“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating.
Education is the premise of progress in every society, in every family.”
- Kofi Annan
At Hero FinCorp corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a part of the company’s core values. Driving social change and progress is key for employees, partners, and our clientele. It reflects in everything we do and everything we stand for.
We strongly believe that a company's performance must be measured by its triple-bottom-line contribution towards building economic, social, and environmental capital for enhancing societal sustainability.
You don’t have to be a ‘big’ company in order to adopt CSR friendly practices. CSR is about how a company treats the environment, community, their attitude towards the marginalised communities. In addition to all this, for us, it is a about creating game‐changing development models and propelling change with innovation and creativity. Our CSR efforts form a key driver for ensuring employee happiness. In 2016, Neilson surveyed employees to check if CSR was important to them. It turned out that CSR was important to 67% employees and it was an essential or strong preference when it came to choosing an employer. In today’s day and age employees tend to look beyond salary and perks for a reason to stay motivated at work.
Dhan Charcha – Our mission to drive awareness on good financial and credit practices for empowering local communities and vulnerable groups
We are aiming to make Dhan Charcha, one of India’s largest financial literacy campaign. This project is closely related to what we do best, provide simple and seamless access financial services across India. This campaign also provides our employees a sense of pride while participating in the initiative and knowing that their work is making a difference where it matters most. Dhan Charcha has started with the aim to reach marginally educated or illiterate youth in rural belt of 150+ villages and small towns of Rewari, Dharuhera, Bhiwadi, Tauru, and Manesar, post which we shall move on to other states. The objectives of this campaign are:
Helping impart financial awareness and responsibility: When people are in the outer limits of society facing financial exclusion, only knowledge can help them take a step in the right direction. Our program begins at the bottom of the pyramid where financial and digital literacy will be the first step in helping them secure a better future.
Promoting saving habits: We understand that most people think it is impossible to save when you are a part of the low-income market. That’s the myth we intend to bust. Savings, however small, can be done if you have the right partner to handhold, keeping in mind your resources and needs.
Ensuring Financial Independence: We share several examples of how people who started small eventually became financially independent. These examples show an attainable dream as someone just like them has managed to fork out a better life with the help of right strategies.
Economic benefits and social responsibilities: Hero FinCorp’s programs also highlight the importance of an individual’s social responsibilities and how each person can carry the flame forward lighting the path for others in their community.
Helping make informed choices for secured financial future: In the end, it is all about creating a better future for those in the society who have had no access to knowledge or practices to do it. That’s where it makes all the difference.
Why we chose this path?
According to a 2014 worldwide survey by Gallup of more than 150,000 adults from 140 countries, three-quarters of Asian adults and two-thirds of adults worldwide are not financially literate. In India, an astounding 73% of men and 80% of women were found to be in this category. The gender gap created a deeper wedge with women having even lesser access to financial solutions.
Lesser financial knowledge means lost opportunities to create a better life. This opportunity proves to be costlier when it comes to the already marginalised communities.
“Gaining knowledge is the first step to wisdom
Sharing it, is the first step to humanity”
We believe that our process of imparting financial knowledge will be a small but firm step in helping many families move above the poverty line and choose and hope for a better future.
Executing the Dhan Charcha movement
Dhan Charcha first divided its target audience in four groups – school or college students, villagers, urban poor and industrial workers. We then developed customised programs for each target group.
We then went on to create interactive content related to knowledge and behaviour of people in their category, with whom they could easily identify with. The 40-60 minute program packed the basics of financial literacy, planning financial goals, managing cash flows, gaining access to formal sources of finance, and good credit practices. With trainers and mobile vans going on the field every day, the program plans to reach and educate 15,500 people by end of FY 2018.
As a nation, we have a long way to go but we believe that every drop in the ocean counts. We would like to know your thoughts about our Dhan Charcha project and are keen to hear your ideas and feedback. Do share them with us in the comments below.