Corporate social responsibility for many in India has never been more than just a legal obligation, but for Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt Ltd (Fiinovation), it has been a way of life, it has been the skin and bone. Fiinovation was established in the year 2008 to inspire innovative thinking and action leading to positive social outcomes and change. It began its journey years before corporate social responsibility was mandated in the country.
In today’s socially conscious world, CSR is not bound by traditional realms of philanthropy. It has attained a new meaning by integrating social responsibility into business operations and interactions along with effective resource mobilization. It is this effective resource mobilization that can result in transformational change that forms the core of Fiinovation’s organizational purpose.
We believe that resources and diverse skills of the corporates can be channelised to create social changes with greater impact radius. Fiinovation collaborates with corporations, PSUs, multilaterals, government bodies and civil society organizations, synergises and leverages their combined capabilities for effective resource allocation, efficient implementation and maximised output. It offers project management, implementation and resource mobilization solutions to the corporates and the civil society organizations. Fiinovation houses a Proposal Research Laboratory (first of its kind in India) which uses scientific and rational tools to conduct primary and secondary research, and design simplified solutions based on the research findings. The laboratory consists of dedicated sectoral teams (health, climate, livelihood and education) that develop concepts and social sector welfare initiatives. These concepts and initiatives are designed in partnership with companies and institutions and are based on actual on-ground requirements. The efficacy and impact of these social welfare programmes or initiatives is assessed by the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) team that carries out various impact and outcome based assessments and research studies. The quantitative and qualitative methods used by Fiinovation for social and environmental audits and impact assessments is imbibed across the socio-developmental sector.
Despite the existence of CSR as a philanthropic concept in the country, we faced challenges when it began offering it as formal services. CSR as a sector was unstructured and sporadic in nature, however, with the Government of India legalizing it in the year of 2013, social responsibility transgressed from being a choice to a mandate. The mandate brought upon an overturn of perception about the way CSR was perceived in the country. However, there remained gaps in the way corporates and civil society organizations interacted. What Fiinovation did was to give them a common platform where they could interact and align their respective social welfare goals.
Fiinovation has been operational in the social-development sector for more than twelve years now and has partnered with renowned corporates, PSUs, multilaterals and various other organizations, and have designed and implemented welfare programmes for them. We have associated with more than 2000 civil society organizations that act as implementing agencies on-ground for social welfare programmes. Over the years, we've been able to revolutionize the entire-value chain of social responsibility through our quality of services and commitment. We have been able to create a recall value around the brand.
In the current scenario when the economy is rebuilding itself, CSR offers an opportunity - an opportunity to rebuild the nation better. We believe that the social-development sector is fragile because it is usually the first one to get affected by geo-political or socio-economic changes. It becomes imperative and essential, especially during these unprecedented times that the positive and negative impacts of these changes are arrested. The communities cannot continue to be the end product of the intended social impact strategy of the corporates. It is only when communities step up from being the receiver and transgress into becoming active participants of change that the process of social welfare will become homogeneous in nature.
With every small step we take, we are redefining social responsibility and creating new synergies.
Author: Dr. Soumitro Chakraborty, Founder, Fiinovation