CSR In India Has Moved Beyond Philanthropy

Nottingham University Business School student says doing an MBA in Corporate Social Responsibility will help her in the long run

Where are you from?
I am from Punjab, India in the northern part of the country. I graduated in Political Science and History followed by a Masters in English Literature, but my career started in Finance.

How did you move from degrees in arts subjects to a career in finance?
Our family business is in financial services, which was the main reason for the transition. I started working soon after my first degree and learned about finance on the job. Everyone around me was immersed in finance and I became passionate about it.

I was always passionate about English Literature, which is why I took time out from my work to pursue a Masters in the subject. I’ve also always been sensitive to social issues. I’ve always been actively linked with NGOs that run schools and hospitals for people who can’t afford these things themselves.

Why did you decide to do an MBA?
After working for a couple of years within the family business I wanted to move out of that comfort zone, to learn and explore more. As a result I moved on to work in corporate finance for another three years. Being quite ambitious, I wanted to move ahead within organizations and have a say in making decisions and running the business.

Why did you choose Nottingham University Business School?
In India at least, practical knowledge is not considered enough, so I decided it was the right time to do an MBA. But I was looking for a program where I could do more than just business, where I could also learn about doing good for the community. The answer to my search was the MBA in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) from Nottingham University Business School (NUBS).

How did you find out about the school?
I came to know about the business school mainly through internet research based on the rankings and an MBA fair in Delhi.

Why study in the UK?
There were a couple of reasons for opting for school in UK: I wasn’t ready to invest two years of in an MBA. Secondly, I didn’t really have the time or the patience to prepare for the GMAT. Finally, I could afford the program at Nottingham University, which isn’t as expensive as some other programs!

I applied to and got into Aston, Birmingham, Newcastle and Exeter too, but NUBS was always my first choice and I am happy to be here.

What was the CSR program for you?
Sustainability is at the heart of the curriculum here. Nottingham University Business School heads a list of six UK schools that are placed in the top 100 global ranking produced by Beyond Grey Pinstripes, which focuses on teaching and research on sustainability issues.

This is the era of the “triple bottom line”. Companies of all types and sizes have realized that they will not only be judged on their economic performance but also on their impact on the environment and society as a whole. I want to be more sensible about it so that I can be a part of this change and am able to survive in the long run. The MBA in CSR in NUBS was definitely the right place.

CSR is not a new concept in India. Companies like Tata Group and Aditya Birla Group have always been involved in serving the community, mainly through charities and donations. But CSR in India has now gone beyond philanthropy to be an integral part of the corporate strategy.

After completing my MBA, I hope to use my skills, understanding and learning of CSR to be a good business leader and a responsible citizen back home.

What’s the best part of the MBA?
The experience so far on the MBA has been great. I’ve met people from different parts of the world, from different backgrounds. Almost everything is very well-planned by the academics. Professors are approachable and last but not the least, the campus is beautiful.

And the worst part?!
The journey from the start to the end of the MBA is not that easy. It’s a hard-core job, there’s always pressure to meet deadlines. Time management is the key: as they say, there’s no end to knowledge.

Overall, the experience has been great. A few months down the line, I’ll miss this phase of life.


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