Shared Value Initiative India (SVII) was announced as a regional partner of the global Shared Value Initiative (www.sharedvalue.org) at the Shared Value Summit held in New York on May 12. The Shared Value Initiative is a global community of leaders who find business opportunities in societal challenges. The Initiative was announced as a Commitment to Action for the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in 2012.

In attendance and there to confer the partnership were industry stalwarts including Michael E. Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School; Wilfried Aulbur Managing Partner & CEO, India, Chairman Middle East, Head Automotive Asia at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants; and Mark Kramer, co-founder and Managing Director of FSG, a nonprofit consulting firm established in 2000 and specializing in strategy, evaluation, and research, among others.

Amit Kapoor, President & CEO, India Council on Competitiveness and Honorary Chairman of Institute for Competitiveness, India is going to lead this initiative in India. At the launch he said, “Shared Value Initiative in India is driven by very important social objectives and economic objectives that need to go hand-in-hand to solve the problem of the 1.3 billion people who reside in India. The initiative will involve among other things, research and publications to push the agenda forward, and get people together at shared value events to discuss initiatives”. The SVII is also committed to building a strong membership network. SVII will also release a Shared Value Index and offer a Shared Value Enterprise Certification to concerned and interested parties.

Wilfried Aulbur, at the launch, commemorated this effort, saying, “While India has its many challenges, it also has some very significant successes”. Mr Aulbur referred to the Shakti project of Hindustan Unilever. When the company decided to allow village women to sell their products, they realized they needed to treat them with the same level of seriousness as they did their other channels. They enabled those women via mobile phones and a particular application that allowed them to order and track stock. This along with other support provided by the company, helped this channel be profitable. “It is important in shared value initiatives to keep profit motives in sight and also to explain the business case to all concerned”, said Mr Aulbur.

Mr Aulbur said, “For SVII to create impact, it would need to leverage best practices from the leaders and make them applicable and relevant to companies at large, who may want to drive change”. He also said that the SVII platform could make a significant contribution as it can help create scalable CSR models that have a nation wide impact.

Justin Bakule, Executive Director, Shared Value Initiative who was also present at the launch, said, “From the earliest days of the Shared Value Initiative, we knew the concept would generate a global dialogue. We wanted to empower people across the world to advance shared value in different economic systems”.

Earlier in the day, Michael E. Porter, while talking about shared value, said, “Shared value is the most powerful creator of opportunity,to address those things that make strategy come alive. Shared value clearly opens up new ways of looking at needs, opens up new markets, and new ways of configuring value chains. In essence shared value opens up opportunities to do things differently”.

He went on to say, “All in all, business wants to do good and add value. Shared value is the next big chapter in how to make an impact in a profound way. The premise for today is that we can go farther than just being generous. We can add value by solving the most important societal needs. We can solve the most important problems of the world and this is the promise of shared value. The idea is to connect societal needs and challenges to our businesses in a direct and tangible way”.

For more highlights from the launch, please click on the following link: https://youtu.be/hGNgDA_YfnE

SVII wants to tackle the underserved needs of society by engaging partners who have the capacity to create new inclusive business opportunities around social and economic challenges. The initiative would provide a platform for knowledge, experience, research, and thoughts of global leaders and organizations that have embraced shared value thinking and practice within their organizations, to be shared. (http://sharedvalue.org/groups/new-regional-partner-shared-value-initiative-india)

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