Bhilai: The steel city of Bhilai witnessed a unique initiative by the country’s largest eCommerce company, mjunction, today, when it hosted a non-profit and neutral Movement for Efficiency and Transparency (MET), as an endeavor to recognise, reward and replicate models of creating efficiency and transparency in society and businesses. The movement, which was kick-started with the successful launch of the inaugural MET conference in Kolkata in August, 2011, was followed by two MET conferences in Jamshedpur in December 2011 and Bokaro in March 2012. The MET conference in Bhilai today provided a further thrust in making the movement a nationwide initiative. Through this conference, mjunction expects to recognise people who have transcended barriers of bureaucracy, inefficiency and opaqueness, and also provide a platform to the achievers to share their ideas, who have brought in change.
The conference witnessed an enriching panel discussion on the subject of Efficiency and Transparency - the key to an ever flourishing society, wherein change leaders like Rangan Varadan, co-founder, Micro Graam, K Thiagarajan, head, operations, Agastya International Foundation, Chandrakant Singh, Chairman and co-founder, Chaitanya Gurukul Trust, and P Shankar, former CVC, government of India, and IEM, SAIL, joined in sharing their views and opinions. The conference also saw N Kothari, ED, vigilance, SAIL, Pankaj Gautam, CEO, Bhilai Steel Plant, and Viresh Oberoi, founder, MET, and MD, mjunction addressing the audience on the subject of efficiency and transparency.
Mr Gautam welcomed the distinguished panelists to Bhilai and said, “Today transparency is a competitive differentiator as it restores both investor and customer confidence and creates value for the business. The biggest challenge for the corporations and individuals, therefore, is how to replace greed as a driver of their agenda with something more substantial and sublime. At SAIL, public interest has topmost priority in all our policies and actions. We have been pioneers in eCommerce activities in India through reverse and forward actions. eCommerce has helped s overcome time and distance constraints.”
Commenting on the launch of this movement, Mr Oberoi said, “The way we have ushered in transparency and efficiency in the sales processes of the steel and coal supply chains in India, as also to the sourcing and procurement processes across industries, MET has been instituted with a similar thought process in creating efficiency and transparency across all aspects of governance, corporate and social life. MET is a platform to identify, appreciate, exchange and amplify contributions of individuals and organisations. It is a forum for the change agents to share their vision, experiences and stories and thereby encourage others to join the movement. Our ultimate goal is to catalyze and inspire similar achievements in civil society.”
Mr Kothari cited several scenarios where his office had to face challenges pertaining to ethics in business. He also appreciated the Right to Information (RTI) platform and how it necessitates proper internal documentation in all organisations.
Mr Shankar appreciated the MET platform and thanked mjunction for having created a platform that helps identify and propagate contributions of individuals and organisations doing good work in the fields of transparency and efficiency.
Hosted at the assembly hall, HRD Centre, Bhilai Steel Plant, Bhilai, by mjunction and supported by Tata Steel, the MET conference saw significant participation with over 150 people from diverse fields and background of the city joining in. The relevance of such initiative is apparent not only in what is happening within the country today but also in the world view of India. India’s ranking in Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International has fallen significantly from 70 to 87 out of the surveyed 178 countries in a span four years, from 2006 to 2010. The integrity score for India is a dismal 3.3 on 10 (10 being the highest). Additionally, Washington DC based research group Global Financial Integrity records that India has lost over $125 billion in illicit outflows between 2000-2008. Contrary to the expectations that a growing economy will create better infrastructure and better standard of living, the gini coefficient , which measures income inequality has gone up from 0.32 to 0.37 on a scale of 0 to 1 (1 being the highest income inequality) from 2000-2005.
The movement initially started in Kolkata through a conference where change agents like MN Vijayakumar, crusader of transparent governance, Vijay Anand, corruption crusader, Vivek Gilani, founder, mumbaivotes.com, Ajay Chaturvedi, champion of social reforms in rural India, Chhavi Rajawat, India’s youngest sarpanch, Ankit Fadia, world’s youngest cyber security expert and PS Bhattacharya, champion of efficiency in public sector actively participated to provide MET its deserved momentum.