CSR:Internally Motivated,Opportunities for more
By: CSR Vision Team

Ashiana has built and delivered over 11 million square feet of residential and commercial space in Bihar, Jharkhand, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi NCR during last about 30 years. In the process, it has provided homes to 8740 families. With a CSR oriented leadership at the top, it has involved key stakeholders like labourers, employees, residents and communities in its CSR projects improving its bonding with them. This has led to improve its business climate while improving the lot of labourers, communities, residents and the public at large. The CSR projects selected reflect the integrated vision for improving triple bottom lines; social, environmental and the economic. Ashiana is awarded the FICCI CSR AWARD 2014 on 7th March 2014.

Real Estate industry provides housing and satisfies, one of the fundamental needs of the common man out of the three needs as per the commonly used saying in Hindi ‘Roti-Kapada and Makan’ or ‘Bread, Clothing and Housing’. May be this very feeling of doing good for the people had not brought CSR activity to the forefront in the real estate sector, till the CSR movement emerged in the global scene. However, few visionary leaders in the real estate sector had got involved in CSR activities on their own appreciating its inherent benefits.

Otherwise, CSR in India was initially limited to large Indian corporations and the MNCs and therefore beyond the ambit of Real Estate sector , which got corporatized very recently. Real Estate industry in India is dominated by family owned businesses and therefore the CSR activities in Indian Real Estate Sector is mostly influenced by the vision and values of the leader of the company and operated mostly in the domain of adhoc charity like, sponsorship for charity events; blood donation drives and eye camps etc.

T. Chitty Babu, president of CREDAI (Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India) said sometime back that, “There is definitely an upswing in CSR activities among builders. And of course, we, at CREDAI insist on CSR as a part of the development process for every member of the organisation.”

CSR seems to have caught the fancy of high-profile builders and real estate promoters induced by the vision of the leaders.
However Ashiyana is one company, where CSR activity has been initiated much before the hue and cry about CSR started in india.
Ashiana Housing Limited is a fast growing real estate developer with its head office in New Delhi, India. Established by Shri Om Prakash Gupta in 1986, a civil engineer from USA, Ashiana,The company has forayed into Group Housing, Active Senior Living, Retail, Hotels and Facilities Management. The company is the pioneer in bringing the concept of Senior Living in India as retirement resort.

Ashiana Housing Ltd. has built over 13 million sq. ft of Residential & Commercial space with more than 9000 families residing in the homes built under its name. The company is also the first group housing developer in Patna, Bhiwadi (NCR), Jamshedpur and Neemrana and the first to undertake the maintenance of its residential properties since 1992.

Profile of products and services of Ashiana

Main products/Services of Ashiana:
1. Residential Complexes
2. Commercial Complexes
3. Maintenance
4. Property Services

Business Verticals and unique features:

Comfort Homes: Housing for the middle-income group in upcoming industrial area and in towns with population of more than ten lakhs in India

Senior Living:
Active Senior Living: for people over 55 in the middle income group in cities having population of more than 25 lakhs or in magnets/satellites of metros under brand ” Ashiana Utsav”
Assisted Living for people in advanced ages who require assistance in performing their daily living routine chores by the name ” Care Homes” in senior living complexes

Vision, Mission and Values

Vision: To nurture an environment, this brings a smile of satisfaction to people who meet us, who live in homes built by us, work with us, supply to us and invest in us.

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1. To develop & maintain homes which are functional,1 aesthetically pleasing and environment friendly for the middle-income group.
2. To create retirement communities where senior citizens can lead active, fun filled and a secured life with dignity

The company religiously, works hard to keep its Core Values in place. These are:

1. Happiness All Around: means importance to all; freedom to work & speak; being able to make a mistake; family like environment, good inter- personal relationships.
2. Transparency: means honesty; sharing information regularly; self-belief; delivery on time.
3. Going Extra Mile: means passion for everything; continuous improvement; adaptability to change.
4. Never Give up: means fulfilling commitment

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Sales Turnover, Growth, Employee strength, geographic spread Sales Turnover for the Financial Year (FY) 12-13: Rs. 119, 18, cr (Income from operations & Partnerships),Sales Turnover for the Financial Year (FY) 11-12: Rs. 218 cr (Income from operations & Partnerships).It has been an exciting journey with new milestones every year. From being a two projects Company, constructing merely two lakhs sq. ft per year, Ashiana is the first group housing developer in Patna, Bhiwadi, Jamshedpur & Neemrana and the first to undertake maintenance of its residential properties of all projects since 1992.

