Interview of Mr. Kaushik Sinha

Interview of Mr. Kaushik Sinha

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Vice President – Communications, CSR & Admin, Magma Fincorp Ltd.
Mr. Kaushik Sinha is the head of communications (media & internal communications), corporate social responsibility and administration at Magma, a leading BFSI company in India. He has spent over 20 years in Communications and Administration. He has led Magma’s unique CSR campaigns such as painters’ workshop, truck drivers’ well-being program, M Scholar etc. Mr. Sinha’s earlier stint was with a leading advertising company where he managed some blue chip Indian and MNC accounts. He earlier had a stint in journalism and covered some important national events. Mr. Sinha takes keen interest in music and photography and is also an avid reader.

Q.Briefly describe your role and responsibilities, and how many years you have been in the CSR domain. 
A.I am with Magma for the past 12.5 years. I came on board in 2004 as Head – Corpcomm. I have handled various responsibilities during the course of these 12 years and currently handle Marketing, Corporate Communications apart from Administration for the Group.
Well before the CSR mandate came into effect, Magma was involved with various social impact initiatives. We have been promoting education amongst the backward classes, tribals and have been sponsoring primary schools in the tribal areas of West Bengal, Jharkhand and CG for more than 10 years now. We also have been promoting Art by offering scholarships to budding artists to hone their art. We held Painter’s Workshop with upcoming artists to offer them a platform for expression in 8 cities including Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Kochi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Pune, Lucknow and Chandigarh for many year. We have also been associated with Homes for Orphans and our senior management regularly participated in Social Impact activities to fund Schools for the underprivileged kids. The list is quite long. 

Q. Before CSR assignment, were you working in any other professional domain, if so, please describe? 
A. I studied Mass Communications and has had 360 degree including media, agency and client side experience. I have also had the opportunity to lead the Training vertical of Magma and handled Management Trainee recruitment from top business schools for two years in the past. My work also involves around employee engagement. CSR is the work that I enjoy the most as it gives me freedom to work for the underprivileged and provide them a helping hand to realize their potential. I believe, if opportunity is made available, they also have the merit and talent to do wonders.
Briefly describe your role and responsibilities, and how many years you have been in the CSR domain: 
I have been handling the CSR role from the begining and its been an enjoyable experience so far. I work closely with the Board level CSR Committee of Magma which is Chaired by our Chairman Emeritus Mr M Poddar. The CSR team has been given a lot of freedom to plan, strategise, and implement the activities for Magma. We work in the areas of Education, health and Environment and some of the initiatives that we run today are highly appreciated by the experts and media alike. 

Q. How has the CSR & sustainability program evolved at your company?
A.Magma in engaged in the business of helping the under-privileged and downtrodden evolve in their lives. In that sense, Magma is often described as a propeller of progress. Most of the products we finance are used for productive purposes and we serve the rural and semi rural markets. We selected the areas carefully. Education, Health and Environment are three very crucial areas for our country. Education helps generations evolve. Health is key. Environment is equally important, especially in the era of global worming and pollution. Whatever little we can contribute in these three areas will serve India in the long run. We are very proud of the various initiatives we have taken in these three areas and I am happy informing that the world around s is taking note of the same. The several awards we have received are a proof of the same

Q.Tell us about someone (mentor, sponsor, friend, hero) who influenced your CSR & sustainability journey, and how
A.I am deeply influenced by many and should not single out anyone. They taught me several things including the need for helping the needy and poor evolve in life. The fact that we take initiatives with a long term view is also a learning that we had during the course of our journey. India is a country with vast potential and it is for us who are in urban cities with some resource in hand to lend a helping hand to the needy to help them reach their potential. Magma’s motto beautifully captures this – Investing in the smaller Dream”. We must all see that no dream goes waste just because the opportunity was not available. 

Q.What is the best advice you have ever received? 
There is a fantastic saying – “We rise by lifting others”. I simply love the concept. 

Q. Can you share a recent accomplishment you are especially proud of in your CSR & Sustainability role? 
I am very happy with our Education initiatives. Especially, M Scholar which we launched last year and currently have 100 students as part of this. These are bright and meritorious students who came from less fortunate families and have themselves struggled big time to even complete Class Xll. Imagine, they did not even have two square meals a day (forget about books, tuition, guidance) and yet went on to score 90% – 98% in their board exams. There is one student in the group, Samir, who even does not have his hands and writes with his leg. Amazing and Inspiring stories. There is another student who works as maid in 10 odd homes, taken care of the family, and then studies all by herself in the night and then scores 90% plus in board exam. We have quite a few who are now studying at IIT, Medical and even Law. Proud of the batch and proud of the way I discovered them, learnt their story and offered a helping hand. They are India’s future and their indomitable spirit will help India grow!

Q. If you had the power to make one major change at your company or in your industry, what would it be? 
I am very happy with my current assignment and I dont wish to think beyond that at the moment. 

Q.Describe your perfect day.

A.A day well spent at the office, doing my bit for the society and for the company. u

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.