They Lend Businesses a Human Touch

With their social enterprise, 4th Wheel, Sharon Weir and Payal Mulchandani help corporates create an environmentally sustainable world.

By Dhwani Pathak Dave

Sharon Weir and Payal Mulchandani’s 4th Wheel wants to create partnerships among NGOs, organisations, business houses and the government

 The fact that central government is planning to make it mandatory for companies to spend 2 per cent of their net profits on corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities goes on to show that social welfare is nowhere on the agenda of today’s enterprises. And that is where the efforts of people like Sharon Weir and Payal Mulchandani assume significance.

They have started an organisation — 4th Wheel — that aims to change the mindsets of businesses and help them exercise their power to create a socially and environmentally sustainable world. This also ensures the companies their own survival in a competitive marketplace.

“Corporate social responsibility is not just about philanthropy. There is lot more to it. It is the ethical behaviour of an enterprise towards the society,” says Sharon, co-founder of The 4th Wheel, which focuses on research, advocacy and consultancy of CSR.

The 24-year-olds are determined to give facelift to CSR by creating effective partnerships among NGOs, organisations, business houses and the government.

Sharon, who has completed her masters in development studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) London, says, “We did not take up 9-5 jobs because we are independent thinkers and quite enterprising ourselves. We wanted to tap the entrepreneurial spirit of the state and bring about a visible change in the way social development activities are undertaken.”

The idea of starting the organisation struck the duo when they realised that random charity lead to no substantial change. “Inclusive and sustainable development can only be achieved if the private sector, public sector and civil society work in tandem,” says Payal, a masters in international relations from IE Business School, Madrid. Read more…

Learn more about The 4th Wheel

As published in www.ahmedabadmirror.com on June 7, 2011.


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