Employee Strength: 703
Geographic Spread:

Bhiwadi – Rajasthan, Neemrana – Rajasthan, Jaipur – Rajasthan, Jodhpur – Rajasthan, Halol – Gujrat, Lavasa – Maharastra, Patna – Bihar, Jamshedpur – Jharkhand, Kolkata – West Bengal.

Profile of CSR Activities of Ashiana
CSR is an important responsibility of the company. Our thrust is in serving society as a whole focusing on downtrodden people for their upliftment in the society.
Key Focus Areas of Ashiana to serve the society:
A. Education
B. Environment
C. Outside Development
D. Others

1. Phoolwari School:
It was an initiative taken up by Ashiana to take care of laborers children at each Ashiana project site and impart basic education to them. The objectives behind this step were to keep these children safe from social exploitation, impart basic education and teach to be a better human being. Their aim is to educate underprivileged children and provide them basic facilities in order to lead a better life in future. There are currently 9 Phoolwari Schools with student strength of 500 or so located at: Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bhiwadi, Neemrana, Lavasa and Halol. With basic education and other facilities, The Company is arranging/ adopting various activities for children that would help a child to grow and move to regular school. Such activities also include imparting of education through audio visual arrangements.
Basic Need Fulfillment: Free of cost – School Uniform (3 Times in a year), Study Material, School Bags, Snacks, and Stationary, Toys etc.

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1. Phoolwari students are further sent to Govt. School to acquire further education. As a start up till now Ashiana was able to send more than 157 students to Govt. Schools.
2. Under the Govt. Scheme and the Programe EKTA for underprivileged children, It is able to provide MID DAY MEAL to the students to facilitate proper nourishment.
3. The company has its dedicated staff for all their schools. Teachers take care of Basic Education and Helpers are responsible for taking care of small children below 3 Years. It has a policy to keep atleast 1 teacher and 2 helpers at every school.

Community Participation:
Many of residents of the projects of Ashiana are involved with Phoolwari School as a volunteer for social cause. Activities in which Residents mostly participate in: Drawing, Craft Making, Story Telling Session, Recitation etc

Education Projects Undertaken:
There are many Government schools in India which do not have adequate infrastructure and other facilities for children to use. The company has also adopted various such schools to facilitate better infrastructure and facilities.

Ashiana contributes towards advancement of poor and meritorious students through Manju Gupta Memorial scholarship. Education scholarship is given to more than 150 students per year. More and more students are being invited to get benefit out of this policy.

Computer Education:
AHL with Literacy India, have established Computer Lab at Govt. Upper Primary School, Thada Village in order to implement education through Digital Learning or ICT based learning. The Gyantantra Digital Learning Program (“Program” of LITERACY INDIA) is an initiative from AHL towards corporate social responsibility. Literacy India is a non-profit organization works towards empowering underprivileged children and women by making them self-sufficient. Children above 5 yrs are getting benefits from this module.

Skill Education:
The lack of skilled labor is a cause of concern to the industry owners’ and the government. The growth has been substantial in the last seven to eight years however, the non-availability of skilled labor across the country commensurable with the growth, affecting various sectors having growth potential. In order to sustain the growth, it is essential that India produce skilled labor continuously. If India has to maintain a steady growth of its economy, the need of the hour would be to organize continuous production of trained manpower for the industries. The construction industry which falls under unorganized sector has a major problem in this respect. There have been no concerted efforts to train the un-skilled to skilled by the industry owners as the stock available to them was uneducated who mainly learnt the skill on the job which was an accepted practice in this sector. With the growth, new technologies came in with new methods and the industries felt the need of skilled man power.

