Corporate volunteering

Shubhangi Kitchloo: Head of Implementation Practise, Goodera

Shubhangi heads the Implementation Team and the Partner & Platform Success Practise Team at Goodera. She translates the visions of the giants in the CSR industry into real-time projects and actionable data. Here’s a sneak peek into what makes her tick.

Arlene Mathew

Content Writer at Goodera

  • 8 Mins Read
  • February 25, 2020

How was life before you stepped into the CSR industry?

I became an internally displaced person at the age of two when my family was forced out of Kashmir. As I grew up in Hong Kong, I later watched scores of Vietnamese refugees struggle for resettlement in Hong Kong while also being made aware of large migrations within Africa caused by famine and drought. The stories of people forced by socio-political and economic circumstances to migrate felt similar to my experience and I wanted to understand this nexus of politics and development which is why at University, I majored in Human Geography and Politics.

However, there weren’t as many huge or pressing social problems to solve in either Hong Kong or in the UK, where I attended university. That is why I moved to India after my graduation and started working in the social sector.

In the initial years of my career, there was a lot of pressure on countries to work on climate change issues. So naturally, I found myself working in that field. A few years later, I ended up joining the UN and worked in the industrialization and manufacturing sectors.

We have witnessed a transition in the sector as a whole. Projects are no longer led by social organizations but envisioned by the Board who then seek the right partners to implement their vision. These flagship programs are based on focus areas, geographies and processes that are closely aligned with the Company vision, allowing greater resonance for the company and its employees. Technology has also penetrated the sector as of late, with many CSR giants trying to figure out innovative ways to maximize transformational impact.

What made you decide to build your career in the CSR industry?

In 2013, when the government amended the Companies Act and made CSR mandatory for companies of a certain size, I realized that a significant portion of financial support for development in India would start to come from individual companies who needed domain expertise. I made the switch to Goodera so I could understand CSR better and help companies maximise the potential of their financial capital.

Shubhangi heads the Implementation Team and the Partner & Platform Success Practise Team at Goodera. She translates the visions of the giants in the CSR industry into real-time projects and actionable data. Here’s a sneak peek into what makes her tick.

The UN Foundation

Has the CSR industry changed from its inception in 2013?

The CSR industry has really matured over the years. Every year, new companies reach the threshold for the law to be applicable and these need hand-holding and personalized help but the large majority have been involved in CSR for 4-5 years now.

We have witnessed a transition in the sector as a whole. Projects are no longer led by social organizations but envisioned by the Board who then seek the right partners to implement their vision. These flagship programs are based on focus areas, geographies and processes that are closely aligned with the Company vision, allowing greater resonance for the company and its employees. Technology has also penetrated the sector as of late, with many CSR giants trying to figure out innovative ways to maximize transformational impact.

Here’s a quick look:

  1. Virtual volunteering is a great team-building exercise.
  2. Virtual volunteering creates a wide-reaching impact.
  3. Virtual volunteering nurtures employee well being through engagement.
  4. Virtual volunteering is a great team-building exercise.
  5. Virtual volunteering creates a wide-reaching impact.
  6. Virtual volunteering nurtures employee well being through engagement

Are there any challenges that come with being a woman in the CSR industry?

Since CSR is an area of responsibility that the Board of Directors is responsible for, I often deal directly with board members of large organizations. The issue here is that there is rarely equal representation of women on the boards of these companies. Therefore, it becomes my duty to represent the expertise, experience and needs of the female half of our population that all-male boards may miss.

It is only in the last few years that issues that girls and women face have started to come into the limelight. Issues like menstrual health and hygiene, women’s safety, financial independence, maternal mortality, and STEM education for girls are still not being tackled in full force by the CSR industry. I feel a responsibility to bring this to the fore and try and create a more even field for the next generation of women so they are appropriately empowered.

We’re running a campaign to support, uplift and empower women this Women’s Day. Be a part of the movement here.

1
Why is it important for people to be aware of rare diseases?

Experts say that there are 7000 different rare diseases. But, if you look closer, you will realize that many rare diseases exhibit symptoms associated with other more common diseases. Also, some rare diseases such as Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) – the disease that our affiliated charities are targeting – could be less rare than we think because of the chances of misdiagnosis or underdiagnosis. Those 7000 rare diseases account for 10% of the general population anywhere.The second reason why people should be concerned about rare diseases is that only a very small percentage of them have any effective treatments.The last reason for concern is that there is no disease so rare that those affected by it don’t deserve treatment. All people in the world have the right to treatment – all people, especially those most in need deserve care and attention.

Unfortunately, much of the current attention is focused on more widely known diseases. Diseases such as MSA are often overlooked, and MSA patients are almost always confronted with a very dim prognosis, left with very few alternative options.

2
Why is it important for people to be aware of rare diseases?

Experts say that there are 7000 different rare diseases. But, if you look closer, you will realize that many rare diseases exhibit symptoms associated with other more common diseases. Also, some rare diseases such as Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) – the disease that our affiliated charities are targeting – could be less rare than we think because of the chances of misdiagnosis or underdiagnosis. Those 7000 rare diseases account for 10% of the general population anywhere.The second reason why people should be concerned about rare diseases is that only a very small percentage of them have any effective treatments.The last reason for concern is that there is no disease so rare that those affected by it don’t deserve treatment. All people in the world have the right to treatment – all people, especially those most in need deserve care and attention.

Unfortunately, much of the current attention is focused on more widely known diseases. Diseases such as MSA are often overlooked, and MSA patients are almost always confronted with a very dim prognosis, left with very few alternative options.

3
Why is it important for people to be aware of rare diseases?

Experts say that there are 7000 different rare diseases. But, if you look closer, you will realize that many rare diseases exhibit symptoms associated with other more common diseases. Also, some rare diseases such as Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) – the disease that our affiliated charities are targeting – could be less rare than we think because of the chances of misdiagnosis or underdiagnosis. Those 7000 rare diseases account for 10% of the general population anywhere.The second reason why people should be concerned about rare diseases is that only a very small percentage of them have any effective treatments.The last reason for concern is that there is no disease so rare that those affected by it don’t deserve treatment. All people in the world have the right to treatment – all people, especially those most in need deserve care and attention.

Unfortunately, much of the current attention is focused on more widely known diseases. Diseases such as MSA are often overlooked, and MSA patients are almost always confronted with a very dim prognosis, left with very few alternative options.

Key Takeaways

Volunteering is here to stay

My message to these women is simple: Follow your passion and find a way to monetize it so you can remain financially independent while also genuinely looking forward to every day. Look for new challenges and be willing to take risks and step into the limelight.

Experts say that there are 7000 different rare diseases. But, if you look closer, you will realize that many rare diseases exhibit symptoms associated with other more common diseases. Also, some rare diseases such as Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) – the disease that our affiliated charities are targeting – could be less rare than we think because of the chances of misdiagnosis or underdiagnosis. Those 7000 rare diseases account for 10% of the general population anywhere.The second reason why people should be concerned about rare diseases is that only a very small percentage of them have any effective treatments.The last reason for concern is that there is no disease so rare that those affected by it don’t deserve treatment. All people in the world have the right to treatment – all people, especially those most in need deserve care and attention.

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