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Article

The business of ethics remixed [India]

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a highly misunderstood and misinterpreted term in India...Some Indian companies believe that merely complying with laws and regulations fulfills their need for social responsibility...A responsible corporate recognises that its activities have a wider impact on the society in which it operates. Therefore, it takes account of the economic, social, environmental and human rights impact of its activities on all stakeholders...Although India...is a favourable business destination for western investors...it is going to be tremendously challenging for any business to remain competitive here in the long term...Unless [poor people] have equity in the growth of economy, India can never achieve the title of a super economy. Here comes the critical role of corporations...[O]ther issues relating to hazards of industrial production, especially after the Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984, are fast catching the attention of civil society organisations in India...The main evolving global trend of CSR has shifted from traditional corporate philanthropy to ethical business...[I]t is crucial that India Inc. demonstrate high moral and ethical behaviour that protects the rights and interests of their stakeholder groups. [refers to Cadbury's, Tata, Nestle, Shell, Nike, Infosys, Wipro, Dr. Reddy's, Ranbaxy, HLL (Hindustan Lever Limited, part of Unilever), ITC, Maruti, Utkal Alumina, Vedanta Resources]