An initiative taken for improving the pool of skilled manpower for the nation and bestow a better life to its citizen by making them employable and better wage earners, is an effort to give growth opportunities to people at all levels. These laborers are well trained in various fields like:
a. Building Structural Work
b. Electrification Work
c. Plumbing Work
d. Painting and POP Work
e. Up gradation Mason Course

The company has a dedicated team and professionals who take responsibility of teaching for all our courses running at Ashiana Training Institute.
Approved syllabus of the government and examiners appointed by CIDC (Construction Industry Development Council) Govt. of India for all the courses of the company, have been incorporated in all training centers except Pune in which the certification is done by Kushal which is working under NSDC and CREDAI.

Facilities provided to the trainees:
Trainees who join skill-training institute are provided with:
a) Skill Training Uniform,
b) Stationary,
c) Trade Related Equipments and Snacks.
d) All these are provided free of cost.
e) Stipend during training period is also provided as per the minimum wages

Women Empowerment:
Ashiana can see a sizable no. of women laborer working at construction sites but they are employed only for side working or as a helper, however, these women have no career prospects and are unable to provide proper shelter, food or education to their children. Understanding the gravity of the issue, the company has started Skill Education for women laborer as well, which will give equal opportunity to women laborer to get employable and earn better wages.

Over the years, Ashiana group has opened many growth avenues for women laborers. Many women have been deployed as guards at Ashiana projects; and many others are working as masons and some are working in Tiles Grouting.

B) Environment
On the environmental front too, Ashiana believes strongly that the company must contribute to compensate nature. From its very inception, Ashiana has followed ecologically sound practices like extensive planting of trees and greening of areas, management of solid waste and optimum use of natural resources.

a) Tree Plantation:
In the tree plantation front every year Ashiana targets to plant more and more trees and till now the company has planted 5,000 trees in different locations at Bhiwadi, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Jamshedpur which is maintained by us through contractor.

b) Environmental impact – inside projects
Greenery: In all its projects the company makes sure that it plants more and more trees to maintain greenery which helps its residents to stay healthy and maintain ecosystem.
Water Saving at Site: Steps taken for minimizing water consumption and wastage:-
Supervision by Site Engineer and Block Supervisor for ensuring zero water leakage on site.
Instead of plastic hose pipes for watering plaster, Sprinklers are used. This saves a good amount of water.

c) Garbage Recycling
They are also involved in collecting garbage from the residential projects and collect it and recycle it and use it further for making manure. Per day garbage collection – approx 700 KG from all our projects, where 20 % Garbage is degradable and 80 % non-degradable this is disposed off through Kabadi. The company also collects manure approx 100 KG in every three months, which it uses for plantation purpose.

C. Outside Development Projects Undertaken in last two years:

Deep Tube Well at Balram Basti, Jamshedpur: FY 12-13
Purpose: This initiative is been taken to benefit the villagers and provide them water facilities.

Community Facility at Machwa Village, Jaipur: FY 12-13
Purpose: Fulfilling the need of the Village people and nearby local People.

White Wash Undertaken for Tamolia Village: FY 12-13
The company undertakes this work every year as per need.

Road Development work on approach road Thada Village: FY 12-13
Purpose: To facilitate local villagers and nearby local people

D. Other Activities Followed
1. Donation to the needy: Ashiana is regularly involved in donation to the needy. It has been involved with many charitable trusts, NGO, International Organizations, and Registered Society for social cause and donations to the individuals directly. Some of them are as follows:
a. Help Age India;
b. Ekal Vidhyalaya under friends of Tribal Society;
c. Literacy India;
d. Vimukti Sanstha;
e. Manav Seva Trust
f. Indian Red Cross Society;
g. Relief India Trust

Every year around Rs. 7 lacs is allocated under director’s contribution fund in CSR Budget.
Residents and employees of Ashiana help underprivileged children by donating old used toys or any other necessary items. Ashiana has contributed more than 100 gunny bags till now.

