During my 15+ year tenure with Teleperformance India, I have had the privilege of overseeing the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives since 2012 and over the past five years, it has become a much bigger and even stronger ‘Force of Good’, than when we started. It has been a truly rewarding experience, as I have always felt completely aligned to Teleperformance’s vision of fulfilling our ‘Social Responsibility’ not just as a ‘Corporate’ but also as individual ‘Citizen’. Whether it's addressing the most prominent social issues through our Citizen of the World (COTW) initiative or countering environmental concerns through our Citizen of the Planet (COTP) initiative, TP India envisions a better and fairer world where CSR is integrated into all strategic initiatives.
In fact, I feel very deeply about the company’s humanitarian commitment to understanding the needs and pain points of our local communities, especially vulnerable children, and their families. We strive to make a difference through our CSR initiatives, with education being the critical issue that we focus on for these communities. We believe that education is a basic human right and the key to sustaining a quality life. By investing in education, we aim to empower our communities to lift themselves out of poverty and get meaningful livelihood opportunities.
Implementing Partners for fulfilling a 360-degree CSR Approach
Behind every CSR initiative that my team and I work on, our strategy is to incorporate a futuristic, 360-degree approach for enhanced impact. For instance, when we stepped into our local communities to recognize their concerns, we not only identified that they needed education, but also realized that what was really needed was to enable them to find the means to make decent earnings. To understand this better, imagine a low-income group family with the fathers typically being the only wage earners, the key challenge in the eyes of the parents is not to get their children educated or more aware or better informed than the rest of the community, but to become better breadwinners, to get decent jobs and to bring a more sustainable income into the household.
For bringing our vision of a quality life and sustainable livelihood for our communities to reality, we joined hands with several implementing partners, some associated with our pan-India projects, while some covering community engagements for specific localities. This strategic move expanded our reach to the community members to the innermost parts of the country, helping us reach various sections like underprivileged children and women, visually impaired, intellectually challenged, people with disabilities, and veterans. Some of our implementing partners helped us engage with the children and young adults, enabling us to design and deliver customized learning programs and facilities, computer literacy initiatives, life-skill workshops, career-oriented sessions and so on.
As they went into the various local communities, our partners also surveyed their specific needs and identified the most vulnerable segments, finding out the groups of women at various locations who needed our support. This guided us to engage and involve these women by imparting them knowledge and conducting skill-building workshops for them like weaving, sewing, etc. for enabling them to get a sustainable livelihood. When they saw that it was possible to earn as they learn, they realized the advantage in continuing their children’s education, in turn making our educational initiatives for children and the youth further successful.
Completing the cycle with Hiring Opportunities
After the success of our educational endeavors for students, we were intrigued by another thought – the idea of completing the cycle by creating a path for them to bridge the gap between learning and employment. With this basic objective, we launched the COTW Mentorship Program to enable students to keep up with technological advances, teaching them future-ready skills and hiring them back in Teleperformance to come full circle.
We started organizing sessions for children to impart knowledge on advanced concepts like coding, programming languages, including AI/ML, Python, Robotics, etc., to get them ready for Industry 4.0. We also engaged youth to provide them insights into various career options available to them by discussing about the different departments in a company and how they can prepare for these career options.
As part of our mentorship program, we arrange group sessions for many young undergraduates and graduates to build their interview skills and make them job ready. Additionally, upon deciding the career option they enter into one-on-one interventions with our industry experts as their mentors, wherein the focus is narrowed down to their individual needs and skills they require to become job-ready – not just for TP but for any workplace of their choice. I believe our stamp of success is not when they enter TP, but the day they receive their offer letter from any enterprise.
Of course, when they join us at TP, we are even more fortunate to help them further by assigning them a buddy within the system who can help them transition and become comfortable in their jobs. What is even more fascinating is how, throughout this journey of multidimensional support from infrastructure development to education and skilling initiatives, we engage our employees via their active volunteering services.
Sensitizing the Employees
At TP, we regularly share CSR-related communications with all our employees, encouraging their participation as volunteers, inviting them not only to visit the impact centers, but also to interact with our beneficiaries, have fun moments with them, contribute to the various coaching sessions, and even become dedicated mentors for the students.
Our vision is to bring every employee to the heart of our CSR program delivery by ensuring that they get to feel the impact they generate in the lives they touch. This is the same philosophy that we wanted to explore further when we designed the ‘Step into my World’ program. It’s a platform that connects our employees with people from diverse backgrounds, sharing their life stories.
The objective of this program was to sensitize our teams by bringing them into direct contact with people facing different sets of challenges. We hoped that this would help our teams to understand more about the difficulties that these people encounter every day. When we organized the inaugural session, on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we realized that it was much more than a forum for us to learn about their needs or how we could help them.
Through these extraordinary interactions, as every session attendee described them, we were able to draw many learnings for ourselves. For example, hearing about the remarkable life-changing experiences of our exceptionally abled guest panel, every individual was inspired by their sheer power of strong will, their never-give-up attitude, and how they overcame challenges to be successful, thus leaving a lasting impact on each one of us!
Driven by an approach that recognizes that children's education is not limited to just the classroom but extends to their surroundings as well, going forward, my team and I intend to work on our upcoming community outreach initiative to tap into these communities on various aspects of life through the children’s parents and surrounding environment. One of the planned drives for example, will focus on cleanliness & health awareness, with different topics under this theme to be covered.
As for me personally, the impact of TP’s CSR initiatives has been profound. Seeing the need for such programs, I am reminded of how fortunate I am and how not everyone has had the same opportunities and resources. This is why I feel a greater sense of responsibility to help. It is this responsibility that drives me to focus my team’s efforts to design and implement programs that can make a real difference in the lives of those who need it the most.