social includes economic responsibility. Stakeholders exist both within a firm and outside. The natural environment is a stakeholder. The wider aim of social responsibility is to create higher and higher standards of living, while preserving the profitability of the corporation, for peoples both within and outside the corporation. CSR therefore means the ethical behaviour of business towards its constituencies or stakeholders. Nevertheless, there are a wide variety of concepts and definitions associated with the term corporate social responsibility, but no general agreement of terms. To provide some guidance to readers in this area I have included a glossary of terms in Annexure, which provides a number of definitions. Alert readers will notice, however, a fluidity of concepts that really requires more extensive research and consideration than has been undertaken so far. Without a common language, we do not really know whether our dialogue with companies is being heard and interpreted in a consistent way. To date I believe that such dialogue has been highly flawed, as some companies use the terms corporate citizenship, some the ethical corporation, while others use good corporate governance or corporate responsibility. These flaws lead some companies to consider CSR as pure corporate philanthropy, others (such as Shell) as a new corporate strategic framework, while others dismiss the notion entirely. We include economic aspects in our definition of CSR simply because the study of economics is a social science which also encompasses financial aspects. We have always considered the environment to be one of the stakeholders of a company. Nevertheless, many prefer the term corporate responsibility. To date, the main responsibility of a corporation has been to make profits for its shareholders. Corporate responsibility describes this very well. However, including social emphasizes the inclusion of other aspects, such as the wider economy, stakeholders other than shareholders and the environment.

Why are companies engaged in CSR? Companies that are socially responsible in making profits also contribute to some, although obviously not all, aspects of social development. Every company should not be expected to be involved in every aspect of social development. That would be ludicrous and unnecessarily restrictive. But for a firm to be involved in some aspects, both within the firm and on the outside, will make its products and services more attractive to consumers as a whole, therefore making the company more profitable. There will be increased costs to implement CSR, but the benefits are likely to far outweigh the costs. Corporate social responsibility is not a new issue. The social responsibility of business was not widely considered to be a significant problem from Adam Smiths time to the Great Depression. But since the 1930s, and increasingly since the 1960s, social responsibility has become an important issue not only for business but in the theory and practice of law, politics and economics. Further acceleration has occurred in the past few years. The need to address questions of low living standards, exploitation, poverty, unemployment and how to promote social development in general, has to date been almost entirely the preserve of governments. Clearly, they will continue to have a, if not the, major role to play in this area. But, increasingly in the future, the promotion of social development issues must also be one of partnership between government and private and nongovernmental actors and, in particular, the corporate sector. Today We are now seeing consumers avoiding what they see (rightly or wrongly) as socially irresponsible products or the products of companies that have allegedly not acted in societys best interest. Enterprises have noted that social responsibility is good for business for, and from, each of the seven main azimuths within which they trade and operate. These are: their shareholders and potential investors; managers; employees; customers; business partners and contractors or suppliers; the natural environment; and the communities within which they operate, including national governments. Such azimuths are now commonly known as an enterprises stakeholders. Corporate social responsibility should nevertheless not be seen as a substitute to regulation or legislation concerning social rights or environmental standards, including the development of new appropriate legislation. In countries where such regulations do not exist, efforts should focus on putting the proper regulatory or legislative framework in place in order to define a level playing field on the basis of which socially responsible practices can be developed. CSR is a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis.


The objectives of the study undertaken by us were as follows:

To study the CSR initiatives taken in the Telecom industry in India.

To examine the CSR activities carried out by the three Telecom companies operating in our country-

o Airtel o Aircel o BSNL

Thus, the objective of this research is to find out the CSR practices that are taken up by the telecom companies and also to analyze that whether all the companies practice the similar kind of CSR activities or what extra or different they are doing from the other telecom players.

Corporate Social Responsibility by Bharti AirtelBharti Airtel believes that business success is not an end in itself; rather it is a means to achieve higher socio-economic goals. The Company is committed to its stakeholders to conduct its business in a responsible manner. To ensure inclusive growth and impact society in a positive way, the Company undertook several initiatives in 2010-11 in the social welfare space while strengthening existing projects. Notably, in the last one year, Bharti Airtel has extended its initiative of providing quality education to underprivileged children, to the 16 African countries it operates in. The Company is adopting at least one primary school in each of these 16 countries in the first stage. It has already adopted 19 primary schools in the African continent. In India, most of the welfare activities are routed through Bharti Foundation, the Groups philanthropic arm. Established in 2000, the Foundation aims to provide quality education free of cost to underprivileged children in rural India, with special focus on the girl child. Bharti Foundation rolled out its flagship initiative, the Satya Bharti School Programme in 2006. The programme focuses on developing a replicable and scalable quality-education model in rural India and counts as one of the largest end-to-end education programmes undertaken by a corporate in India today. It has reached out to approximately 30,000 children through its primary schools alone. THE SATYA BHARTI SCHOOL PROGRAMME The Satya Bharti School programme delivers free and quality education to underprivileged children across rural India. It has set the goal to establish 500 Primary and 50 Senior Secondary Schools reaching out to over 200,000 children. Currently it runs 242 Satya Bharti Primary Schools reaching out to approximately 30,000 children across the states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Of these, 49 schools are adopted government schools in the Neemrana and Amer blocks of Rajasthan. Under the ambit of its Secondary School, 5 schools are currently operational in Punjab covering 1,184 students. Overall aim of the rural education programme is to develop students from rural areas into well rounded personalities and responsible citizens. While the primary school programme works towards inculcating sound fundamentals in the child, the senior secondary school programme provides training for a steady vocation. Education in these schools is completely free and is supported by additional welfare schemes such as free uniforms, books, stationery, mid-day meals, etc.



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