Information Technology, Corporate Business Firms and Sustainable Development: Lessons from Cases of Success from India
This paper critically analyses some cases of success of interventions initiated either by corporate firms or supported by the corporate firms which lead to community development. These cases highlight practices which could be adapted in any part of the world. These interventions are a win – win situation both for the firms and the communities involved. A multiple case study approach has been adopted. The range of interventions range from being very specific to being very wide in their approach and help the grass root level communities to emerge out of the poverty trap. The analysis culminates in development of a framework which attempts to link the nature of the intervention with the stage of development. The study concludes that the interventions have to be linked with the stage of development and resource strength in a particular geographical location. The resource could be a raw material or manpower which could lead to the turnaround of that region. Where the stage of development is low , wherein people do not even have access to basic amenities, the nature of interventions have to be wide so as to simultaneously have positive impacts on food, shelter, water, education, employment, women empowerment (as in SWRC Barefoot College initiative). Sophisticated technologies in such cases may not generate the desired effect. For areas which have some basic resources, IT and other related technologies can be channelised as in case of HP and Tarahaat for evolving new commercial products and services. The ITC’s case study is an outstanding example of self sustaining intervention which leads to identification of a new business channel which also empowers rural communities and brings in efficiency in the business processes. The policy implications are suggested and pointers towards aspects that need to be taken care of to make these interventions successful have also been delved upon.