Andrew Milner examines the scale, impact, limitations, and pitfalls of Indian corporate philanthropy five years since the introduction of mandatory CSR contributions.
Over the last five years, Indian corporate philanthropy has been transformed by the introduction of mandatory CSR contributions for companies over a certain size, so much so that, to all intents and purposes, the one is practically identified with the other. Companies are evolving from a traditional cheque giving approach to more strategic and longer term engagements. CSR advisory organisation, Samhita, sees this as an evolution where the law is facilitating the shift from philanthropy to responsibility. But what has been the effect of this sudden surge of corporate funding for the social sector and what are the implications, good and bad, for the country’s development?