Dr. Kiranmai Dutt Pendyala carries CSR as Action-Oriented Approach with no Plea and developed Interest.
Dr. Kiranmai has more than 20 years of dynamic organizational design and development experience at both national and international levels. She has worked in the academics, government and private sectors, including working with the University Of Cambridge, U.K., McKinsey & Co., and the state government of A.P., India.
Dr. Kiranmai brings together a unique blend of keen academic focus and organizational experience. She handles the region responsibility for strategic plans on talent acquisition, talent management, and talent development and partners with the Human Resources Leaders in her First Team to represent the employee voice of the Region. Dr. Pendyala is also the Vice Chairman, AMCHAM Hyderabad (American Chamber of Commerce- constituting membership of American Companies operating from India), and National Council Member of Indian Society for Training & Development (ISTD) and past Chairperson of ISTD, Hyderabad Chapter. She has been a regular contributor to articles on HR and Training in the ITES industry.
CSR VISION: Why do you like CSR and Sustainability as a career?
Dr. Pendyala: CSR and Sustainability aligns with the philosophy of my life and driving principles- “NishkamaKarma” (Action-oriented approach, with no desire or vested interest), and “Vasudaika Kutumbam” (World around is a large Family, so being inclusive is the only way of life). CSR and Sustainability help drive the larger firmament and ethos of contributing to the community around, and invested in the ecosystem and being inclusive, helps sustain the spirit and productive efficiencies of the workforce employed at the Organization. I would look at these initiatives as an integral part of any leader, and hence are the core principles of a leadership competence, and career journey.
CSR VISION: Whom do you respect the most as a corporate leader in India?
Dr. Pendyala: JRD Tata, undoubtedly and without batting an eyelid. His leadership, business acumen, and inclusive growth of several of his organizations, continues to be the benchmark many aspire to, but very few attain in a lifetime! The culture and the employee engagement at any Tata enterprise, the value-laden culture, and the insignia of “giving back to the society” at large, are crafted, and driven across decades, and is indoctrinated into every employee, across grade levels, across his diverse organizations. Employee Pride, and employee retention, enveloping and embracing the local community and invested in the infrastructure enhancement/ sprucing up, and maintenance have been the charter Tatas have been known for.
CSR VISION: Which Indian corporate house do you think carries out the best CSR practices?
Dr. Pendyala: In the current scenario of CSR law getting into vogue, and Corporates focusing on volunteerism from their employees- there are several corporate houses in India who are implementing relevant and excellent CSR practices. Tatas, Birlas, Adanis, Hindujas, and several American/ Global firms based in India; IBM, Microsoft, AMD, Google, Oracle, ADP, Shell, ABB, Siemens, GE, etc.
CSR VISION: Do you think a career in CSR and Sustainability is different from others, if so how?
Dr. Pendyala: A career in CSR and Sustainability is not entirely different from a Business Leadership role, or a Human Resource Leadership role, when the filter applied is driving the inclusiveness, and building in the acumen of due diligence of the macro/ micro ecosystem, to align the organization’s ROI and successful branding. CSR and Sustainability is building the lifeblood of the organization in the veins of the community around, thus weaving the organization as part of the DNA of the community at large.
CSR VISION: How do you differentiate an HR manager from a CSR manager?
Dr. Pendyala: HR Manager = All things Talent
CSR Manager = All things Community and Volunteer Talent
A CSR Manager taps into the volunteerism spirit of the organization workforce, and connects them with initiatives being led in the community, and helps build the branding of the organization with the ecosystem at large and enriches the employee value proposition for a set of the workforce, whereas, the HR Manager taps into the employee voice, and pulls on different initiatives to leverage the diversity in the workforce, thus creating the branding within the organization.
CSR VISION: How do you differentiate a Corporate Communication manager from a CSR manager?
Dr. Pendyala: A Corporate Communication Manager, given the role scope defines and determines the key communications to the employees internally, and helps build the FAQs hand in hand with the business clientele, and HR manager concerned, if and when a change of any nature occurs that can potentially impact the employee morale or engagement, thus building in the trust, consistency of messaging, and internal stakeholder branding.
A CSR Manager, on the other hand, works with an ‘outside in view’ and brings in the best practices of inclusive initiatives with the local communities, and enriches the branding of the organization in the communities where the organization has a footprint, and facilitates the volunteer spirit of the employees to join hands with the disadvantaged or needy sections of the community and help co-create value and purpose of philanthropy.
CSR VISION: Any suggestion for CSR professionals for improved contribution from them in coming times.
Dr. Pendyala: A clear Charter, sharing of best practices and recognition for CSR Managers/ Professionals driving these initiatives with passion will motivate improved contribution in the coming times. Most importantly, if companies and the Big Five Consultancy Firms across the globe, tie data of CSR initiatives of an Organization, to its Leadership Role in the markets and communities, they thrive will help drive the message strongly. u