Businesses are duty bound to serve the society: Naveen Soni, Toyota

India Inc's commitment towards corporate social responsibility is nothing but a way of giving back to society, says Naveen Soni.

New Delhi: Naveen Soni, Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), feels that it is the responsibility of corporates to give back to the community in exchange for all the benefits accrued from the latter.

Talking to Ashok Kumar for the Social Philanthropy Series on All India Radio's FM Rainbow channel, Soni said that new Companies Act, 2013, serves as a reference mark for the companies. “The law helps us to see if we are doing anything which is outside the scope of law from the point of view of compliance. There is a certain process through which we have to mandate a new project, update information on our website about it for people,” he said.

Soni asserts that the Act is in good spirit but the sense of responsibility should come from within. “The stipulated CSR activities under the law make the exercise stereotyped, in a way. It makes me visit each section, sub-section and check whether all the things that I want to do for the society fits under the scope of law or not,” he says.

Soni adds that the CSR projects should look at making a sustainable difference to society as the idea is to move forward with an eye in the larger interest of SDGs. “The law says that if the company is in profit then only it is obligated to spend 2% of its income. But it was never the law that compelled us. Since 1999, when TKM was formed, we took it up as our responsibility to give back to the society regardless of whether we made profits or not. We have continued with our CSR commitment including environment, education, road safety, skill development and traffic safety,” he says. Listen to the complete radio interview:

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