The Grant Thornton SABERA Awards acknowledge the inspiring stories of impact and development aligned with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
No organisation operates in a bubble – they all also engage with the communities they exist in. While most are driven purely by a profit motive, there are some who go beyond to create lasting change by supporting people and helping disadvantaged communities.
It was to reward such individuals, corporations and institutions contributing to social impact that media personality and social entrepreneur Suparnaa Chadda founded the Social and Business Enterprise Responsible (SABERA) Awards, the third edition of which concluded with a virtual summit this month.
The Grant Thornton SABERA 2020 Awards attracted nationwide participation by diverse organisations and individuals across the corporate and development sector. The awards acknowledged the inspiring stories of impact and development aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
There were 74 entries for 13 different categories and three research-based nominations across thematic areas like environment, education, responsible business, pharma, individual change-makers and others.
Vishesh C Chandiok, CEO, Grant Thornton Bharat, says, “A year ago, who would have thought the 2020 edition of SABERA would be conducted in the middle of a global health crisis. I believe the need for a platform like SABERA has grown manifold in the post-Covid world. At Grant Thornton Bharat, we have been helping businesses address common challenges to contribute to a more vibrant economy and we take immense pride in our association with SABERA.”
Exemplifying SABERA’s intent to catalyse ‘good’ and leave no one behind, the awards were anchored by Payal Chauhan, the 15-year-old daughter of a humble launderer from a small village in Rajasthan, who fulfilled her dream of anchoring a live show in fluent English.
The theme this year, ‘Humanity beyond Calamity: Preparing for the New World Order’, emphasised on the shifting focus of large corporates from mere profit-oriented operations to initiatives creating a larger social impact. The summit preceding the awards discussed critical issues like climate change, increasing importance of indicators such ESG and SDGs, and integrated reporting standards adopted by companies. The summit also deliberated utilising technology, e-commerce and digital solutions to mitigate future crisis.
Besides Vishesh C Chandiok, the occasion was graced by speakers like Dr Bibek Debroy, Chair, Economic Advisory to the Prime Minister; Dr Preetha Reddy, Apollo Hospitals Group; Suhela Khan, UN Women; Sanjay Dube, International Institute for Energy Conservation; Amit Kumar Bajaj, Grant Thornton Bharat; Lalit Malik, Dabur India Ltd.; Dr Jeremy Osborn, International Integrated Reporting Council; Mohua Mukherjee, Global Development Economics Professional; Kedar Upadhyay, Cipla Ltd.; Niranjana Maru, MAKAAM; Sue Stephenson, IMPACT2030; and Ravi Bhatnagar, Reckitt Benckiser.
“I am thankful to our presenting partner Grant Thornton Bharat, The UN Global Compact Network, Nayara Energy partners, jury members, participants and the entire SABERA family for their relentless support and enabling us to showcase the inspiring stories of ‘good’ from across the country. GT SABERA 2020 is special as it aspires to build hope while we motivate each other by recognising the initiatives that have truly made a difference in the lives of individuals and communities,” says Suparnaa Chadda.
The winners of Grant Thornton SABERA 2020 are:
Category: Responsible Business
Category: Krishi and Gramin Vikas (Agriculture and Rural Development)
“Women are an integral part of the initiatives that we’ve taken. It is an honour to be conferred the Responsible Business of the Year Award at GT SABERA 2020,” said Praveer Sinha, CEO and managing Director, Tata Power.
Priya Nair, executive director – beauty and personal care, Hindustan Unilever, said, “HUL wants to make sustainable living commonplace. If the communities thrive, our business will thrive. We have built scaled sustainable initiatives over the years. I would like to thank the jury of GT SABERA Awards for this prestigious recognition of Responsible Business of the Year award.”
Zelma Lazarus of Impact India Foundation said, “I am grateful to the jury members of GT SABERA 2020 Awards for conferring on me the Change Maker of the Year award. This award is dedicated to Impact India Foundation staff of 52 change makers, trustees, donors, doctors and so many others who’ve helped us make 129,793 rural beneficiaries healthy.”
“Swades Foundation is happy to receive the GT SABERA Award for Not-for-Profit of the Year Category. We work towards bringing lasting change in the lives of rural communities and our commitment only goes higher with such recognition,” said Mangesh Wange, CEO, Swades Foundation.
In line with its commitment of bringing together public, private and third sectors to solve global challenges, Grant Thornton Bharat also launched ‘Faces of Vibrant Bharat’. Focused on sociopreneurs, this initiative brings together ‘hybrid’ enterprises and gives them a platform to connect, engage and inspire.