Attesting to the growing trend of ‘purpose’ and ‘giving back’ as a core value for both companies and individuals, LinkedIn’s ‘Social Impact’ category recently recognised individuals who are working to uplift the society.
Professional social networking platform LinkedIn recently unveiled its fifth edition of India’s Power Profiles 2018. While categories such as Technology, CEOs, and Finance, among others, have been a constant, this year’s edition saw a new category entry –‘Social Impact’.
Srividya Gopani, Director, Brand and Consumer Marketing, Asia-Pacific and China, LinkedIn, says, “Success means different things to different people, and LinkedIn Power Profiles is a celebration of that inclusive idea of success. To highlight the diverse communities that live on LinkedIn, this year we launched the ‘Social Impact’ category as a natural next step.”
“Today, giving back is a core value for both companies and individuals, and our members are interested to hear what these strong voices in the field of Social Impact have to say and they are keen to know more about their stories. They have helped the community grow, and the community in turn has supported them,” she adds.
Attesting to the growing trend of ‘purpose’ and ‘giving back’ as a core value for both companies and individuals, LinkedIn’s ‘Social Impact’ category recognised individuals who are working to uplift society through innovations, bringing education and schools to remote areas, and aiding healthcare and relief through virtual blood donations, among others. Below we list a few of the influencers:
After a successful stint at HCL Technologies, former CEO Vineet Nayar ventured into the social space in 2005. Along with wife Anupama Nayar, an expert in Special Education, he donned the hats of Chairman and Trustee of the Sampark Foundation.
Started with an intent of ‘Innovation-led large-scale social change’, the foundation has its presence in the schools of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh, making it one of the world’s largest primary school transformation initiatives by a foundation. Since its inception, the Sampark Smart Shala Program today has impacted 7 million children studying in 76,000 schools.
Founder of the world’s first virtual blood donation platform, Kiran Verma started ‘Simply Blood’ in 2016. Taking cues from his own life after a dear friend lost his mother, he decided to take up this social initiative.
“The basic idea behind this initiative was to save as many lives as possible without losing any time. I am glad it is happening,” Kiran says.
Simply Blood, with the help of its users, has created a large database of blood donors, but it’s not merely a database of contacts. Using GPS technology, the app locates the user’s position when he/she registers themselves, either as a donor or recipient. A person in need of blood no longer needs to contact hundreds of donors; this location-based app helps them find the donor nearest to their location.
An alumnus of the prestigious Harvard Business School, Rachna Sharma is the founder of the social initiative Vision 2021 – One Million Youth for Peace. Started with an intent to provide a framework, design, forum, and resources to aid in human conscious evolution by using the power of collective consciousness, it unifies the world’s established/emerging leaders for facilitating the youth revolution in India.
She hopes to provide “a sincere helping hand in emergence of New India by building collective consciousness who works together to improve the state of a region or country/world [sic]”. She aims to “inspire the collective consciousness into action of humility for sustainable personal, social, and economic development [sic]”.
Rachna is also the Goodwill Ambassador for Red Light To Violence Against Women In India. Owing to her experience in the social sector, she has also authored two books – Globalization And Voices From Indian Practitioners and Peacebook – supporting her social enterprise.
After a 15-year-long stint in various fields, Ruchi Khemka today heads the CSR arm of Deutsche Bank, India. With a knack in CSR strategy, she works closely with various stakeholders for the larger socio-economic agenda of the firm. Under her leadership, the company is working with individual changemakers in the area of education and community impact such as healthcare, clean energy, and skilling.
“I aspire to be a sustainability thought leader, thereby being an enabler towards building the larger socio-economic agenda of the country. My passion lies towards empowering children and youth. I strongly believe in the power of corporates to contribute towards transforming societies,” she says.
In the last year alone, Deutsche Bank claims that they have helped over 120,000 children and youth access quality education and skills training, and made healthcare and quick treatment a reality for thousands.
With its presence in eight states, the CSR arm of GMR Varalakshmi Foundation works for sectors such as agriculture, food and nutrition, community development, education and employment, healthcare, and livelihoods. Sanu Mathew leads this division as the CSR head, and is working to develop social infrastructure and enhance the quality of life of communities. The foundation works across eight states – Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Telangana.
“The wide spectrum of 17 years of work experience covered the core CSR (seven years and on), development funding (nine years), and grassroots-level implementation efforts (two years) – all of which provided me a rewarding blend of business insights coupled with essential skills for development work, thus enabling me to function as a bridge-builder between the business world and society,” she says.
Through GMR, she aims to make a sustainable impact on the human development of underserved communities through initiatives in education, health, and livelihoods.
A member of the CII National Committee on Primary Education and Literacy and the CSR Committee of Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Sheetal Mehta is the Chief – CSR Initiatives, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. She is also the Executive Director, K. C. Mahindra Education Trust, since 2001.
Under her leadership, K C Mahindra Education trust has focused upon education-related initiatives, including scholarships and financial assistance to disadvantaged youth, towards education and livelihood training with emphasis on education of the underprivileged girl child.
Shruti, an alumnus of IRMA, Ahmedabad, and HansRaj College, University of Delhi, is a development professional who has over three years of work experience in government and non-governmental development organizations. She has been directly engaged in community work as an Assistant Program Leader in Sehgal Foundation from 2014 to 2016. Presently she is working at McKinsey Social Initiative, Generation, as a Program Manager, leading operations and business development across India. Generation focuses on providing disruptive solutions across multiple sectors in the skill development area.
Over the last three years, her work areas have included poverty alleviation of women through self-help groups, capacity building, strengthening village-level institutions, life skills education, and working with Panchayats, School Management Committees, and Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committees.
Patient Primus, Mahboob says, is a “one-stop spot” in digital healthcare services in India. The organisation, founded in 2017, aims to deliver emerging and modern technology-based solutions in healthcare to communities across the globe.
“I have a passion for science amalgamated with technology and a desire to change the world in a positive way, even if infinitesimally,” he says. Having worked in government and private healthcare setups, over the past five years, Mahboob realised “the missing element of our very unhealthy healthcare system” – information asymmetry between the patient and the doctors.
Patient Primus provides online audio and video health consultations and educates users about various diseases and problems through blogs focusing on spreading awareness on hygiene and sanitation and combating malnutrition among children and women. They also facilitate referrals by linking to specialty services at nearby health institutions if needed.