The Tata Sustainability Group (TSG), in partnership with Titan, hosted the Regional volunteer SPOC Meet in Bengaluru on August 23, 2022 at Titan Company, INTEGRITY, Veerasandra, Electronic City, Bengaluru.
Apart from enabling Tata companies to embed sustainability into business practices, TSG has, since 2014, been uniting all Tata employees onto a common volunteering platform – ‘Tata Engage’. TSG liaises closely with specific points of contact (SPOCs) across all Tata companies that champion volunteering at the enterprise level, and is committed to engaging with and building the capacities of this 600+ strong SPOC Cadre, from time to time.
The objective of the Regional SPOC Meet in Bengaluru was to understand the group-level volunteering context, facilitate cross-sharing of ideas and enterprise-level good practices and identify areas for synergy and collaboration between companies as well as with TSG. Forty-two participants from eleven Tata companies came together to pause and reflect on the Tata group’s volunteering goals, and deliberate, reassess and co-create means to achieve the Group Aspiration for 2025.
Gauri Rajadhyaksha, TSG, presented a group-level overview of volunteering, including the group performance in FY22 and benchmark against global peers. She informed the participants that the Tata group has clocked over a million volunteering hours annually for the past 6 years, a remarkable milestone. TSG and the Volunteering SPOC Cadre are now collectively embarking on a journey to achieve new milestones, guided by the recently (Tata Group Sustainability Council) approved volunteering vision, “to be amongst the pre-eminent corporate volunteering programmes in the world by 2025, both in terms of quality and numbers”. Towards realising this, Tata employees would have to strive to clock 4 per capita volunteering hours annually by 2025.
Sridhar N E, head, Corporate Sustainability, Titan, delivered the keynote address. He emphasised that in keeping alive the Tata legacy of "Giving back" to the community, it was time for employees to rise to "Give Beyond…." their skill sets, time and available opportunities through volunteering. He reiterated that the volunteering SPOCs had an important role to play as influencers and evangelists and must continuously think outside the box to innovatively mobilise and engage with employees for volunteering.
The representatives of four Tata companies, Santhi P from Titan, Victor Pravin Kumar from TCS, Rajinie Singh from Tata Coffee and Harish Kulkarni from Tata Communications, shared their volunteering approach and plans for the year ahead. The key learnings included the need to develop enterprise-level means to celebrate and reward volunteers, keep the needs of the community central while designing volunteering opportunities and develop mechanisms for continuous cross-sharing of good practices regionally to be able to timely and effectively leverage opportunities for collaboration.
Shrirang Dhavale, TSG, facilitated Group breakout sessions where participants brainstormed around the themes of 1) Collaboration 2) Quality 3) Communication 4) Reporting and 5) Tata Engage. The participants enthusiastically participated and presented their recommendations of what had gone well over the years, areas for improvement and areas for TSG to lend support to improve efficiency and impact through volunteering.
The meeting ended with a vote of thanks from Mr Dhavale.