2. Other activities: Activities included here are as follows-
Cultural and sport Activities: Annually it organizes 8 to 9 sports and cultural activities to create awareness on social issues, maintain good mental and physical health, special recreational programs for Senior Citizens like Elder’s day celebration. Average 600 -700 people participate every year.
Festival Celebration: Ashiana encourages its residents to celebrate various festivals in a year and also render adequate support.
Special Activities for Senior Citizens: Ashiana takes extra care of senior citizens through various activities.
Healthcare: Ashiana is involved in conducting free medical checkups for the underprivileged and general public on humanitarian ground. Till now it has organized around 48 medical campaigns in which more than 2000 people had participated. The company has also organized Blood Donation camp in which more than 200 employees of Ashiana had donated blood along with general public

Polio Drops Programme in Phoolwari School: Ashiana also take care of students in Phoolwari through our continuous effort to provide them with polio drops and imparting health & hygiene practices through school curriculum. With these activities the company is able to protect more than 1,000 underprivileged children per year.

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Nurturing Dreams of underprivileged Children
Govt School undertaken at Thada Village Bhiwadi: Undertaken from FY 11-12
There are many Government schools in India, which do not have adequate facilities for children to avail, and there are many children who are not able to afford education due to unavailability of funds or they have burden of serving their families. Every child has a dream to become something in life and to achieve some goals, but many of them do not get advantage of studying in a School, which has best facilities. All those kids who never thought of studying in a class room with smart class facilities, playgrounds and many more other techniques which they now have within reach at their own government primary school.

Different kinds of educational aids have been installed in School for children to learn at early age like: To understand the concept of Center of Gravity, Understand sound effect its Convergence and Divergence, simple pendulum, Compound pendulum, , to understand laws of reflection of light, concept of area and volume etc. Now many children feel proud that they are part of Govt. School which has opened a new avenue for them. 10 Yrs old, Deepak of standard 3rd describes how his life has changed after studying in Govt. School at Thada, village (a School adopted by Ashiana) Deepak belongs to a very poor family where education is not affordable; his father Kalu Pandit is working as mason and he himself has never been to School.

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He tells, “My father wanted to study but due to poor financial conditions and responsibilities he could not make it happen and now he has a dream that his son will fulfill and become an officer “bada sahib”. Deepak’s mother is working as coolie who is also not educated but is very proud that she has two sons who are studying in very good school and they will look after them after finishing their studies. Deepak has a feeling that he is lucky that his father brought him to Bhiwadi and he joined Govt. School at Thada Village. Deepak expresses his joy sharing the time spent with his mates and teachers. He always had a dream to study in a big school but up till now could not join any such school. He tells that in his village in Jharkhand he keeps hearing that there are many people who studied in good Schools and now they are earning well. He also wants to learn well so that he can fulfill his father’s dream. His younger brother who is just 3 yrs old has also joined Anganwadi (for 0-6 yrs old children) at same School They both enjoy their mid day meals together and expressed how happy they are . This School has given them new hopes and aspirations.

Story of a Couple working at Ashiana’s Site:
Mr. Avadhesh Rajput & Mrs. Sampatti A. Rajput, a farmer couple from Chhattisgarh with the aim of earning more money moved to Pune and started working with Ashiana Housing Ltd, Lavasa where he was introduced to Skill Training which is been followed at all our locations. After understanding, the importance and need of Skill Training Mr. Awadhesh registered himself for “Tiling Training” which led him to earn better than what he was earning earlier. As a part of women, empowerment later when Skill training was introduce for women laborers, Mr. Avadhesh encouraged his wife Sampatti A. Rajput to join the Masonry training & become financially independent. Mrs. Sampatti who was earlier working as helper at site is now independently working as Mason at site with increased wages.
With the help of Skill Training, the couple is now working independently and so efficiently that they are planning to become contractors in the near future.

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Mrs. Rajput said that, “All the other females at the site should also take up this Skill training & support their families”. She further added that, “she can now give a better life to her children & also teach them how to become independent”.
CSR team – Organization
Ashiana has its own CSR Department to carry forward its core values. The company had realized the need in 1996 and involved itself in social activities, but it was not in a structured form, later in 2006, Company’s CSR department took shape and formed a structure, and in 2009 the Company was able to formulate CSR Policy and to implement the policy, a separate identity to CSR department was given.

