Toyota Kirloskar Motor CSR initiative makes it to Harvard as a case study

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 24 Jul 2019

Toyota Kirloskar Motor’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) case study titled 'Toyota Kirloskar Motors: Evaluating A CSR Project' and authored by Prof Utkarsh Majumdar and Namrata Rana on the company social initiative — Project ABCD (A Behavioral Change through Demonstration) — has been accepted for publication by Ivey Publishing and is made available on Harvard Business Review and Harvard Business School Publishing case collections.

India, which is the second most populous nation in the world with over a billion citizens and as per records, roughly half of its population, a staggering 522 million, practice open defecation. The World Bank estimates that 21 percent of communicable diseases in India are linked to unsafe water and the lack of hygiene practices, with more than 500 children under the age of five dying each day from diarrhea.

Lack of sanitation facilities cause serious health hazards in the local communities especially affecting safety of women and adolescent children. To achieve sustainable sanitation practices in the local communities, TKM incorporated a two-pronged approach: firstly, working on building the sanitation facilities in schools and household, and then sustaining the impact with the introduction of ‘A Behavioural Change through Demonstration’ program.

The Project ABCD was started in 2015 in support of the government 'Swachh Bharat Mission', and was being implemented in 527 schools covering 44,773 children at Ramanagara district (Karnataka) to improve public health and sanitation in villages.

The OEM partnered with an NGO called Sneha to carry out the activities and spread awareness at the grass-root level. Students, teachers and villagers were educated about the unhygienic impact of open defecation, the necessity of washing hands, maintaining cleanliness of toilets and precautionary measures against infections.

The company says on the back of its girl child sanitation initiatives and ABCD project implementation, school missing hours have also drastically reduced to zero (earlier, an adult girl child used to go to their home for toilet usage and miss the school for over one-two hours). By the year 2018-19, Toyota Kirloskar has further set a target to cover 100 percent sanitation in 1,000 schools in Ramanagara to make Open Defecation Free across the state of Karnataka. Till now, more than 270,000 village population have been trained on sanitation through this uniquely-designed CSR program while motivating the community to initiate and construct household toilets.

Additionally, Project ABCD has been taken up as the case study by two IIM professors and have been published by Ivey Publishing, a leader in providing business case studies with a global perspective.

Speaking on this recognition, Masakazu Yoshimura, MD, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said, “We are happy that our unique CSR initiative – Project ABCD – that began in the villages of Karnataka has been globally recognised now. It gives us great motivation that our dedicated efforts towards improving sanitation facilities and changing the mindset of local community have earned us the acknowledgement in a case available on Harvard Business Review case collection. TKM had adopted Toyota Business Practices Methodology to manage this project. Problem’s point of occurrence was identified, root cause analysis done, targets were set by further breaking it down into activities and then outcomes were measured periodically to maximise the impact and achieve the objective of 100 percent sanitation in target villages, by this year."

Till date, TKM has constructed more than 795 units of sanitation facilities in 237 government schools across India, including: 124 units in Varanasi (UP), 497 units in Ramnagara district, 80 unit in Bangalore (Karnataka) and 94 units in Vaishali (Bihar).