More companies 'getting into CSR activities'
Dubai, March 13, 2014
An increasing number of UAE-based companies have started to adopt Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) more actively, said a report.
About 72 per cent of Middle East companies are moving towards more sustainable CSR projects, with CSR becoming an ‘important competent of business strategy ' for 86 per cent of the companies, stated a study by Mercer, a human resource consulting agency.
With the economy of the UAE moving at a significant pace companies are turning their attention towards CSR initiatives with lasting effects on communities. For companies CSR is an opportunity to become socially responsible and contribute positively towards the society in which they operate.
United Foods is doing to just that. The company recently sponsored four teams from the America University of Sharjah to participate in the world’s largest strategy and management competition, the UAE Global Management Challenge.
“CSR is slowly becoming part of our key strategy in business and we wanted to choose a project that would have lasting effects,” remarked Mohammed Alowais, the vice chairman of United Foods.
“We are proud to be sponsoring students to enter this competition not only because this is an international platform that will provide them with several opportunities but also because of the practical tools and knowledge that they will gain.”
The Challenge consists of a management simulation in which teams of 3 to 5 people, comprising university students and corporates, are given complete control of a virtual company with the objective of obtaining the highest investment performance for its shareholders. Competitors analyse financial and economic indicators, expand their views on corporate strategy, interact with functional areas of a company and gain an in-depth understanding of the market conditions in which their companies compete.
“This opportunity allows us to invest in the lives of young students so that we may contribute to the development of our future business leaders in the region,” added Alowais.
Mian Muneer Uddin, the managing partner of Beaufort Associates, the consulting and advisory services firm that brought the Global Management Challenge to the UAE said companies in the Middle East were getting tired of the band aid approach to CSR and were instead looking for opportunities that could bring about lasting change.
“It is encouraging and uplifting to see education take off as a CSR initiative because of the influence it will have on the students,” remarked Muneer.
“The Challenge will equip professionals and students with the necessary skills to tackle financial problems whilst transforming them into potential leaders.”
The Challenge was officially launched in September this year and encourages professionals and students to participate. Currently 63 teams comprising 290 participants are taking part in the Round 1 of the Competition.
The winning team, or ‘UAE Champion’, will then compete with counterparts from several countries for the world title, to be held in Sochi, Russia in April.-TradeArabia News Service