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The CSR department is headed by Ashok Gongopadhyay, a senior professional with diverse exposure to the Indian Army, Para – military organization and corporate sector in India, who joined Ashiana Housing in 1994 as Manager (Marketing) and retired as the Vice President in 2011. Because of his passion for CSR, his exposure to the entire corporate systems of ashiana , he continued as the Head of CSR function . His functional leadership backed by the vision of the MD , Ashiana has bagged many CSR awards as detailed below.
His passion for CSR is reflected in his writings in the media.

CSR Budget Spent :
Employee Engagement profile
For CSR though the company has a proper organization structure but it is not limited to that. At Ashiana, people at all levels are equally involved in executing CSR activities. Roles and responsibilities are not limited to CSR team.

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There are activities like plantation where 50 % of employees join the noble cause with community. On Education front there are employees who come forward voluntarily to take up education related activities. Employees are also engaged in charity, the company has Charity Boxes at all locations that have been set up by Ashiana Employees and every month, the collection is used to buy provisions for the underprivileged. Even in skill education front, the company has its own trainers who spare time for this training from their duty time and train the laborers without any extra fee. Engineers and senior staff also give guest lectures on Health Hygiene & Safety

Ethics Management Profile
Ashiana has planned its businesses well, created sustainable strategies, chartered through economic cycles and maintained focus on our products quality. At the same time, it has also constantly adapted to ever-changing business environment, as required by the exigencies of Business.
But despite the changes, the company has not compromised on its Core Values & ethics which have stayed with them since its inception in 1979.
It is reflected in Ashiana’s Logo also: A visual that focuses on care and protection as a dimension of Honesty- a mother displaying her protective instincts as she hold her child. Moreover, a brand line that re assures the recipient of the communication- “You are in safe hands”

Outcome & Impact CSR Activities of ASHIANA
The CSR activities of Ashiana benefits approx. 50000 people across the length and breadth of the country. Indirect beneficiaries may exceed a staggering 3 times of the people benefited.

Education front:
Phoolwari School: Ashiana has its own Phoolwari School for laborers children where the company imparts basic education and provides them necessary facilities related to education and health hygiene. As these children are from poor family, their parents do not take initiative to educate their child; as a part of imparting education it makes sure that each and every Child attends Phoolwari School and later to be admitted to Govt. School for higher education. Govt. Schools Undertaken: Ashiana has undertaken various Govt Schools, by this initiative; the company was able to deliver benefits to all local children near by the School area.

Skill Education: Ashiana has its own Structured Training and development center for unskilled manpower since 2006 which increases the employability of the labours. These laborers are provided stipend during the training and once the training is completed, wages are increased as per the trade. Skill training programme makes labor more knowledgeable with enhanced skill set due to which he becomes capable to grow and increased wages improve the quality of living of their family.

Plantation: All local residents of Bhiwadi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jamshedpur or wherever Ashiana has its reach, are beneficiaries from the plantation efforts taken by the company as per its yearly targets to plant more and more trees to maintain greenery which helps people to stay healthy and maintain ecosystem.

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Awards and Accolades
Ashiana has received a series of awards including the followings.
a. Recipient of FORBES AWARD under a billion dollar company consecutively for last 2 years.
b. Awarded as Best Affordable Housing in all India & also in NCR category Ashiana Aangan by CNBC Awaaz Real Estate Awards 2012.
c. Awarded as India’s Best Theme Based Township Utsav- Bhiwadi by CREDAI Real Estate Awards 2012( Non Metro Category)
d. Awarded as India’s Best Residential Project North- Ashiana Aangan East- Ashiana Woodlands by Zee Business RICS Awards 2011
e. Received BMA Awards for Corporate Social Responsibility 2010 & 2012
f. Received Bhamashah Award from Govt. of Rajasthan for educational works in 2013
g. Honored by Bharat Vikas Parishad, Jaipur for CSR initiatives 2013
h. Received Award for “Outstanding CSR work in the Real Estate sector”- Think Media Inc. 2014

