Swachh Bharat Mission

Creating A Pursuit of Purpose in Our Pursuit of Profits

As the nation marches towards realizing the vision of Digital India, an inherent factor that truly determines its success will be its digitally literate citizens

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose” – Robert Bryne

As someone who has been in technology sales throughout my two-decade long career, this quote has been a constant influence. Purpose has the ability to define individuals, to define companies. If not defined and acted upon correctly, purpose can even break companies – including the profitable ones!

On a personal level, being part of the technology industry has made purpose synonymous with digital for me. As the nation marches towards realizing the vision of Digital India, an inherent factor that truly determines its success will be its digitally literate citizens. A recent instance where the impact of integrating purpose with digital literacy was experienced first-hand was at a workshop that we as a team conducted at a municipal school at Dharavi, Mumbai as part of SAP’s Code Unnati programme.

It was overwhelming to watch the children swiftly adapt to technology and bring in an innovative mindset as well as enjoy what they were learning. This activity has now inspired the team to volunteer more and at the same time, has enhanced the impact of the Code Unnati program locally.

Employee volunteering programs have been on the rise across the globe and are enabling individuals make a difference in the communities where they live and work. It also helps businesses create a larger impact to the community while simultaneously enhancing the employee engagement levels.

Bring Together the Ecosystem for Future-Ready India

With only 10% of India’s population being digitally literate, it is a clarion call for the entire ecosystem to come together. While the traditional machinery of the Government and NGOs have been doing their bit so far, to make the nation truly future-ready, it is necessary for corporates take up part of the mantle. Through employee volunteering, it is time for common people to join the fray.

There are few critical aspects to consider while driving digital literacy programs through employee volunteering and also harnessing the power of innovation, inclusivity and collaboration:

  • Digital is the undeniable future: Equipping our future generations with “twenty-first-century skills,” like critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and digital literacy is key to a brighter future
  • Invest not just money but TIME as well: Over the years, we have witnessed a first-hand impact of time spent by employees with beneficiaries of various social campaigns. This serves as an important lesson – the success of any employee volunteering campaign hinges on, and should be measured by the time spent with the beneficiaries just as much as the quality of knowledge imparted
  • Collaboration is key: As the Government and NGOs continue to do their part and drive initiatives like Skill India, it is important for the entire ecosystem to join hands for this common goal. Digital transformation and collaboration can’t exist without the other. Collaboration acts as a catalyst to move the needle on digital literacy, while bringing about new ways of working together.

As we move forward, it is important to remember that there is always a bigger narrative, a larger goal and all of us have a role to play in it. Private companies are uniquely poised to create a community experience and in turn help the economy by moving from a transactional to a transformational approach to corporate volunteering. Let this be a call to action for everyone to come together to collectively alter the fabric of the community for greater good, for the ultimate benefit of humanity!

By Subramanian Ananthapadmanabhan, Vice President, Enterprise Business, SAP Indian Subcontinent


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