Change with continuity is the mantra

Written by fe Bureau | Updated: Jun 27 2009, 04:26am hrs
Bharat Doshi
At the fourth global meeting of the Emerging Markets Forum, it was announced that Rajiv Lall, managing director and CEO, IDFC, would step down as the president of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, one of the oldest industry chambers in the country. Bharat Doshi, executive director and group CFO, Mahindra & Mahindra, will take over as the chambers president. Doshi is also chairman, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Ltd. In an interview with FE, Doshi highlighted the road ahead for the chamber. Excerpts:

These have been tough times for the industry. How does the chamber envision the road ahead for corporates

For a chamber which has a history of 173 years, it is important to make a difference, a change with continuity as I would call it. The traditional role of the chamber is to react to government policies. I would strive to make the chamber more proactive, partner with the government to shape policies rather than comment on it later.

Although most corporates are committed to reacting to their social and environmental obligations, through corporate social responsibility programmes, it is not just money that ultimately matters. Corporate professionals should give their energy and time for such efforts too.

Could you please give some details of the experiment

At Mahindra, we have done something that has been very successful. The experiment is what we call ESOPsnot employee stock options, but employee social options. We give a menu of options for professionals where they can voluntarily go and give their time and opportunity for social and environmental schemes, something that has been a grand success. They do it out of their own time. We will try to replicate that method in the chamber.

What are the other areas of focus for the chamber

Good corporate citizenship is another area of focus for us. We want to evolve a code of ethics for the chamber in this respect. Another plan is to take forward the Young Bombay Forum, which was initiated a couple of years back.

How do you look at the upcoming Budget

We have to look at economic and inclusive growth. All eyes are on the government as to what it is going to do regarding infrastructure, agriculture, how it will look at encouraging growth in these sectors.