iMAD is what will bring about a better place

Updated: Sep 30 2007, 06:01am hrs
IMAD (I made a difference) is a recent social responsibility (SR) initiative at Cincom India, a part of the Cincinnati-based 40-year-old software solutions firm. The objective of iMAD is to encourage Cincomers towards social development, internal or external to the company. iMAD is not only a programme, but a thought that we want everybody to think about and work upon. This is a mechanism through which we would like to inculcate a powerful sense of mission within each and every staff member to work for the betterment of people around us. Through iMAD, we would like to focus our diffused energies towards a common goal. However, we do not want to force it, but inspire and encourage people to bring their own ideas, commitments and resources towards this social cause.

Sharing, according to me, would be the most important aspect of this corporate citizen programme. It is not just restricted to giving away money, but also knowledge, time, devotion, energy, effort and most importantly, commitment. Cincom has been attached globally to various SR programmes since its conception. The spirit of driving change and empowerment in society has been absorbed well into Cincom India and the launch of this Indian programme is a result of the same.

Conventionally, SR programmes launched by most companies have management expecting employees to drive it further, with the focus of providing a facelift to the companys image.

The core identity for what it stands for is usually lacking and thereby the reason for employees to connect does not exist.

I truly foresee the Cincom India leadership, comprising six individuals including myself, to take initiatives first so that other members of our staff feel encouraged to join the programme. We are keen to provide all the support and help through our collective and collaborative endeavours to help in changing lives for the better.

We would like to contribute towards society, especially in the areas of organisational expertise. Therefore, our initial steps would be through means of information technology-related activities like teaching, knowledge transfer, school visits, etc. We are working towards formalising a process to take the iMAD programme further and want to make the entire SR activity an integral part of our strategy in running our business rather than it being an isolated affair.

We all are a part of an ecosystem and every individual plays an important role. This understanding of equality is the key to any such programme.

Within Cincom, display of hierarchy in the organisation is strongly discouraged and we always believe in building closer tiesbetween members of the organisation. This has contributed to the companys average employee tenure to be 10.3 years globally. All management and employees alike have cubicles and not cabins. This also ensures more interaction between employees across departments and more appreciation of each others challenges.

In line with the same, Dillbag Bakshi, the most senior member of Cincom India and a member of our support staff, conducted the flag-hoisting ceremony on August 15, 2007.

Helping the underprivileged and the student community will be our initial priority. We, being an information technology company, have started our first initiative to provide computers at Rs 100 for the kids of our support staff (drivers, cleaners, office boys, etc). We have provided computers for the children of our 19 support staff members. This will be followed by providing a training programme and a Cincom computer buddy to help the recipient of these computers.

Our focus in providing these computers to the less-privileged kids is to ensure the availability of the right tools so that we can share our expertise and knowledge with the future of our society (children) by providing in-house training to them.

Just providing the monetary support is not enough. We need to ensure that we touch the lives of individuals through our small efforts. Through this programme we also want to encourage more and more people within Cincom India to take leadership roles for helping other members of our society and also foreseeing partnering with other organisations.

Sharing and equality would be the key for this initiative.

(Pantulu Avasarala is director, Cincom Systems India Pvt Ltd)