Social Good: Guilt Compensation Or Success Factor?

Dheeraj Sinha
Grey Worldwide

Read more essays on CSR in India and related case studies on the Brands and Sustainability in India page

Brands are a product of capitalism - the social system founded on the principle of profit-making. A brand's sole purpose is to enhance the profitability of the business it represents. In this context, the idea of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been about guilt compensation for the blatantly selfish motives of businesses. It's an attempt to earn good karma for all the bad karma that a business may evoke as a result of its actions - selfish pursuit of profit, exploitation of natural resources and human labour, promoting unhealthy habits (smoking) and so on. CSR is seen as a line in the balance sheet that keeps the policy makers at bay and compensates for the selfish actions of the business. Social good is seen, not as the path to profit, but as a license to carry on the business of profit-making.