“U.S. companies involve their employees in social activities to make them feel part of change”
It was a meeting to discuss success stories of ordinary people; like the girl from a small village near Madurai who worked her way to become a chef in a star hotel in Chennai or the prisoner who mastered the art of baking bread.
More such braving-all-odds stories were narrated to Bradley K.Googins, Executive Director, the Centre for Corporate Citizenship-Boston College, during his visit to Winners Bakery and Confectionary here on Thursday. He is on a country-wide CSR tour. A joint venture of Chennai Corporation, Rotary Club of Madras East and Chennai Culinary Institute, Winners Bakery provides free training to youngsters aged 16 to 25 from economically backward families.
An expert in corporate citizenship, Dr. Googins has been presenting his views on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at various events organised by the U.S. Consulate General across the country. At Winners Bakery, Dr.Googins discussed ways to strengthen CSR activities with Oriental Cuisines director M. Mahadevan.
Observing that Asian countries have an important role to play in making a difference in the lives of people through CSR, he said even small-scale CSR work can go a long way in influencing people's lives. The biggest challenge for any country, he said, was to create jobs as the unemployment rate is bound to grow.
“Creating entrepreneurs by teaching them new vocations is a workable and successful CSR activity. Vocational training can bring down the unemployment rate and instil more confidence in youngsters,” he said. “CSR should be seen not just as a charity work but as an opportunity to create employment for people who do not have access to the resources,” he added.
Comparing CSR activities in the U.S. and India, Dr.Googins said while the nature of the activities in both countries are similar, the U.S. companies involve their employees in the social activities to make them feel part of the change. “It will also keep up the spirit of employees who contribute resources. Indian companies should make CSR activities more participatory.”
Constance Colding Jones, Acting Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Consulate General, and Winners Bakery consultant Gita Krishnaraj were present.