The Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) organised this year’s V Srinivasan Memorial Lecture in Chennai on the 9th October. The special event spoke about the topic “Social Enterprise & Non-Profit Leadership.”
Mr. V Srinivasan was one of the Co- founders of the WS Group in 1961 and emerged as one of the leading entrepreneurs in South India. He served as the National President of the Confederation of Indian Industry between the years 1990 – 1991.
He was also on the boards of various organisations. He believed in the credo “Service to man is service to God” and was an epitome of philanthropy. Time and again, he bought his management excellence practices into running of non-profit / charitable institutions.
The memorial lecture organised by CII, celebrated the spirit of service to society which was so aptly demonstrated by Mr V Srinivasan. The lecture brought together eminent professionals including industrialists, entrepreneurs and non-profit leaders to discuss ideas, principles and themes.
Mr Jamshyd N Godrej, Chairman and Managing Director of Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company Ltd, gave the Keynote address. He stated that Industry and social upliftment should go hand in hand and that growth, sustainability & upliftment are interconnected.
“When we talk about business, we see how to reduce taxes, deregulations, but at the same time industry should also focus on sustainability” added Mr Godrej. He also stated that one of the ways to tackle climate change issues are through innovation and technology.
Finally, as a highlight statement, Mr Godrej said that, “The purpose of business is to help solve social problems through philanthropy.”
In his special address, Mr Harish Hande, Co-Founder, Selco Solar Pvt Ltd, said “the myth that the poor cannot embrace technology and run commercial ventures should be removed.” He suggested that a robust ecosystem which helps the poor to afford solar power needs to created.
According to Mr Hande, sustainability must be a passion for people and that “philanthropic money should, at all costs, be used to subsidise the cost for poor.”
Mr Hande’s address emphasised that philanthropy would create a society which will reduce the costs and make products and services affordable for the poor. Market linkages and financial opportunities should be facilitated for them and more focus should be given to community issues.