Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Cultural Awareness Day: Celebrating our Diverse Team

On Monday 17th September, we enjoyed our first Cultural Awareness Day here at Innovaid. Our team is a unique composition of people from extremely diverse backgrounds. The event offered us an opportunity to celebrate this diversity, reflect on what it means for us as a team and service provider, and to uncover shared values that define us and our relationship with clients. The event kicked off with a shared lunch: Each person contributed a dish of personal significance, resulting in a mouth-watering mosaic of culinary cultures to enjoy. Our personal backgrounds and experiences were also shared, leading into a discussion of how to best respect these backgrounds and what they mean for our shared values. The success of Innovaid’s first Cultural Awareness Day has awarded it a regular appearance on the staff calendar from hereon in. 

Monday, 17 September 2012

Celebrity Philanthropy - Page 3, PR or Passion?

There is one key question we are asked time and time and again at Innovaid – ‘What is the real motivation behind Celebrity Philanthropy?’ Are they just doing it for publicity? Do they really care or is it all just for a photo op and brand enhancement?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to scratch the surface of most celebrity philanthropy and see the depth of what they are doing behind it.

Here are some key tips for you to spot whether a celeb has passion for a cause or is looking for page 3 presence:
  • Consistency - is there consistency in their pattern of behavior, have they exhibited a steadfast adherence to the same principles, course and form in regards to their philanthropy?
  • Depth - depth can be described as a dimension taken through an object (perhaps subject); downward from an upper surface, horizontally inward from an outer surface, or from top to bottom of something regarded as one of several layers - is there depth to their philanthropy?
  • Synergy - the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements or contributions - do daily actions contribute to their philanthropic agenda?
  • Long term - is it a once off or continuing contribution to a single or related group of philanthropic causes?
  • Knowledge - an acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigations - does the individual exhibit a thorough knowledge of their chosen cause?
Answer yes, to any of these elements and I think you can be confident your celebrity is after more than a page three presence.

They are exhibiting a passion and a commitment to the cause, always a good sign, and, something we at Innovaid strive towards in assisting our clients in setting up their own foundations!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Satyamev Jayate & Social Change

OK, so I'm maybe a little behind the eightball, but, it seems Aamir Khan can do no wrong when it comes to highlighting burning social issues through his chosen artform, and the launch of - Satyamev Jayate, in collaboration with wife Kiran Rao, is no different. 

With wide-ranging reviews from a big thumbs up, to complaints about TVR ratings and ‘no follow through’, it would seem overall that Satyamev Jayate has dared go where no TV show has ventured before – and Aamir deservedly earns a hearty pat on the back for breaking that barrier and opening the floor to an awareness of the many social issues here in India.
And, while the show does a wonderful job in discussing, exploring and creating awareness of the many social issues that form the ‘underbelly’ of India, one burning question remains unanswered - does the show make any real impact?
A quick visit to the Satyamev Jayate website will uncover a series of very impressive looking graphs and statistics that outline the ‘impact’ of the show and its reach across the globe.  49.54% Facebook impressions.  22.26% comments on websites.  Seems impressive – but what does it all actually mean? Can societal change even be measured? How many people have actually made behavioural changes since the show launched?  How do women across the country rate their quality of life before the screening of Aamir’s show on Domestic Violence, and then after?  Has the show really effected change? or, do its producers just say it has because a few people talked about it on facebook?
We love the show, and, it promises much. Let’s hope Satyamev Jayate continues and culminates in a greater and more longer lasting impact to social change than merely raising awareness!

Thoughts on YOUWECAN

With the launch of his YOUWECAN Foundation, Yuvraj Singh stood up and embraced what we think of as an ‘Innovaid’ style of philanthropy.  His initiative aims to combat cancer in India by spreading awareness about the disease itself, advantages of early detection and fighting the stigma attached to it.
This comes as a refreshing change from the earlier version of the Foundation which, no matter how well intended, seemingly lacked purpose and any clear programs.
At the core of Innovaid’s approach to celebrity philanthropy is ensuring that the work of the clients foundation is firmly built around a core passion of the client – something synonymous with who they are and what they stand for in life.
Yuvraj has found his mission for philanthropy through his own personal battle with this disease, which kills up to 80% of sufferers in India due to a lack of early detection, making India home to one of the highest mortality rates for cancer sufferers in the world.
“Having experienced cancer personally, I can totally empathize with the pain and difficulties faced by a cancer patient and thus we have launched ‘YouWeCan’, I feel extremely passionate and motivated about using this platform to appeal to everyone, to come forward for early detection, as I have myself benefited from it and it is key to saving your life.” Yuvraj said, at the time.
Hats off to Yuvraj for focusing his philanthropy, making a stand and leveraging his almighty sphere of influence, here in India, to make a difference on this crucial social issue.

