CSR – A Promise And A Commitment – Capgemini

Sitting at the airport, as I wait for my flight, I can’t help but remember the amazing onboarding journey the E.L.I.T.E. trainees went through over the last couple of months. And suddenly I’m transported to the difficult task at hand – Writing about that one thing, across the five weeks that has left a deep impact on me, as a person and as a professional. It is extremely difficult to pinpoint at one particular thing, simply because the entire experience was beyond amazing – be it the chance to interact with senior leaders, the Pinnacle workshop to improve our communication & presentation skills or the week that we spent in France! But a decision has to be made – and I think I have made mine.

Winston Churchill once said, “Responsibility is the price of Greatness”. This quote applies so well to companies in this era, who can’t achieve greatness without taking on the responsibility of helping improve the society. Gone are the days when the companies were singularly focused on their economic results. Today, creating a strong business and building a better world are not conflicting goals. Though this has gained widespread acceptance, but many companies, at least in India, feel that it is more of a directive to adhere to, than a commitment or a responsibility. For them, it is about spending 2% of their profits but it is so much more than that! Corporate social responsibility is no longer defined by how much money a company contributes to charity, but by its overall involvement in activities that improve the quality of people’s lives. And this is what sets Capgemini apart.

During our onboarding, the first time we got to experience Capgemini’s CSR initiatives was during the CSR day, at the end of our third week. We were divided into teams and sent off to various organizations, who are trying to make this world a better place. I got the chance to go to Sarthak Education Trust, whose vision is “To Empower Persons with Disability, enabling them to live their life with dignity and respect”. It was a humbling experience. We were told about their initiatives and their training programs, designed specifically to empower differently-abled people and help them secure meaningful jobs. I was also fortunate enough to attend one of their classroom sessions, and I was impressed with the zeal the students had towards learning and improving their lives. Some of them were also gracious enough to let me get a photo clicked with them! What impressed me the most was the way Capgemini was involved in the whole process. It just doesn’t provide them funds, but actively gets involved in the functioning of the centre and extends whatever help is necessary.

The second time we were exposed to CSR initiatives was at the Capgemini University at Les Fontaines, France. We had a plenary session around Capgemini’s vision for CSR and sustainability as it completed its 50 years. This was followed by a talk by APOPO, an NGO which uses rats to sniff out and defuse landmines, about how by simply adopting one of their rats, numerous lives can be saved! We also participated in the launch of the “MoveFifty” campaign in which, for every km taken by an employee, Capgemini has pledged to donate €1 to a charity. And to top it all off, we participated in the “Co-creation challenge”, where we had to brainstorm and come up with ideas about how Capgemini & employees can work towards enhancing community engagement, diversity, active inclusion and sustainability.

It is difficult to not get inspired by participating in such initiatives, and feel a sense of pride that one is associated with a company that is trying to bring about a positive change in this world. At the close, I want to leave you with the pledge I have taken to adopt sustainable practices, and I would encourage each and every one of you to do the same.

Till next time!

Akshat

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