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“CSR Leader of India” 2017 | Navdeep Singh Mehram
Head Sustainability, Diageo India
“In India, we have seen CSR evolving rapidly and progressive companies adopting strategic CSR policies and practices which also contribute to the larger purpose of nation building. CSR has also gained legitimacy in its new avatar of being a mandate from a voluntary activity. The future of CSR in India holds lots of opportunities to make definite contribution both in nation building and reputation building. India also offers an opportunity to pilot test few concepts and models which can be replicated to other emerging markets globally.”
About Navdeep Singh Mehram
Navdeep is a seasoned and agile professional with over 18 years of multi-sectoral and multi-dimensional experience in managing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability portfolios in Corporate Sector, Multilateral Agency and Community based organizations.
In his current profile he heads sustainability at Diageo India. Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, JεB, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Tanqueray, Black Dog, VAT 69, Signature, Royal Challenge, McDowell’s No1 and Guinness. Diageo’s products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world.
Sustainability at Diageo India has two major focus areas; Alcohol in Society (AiS) and Thriving communities. In AiS, the major programs are awareness raising on responsible consumption and Road Safety initiatives aimed at reducing the drink driving incidents and fatalities. Thriving communities programs are implemented for communities around production sites with focus on Water provision and Women empowerment.
Navdeep was part of UNIDO – Cluster Development project as National Expert on CSR for SME sector. While working with Oil & Gas sector he was part of core team, pilot testing the World Bank’s Financial Valuation Tool developed to measure the social and economic impact of CSR activities. He is a blend of practitioner and researcher and has quest to keep himself enriched with new concepts, trends & various models of CSR and Sustainability. This involvement helped him pick up further research work and he started his PhD in University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES) on topic – Strategic corporate social responsibility & managing community as stakeholder to avoid Company-Community- Conflict in onshore Oil & Gas sector in India.
He has been instrumental in setting up unique partnerships like:
- Audio Described Bollywood movies for visually impaired people for their inclusion and mainstreaming in the entertainment space.
- Public-Private-Community-Partnership (PPCP) projects on Water, Sanitation and Health (WASH) by engaging at more than 100 Village level panchayats in the country.
Being a certified social auditor from Social Accountability International, USA he has an in-depth understanding of social compliance issues & challenges across value chains. He has rich and diverse experience in corporate strategy, partnership development and stakeholder management.