Compulsory CSR can open up a host of new jobs


Looking for a job? Consider getting into the area of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Nearly 8,500 companies will come under the ambit of compulsory CSR if the Companies Bill is passed in the ensuing winter Parliament Session. The Bill has many provisions dedicated to CSR. Each company will require five-six employees for its CSR team. This means, around 60,000 CSR professionals will be required for them. Currently, the corporate communication team mostly does the CSR.

And, companies may poach non-government organizations to build the CSR team. Instead of poaching NGOs, companies should consider outsourcing CSR to them, said Bhaskar Chatterjee, CEO, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, which was set up by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to promote good governance.

A company will come under the ambit of the new CSR policy if its net worth is Rs 500 crore or more; turnover is Rs 1,000 crore or more, or net profit is Rs 5 crore or more during any financial year. If under any of the one categories, a company should spend at least two per cent of the average net profits made during three immediate preceding financial years in pursuance of CSR. An internal CSR committee will monitor the projects proposed to be undertaken by the company.


Sunil Goel, Managing Director, GlobalHunt, an executive search firm, said: “Demand for CSR professionals will surge 50-60 times in future and we may have to train fresh resources on the subject to fulfil the need of the industry.” There will be some poaching from NGOs to fill the immediate need. Jayakumar Christian, CEO, World Vision India, an NGO in Chennai, agrees that talent within NGOs will be an important asset that will betapped by companies.

NGOs bring in rich social capital and a level of sophistication in designing, monitoring, executing and evaluating comprehensive sustainable solutions to poverty.

There is enough existing leadership DNA to handle this, with an external agency to manage execution. In future, a few social work students may opt for this instead of a human resource job but, “I am sceptical about the career path such a choice can offer,” said Hema Subramaniam, Founder & CEO, Live Connections, an HR firm. According to Saundarya Rajesh, Founder, Avtar Career Creators & Flexi Careers India, the number of CSR professionals in the country exceeds 0.5 million.

They handle different portfolios, including foundation or trust-related activities, corporate image management work and extensive media interface and communication.

The Bill will change this to some extent. The role of a CSR professional will become multi-fold with not just social responsibility-related work, but also plenty to do with regard to the larger area of sustainability, she said.