SENIOR GENERAL MANAGER, DHANUKA AGRITECH
Mr. Harish Mehta is an Agricultural Engineer by profession with specialization in tractors and farm machinery, Irrigation projects and allied agricultural fields. He completed his Master’s degree from Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University specializing in Marketing. He has an experience of over 40 years in Rural Marketing and agricultural inputs like Agrochemicals, Fertilizers & Seeds and water management.
Initially Mr. Mehta began his career with Sandoz Agrochemicals ( Now Syngenta) and a long stint with Shriram Fertilizers and Chemicals before joining Dhanuka in 2013 to look after their new product launches. His interest in Engineering and rural upliftmenresulted in management entrusting him with CSR activities in last three years, majorly confined to construction of Check dams for rain runoff water in Rajasthan. He was instrumental in completing four such structures in time with the support of the local farming community. He is also involved with other CSR initiatives taken by Dhanuka in the field of Child nutrition, child education, Community water centers etc,
Mr. Mehta is a permanent invitee on the Board of Crop Care Federation of India – Apex chamber for Agrochemical Industry and invited as a panelist by Chambers like PHD, Assocham and FICCI on CSR and marketing forums.
Briefly describe your role and responsibilities, and how many years you have been in the CSR domain.
Working with Dhanuka Agritech Limited, for the last three years I have been involved with their CSR activities, primarily focusing on Water management, child nutrition & education and Community Water Centers for the welfare of rural communities and young children.
My role is to look for specific needs around in various fields which can improve the quality of life in all age groups & professions. The selection of such activities is very critical but more importantly we have to scout for credible agencies with whom we could jointly execute the project. The Chairman and MD are very particular about the value generated from the amount spent on CSR and must benefit the last desired strata. Therefore during last three years my role has been to look for partners with credibility and experience to ensure proper execution of projects in a defined time frame.
Before CSR assignment, were you working in any other professional domain, if so, please describe?
As an engineer by profession in Agriculture, my interest has been for the welfare of the villagers involved in agriculture. The best of cultivation practices, farm mechanization, crop protection, agricultural inputs and rural marketing has been my forte for the last 40 years. This has given me enough exposure to understand the needs of the rural folks and provide viable solutions to their problems.
How has the CSR & sustainability program evolved at your company?
To tell you frankly, our organization was involved in several philanthropic activities much before the CSR law was made mandatory .The enactment only reinforced this concept for the management to diversify further into fields like child education by constructing and managing schools, facilitating physically challenged students to be trained in Information Technology, improving life of villagers for long term sustainability, contributing in kind during floods, waste management by constructing toilets, participation and popularizing World Water Day to save water and construction of check dams for sustainability, to mention a few.
Tell us about someone (mentor, sponsor, friend, hero) who influenced your CSR & sustainability journey, and how.
Our Chairman RG Agarwal has been passionate about these activities, particularly on ‘Conserving Water’, both at the farmer’s field and at home. The Yagya during Nav Samvat at Brindavan to appease Lord Indira for timely rains is one exclusive example for ushering in prosperity for all living beings and that has inspired me to take these on a larger pedestal.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
To ensure that the amount spent is well utilized and in reality it benefits the community at large.
Can you share a recent accomplishment you are especially proud of in your CSR & Sustainability role?
The construction of four check dams in Rajasthan are perhaps a great effort in terms of conserving water and benefitting over 5000 households, animals and for recharging wells which had dried up. The contribution by villagers, including women in form of labor, gave them a sense of belonging and would be a permanent monument for them to cherish.
If you had the power to make one major change at your company or in your industry, what would it be?
Involve all persons in CSR activities carried out by the organization, even if it is for 5 days in a year to understand the true meaning of Corporate Social Responsibility!
Describe your perfect day.
- I make it habit to be happy and cheerful!
- Savor the joy of a happy experience,
- I feel good physically, mentally, emotionally,
- I believe it is going to be a wonderful day (not a tough day).