STRATEGIC CONNECT of the CSR activities with the core business of ASHIANA and Business benefits to Ashiana from CSR if any. The CSR engagement of ASHIANA has also benefitted the Company in many ways. Some of them are as under. Retaining People: Ashiana has its own Phoolwari School; it imparts basic education to laborers children, when laborers are working at construction site his/her child gets all the necessary crèche facilities, this generates the feeling of belongingness with the Company and he can work freely and effectively. This way the company is able to retain more and more laborers as they have full faith that Ashiana is taking care of their children.

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Quality: Continuous training to laborers makes them more knowledgeable more effective at work and a better wage earner. Trainings lead to improvement, high quality and minimum wastage.

Community participation: Ashiana has also build connect with local the community, as a result in many of our CSR initiatives local community participates with Ashiana as equal contributor.

Mileage to the Company: CSR activities have Taken Company to a next level. People believe Ashiana, due to our core values and our thought process of always giving back to Society.

Ashiana believes that it is a responsibility of a corporate towards human spectrum within which it operates by rendering support for the betterment of the society, in terms of living conditions, education, environment or any other issue. The company had realized the need in 1996 and involved itself in social activities, but later when it took shape in structured form in 2009, it allocated CSR Budget at 2% of the profit. The current regulation of the Govt. making spending on CSR mandatory has not impacted the company.

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ASHIANA as a real estate company with a humble beginning from Patna in 1979 has come a long way practicing an integrated and holistic vision for the development of economic, social and environmental bottom lines, together. The CSR experience of ASHIANA reflects the inherent benefits of CSR activities to business, which is confirmed through experiences all over the world.

Green or Sustainable Building:
In addition, the trend of “Green” or “Sustainable” building is fast catching the imagination of the people.
Sustainable building is characterized by:
efficient management of energy and water resources
management of material resources and waste
restoration and protection of environmental quality
enhancement and protection of health and indoor environmental quality
reinforcement of natural systems
analysis of the life cycle costs and benefits of materials and methods
integration of the design decision-making process

Though the penetration of green housing is just around 5%, the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) is happy the residential sector is coming up with such buildings.
Going by industry prediction, the residential sector — both independent houses and residential apartments — are set to outnumber commercial buildings by 2030 in India. Maharashtra tops the national figure with the highest number of green buildings, followed by the National Capital Region. Tamil Nadu holds third position.
According to figures with IGBC, there are 1,909 registered buildings in the country, of which 187 are in Karnataka.
CSR VISION expects as a part of the trend, Ashiana and other real estate companies will take the CSR movement to the next level by promoting sustainable buildings.

ASHIANA HAS OPPORTUNITIES: Responsible Leadership is the key
Corporate leadership is the key to lead the CSR process in any industry and also in any country. As evident in corporate led CSR best practices all over the world, the dedication and commitment of the leader or the leaders that makes the difference. The role of a corporate leader is to integrate corporate processes with business processes and develop sustainable business strategy. The work done by Mr. Muhtar Kent, the Chairman & CEO, Coca Cola is a model in this regard. His statement, “As much as my title is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, it is equally as much CSO— Chief Sustainability Officer. And it is a responsibility I am keenly aware of and am stewarding every day”, amply clarifies the point.

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Ashiana Housing has initiated CSR quite early ahead of many in 1996. Now the Managing Director, Ashiana Housing has the opportunity to lead CSR from the front, internalize CSR and make CSR more visible within and outside the company, communicating with all the key stake holders, which can help actualize the potentials of CSR activities and recover the investments made in CSR.

An interview with

Vishal Gupta,

Managing Director, Ashiana Limited

Vishal Gupta is a commerce graduate and has done MBA from Fore School of Management. He is associated with Ashiana for the last 15 years and actively involved in finance, project execution and general administration. He has been looking after the entire project execution, engineering and architectural departments. He is in charge of day to day affairs of the Company and has been instrumental in its present growth. His late father Mr. Om Praksh Gupta was the founder of the company , who laid a strong foundation for the group.

