Thesis on Corporate Social Responsibility in Grameenphone

In the present world Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an important issue and challenge for the Corporate World to play a vital Role in Government Policy and Regulation. Besides this it is a big deal to get the attention and acceptance of mass people. Understanding the potential role of CSR in companies like Grameenphone Ltd. is important to the design of regulation. Grameenphone Ltd. renewed the contract with Pathfinder International to provide free yet quality safe motherhood and infant care services to poor mothers and their infants throughout the country.

An agreement was signed in this regard on 7th December, 2008. This agreement is a continuation of the partnership between the two organizations prevailing since May 2007.Under the agreement, Grameenphone, in partnership with Pathfinder International and USAID's network of Smiling Sun clinics in 61 districts, will help to provide free professional primary healthcare services through 318 static clinics, about 8000 satellite clinics and around 6000 community-based health-workers across the country. Grameenphone also aims to assist in necessary infrastructure development and extension of basic healthcare services, especially in the hard-to-reach and remote areas. So far, a total of 940,251 economically-disadvantaged mothers and their infants received free healthcare service under the project.

In addition, five motorized vans have been provided to facilitate better patient referrals. Two clinic-on-wheels have been given to complement the existing service touch-points and enhance the accessibility of services in remote areas. 48 new community-based health workers (Depot Holders-DH) have also been recruited to generate awareness and increase service demand among the recipients. In Bangladesh, only 13% women get skilled attendants at delivery. The country has one of the highest maternal mortality rates (320 per 100,000) and infant mortality rates (52 per 1,000) in Asia. Henceforth, reducing infant mortality and improving maternal health have been identified as two of the eight millennium development goals. Through the Safe Motherhood and Infant Care Project Grameenphone aims to address the healthcare need of the less privileged members of the society, deprived of fundamental healthcare services as well as to provide continuing assistance to the Bangladesh Government and development agencies to make every life count and thus contribute to the shared dream of a thriving nation.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR, also called corporate conscience, corporate citizenship, social performance, or sustainable responsible business/ Responsible Business) is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. CSR policy functions as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby businesses monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international norms. The goal of CSR is to embrace responsibility for the company's actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere.

Grameenphone Ltd publicly launched its first Corporate Social Responsibility Report at a simple ceremony organized at a local hotel in the city. The report was unveiled by Oddvar Hesjedal, Chief Executive Officer of Grameenphone Ltd in presence of senior representatives from both the public and private sectors. The objective of the publication was to create better understanding among the key stakeholder groups about Grameenphone's good corporate governance practices and its contribution to the socio-economic development of the country. As a responsible and sustainable business, Grameenphone's socio economic responsibilities extend beyond its financial performance. Grameenphone's investment strategies are thought through beyond mere balance sheets to act as a catalyst for prosperity and innovation that can spur economic growth for the country. In his presentation Grameenphone CEO, Oddvar Hesjedal, said that the company was geared to invest beyond business through its CSR initiatives and committed to work hand in hand with the government of Bangladesh and other development agencies in meeting the Millennium Development Goals of the country. Grameenphone recognizes the enormous potential for social and economic benefits to Bangladesh through telecommunication. It has a role to play in ensuring that these benefits are accessible to as many sections of the society as possible. This belief is crystallized as one of the key priorities in Grameenphone's CSR strategy. While the report is focused on the most significant issues and goals, through the report, Grameenphone would like to stress that transparency and corporate responsibility are embedded in every single aspect of the company's operations i.e. business, people, products, environment etc.