Nita Ambani proudly states that she joined the board of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Being the Founder and Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, Mrs. Ambani spearheads all the CSR initiatives of RIL. She dreams of an inclusive India and strives to achieve the same with her foundation’s many programs. She has a lot of compassion for people. She ensures that her foundation reaches the remotest villages to help the poor and marginalized sections of the society.
Under the leadership of Nita Ambani, Reliance Foundation has touched the lives of over 12 million people across India. The focus areas of the foundation include healthcare, education, rural transformation, urban renewal, and sports, among others.
Reliance Foundation spends more than half of its funds on rural transformation. It works to offer a secure and sustainable livelihood to the people. With the help of irrigation and other technologies, it helps farmers to make barren lands available for farming. The foundation has also helped many villages fight their water problems with water conservation and other techniques.
Reliance Foundation’s CSR
The philanthropic arm of RIL, Reliance Foundation works for the betterment of the people. Whenever the foundation team approaches a village, it has to face perception challenges. This is because a number of organizations visit the villages and promise to complete a particular task, which they eventually fail to accomplish. However, this is not the case with Reliance Foundation.
Nita Ambani says that she is blessed with a team that strives to do good for the people. She believes that resources and technology are not enough for social transformation; passion, dedication, commitment, and enthusiasm are equally important.
The Indian Government has asked companies to use 2 percent of their profits for CSR. In 2015, it was found that RIL willingly spent 3.35 percent of its profit for CSR. Reliance Foundation spends the highest among any CSR foundations of a company. When asked why RIL does this, Mrs. Ambani said that this is simply because India needs it. She stated that whenever there is a need, her foundation will always stand there for support.
Nita Ambani believes that spending money is important to achieve social transformation. She feels that if a person wants to do good, he may do it even if he does not have a lot of wealth. However, wealth helps to do it better, she adds.
Nita Ambani’s passion for social work
Nita Ambani believes in giving back to the society. She is personally involved in a lot of charity. But, she never speaks about it. She says that she has been taught to do good for the society in a private way and hence the cause of social transformation is very close to her heart.
Mrs. Ambani aims for transformational change through Reliance Foundation initiatives. In the field of education, she wants that every child should be able to read and write. In terms of health, she wants to bring quality healthcare at an affordable price and ensure that everyone gets equal treatment. With regard to rural transformation, she wants all the villagers to attain a sustainable lifestyle.
People who have worked closely with Mrs. Ambani say that even when she is tired she will never show it. Although she is involved in a lot of activities, she keeps running throughout the day with fresh energy. She often drives to any village where Reliance Foundation works and interacts with the local people for the entire day. She feels that it is her love and passion for the things she does that motivates her all day.
Nita Ambani believes that Reliance Foundation has become an identity and it brings everyone together. She feels that after she has joined the RIL board, all the people have become interested in the CSR activities of her foundation. Reliance Foundation is also discussed in the board meetings. She believes that this support from the Reliance family is important.
Reliance Foundation’s working process
Every year in March, a three-year detailed plan of Reliance Foundation is finalized. This is further broken into a yearly plan. Once the plans and budget are confirmed, no further sanctions are required every time funds are being utilized.
Twice in a month, the Reliance Foundation team sits with Nita Ambani to discuss the outcomes. Mrs. Ambani conducts a review on every second and fourth Friday of the month. At times, Mukesh Ambani is also invited for the review. Apart from this, in every three months, the teams from the fields are called to share their views.
All of this suggests that for Mrs. Ambani, CSR is much more than just a factor required for maintaining brand image.