CSR VISION: What is your take on the CSR activities of Ashiana?
Vishal Gupta: Ashiana has been in the CSR activities from the start of its business and much before the Govt. Of India enacted the legislation. I initiated couple of issues and have been vigorously following them in the company. It is not how much the company is spending but what benefits the recipients are getting is more of my concern. We also pay stipend to students who are doing good academically but from the poor strata of the society. Such financial out flow is to the tune of 20 to 25 lakhs per year. In addition, phoolwari schools run by us have approximately 500 to 600 students and we can get 10% of such students across tenth standard, I would consider it a huge success.

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CSR VISION: Howdoes CSR help in building the image of your company ‘Ashiana’?
Vishal Gupta: The visibility of the CSR works, the company has undertaken is aplenty and does give mileage to the company. In addition, the in house magazine and the company web site cover the activities generously. We are the recipient of few CSR awards which automatically help in building images. We are however, not much concerned on image building but doing the actual work.

CSR VISION: Should real-estate companies do CSR? Please elaborate your views.
Vishal Gupta: Not only Real Estate Company but all other organization should indulge in CSR activities. The total development of the society will only be possible if all business houses contribute for uplifting of the society. CSR is also beneficial to the business houses for getting local support, trained manpower etc and therefore in their own interest the companies should undertake CSR activities.

CSR VISION: What is your comment on sustainability housings?
Vishal Gupta: It is important that all housing projects in the country undertake eco friendly norms in order to protect the health of the residents and the environment. Be it water consumption, garbage disposal or any other issue having impact on the sustainability. A clean and green environment is most essential for long lasting effect.

CSR VISION: What are the sustainability norms your company follow?
Vishal Gupta: Ashiana is known for its eco friendly approach and well known in the market for the same. Ashiana creates beautiful greenery in all its projects; it also hasa system of using used water for maintaining greenery without depleting the potable water level. It also has solar water heaters and garbage disposal system to balance the eco system. The garbage is collected by our own staff and taken to a site for converting the same to manure for maintaining the plants. We also plant trees outside our projects as per well devised programme and involve residents and children. The USP of the company has been quality of construction, transparency of dealings and eco friendly projects.

CSR VISION: For complying with the CSR provision of the law, is there any tweaking that has been done to Ashiana’s CSR policy?
Vishal Gupta: Not at all as we are in the CSR activities for the past one decade. Legislation passed by the Govt. will not affect us in any way and we shall continue to work on this front as we have been doing in the past.

CSR VISION: Throw light on some of the key features of the CSR activities of Ashiana?
Vishal Gupta: We are working on the following:-
a) Education- Includes running of Phoolwari schools at all our locations, building up infrastructure of Govt. Schools, skill training to unskilled, women empowerment through education and scholarship to needy.
b)Plantation- Plantation of trees at all our locations, encourage and educate people on importance of plantation and beautifying area by plantation.
c) Outside development- Pick up areas in the cities of operation and beautify the area by designing parks, fly overs, religious places with good architectural.
d) Environment- Saving of water by means of conservation, water harvesting, use of natural resources for electricity and energy. Garbage cleaning and conversion to manure and reuse of waste materials.

CSR VISION: Is your CSR profile at Ashiana different from other operations of Ashiana in India?
Vishal Gupta: Not really, it is company’s philosophy which is the guiding factor for our CSR activities.

CSR VISION: Any information, you would like to share with the readers of CSR VISION?
Vishal Gupta: The term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can be simply explained to say that, responsibilities of a corporate towards the human spectrum within which it operates by rendering support for the upliftment of the society, in terms of living conditions, education, environment or any other sector. The business houses should understand that indulging in CSR activities will give them long term benefits in terms of man power, local support and helping in building images.

About the author

CSR VISION is India’s ( probably world’s ) first monthly magazine in print devoted to CSR and Sustainable Development for bringing together all stakeholders of SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT at a global and local levels and act as a platform for promoting strategic CSR and sustainable development practices through dissemination of information and knowledge.