Over the years in India, the Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), has gradually extended its corporate social responsibility efforts towards focusing on overall growth of society by emphasizing road safety, health and hygiene, education, environment and skill development. In an interaction with Bureaucracy Today, TKM India Vice President Naveen Soni talks about major CSR projects undertaken by his company under his leadership, the challenges faced by companies while executing CSR projects in India and his expectations from the Narendra Modi Government in terms of policies relating to CSR in India.
What is the most effective way for a company to act on its philanthropic goals?
For Toyota, it’s “kaizen”, a Japanese word for “continuous improvement”. Kaizen, the philosophy that encourages people to make small changes to generate big results, is the main ingredient in Toyota’s business model and a key to its success.
“We believe we have to play a greater role than just manufacturing world class cars. Therefore, I strongly believe that every corporate’s CSR ideology needs to be in line with the way it conducts business. At Toyota, we are investing and allocating time and resources for development and to improve the quality of life for the communities in which we live and work. In fact, every three years we conduct assessment studies to understand the requirement of the community and accordingly align our CSR focus. The PDCA cycle— Plan, Do, Check and Act – is the “DNA” of Toyota. The special focus is to improve the interventions every time, which is termed Kaizen, in Toyota and revisits the approach considering the benefit to the community in terms of the projects implemented,” says TKM India Vice President Naveen Soni.
CSR has been never a new concept to TKM. From 2003 onwards, the company in India has been striving to build the community by creating social assets. “The focus has changed from philanthropy to more systematic approach, going forward to create a value chain in the community development projects to have a holistic approach. With the CSR Act in place, it has given more clarity on the execution in terms of outcome and impact measurable activities,” he says.
MAJOR CSR INITIATIVES UNDERTAKEN UNDER SONI
Though the Toyota Kirloskar Motor has initiated various CSR initiatives in India, there are three major recent projects undertaken by TKM under Soni’s leadership.
The TKM under the administrative acumen of Soni has designed a unique programme called ABCD (A Behavioural Change Demonstration) which aims at creating awareness on good sanitation practices among children, teachers, and community.
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