Deepak Bhardwaj Vice President CSR, Samsung India

Deepak Bhardwaj Vice President CSR, Samsung India

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Deepak joined Samsung in 2014 as Vice President, Strategy, Investments & Corporate Affairs, South West Asia. He is responsible for Strategy, Planning, Strategic Finance & Investments, CSR and Government Relations, for all the Samsung R&D and factory sites and South West Asia Headquarters across India and South West Asia region.

Prior to Samsung, Deepak was Director, Strategy & Corporate Affairs, at Texas Instruments. Deepak worked closely with the Government of India and various state governments, key Customers, Industry & Trade Associations both in India and US, and Universities in the area of trade, technology, policy and standards. He joined Texas Instruments in 2007 as Director Corporate Affairs, after having spent over 3 years at Intel, where his latest assignment was to serve as Intels Director Technology Policy & Standards.

Deepak was instrumental in supporting Government of India to frame the Broadband Policy and allocate spectrum for the same. Deepak has a strong background in strategy, industry standards, sales & marketing, manufacturing and R&D.

Q. How has the CSR & sustainability program evolved at SAMSUNG INDIA? What is the background to decide on these initiatives and what social issues do these programs or initiatives seek to address?

A. Samsung seeks to help create a better world. We believe that Samsung can be a true global citizen when we use the talent of our people, our advanced technology and our specialist expertise to address the social and environmental issues of our time.

The Company uses both its innovation and global network to create positive change, responding to peoples needs around the world and helping them to live better lives, with more choice, freedom and greater possibilities. We seek to directly tackle local challenges, addressing key issues like education, healthcare and employment, the environment, and accessibility.

We are working to advance digital inclusion by reducing technological and information inequalities for underserved people, in turn trying to improve their quality of life.

Samsung helps young people around the world gain access to better educational and learning opportunities. Utilizing our technology and people, we champion regionally tailored programs and initiatives that help young people learn technical skills and get prepared for todays digital economy.

In todays India, education, skilling and healthcare are key needs, which is what has prompted Samsung to start initiatives in these sectors to help the society. Having been in India for over 22 years, Samsung has placed great importance on working as a responsible corporate citizen in the communities where we operate.

Q. Which are the Key CSR projects of SAMSUNG INDIA and which one, you consider the FLAGSHIP project?

A. Samsung runs its citizenship programs in three broad sectorseducation, skilling and healthcare and each of these sectors have flagship programs running.

Samsung Smart Class

In the sphere of education, our flagship citizenship program is Samsung Smart Class, which aims to bridge the digital gap between rural and urban India and provide equal opportunities for quality education to children from all backgrounds.The endeavour is to promote digital education among less-privileged students, especially in rural and semi-urban India.

Samsung Smart Class was launched in 2013 in association with the NavodayaVidyalayaSamiti and is available at JawaharNavodayaVidyalaya schools run by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. The program has benefitted over 2.5 lakh students and over 8,000 teachers have been trained on the use of interactive technology.

Samsung Technical School

The second flagship program, related to skilling, is the Samsung Technical School program. It was started in 2013 and aims to support the governments vision to make India a global manufacturing hub by addressing the need for talented manpower with practical know-how and relevant industry experience.

Samsung India currently has 22 Samsung Technical School in partnership with the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) and Departments of Technical Education in different states such as Rajasthan, Kerala, Bihar, Delhi, West Bengal, Karnataka and Jharkhand.

These schools have so far trained over 2,000 youth and made them job-ready across different technical trades. Around 70% of these students have got jobs, 45% of them with Samsung service centres. Many of the trained youth have taken the startup route, helping more people gain employment under them. The initiative is part of Samsungs Make for India initiative and contributes to the governments Skill India mission.

Samsung Smart Healthcare

Samsung Smart Healthcare program is Samsung Indias flagship initiative in the healthcare space and aims to support the Governments efforts to benefit communities with limited access to quality healthcare.

With innovative products such as digital ultrasound, digital x-ray and accessories that facilitate healthcare intervention and multiple medical examinations, Samsung has collaborated with 16 government hospitals across to country for the Samsung Smart Healthcare program since 2015.

