CSR ORIENTATION ABSORBED IN THE ORGANISATION CULTURE
Nagarro, a technology company founded by young technocrats with a vision of providing cutting edge technology solutions to address client needs. The spirit of doing good and making a positive impact on the economic bottom line along with social and environmental bottom line is already ingrained in the philosophy and culture of Nagarro from the very inception. Thereby the spirit of triple bottom line – the essence of CSR already being ingrained in the philosophy of Nagarro, its CSR journey makes an interesting reading and an inspiration for all stakeholders of CSR.
Tech powerhouse Nagarro drives technology-led business breakthroughs for industry leaders and challengers. Very simply, says the company, “When our clients want to move fast and make things happen, it is us they turn to.”
Established in 1996, Nagarro began as the collective dream of a group of friends who wanted to build a company with a difference – a company that focused on “strategic differentiation via technology” initiatives rather than routine IT operations. As it grew, it maintained an orientation towards new technologies, complex applications, innovative solutions and decision sciences. It now works extensively across the globe, providing agile IT services and next-generation software solutions to industry big-wigs. With most IT vendors using commodity engineers to address each project the same way, Nagarro has built a reputation because of its sharp and driven experts who help major technology firms tackle complex, multidisciplinary challenges in innovative, cost-effective, and game-changing ways. “The customers of NAGARRO rely on them to keep pace with new expectations, new possibilities, and new competitors because the world is changing faster every day.”
NAGARRO focus on achieving this by inculcating a culture of attracting and empowering bright and zealous people with the freedom to take decisions they deem best for their customers. This, accompanied by an extremely flat culture, allows Nagarro to deliver on its promise of enterprise consonant with its customers while providing solid learning and rapid-growth experience to its people.
Today, Nagarro comprises more than 5,000 specialists across 20 countries, and is the global services division of Munich-based Allgeier SE.
To understand how the company’s spearheading of CSR initiatives is a natural progression from its core culture, a look at its business approach is rewarding.
Nagarro specialises in the “change the business” end of the spectrum of technology services. It helps its clients move fast to protect themselves against digital disruptions or backs them to become disrupters themselves, explains a senior staffer.
They are the main digital products R&D partner for the firm whose equipment orchestrates the lighting at the White House, the Statue of Liberty, the Taj Mahal, several major stadia, all Apple stores, and virtually every other celebrity home.
They are currently rebuilding the leading flight-planning software (LIDO, which points commercial pilots to the precise route which will save the most fuel and time), as well as the API strategy and digital presence for one of their clients.
Nagarro is one of only five global value suppliers for an IT giant, working across many countries and divisions including Energy and Road & City Mobility. It is one of the eight most preferred vendors to New York City, implementing several of NYC’s digital programmes. It is a vendor to the world’s largest maker of bottling machines, and to the world leader in food and beverage manufacturing intelligence (Nagarro rebuilt their flagship product on the cloud and with IoT in mind).
Providing cutting-edge technology solutions to partners is Nagarro’s forte.
SERVICES OF NAGARRO
The company’s core offerings are application development and product engineering, with cutting-edge areas such as digital innovation, Big Data, IoT, wearables, cloud services and next-gen user experience.
Some of the extensive services provided include accelerated quality and test engineering – a robust process to identify the testing maturity level of organisations using advanced industry benchmarks by certified and experienced consultants; application development and management – Nagarro has impressive experience designing and building robust, scalable and extensible applications for web, mobile, desktop, and cloud environments; big data and analytics – it works with clients to define their analytics strategy through maturity assessment, roadmap development and innovative proof-of-concepts; cloud services – it works with both IT executives and business leaders to ensure that the cloud implementations drive the next stage of growth for their companies; ERP – Nagarro’s offerings in ERP include SAP, Infor, Microsoft and Salesforce; Internet of Things – Nagarro’s IoT framework, Integration-Cognition-Automation, is structured in a way that ensures continuous value generation from the IoT ecosystem; product engineering – Nagarro provides expertise across the value chain, from concept to design to development, and resource elasticity.
Nagarro’s definition of managing client demands has been incorporated as its tagline : “Thinking Breakthroughs.” The company states that it wants to dispense with the age-old process of demand and supply and adopt an innovative problem-solving approach. Clients do not seek a service; they place problems to which Nagarro provides solutions.
Nagarro is a hybrid model of working. They pride themselves on solving the most complex technology challenges in an agile way. And they do this for hundreds of customers, ranging from Fortune 500 giants to startups. They are known for driving breakthrough innovation, for making complex cool, for having very high technical and quality standards. Systems, they have created run a good chunk of the world today.
To be a giant-killertech services company (a household name that outlives us) that is distinguished by its superior technical wizardry, innovation, quality, customer centricity and, particularly, agility.
