Overheard: Manu Chandaria on the Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility

"Back in the 1950s in Kenya, I told my father that we should start a foundation. He told me I was stupid, but I kept saying that we need a focal point where the family can work to help the community. We are now pushing as hard as possible for other businesses to follow our lead and create foundations that will commit to putting a certain amount of money back into areas where they can make a difference. This is working, but it's certainly difficult. Ask me how many local Africans and local businesses are doing this? That's what we've got to crack. We have to figure out how to make them appreciate this idea. We have to ensure that business leaders and foundations with experience in corporate social responsibility will help guide the way for others. We want them to hold their hands along this journey. Doing something good has to come from your heart; it's not just writing checks."

-Manu Chandaria, Chairman and CEO of the global conglomerate Comcraft Group, in an interview with Knowledge@Wharton conducted by Ivorian entrepreneur and author Eric Kacou.

Check out the whole interview in which Chandaria discusses his business successes and his focus on giving back to the African community through philanthropic work.

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