“The government should implement a strong CSR policy and increase the advantages available to businesses.” – Saifullah Al Azad, Deputy Manager, CSR, Olympic Industries Limited
What challenges do you face while working in CSR and communities in Bangladesh?
Currently, CSR programmes in Bangladesh are excessively focused on philanthropy, with an emphasis on media publicity. Our focus should rather be on the outcomes of specific projects. In order to carry out these need-based projects, a stronger and more sustainable connection between the stakeholders i.e. business sector, the public sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and communities is required. The government should implement a strong CSR policy and increase the advantages available to businesses that adopt and practice sustainable initiatives.
How can other sectors help companies create more effective changes?
In project proposals, it is critical for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to appropriately conduct risk assessment, background analysis, geographical and demographic study, future impact assessment, and study of other relevant factors. If these factors are not considered adequately, acquiring long-term CSR money would be impossible. Private enterprises should also concentrate their efforts on specific development fields in which they want to operate. Olympic Industries Limited, for example, is involved in the fields of health and nutrition, education, and environmental impact. Companies that set their CSR goals in advance can easily identify high-quality projects that will contribute significantly to target communities.
What are your thoughts about the future of CSR in Bangladesh?
The developed world has progressed from meeting social responsibilities to adopting a triple bottom line approach in the course of their company’s operation. A socially responsible business assesses its social impact through its approach toward people, assures its growth by profit, and maintains a positive influence on the planet. This strategy will not only be the future of CSR in Bangladesh but also the future of the whole business sector in the country.