Doing the Right Thing, When No One is Watching

Have you ever heard about Tata?

Tata is an Indian based company; consisting of 29 publicly listed enterprises, spanning over a hundred countries, across six continents. Their mission is, “To improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally, through long term stake holder value creation based on Leadership with trust.” In 2015, the Tata revenue was 103 billion US dollars, and they employ over 660 thousand people. 66 percent of the shared capital is held by philanthropic trusts, which support: education, health, livelihood generation, art, and culture. Tata is ranked as India’s most respected country, year after year. The company is ranked as the world’s 33rd most valuable brand, ahead of Nike, Visa, Ford, and more well-known brands. Tata has learned the lesson of doing the right thing when no one is watching.

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To make CSR an integrated part of the company, Tata has created an internal sustainability group (TSG) to embed CSR as a core value in the company. As stated on the Tata website, “Tata Sustainability Group (TSG) guides, supports and provides thought leadership to Tata group companies in embedding sustainability in their business strategies.” TSG believes CSR is a critical mission that is at heart of everything that the company does, how the company thinks, and what the company is. This does not only go for the company, but also for their employees. The Tata engage program, consisting of their employees, is among the top ten corporate volunteering programmes in the world. The core value of the programme is giving back to the society, which is also the core value of Tata’s core business model. This volunteer programme is aimed to reach one fourth of the world’s population by 2025.

Tata’s first CSR initiative is called Tata STRIVE. Tata STRIVE aims to educate India’s youth for employment, entrepreneurship and community enterprise. In 2022, there will be a shortage of 55 million skilled workers in the world. On the other hand, India will have an excess of 47 million skilled workers. India recognizes this as a valuable asset, as it has one of the youngest populations in the world. India’s challenge, which Tata STRIVE aims at fixing, is that only 2 percent of Indian workers have a formal education. Tata employees are encouraged to foster and train the upcoming generation in the 29 different industrial sectors that Tata covers. These span from steel production, car manufacturing, IT consulting services to Telecom and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG).

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So, what are Tata’s ethical objectives? Tata has always been value-driven, since 1868. First of all, according to Business Dictionary, “an ethical objective is a set of moral guidelines or fair business practices.” A business conduct is built up of core values of the company. Tata has five core values that company is based around, used as a roadmap for how the employees and business in general should operate. These core values are: pioneering, integrity, excellence, unity, and responsibility. The core values are a living document; meaning it has to adapt to the ever-changing environment, but the core values themselves, remain the same.

Since 1868, Tata has been passionate about giving back to society in any way they can. The world-known company has managed to incorporate ways of giving back through their STRIVE initiative, the Tata Sustainability Group (TSG), and their volunteering programme. Doing the correct thing, will always pay off; hence, their climb up the worlds most valuable brand list, year after year.

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