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“CSR Leader of India” 2017 | Rinika Grover
Head – Corporate Social Responsibility – Apollo Tyres
“With India ratifying the Paris accord in 2016, the role of CSR gains more relevance. The CSR arm of the business will no longer be a silo operation whose remit is to ensure mandatory spend. With increasing emphasis on monitoring, CSR initiatives or projects will need to have a more sustainable life cycle. The law is still at a nascent stage. Some more concrete reforms will ensure that CSR is not just about a tick box exercise but is fully integrated in the system.”
About Rinika Grover
I started my career as a volunteer and then as a special educator for differently abled children, where I taught them and also counselled their parents. The experience was quite over whelming and the role was extremely challenging and interesting at the same time. The class had no standard module to adhere to, and as a teacher, we were required to be innovative to devise various ways of teaching the same concept to different children. The children despite their medical conditions always had a smile and the urge to learn more. This role as a teacher was brief; however it helped me to formulate a foundation and an approach to life – never give up and believe in one self. This is the start of my trajectory from being a teacher to a CSR professional.
Later, I moved to Manchester, United Kingdom to pursue a Masters in Management and Information Systems. Alongside my education programme in Manchester, I kept taking professional courses on Programme and Change management. I spent a substantial part of my career working with one of the oldest and biggest Children’s Charity in the UK, NSPCC.
After working for over a decade with the NGO sector overseas, I moved back to India in a new role with Apollo Tyres. Corporate Social Responsibility at Apollo Tyres was a key business practice for over 17 years and deep rooted in organisation. This delineates the Board’s commitment to the cause. In the last 3 years, I have concentrated the work in the area of Health for truck drivers, Waste-Sanitation Management and Community Development. The women Empowerment theme, recently established under Navya banner, is one of my favourite pieces of work and extremely invigorating due to the tangible and quantifiable impact that this programme has started to bring about in the field.
Overall, it’s been a great experience to be leading a dedicated CSR team at the grass root level.