“To make distance irrelevant between intelligent people.” This indicates that people who are intelligent will use trust and understanding to bridge the distance between themselves; and make distance irrelevant when dealing with clients, partners, and other external stakeholders, wherever in the world they may be, say Nagarrians.
Nagarro’s core values which are the guiding principles behind decisions they make, how they act, and what they expect from Nagarrians – can be summed up in one word: ‘CARING’.
They have a culture of being flexible and easy to work with, of intense collaboration between teams that may be several thousand miles apart, and of being fiercely customer-centric. Their core values are enshrined as ‘CARING’ (Customer-centric, Agile, Responsible, Intelligent, Non-hierarchical, Global) and are a clear reflection of their culture.
On the one hand, this denotes a humanistic, human-first way of thinking and nurturing. On the other hand, it implies an emphasis on ethics.
C is for Client-centric
“We think up breakthroughs for our clients. We start with the client’s strategic goals and apply tech to achieve them. We never forget that the client’s business pays our bills. We do not subscribe to a perpetually defensive way of working with our clients. Instead we want to work with them in a positive partnership.”
A is for Agile
“We are responsive, we move fast. We like POCs, hackathons, MVPs. Agile doesn’t mean absence of process. We trust process, but we prefer crisp, analytics-driven, automated processes. Nagarro provides an environment that encourages experimentation; recognizes and rewards efforts; accepts failure with an understanding that it often precedes success.”
R is for Responsible
“We don’t behave like guests at Nagarro, we consider ourselves responsible for everything. We own the outcome of the work we are doing, and we also own our dependencies. When something fails, we introspect, we hunt for what we should have done better. At Nagarro, individuals lead by example and act as inspiration for others. We make ‘thought-through’ commitments and take ownership of delivery of the business objectives.”
I is for Intelligent
“The ideal Nagarrian has what we call ‘bridge-shaped skills’ – in-depth skills and expertise in a few select areas along with the ability to link and engage with diverse topics (in other words, eclectic interests). We dive into technical problems with enthusiasm and confidence. We ask probing questions (like ‘Why would you say that?’, ‘What does it mean precisely?’, ‘What can we do with it?’). We enjoy problem-solving.”
N is for Non-hierarchical
“For us, data wins, not designation. We don’t give unnecessary weightage to hierarchy, while recognizing that some roles have a wider supervisory scope than others. Nagarro empowers individuals to be solution-providers and enables a plateau work environment where everyone’s point of view is encouraged and given due consideration.”
G is for Global
“We are not a ‘front-end, back-end’ company. For each project, we work as a global team. We know that ‘working by remote’ requires trust and understanding. We guard against misunderstandings that can be caused by physical distance. And we are open-minded, not ‘territorial’. We are inter-culturally elastic and deliberately amorphous. We are not a US/German/Indian et al company – we are global. At the same time, we are open-minded, not territorial.”
EMPLOYEE STRENGTH & GEOGRAPHICAL SPREAD
Nagarro’s employee strength is 5,000 and counting; its geographic spread extends to more than 20 countries. Some places that they call home are – Chicago, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Leipzig, London, Monterrey, Munich, New York City, Silicon Valley, Stockholm, Timisoara, Vienna, Copenhagen, Oslo, Sydney, Melbourne, Espoo, and Jaipur and Gurugram in India.
Nagarro’s company structure is a bureaucracy-free, entrepreneurial environment in which people pursue breakthrough innovation, high-quality solutions and client delight. Nagarro is a global, non-hierarchical, flat organisation with a friendly, non-political environment.
ETHICAL ASPECTS OF THE BUSINESS PROCESS
- Impressively, there is a strong emphasis on ethical aspects in its corporate culture. They embrace differences and diversity, and do not judge or act based upon any preconceived notions or cultural stereotypes. They believe one should be respectful towards everyone. They create an environment in which people feel free to share their opinion scandidly and do not hesitate in receiving and acting on feedback.
- They value diversity and inclusion. Distinctiveness is welcomed so that merit is rewarded. Opportunities to grow are plenty, right from the beginning, for each Nagarrian – even if differently abled or with special needs. People here are self-motivated and self-disciplined and have a well-developed sense of ownership with a solution-focused approach.”
- As a socially conscious organisation with an eye on responsibilities, Nagarro’s CSR strategy objectives are thus outlined:
- Ensure increased commitment at all levels of the organisation, to operate its business in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner while recognising the interests of all stakeholders.
- To directly or indirectly take up programmes benefitting communities in and around the work centre and resulting over time in enhancing the quality of life and economic well-being of the local population.
- To generate through its CSR initiative, goodwill for Nagarro and reinforce a positive and socially responsible image of Nagarro as a corporate entity.
