(AsiaNews) - US-based Dow Corning is responding to the challenges of the
economic crisis and emerging markets by focusing on creativity, experience and
sustainable development in places like India.
The company has
sent some of employees, all volunteers, to learn on the ground as part of its Corporate
Citizenship programme, which is designed to renew its global presence though
By providing technical
skills to locals, the company's employees can immerse themselves in different
cultures and learn new ideas and innovative market strategies.
Dow Corning makes
silicone materials, used in products ranging from cars to parachutes. Its
latest project is in Ujire (Karnataka) in cooperation with the Sri Dharmasthala
Ten volunteers worked
with areca nuts growers (pictured) to
develop a peeling machine. They also helped women start micro-businesses and
achieve a certain degree of economic emancipation.
volunteering program is an incredibly rich source of business ideas and an
inexpensive source of market research," said Laura Asiala, director of
corporate citizenship at Dow Corning.
are over, volunteers come home with greater knowledge and experiences about
emerging markets, investment possibilities and potential partners.
This path is so
fruitful that other companies have done the same. Germany's SAP (software) and US-based IBM (computer services) have
undertaken similar projects in the past few years; in Brazil, India and South
Africa for SAP, Cambodia and Nigeria, for IBM.
In fact, "Many companies believe that the international
corporate volunteering experience can stimulate new insights and learning for
their top employees in a way that traditional leadership development programs
cannot," a 2012 George Washington University study reported.