Interview with Dr. Lalit Khaitan, Radico Khaitan Limited

Interview with Dr. Lalit Khaitan, Radico Khaitan Limited

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Dr. Lalit Khaitan

Radico Khaitan, Pioneer industry earlier known as Rampur Distillery, is amongst the oldest & largest manufacturers of IMFL in India with brands like Rampur Whisky, 8PM Whisky, Magic Moments, Vodka, Contessa Rum & Old Admiral Brandy in its brand portfolio.

With rich history of 75 years, Radico Khaitan continues to set the pace for today and shape the business outlook for tomorrow. The company has been successfully building its brand equity in international markets and currently exports its products to over 85 countries..

For the past 15 years, Radico Khaitan has been at the forefront of working towards the betterment of the society and for the social good under their CSR framework.

In a formal conversation with Payal Prashar, Associate Editor – CompanyCSR group, Dr. Lalit Khaitan, Chairman & Managing Director – Radico Khaitan Limited spoke on various important issues of Sustainability and how Radico is able to strike a balance between Profit & CSR.

Q: Being the oldest manufacturers of Indian Made Foreign Liquor, Please do share your journey as a responsible business house at Radico Khaitan

Radico Khaitan Limited (formerly known as Rampur Distilleries) is among the oldest and one of the largest manufacturers of Indian Made Foreign Liquor. As a responsible corporate, Radico Khaitan, has been working towards Skilling youths, equipping them for job opportunities, promotion of sports and mass involvement of youths for sports, cultural promotion and for other activities aimed at betterment of the society and for the social good for over 15 years. (Initiatives listed below)

Q: How  does Radico Khaitan balance between its Profitability,    Sustainability & Community Development ?

For over 15 years, Radico Khaitan (erstwhile Rampur Distillery) has been at the forefront of working towards the betterment of the society and for the social good. Radico, being a listed company, sets aside a budget that has to mandatorily be utilised for the social causes. Radico Khaitan and its social arm has engaged and diversified its area of social services across women empowerment, promotion of sports, skill development and job opportunities, infrastructure development, educational support and recognition for academic excellence, providing healthcare and medical facilities and above all, promotion non-discrimination and equality among religions.

Q: What are the major challenges & issues faced by Radicco Khaitan on its path of Sustainable and Equitable Development within and outside the board?

We rely significantly on NGOs and Agencies to drive the social campaigns and initiatives. The identification of the right intermediary for a specific cause becomes a challenge as numerous unreliable and fake bodies exist in the landscape to claim the funds for their own benefit only and deviate the attention from the cause. It becomes extremely challenging for us to tap into the right channels to get desired output.

Q: Radicco had been working a lot towards Water Conservation and Organic Farming. Kindly share your views on it and the motivation behind the same.

Radico Khaitan is conscious of the fact that a sustainable environment ensures the flourished future and society. With the huge scale and magnitude of our plants, energy conservation and optimum utilization of natural resources is the focus point for us. Radico has been recognized as one of the best water saving distilleries of India. A part of Rampur District is under “Dark Zone” category since last few years. RadicoKhaitan has adopted Artificial Water Recharging Technique through bore wells to improve the water levels to overcome this situation. Over 20 villages are benefiting under this scheme.

Q: After New Company Act 2013, making CSR spending  mandatory, how do you define effective role of Private sector in Nation Building, especially to achieve UN SDGs?

In today’s business landscape, it is imperative for corporations to look at their existential purpose beyond making profits if they wish to see the 5 trillion economic dream laid by the Prime Minister come true. Historically, we saw the glimpse of Corporate Social Responsibility as a concept in the Shanti Parva and Vidura Neeti sections from the epic Mahabharata. They provided similar insights on the role of leadership and of trade organisations in contributing to social well being. At the very basic level, the competitiveness of a company and the health of the communities around it are closely intertwined.

Q: Tell us something about your on  responsible drinking program.

We have always been at the forefront to impart awareness on responsible drinking. Excess of everything will inevitably have an adverse effect on the health and ecosystem, be it liquor or food for that matter. Consumption in moderation is always recommended and beneficial. All our communication on the brands carries statutory warnings and relevant disclosures about the product.

Q: With your CSR interventions in many verticals i.e. eradicating hunger, poverty, and malnutrition, promoting healthcare, how do you define the roadmap of your company from here in next five  year. 

We are aggressively working towards improvising our existing programs in a number of verticals and are on a constant hunt of new ventures in the social space. Going forward, our endeavour would be to focus on community building and development along with upskilling the youth and job creation for them.

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