CSR Communication

Within the context of Corporate Social Responsibility, the area of CSR Communications with all its measurements, instruments and programs, including; sustainability reports, stakeholder dialogues, cause marketing campaigns, and product labeling, has been expanding dramatically worldwide.

Partly due to legislative requirements, the social media revolution, as well as, the creation of a global context in which companies are expected to be more open and receptive to external expectations with regards to their social and environmental impacts. It’s been a rollercoaster ten years or so for industry.

At a societal level, corporate sustainability communications has the potential to increase a company’s reputation and brand value whilst creating a platform for public debate on sustainability issues. From the internal communications point of view, communicating sustainability to internal stakeholders is critical to fostering employees’ loyalty and a satisfactory working environment. 

Businesses need to be proactively re-thinking the way they strategically develop and implement their marketing and communications plans to include social and environmental issues. Within the Indian context it will be necessary for big business to adapt the cultural context of “anonymity in doing good” and to balance the delicate equation of presenting the good sides of the sustainability story while credibly addressing any negative issues such as; continuing distrust towards the motive of CSR reporting.

Out & About with Innovaid

Cristiana Peruzzo, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Innovaid speaking at the Mega CSR Conference hosted by IndiaCSR

The Conference provided a forum to initiate dialogue and enlighten participants on creating a competitive advantage for their business organizations with the help of responsible management practices. Cristiana spoke regarding CSR Communications - concepts, approaches and channels. 

Setting up a Foundation

At Innovaid Advisory Services we have developed a unique approach to giving - creating ‘tailor-made’ Foundations for corporate businesses, high net worth individuals and celebrities in India. 

Innovaid streamlines the process of establishing a Foundation, and, will assist in developing a carefully thought out and well planned strategy.

With a strong strategy to forming the basis of your ‘Foundation’ it can provide the perfect vehicle to ensuring that company responsibilities are being met on the CSR front, whilst also providing positive spins-offs in terms of public relations, customer loyalty and employee engagement. As an individual, creating your own Foundation offers you a greater degree of control as to where and how your legacy is spent.
‘So many companies opt to distribute funds to NGO’s in India, this is often done sporadically, with no long term partnership or strategy behind it. The beauty of having your own Foundation is that you can further build and enhance your company brand whilst having complete control of the social initiatives you invest in.’ Says, Emily Harrison, Innovaid Advisory Services, Founder & Director.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Who is Innovaid?

Innovaid was conceptualized by Emily Harrison, a young Australian woman who wanted to revolutionize the way that celebrities, HNWI’s, Companies and international Foundations ‘made a difference’ in India.

Emily grew up on a cattle station in rural New South Wales and spent 10 years working in grassroots community development in Outback Australia, specializing in rural and remote communities. Living and working in tiny communities (population 100 – 4000) all her life, she worked in Local and State Government, helping these small communities get better access to services that their small populations could not sustain (health, education, sport & recreation, arts, disability, aged care).

She first came to India in 2007, leading a team of volunteers doing community development work in a village on the outskirts of Ooty, Tamil Nadu. Living with a local family and working on a variety of projects at the local school, with village youth and women, she soon fell in love with India and decided to make it her home.

It was during this time that the concept of Innovaid first took shape. Emily had met a celebrity talent manager in Sydney prior to her move to Ooty, who had outlined the need of some of his high profile TV and music stars, to have guidance and advice in undertaking their philanthropy in developing countries.

Encouraged and supported by a young entrepreneur from Coimbatore, Emily made the commitment to move to Mumbai and start her own business. With no business experience and having never lived in a city before in her life, Innovaid was developed in a very organic way – putting one foot in front of the other.

Emily Harrison of Innovaid Advisory Services
With the generosity and support of many Mumbaiker’s, Innovaid Advisory Services Pvt Ltd was registered in May 2009 as a private limited company to help celebrities and high net worth individuals make a significant impact with their philanthropy and to provide people with a simple and trustworthy mechanism to invest in social projects. In these early days, high profile clients such as the Rajasthan Royals and The Steve Waugh Foundation, gave Emily the faith that the service was indeed needed and the business evolved to present a range of products and services to meet their needs in this area.

With corporate social responsibility emerging as a sophisticated tool to help companies become more sustainable, Innovaid extended its reach into this area to support companies in managing their foundations and devising and implementing holistic CSR strategy, and today is sought after by many medium size enterprises in helping them to set up Foundations and strategise their CSR.
Innovaid continues to grow and aims to deliver a holistic range of services in this sphere to make a marked difference to those affected by social issues in India.

Aristotle on Philanthropy

"To give money is an easy matter in any man’s power. But to decide to whom to give it, and how large and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every man’s power nor an easy matter. Hence, it is that such excellence is rare, praiseworthy, and noble."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Aristotle