The success of the information technology sector – SaaS and the online eCommerce platforms – is for all to see. Wingify is also one such bootstrapped yet fast-growing Indian software company that makes globally admired technology products like VWO and VWO Engage, used by thousands of companies in more than 90 countries, proudly outcompete its International counterparts.
Being Director of Wingify, I sometimes wonder why technology companies have not tackled numerous societal problems beyond getting funded, growing revenues, making a profit and generating some employment.
Modern technologies are uniquely positioned to give back to society in ways that could be far more innovative, disruptive and effective than other industries. But what has stopped the tech companies in not venturing into solving problems like pollution, hunger, livelihoods, poverty alleviation, inequality, migration, terrorism, cleanliness, asymmetry of information in agricultural markets, traffic congestion, drug abuse– just to name a few.
The answer is elementary – these issues don’t fit into business and revenue models of new age companies. Enters the mandatory CSR spend in India.
India became the first country in the world to make corporate social responsibility (CSR) mandatory, following an amendment to The Company Act, 2013 in April 2014. Under this business need to invest part of their profits in areas such as education, poverty, gender equality, and hunger.
Wingify also took the mandatory CSR route by setting up Wingify Foundation. Wingify Foundation was established as Trust by Wingify Software Private Limited and its Directors in the year 2016 as a Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) arm with the aim to support society tirelessly and to promote education, vocational skills enhancement courses, employment enhancement projects, livelihood enhancement projects in rural and urban area, gender equality, to provide contribution to technology incubators, etc. Wingify Foundation is based out of Delhi and carrying its operation with the help of implementation partners and experts.
In this short span of time Wingify Foundation implemented various agriculture – based livelihood and skill enhancement programs in Delhi, Haryana and Uttarakhand. Going forward Foundation shall be making Wingify’s Corporate Social Responsibility programs multi-dimensional covering cross-cutting areas including the following:
However, going forward CSR, for a company like ours, needs to demonstrate the power of technology for the benefit of humanity. In the future, we are going to take a project approach by trying to work with innovators to develop new technologies that will help people.
In the meanwhile giving back through mandatory CSR route may look like every other industry – small steps in corporate philanthropy and volunteering – but as it is said “You need to be content with small steps. That’s all life is. Small steps that you take every day so when you look back down the road it all adds up and you know you covered some distance.” We’ll sure go a long way.