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The Economic Times

Companies need to do a lot more: Rishad Premji

“From the early days, Wipro has always believed that business organisations must serve a larger social purpose,” Premji said.
BENGALURU: Indian companies need to do more to run their businesses fairly and ethically, benefiting all stakeholders, even as they look to increase their contribution to society and the environment, said Wipro chairman Rishad Premji.

“On the whole I don’t think the business sector is doing enough – we must do a lot more – the global challenges of inequity, injustice, deprivation, and the crisis of climate change are so large, that all of us need to do a lot more – we cannot believe that we are doing enough,” he said.

Rishad has imbibed the principle of companies being good corporate citizens from father Azim Premji, who quit as Wipro chairman in July to focus on philanthropy.

The Bengaluru-based company’s activities in giving back to society have won it the 2019 The Economic Times Corporate Citizen of The Year Award. “It’s a recognition for the selfless dedication and sustained work of Wiproites and equally of our partners who work across a range of areas – from school education and water conservation to supporting children with disabilities,” Rishad Premji said.

Wipro’s journey towards corporate social responsibility (CSR) began in 2001 with its first intervention in school education. Since then, it has expanded to participate in community care and ecology and environment. The company set up the Wipro Foundation, a separate entity created in 2017, to manage its CSR programmes. It actively involves employees in giving back to society and the neighbourhoods where it operates, through Wipro Cares. “From the early days, Wipro has always believed that business organisations must serve a larger social purpose,” Premji said. “We must run our businesses successfully, with integrity and fairness, but we must also be active and engaged citizens of the world.”

The impact of this is measured. In FY19, more than 12,500 employees of Wipro spent around 30,000 hours of volunteering time with partner-organisations in 20 locations in India, the US, the UK, Japan, Australia and the Philippines.

“All of us have to contribute to making this world better – and those who have more influence and capacity, and large corporations today have a lot of this – must do their bit in proportion to that influence,” Premji said.

Wipro and other IT firms such as Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services and Tech Mahindra allocate funds and resources to CSR, primarily to improve quality of education in the country.

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