Articles by Aneel Karnani
The lower house of the Indian parliament has passed a new Companies Bill that requires companies above a certain size to ensure that they spend at least 2 percent of annual profits on corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. Ernst & Young, the audit and advisory company, estimates that the law would cover about 3,000 companies in India and about $2 billion of expenditures on CSR activities.
Looked at from the perspective of the political right, and the left, and the center, the proposed law is a really bad idea.
Marketing socially useful products to the poor offers only limited business opportunities. Still, there are some profitable opportunities and we need creative entrepreneurs to design the right business models to serve the poor. To profitably serve the poor, firms need to make the cost-quality trade-off to make the products affordable by the poor.
- Impact Assessment