The Indian automobile giant Mahindra & Mahindra is the latest firm to have signed the Partnering against Corruption Initiative (PACI) steered by the World Economic Forum (WEF). This initiative is intended to mollify graft risks in operations and transaction across the entire chain of supply of the company.
WEF plans to bring together all business setups that are willing to work together towards eliminating corrupt practices exercised in Business-to-Business transactions. This, in turn, will set up a favourable ambience to solve the problem at Business to Government level. WEF has successfully convinced international firms like Siemens, Rio Tinto and ABB, as well as Indian companies like Bajaj Auto, Infosys and Wipro to sign the petition.
Involvement of Mahindra & Mahindra shows its willingness and commitment towards the cause of eliminating corruption, which is a cause of concern in the country. Elaine Dezenski, Senior Director, WEF and Head, PACI, said, “Mahindra and Mahindra has come on board our anti-graft drive a couple of months ago.”
Rajeev Dubey, Member, Group Executive Board and President, HR Group, Corporate Services and After Market, Mahindra & Mahindra, quoted, “Ethical business practices have always been a cornerstone for the Mahindra Group and our joining the PACI initiative is a natural extension of this philosophy. PACI comes at a time when the corporate world is grappling with an erosion of trust, and will give the group a platform where we can work with other like-minded corporates to benchmark and evangelise ethical practices.”
It is noteworthy that over the last few years corruption has plagued India severely to become a top political issue. Recently, Arvind Kejriwal, a self-proclaimed anti-corruption campaigner exposed names of several politicians and companies that are corrupt, following which, several ministers and politicians have been put to question. India also slipped by 11 places to 95th rank worldwide in the Transparency International's Corruption Index. The Transparency International is an international corruption watchdog that compiles a list of countries every year. In this list, countries are scored on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being most corrupt and 10 being least. India, with its score of 3.1, was well ahead of Pakistan and Bangladesh. However, it could not compete with the likes of China and Sri Lanka.
The signing of the PACI by Mahindra & Mahindra is bound to become an example for other car makers in the country. With Bajaj Auto already having signed and Mahindra & Mahindra hopping on the bandwagon, more auto makers are expected to go ahead and follow the lead. This will help in addressing the cause effectively, since, with the involvement of more companies, the grafting practices are bound to decline and leading corruption to a dead end.