PYXERA Global Convenes CSR and Social Impact Leaders in Mumbai, India to Discuss How Innovative Corporate Social Responsibility Can Advance India’s National Priorities

Apr 2, 2015 3:00 PM ET

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2015 /3BL Media/ – PYXERA Global hosted the lively event, Advancing India’s National Priorities with CSR, in Mumbai last week, bringing together leading CSR and social impact professionals. PYXERA Global, which has been active in India since 2009 in areas such as corporate pro bono and integrated community development, recently became a registered Trust in India under the Bombay Public Trust Act. In celebration of this national launch, the four-hour celebration featured insights from effective and innovative CSR and volunteer programs at John Deere, IBM, GuideStar, The Essar Foundation, SAP, and i-Volunteer. The panel discussions focused on how to best align CSR programming to achieve India’s National Priorities, driving innovation, and the power of corporate pro bono.

Kabi Sherman, Country Director, India at PYXERA Global, welcomed attendees, together with Deirdre White, CEO of PYXERA Global. “CSR and corporate pro bono are at an exciting moment in time in India,” said Sherman in her opening remarks. “Conversations like the one we are having today are just starting.  Bringing together the private and social sectors to address India’s challenges will unleash benefits not only to the communities, but also to the NGOs that serve them and the private sector.”

The event’s first panel, Innovation in CSR, examined approaches to partnership and the newest innovations in CSR in India. Moderated by Vishnu Swaminathan, Country Director, Ashoka India, the panel was comprised of speakers from GuideStar, Essar Foundation, and John Deere India. Key takeaways from the conversation include:

  • To effectively partner, it is essential to understand both local and corporate perspectives.
  • Trust is often a key issue between the corporate and NGO communities; more meaningful interaction will enhance trust, provide increased visibility, and enable shared best practices.
  • Deep, holistic CSR investments can change mindsets from compliance to a genuine desire and will to create long-lasting change that’s founded in shared value.

A second panel, The Potential of Corporate Pro Bono, explored how corporate pro bono can foster strategic economic growth in India and address the country’s National Priorities. Moderated by Amanda MacArthur, Vice President, Global Pro Bono and Engagement of PYXERA Global, the panel was comprised of speakers from IBM, SAP, and i-Volunteer. Key takeaways include:

  • Indian pro bono will likely reach a value of $10 billion by 2032.
  • Volunteer-driven CSR initiatives will enable companies to support programs that can help India reach its National Priorities.
  • New approaches to CSR should move away from the charity-driven programs of the past towards strategic, co-created partnerships that deliver mutual benefit.

“In a free enterprise, the community is not just another stakeholder in business, but in fact the very purpose of its existence,” said Dr. Mukund Rajan, Brand Custodian, Member, Group Executive Council & Chief Ethics Officer, Tata Sons, quoting the Tata group Founder, Jamsetji Tata. “Genuinely listening to the community needs is an important step in the process of purposeful engagement.”   Dr. Rajan noted that employee volunteerism and pro bono is an excellent way to authentically engage with the community.

In his keynote address, Mukul Varshney, Director of CSR for John Deere India spoke of the importance of partnerships.  “CSR programs thrive when they build local capacity through community partnerships,” said Varshney.  “An integrated, holistic approach is key to this.  It creates long-term sustainability, fosters new partnerships, and maximizes participation throughout the communities.”

In her closing keynote address, Ms. Deirdre White, CEO of PYXERA Global, identified 10 key takeaways she hoped those attending would take forward into their future work. White raised the importance of language, of local expertise, mutual trust, and true partnership, among other key factors for success. In her final point, she lauded those convened for their courage to break new ground.

“It takes courage to engage in real partnership,” White said. “I hope that all of you will take what we have learned here today and go out and influence others to join the important future of CSR in India.”


About PYXERA Global India

PYXERA Global helps companies design and implement CSR strategies that meet the needs of multiple stakeholders, in a way that is impactful, efficient and aligned with India’s National Priorities.  A registered Trust in India under the Bombay Public Trust Act, and active in India since 2009, this NGO connects companies to communities, NGOs, social enterprises and educational institutions in India and beyond.  PYXERA Global also draws from its twenty five years of worldwide international development experience to help companies achieve their CSR goals.


Kabi Sherman, Country Director, India

Katie Levey, Director of Media Relations; 917.593.1989