- The purpose of these efforts would not only be to help people by providing facilities for health, education, civic amenities and the like but also to create opportunities for development of skills, employment, including self-employment, and to enhance quality and dignity of life.
- Every CSR initiative proposed is considered a formal project with a clearly defined scope, list of activities, milestones, budget, organisational responsibilities, expected results, and plans for sustenance.
- The proposed project is executed only when it is acceptable as a CSR initiative under Schedule VII of the Companies Act of India.
Flagship Program of NAGARRO
Community Reach-out – Haryana Vision Zero
One of NAGARRO’s flagship Civic Quotient (CQ) initiatives is Haryana Vision Zero. Under it, Nagarro, in partnership with Hero MotoCorp and World Resources Institute (WRI) India, promotes the cause of road safety. It delegates RSAs (Road Safety Associates) to survey accident-prone areas and suggest measures to curb accidents and fatalities, aiming for zero fatalities.
Nagarro has created a Civic Quotient (CQ) community which acts as a collaborative platform by bridging the gap between people and non-profits. The CQ community focuses on problems of society including road safety, education, healthcare, community development and so on.
They are involved in various kinds of charity work for non-profit organisations like Literacy India, Earth Saviors Foundation, WWF, Goonj, NABET, I am Gurgaon and so on and their assistance to these organisations extends beyond monetary support.
Blood donation camps are an important part of NAGARRO’s CSR calendar. They holds such camps every quarter at Nagarro offices and encourages employees to donate blood and save lives. There is a huge turnout of voluntary donors, doing their bit to save lives.
TestingPro for people with autism
Through the TestingPro initiative, Nagarro provides a platform to autistic people to learn new skills and earn a livelihood. They are trained to become software testers, which helps reduce unemployment among them. TestingPro was initiated and implemented by Nagarro Austria and the Social Business Specialisterne. The Federal Ministry for Digitization and Business Location (BMDW) is funding the project for 2018 and supporting the development of a need-based training programme. Under this campaign, the Nagarro training team will work in coordination with Specialisterne to offer software testing training, including ISTQB® certification, starting autumn 2018.
On-boarding of the differently abled
In accordance with its commitment to promoting an inclusive and diversified workforce, Nagarro has joined hands with NABET India to provide the differently abled requisite skills to earn a livelihood. The company has hired four differently abled individuals, with locomotive disability and visual impairment, in the visitor management sphere.
Upliftment of the underprivileged
The principle behind this initiative is that, as more people earn livelihoods, society and the nation progress. Nagarro offers free vocational training to people from economically weaker sections. The key vocational programmes include a mechanic course with Maruti, a VLCC beautician course, a basic sewing course, an NIIT basic spoken English course, and a computer course.The company also works to encourage computer literacy among underprivileged children. One of Nagarro’s Sweden-based clients funded a computer education programme for 25 students at Deepalaya NGO.
Environment and Sustainability
#GIVEUP TO GIVE BACK
Another frontrunner initiative by Nagarro, this campaign aims to inspire people to give up specific habits (like use of plastic) which are harming the environment, and as an alternative make environment-friendly choices. On 24 March Nagarro supported the WWF #earthhour2018 launch, when the company pledged to give up use of plastic.
Tree plantation drives
“We are passionate about preserving our planet and every year, around Independence Day, we make a pledge to keep Earth green through tree plantation drives.” Nagarro plants saplings in different areas with the objective of creating greener landscapes and helping sustenance of nature. Plus,it contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissionby backing citizens in enforcing laws against waste burning.
Environmental guardianship is deeply ingrained in the company’s culture and it has implemented various pollution control strategies to reduce its carbon footprint. Walkathons, cyclothons and marathons are initiatives which contribute to disseminating this message. Nagarro hasset up cycle stations at its offices to promote the concept of a sustainable workplace. Further, Nagarro is a proud supporter and sponsor of Raahgiri Day – India’s first sustained car-free day launched in Gurugram in 2013. Nagarrians participate in the Car Free Challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the number of cars on the road. Sustainable commuting includes telecommuting, walking, cycling, carpooling, and using public transport.
Nagarro donates warm clothes during the winter to the poor and homeless under the Rahat Winter Mission. It also partners with NGO NayaSawerato provide affordable sanitary pads to women. Some educational initiatives see mentoring of underprivileged students. The company also contributes to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.
Also bearing mention is other CSR activity – under the Anandam (Happiness to Serve) initiative, the Jaipur CSR team visited RAYS, a shelter home for children born with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Nagarro India initiated a stem cell sampling initiative to save a five-year-old girl with a congenital life-threatening disease. Around 550 Nagarrians came forward to register in the Datri Blood Stem Cell Donors Registry in support.
