India is the only country in the world that mandates companies that fulfil a certain criteria to donate a minimum of 2% of its average net profits towards CSR activities. According to the provisions outlined in India’s Companies Act 2013 –
“Every company having a net worth of rupees five hundred crore or more [Rs50 million or more], or turnover of rupees one thousand crore or more or a net profit of rupees five crore or more during any financial year shall constitute a Corporate Social Responsibility Committee of the Board.”
Encouraged by this requirement, India’s Gem and Jewellery industry works together towards common goals of community welfare and development. The leading players in the industry have expressed favorable views towards active involvement in the issues of poverty, disability, education and infrastructure.
Vipul Shah, chairman of GJEPC – “More than a few decades ago, when CSR was not even at a conceptual stage and the role of industry was seen as limited to spearheading economic development, providing employment and generating profits for further expansion, the gems and jewelry industry began its foray into the field of social development. Now the focus has widened and in the past two decades, the gems and jewelry industry has played an exemplary role in various parts of the country.”
Ishu Datwani, founder of Anmol Jewellers – “Every company should focus using ethically mined diamonds and gemstones and providing employment to talented artisans.”
Mehul Choksi, CMD, The Gitanjali Group – “Having conquered many important business frontiers, we now want to devote some time, attention and resources to another long-cherished dream that we have held — that of giving back to the society at large.”
Ghanshyam Dholakia, MD, Hari Krishna Exports Pvt. Ltd. – “We have always believed that it is only in giving that one receives and it is our ethical duty to give back to the place, state, country and people from whom we have received. CSR is not only about philanthropy or charitable work. It refers to something much more fundamental. It is all about how companies take responsibility for their actions in the world at large.”
Colin Shah of Kama Schachter Jewellery – “Seventeen years ago at Kama Schachter, we decided to make a difference in our community, and we’ve learned a lot about business and life in the process. Some of our initiatives include: Empowering Special Needs, Responsible Manufacturing and Metals of Integrity.”
Nonetheless, despite several individual initiatives and efforts that the stakeholders have taken towards a successful CSR drive, there is a lot of ground that the global Gems & Jewelry Industry needs to cover to go above and beyond the plain ‘P’ of profits and reach the harbour of other P’s – People and Planet.