CSR Outsourced

November 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

I think this a pretty good concept – Better The World. In their words, “Better The World helps organizations develop engaging fundraising and corporate social responsibility initiatives“. I would prefer to have an organization that does Socially Responsible activities on behalf of companies. Like, this organization can come up with different oppurtunities to address Poverty, Education, Health, etc and companies can pick the one that interests them most and fund the project. If not the entire budget, a part of it.

On the other hand, It’s getting common for companies, especially multi-nationals to have their own CSR wing, and titles such as
Sustainability officer, Sustainability Coordinator, CSR Manager are easily seen. So, wondering how much a company like Better the world  can add value to an organization’s existing CSR programs. May be all CSR activities could be outsourced. Let’s compare CSR Outsourcing & CSR Wing Within Company

  CSR Outsourcing
CSR Wing within Company
Team         Dedicated One or two dedicated & rest of the team volunteers from organization
Skill set     Very high The dedicated ones would have high skill sets. Rest minimal
Cost         Ideally this should be low  
Social Impact         High (with resource pooling)*    Could be high if enough funds are available
Branding/Identity     Medium (one among many contributors to a campaign)     High as it is individual

*Resource pooling – A single national project can be funded by financial resources supported by many companies to manifest a bigger impact (like Teach For India, which is a national program), which may not be possible for smaller multinationals.

So the value-add from CSR outsourcing would be, Expertise & Low cost. But, companies might lose out on branding and visibility, which could be one of the top-most priority for spending!! Hmm!

– Arun Vallappan



October 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

Some really innovative stuff  (in a video format)- http://planetgreen.discovery.com/videos/g-word-upcycling.html

For the restless souls, here is what its about- 🙂 The video is about a new concept called ‘Upcycling’. A team collects hard plastic bags such as the ones in which chips, lays, etc are sold. They clean the collected bags in and out thereby removing any food particles, stitch the them into one big bag and sell it to super-markets (i guess!)

Advantages – plastic is not disposed into the environment!! better than recycling the plastic coz, the recycling process is energy intensive.

I am wondering why this should n’t be done in India! 🙂

Craiglist Values

August 29, 2009 § Leave a comment

Craiglist was founded in 1995 by Craig Newmark to post free classifieds online. If you have used the site, you could have felt what is a pure html web 1.0 site doing now? In the current market place, when every other site has integration with social networks, tweets, bookmarking buttons, other web 2.0 features, Craiglist does not have any of them, but still it is the market leader in U.S competing against RentHop and the likes..

Even Pankaj Agarwal, CEO of ClickIndia, considers CraigList-India as one of its main competitor. So, what does Craiglist have, that makes it so dominant in the classifieds industry.

1. Like every other classifieds site, people can post their ads freely

2. Earns revenue for any ad posted in select cities or in real estate space.(over $100 million annually)

3. Does not serve any google ads or their kind

4. Does not have any web 2.0 features

But how come points 3 and 4 help the site in growing revenue. Online popup or banner ads are the bane of websites, almost 95% of online users do not pay attention or disturbed by them. Is it the same with web 2.0 features? Necessarily not. But a business which sticks to its layout/core values, is better than one, which constantly re-innovates itself by changing them.. CraigList will even resist change in their space.

The simple thing is no one cares about n number of features offered by a site as long as what they are looking far is found. That is a easy job in craiglist. The homepage has all the countries listed with categories under them..

It is time, that other classifieds site/jobs site or news portals come up not dependent on ad-based revenue but on the content or a part of the content.

Finally, their motto: Unbrand, Demonetize, Uncompete

Arun Vallappan

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