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Qatar University MBA students oriented on corporate social responsibility by Vodafone executive

Qatar University (QU) MBA students from the College of Business and Economics' (CBE) marketing management class last Monday participated in a discussion session led by Vodafone Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Luisa Gentile.

The event was at the invitation of CBE Department of Management and Marketing head Dr Rana Sobh to provide an opportunity for her students to learn about the CSR strategy at Vodafone and its significant role in the company's global strategy, and to gain a deeper understanding of the concept of CSR and inspire them to develop such initiatives in their organizations and communities.

Mrs Gentile discussed how the issue of CSR is perceived at Vodafone and outlined various programs implemented in the community to create an environment that supports responsible and sustainable initiatives for the benefit of all.

Stressing that "CSR is more than philanthropy", Mrs Gentile said: "We ensure that our CSR activities are linked closely to our business, finding the right balance between doing good in our actions and running the business of a telecommunications company. This ensures that our key stakeholders are happy and allows us to sustain our role as a visionary organization that employs its values and principles in its day-to-day functions".

She stated further: "We are at the beginning of our journey but we have a clear idea of where we want to be in the future. We engage in self-reflection as a business so that we can realize our ultimate vision of creating a legacy in the way we operate and not embark on corporate responsibility activities that are one-off projects or public relations stints". 

Mrs Gentile fielded questions from students on the extent to which companies take financial returns into consideration when developing CSR strategies; her view of CSR in Qatar; and what still needs to be done to further implement CSR in Qatar. 

Commenting on the event, Dr Sobh explained: "One of the learning outcomes in this course is for students to appreciate the social responsibility dimension in marketing decisions and it is important that students hear from executives who have been successful in implementing CSR strategies in Qatar". 

The event was the second such delivered to MBA marketing students by a Vodafone executive. They participated in a discussion session two years ago with former Vodafone Qatar CEO Graham Maher, on issues related to building the Vodafone brand locally and globally.

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