UBM India shows corporate houses the way to leverage business expertise to implement effective corporate social responsibility. For the first time, a unique concept of bringing the non-governmental organisations and CSR professionals together on a structured exhibition and conference platform, was introduced by UBM India at the NGO India 2012. UBM successfully managed to provide a business-to-business format to a sector which works silently in driving social change.
Hosted at the Epicentre, Gurgaon from 16- 18 March 2012, the event attracted 150 NGOs working at a grass-roots level. The event received an overwhelming response from 2,388 professionals who got a unique opportunity to view best practices and projects related to community and individual development.
With growing concerns over the mushrooming of numerous NGOs across India, the organisers partnered with other synergistic organisations including Oxfam; IBM; the National Trust; FICCI; Economic Times, INDIACSR Guidestar and others. “Being a new sector for us in India it was important that we had the expertise and experience of Guidestar India on our side. They played a key role in helping us engage the Indian NGO community. Importantly, we were able to utilise their comprehensive due diligence and compliance procedures to ensure all participants were credible NGOs”, remarked Sanjeev Khaira, Managing Director, UBM India.
Approximately 70% of NGOs in India are estimated to be single-person operations or extremely small, often having limited access to resources and expertise in areas like fundraising, PR and communications, governance and legal compliances. Over the years, the challenge faced by the sector has multiplied manifold, and is further compounded by the variation of roles, structures, sizes of the NGOs, lack of their awareness of regulatory frameworks and the “unorganised” and often “unique” nature of the cause itself. Through the forum of NGO India 2012 the NGOs collectively had the opportunity to deliberate on advocacy and share their concerns over fund raising.
Nisha Agrawal, Chief Executive Officer of Oxfam India said funds from foreign donors have dried up and this is acting as a barrier to providing a better living environment for many. Hence, “it is extremely important that both individuals and corporate houses step in to fill the void created by the departure of foreign aid from India. This event provides a great opportunity to showcase to the corporate houses and individuals the excellent work that NGOs are doing in India and invoke their support”.
Events like NGO India play an important role in benchmarking what corporate houses can do for those who have little. Several corporate houses have today a well-defined CSR profile integrated into their main business and earmark funds for social and financial inclusiveness of hedged communities. For instance, IBM’s Reinventing Education programmes help teachers in India to transform their classrooms through innovative use of technology. “The corporate response to NGO India has been beyond our expectations. Several high net worth individuals and SMEs have come forward to help the NGOs” said Pushpa Aman Singh, Chief Executive Officer of Guidestar.
Acclaimed actor Rahul Bose who shows deep sensitivity towards work being done by NGOs and their needs emphasised the value of a win – win relationship between the vertices of the Golden Triangle – NGO India, Government India and Corporate India – and how this would catalyse India’s development.
During the inauguration, Poonam Natrajan, Chairperson of the National Trust, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment pointed out that at the moment we are not imparting adequate training on skill sets that can enable the disadvantaged to get employment in the mainstream. An enchanting prayer dance performance by girls from Manthan Apang Kanya Seva Sankul, Gujarat left all attending delegates speechless.
The two-day conference served to deepen the understanding of key issues in areas such as Health, Livelihoods, Environment, Education, Disaster Response and Empowerment. NGO India 2012 was a great platform for NGOs to go beyond their local geographies and the Internet to showcase their work and engage face to face with decision makers from corporate houses, governments and grant making institutions, as well as meet with individuals who seek to experience the joy of giving.
Aptly concluding Pushpa pointed out, “NGO India 2012 will make a real difference when connections translate into partnerships, and appreciation converts into engagement and support.” Upbeat about NGO India 2013 Sanjeev Khaira remarked, “we will continue with our efforts to educate and facilitate collaboration in this sector in order to develop a more sustained and involved relationship between corporate and NGOs. The key issues our events will focus on will be internal control mechanisms, professionalism, accountability, transparency and financial management.”
For more information, please visit event website www.ubmindia.in