Over 3.5 lakh patients from economically and socially weaker sections of society have benefitted from the Samsung Smart Healthcare program till date. Doctors, technicians and radiologists are also trained to handle state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and software.

Q. How are your CSR activities aligned to the developmental agenda of the nation?

A. Samsung India has been working closely with central and state governments on all of its CSR initiatives.

Governments at the Centre and States are most concerned about uplifting citizens at the bottom of the pyramid. Their core focus is to deliver appropriate interventions in education, healthcare and skilling. All of Samsungs CSR projects are also directed towards that section of society, be it through Samsung Smart Class, Samsung Technical School or the Samsung Smart Healthcare programs.

This helps build synergy with the broader intent of the government. It also helps build capacity across government institutions, something that all Samsung CSR program deliver in a structured manner.

For example, we have so far trained 8,000 teachers as part of the Samsung Smart Class program to effectively use interactive technology in the Samsung Smart Class for teaching. Samsung Smart Class has been set up at over 500 JawaharNavodayaVidyalaya schools across the country that is run by the NavodayaVidyalayaSamiti under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.

Under the Samsung Technical School program, we have trained over 200 trainers at the institutes run by our partnersMinistry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) and Departments of Technical Education in different states.

Samsung Smart Healthcare program, which aims to support the Governments efforts to benefit communities with limited access to quality healthcare, also trains doctors, technicians and radiologists to handle the state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and software.

Under the Samsung Smart Healthcare program, capacity building is being undertaken across tertiary, secondary and primary healthcare centres through different facets of our program.

Samsungs CSR programs first build capacity and then go for implementation, which has helped in making them successful. For us capacity building and training are key focus areas for the success of our CSR initiatives.

Q. Can you share a recent accomplishment you are especially proud of in your CSR & Sustainability role?

A. We are proud of our citizenship initiatives and what we have been able to achieve through them.

Under the Samsung Technical School initiative, one of the biggest success stories, among the many, is that of Ms. Seema Nagar, from a small village near Jaipur, who, with her resilience broke gender stereotypes and became a trained technician, working with a Samsung Service Center in Jaipur, only to make her parents and family proud. She recently got a government job with the same institute where she got her technical education from and is now teaching students, inspiring them to dream big. She dreams of becoming an IAS officer.

Q. The level of involvement of employees in the CSR all over the country is very limited, except few selected companies. What is the level of Employee Engagement and involvement in CSR activities of SAMSUNG INDIA?

A. We have 3 levels of engagement for employees

  • Designing a new CSR initiative
  • Running the CSR initiative
  • Volunteering for outreach programs

Samsung Digital Academy program is designed, run and maintained by employees of the three Samsung R&D centres in India, at Bengaluru, Noida and Delhi. These centres provide their technology leadership to enable world class engagement with various partners of this initiative.

Similarly, Samsung Technical School program has been conceived, designed and managed by employees from the Samsung customer service team.

Across the above two, and other initiatives, the leadership of various business groups at Samsung are involved in formulating the programs and ensuring a regular review process to keep them aligned and relevant for the market.

We also have a large scale volunteer program. With Samsungs deep commitment to giving, employees find an encouraging and supportive environment to give back to society. Employees form volunteer groups or may contribute their individual time for a cause.

Q. It is believed that CSR involvement of employees improves the level of motivation. What is your take on this?

A. Definitely. Samsung is founded on the principles of deep innovation and research. It may be interesting to know that Samsung electronics spent over USD14 billion on R&D in 2017.

Samsung employees engaged in key CSR initiatives keep discovering newer ways to positively impact lives of citizens. Each program goes through a complete review annually to bring in fresh ideas and suggestions from employees.

We have seen positive correlation between CSR and employee motivation through the many employee volunteer programs that we run at Samsung.

Q. How do you find your CSR activities in SAMSUNG INDIA are different from other companies?

A. All the core, flagship Samsung initiatives are focused on building capacities and using technology to leverage innovation and impact on the ground

Q. What is the level of involvement of CSR Head in India in CSR strategic formulation?

A. The CSR Head at Samsung is one of the many individuals who contribute to building the core strategy and direction for CSR programs. Apart from key leaders in business and R&D, the global team also contributes strategically

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.