The CSR team behind all this comprises Kiran Bisht, Tanya Taneja, Neeraj Chhibba, Ashok Thomas, Shruti Tandon and Sreeparna Ghosh. The CSR Committee members are tasked with reviewing and approving changes in the CSR policy, finalising the budget for CSR activities, approving CSR projects, assigning project leads for approved CSR projects from within the CSR Sub-Committee, reviewing CSR projects and changes made to project plans, and approving disbursement of funds according to progress reports. Meanwhile, the CSR Sub-Committee member tasks are to take up CSR projects as project leads, plan and monitor CSR projects, report on status of CSR projects periodically to the CSR Committee, provide feedback to the CSR Committee for improvement in the CSR policy, visit CSR project sites and assess progress and efficacy of the projects.
A word on the budget for CSR activities – it is decided by the CSR Committee annually, based on the projects approved for the year, and is not less than 2% of the average profit (before tax) for the previous three years. Any surplus arising out of the CSR projects or activities does not form part of the company profit.
The investment in CSR is project-based, with periodic milestones being established at the project outset. Nagarro also has flagship programmes which involve considerable financial commitment and last two to five years. They are accorded enhanced significance.
Project activities can be implemented either by the company itself or through specialised agencies which would include but is not limited to voluntary organisations, formal and informal elected bodies such as panchayats, institutes, academic institutions, trusts, self-help groups, and government, semi-government or autonomous organisations, Mahila Mandals, professional consultancy bodies and the like.
Programmes focused on the areas adjoining Nagarro work centres give preference to these neighbourhoods for spending CSR funds.
In Nagarro’s vision, CSR has a strategic connect with its core business. As a company representative puts it, “We are here to create corporate sustainable value which aligns with our strategic idea of doing business. Our future plan is to make an inclusive workplace which creates a collaborative environment and enables us to seamlessly adapt to any changing requirement of our surroundings.”
“We are working for both people and the planet and this will be part of our long-term profit – which is deriving a better place to live. We want to take up the responsibility of leaving a better world for the next generation, giving them an opportunity to breathe clean air, and inculcate empathy and responsibility by educating them about our environment and its importance. We will work until the day we are able to change people’s attitude from ignorant to responsible about our surroundings. We wish to work until the day when we do not need a CSR ruling, we want to make the adoptive mindset a part of individuals, beginning with our company and colleagues.”
Nagarro CSR activities have helped generate awareness to prosperity in the lives of many who are a part of the campaign directly or indirectly. Nagarro believes in bringing about an elemental change in the lives of those for whom they matter. With their regular blood donation drives, they are able to generate hundreds of units of blood which is in turn used by hundreds of people in need of blood.
Impact of CSR activities
CSR at Nagarro has created a considerable 2-way impact – on its own people and on the surroundings.
CSR initiatives have become an indispensable part of people at Nagarro. They work enthusiastically with full zeal and support and never refrain from backing up the CSR team. They believe in the concept of giving back to the environment.
On the other hand, Nagarro CSR activities have helped generate awareness to prosperity in the lives of many who are a part of the campaign directly or indirectly. Nagarro believes in bringing about an elemental change in the lives of those for whom they matter. With their regular blood donation drives, they are able to generate hundreds of units of blood which is in turn used by hundreds of people in need of blood. Haryana Vision Zero project is a way of looking forward and driving an entire issue of reducing road fatalities to zero, not only in Gurgaon but in the entire state. The pledge to fight road accidents and support pedestrians and cyclists is because Nagarro understands the pain of not being able to walk or cycle or breathe freely. With plantation drives, the trees are not only planted but also maintained, Nagarro is a firm believer of bringing about the desired change over a course of time, by doing things rather than just waiting for it to happen. The awareness level has gone up and so is the sensitivity amongst people around and it is certain that a regular uninterrupted service will bring about the desired change.
Way ahead / Future Plans
- Keeping up the momentum of the existing flagship programs
- Generating more recognition towards the need of society
- Tying up with NGO’s to offer more support
- Working towards creating a better and sustainable environment
- Working towards creating an inclusive workplace, that will have equal opportunities for all
Matching with the philosophy of the company: providing innovative and cost effective technology based solutions to address multidisciplinary challenges has made it find innovative solution to address a major challenge of death due to road accident facing the urban society. Nagarro took up the challenge through its flagship CSR project Haryana Vision Zero to ensure zero death on the road due to road accidents which they achieved through an innovative approach. Similarly, the various initiatives undertaken with complete involvement of the employees creates an image of being a responsible CSR oriented company matching with the needs of the time. Nagarro, with this kind of approach, their potential impact possibilities are huge if they works with appropriate partners to address various developmental issues.