EMBARGOED: 14:00 Eastern Time, Tuesday, July 5, 2010
Two-Thirds of Indian Consumers Want Government to Enact Corporate Responsibility Laws
New Poll Highlights Indians’ Rising Expectations on Corporate Responsibility
|Media Contacts||Notes to Editors|
MUMBAI Most Indian consumers want to see new laws enacted to force companies to act responsiblyeven if this means higher prices and fewer jobs, according to a new poll of consumers across 29 countries.
The GlobeScan Radar poll was conducted by CVoter in India in collaboration with international research firm GlobeScan among a representative sample of 1,000 consumers in each country. The poll reveals that nearly two-thirds of those surveyed in India 63 per centsaid they wanted government to pass new laws to force companies to go beyond their traditional economic role and work to improve society, compared to just 31 per cent who disagreed.
Indian expectations in this area are higher than in most developed countries surveyed, with 55 per cent of the Japanese, 50 per cent of the British, and just 39 per cent of Americans backing new laws to enforce corporate social responsibility.
The proportion of Indians who claim to have heard or read about what companies are doing to improve their social and environmental performance is also higher than most countries polled (50 per cent compared to a global average of 30 per cent), and has increased by ten percentage points since 2006.
Compared to Chinese consumers, Indians emerged as less sceptical overall about corporate social responsibility. More Indian consumers (49 per cent) than Chinese consumers (42 per cent) believe that companies communicate honestly about their social and environmental performance. In addition, the proportion of Chinese consumers interested in learning more about CSR is on the decline, while it is on the rise in India.
Asked to name a responsible company, Indians most commonly mentioned Tata, followed by Reliance, Aditya Birla Group, and Hindustan Unilever. Tata, often cited as a good example of a trusted brand, polarizes opinion, and is also the company most often mentioned as being irresponsible, with concerns cited by respondents over alleged irresponsibility during the installation of the Nano Car plant in Singur, West Bengal. Globally, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and Samsung topped the list of most responsible companies.
Yashwant Deshmukh, Director, CVoter explained: “Though Nano made headlines for Tata for being the cheapest car in the world, the Singur controversy resulted in negative sentiment towards the company. Tata did their best with damage control by calling off the project and also by engaging in effective CSR after the 27 November terror attacks in Mumbai.”
GlobeScan Director, Oliver Martin commented: “These figures clearly show that Indian companies ignore CSR at their perilconsumers are increasingly attentive to what companies are doing in this area, and want to see them take social responsibility seriously. But with faith in corporate leadership also on the decline in India, companies need to show they’re ready to meet these expectations, or risk seeing governments step in to enforce a responsible approach to business.”