OpenText drives real change with high-impact CSR initiatives

OpenText has a long-standing tradition of volunteerism and supporting the communities in which we live and work. They have been able to integrate social development into their culture and have received heartening support from their team in India. Their efforts are in the areas of education, environment, healthcare, and empowerment of the community they work in. Their point of view on CSR is to go beyond charity and giving a cheque; it is a means to create self-sustaining communities that can nurture itself over a long period of time. Mr. Isaac Rajkumar, Managing Director, India and Senior Vice President, Engineering, OpenText share more insgights on the same

  1. Please share details about OpenText, its India presence & CSR program.

Ans- OpenText is a 30-year-old company and has been in enterprise software since its inception.  Founded and headquartered in Waterloo, Canada, we are focussed on Enterprise Information Management and are listed on Toronto and NASDAQ stock exchanges.

We have over 15,000 employees globally spread across North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. We also have a large footprint in India, with 3,000 employees split equally between our Development Centres in Hyderabad and Bangalore. We started our operations in India in 2009 in Hyderabad, and following several acquisitions and ongoing recruitment, we subsequently opened a Development Centre in Bangalore.

With regional expertise in financial services, public sector, life sciences, supply chain, manufacturing, utilities, and natural resources, OpenText is digitally empowering many of the most innovative organizations in India. Furthermore, with the Indian government’s launch of its Digital India initiative, we believe we are well positioned locally to help organizations deliver on their digital transformation goals associated with this government-led initiative.

In India, OpenText drives real change with high-impact projects enabled by our development centres in India. These are major innovation centres where products are designed, developed and matured, and continue to be delivered to local companies within India as well as to enterprises across the globe.

Being a good corporate citizen and investing in the communities we serve is integral to how we do business. In addition to supporting charitable causes, OpenText encourages its employees to become active members in their communities through volunteering. In 2020, we took that commitment to the next level by launching our OpenText Voyager Fund to address the most pressing needs in OpenText communities. For our first project, we chose to combat food insecurity by supporting food banks around the world. In total, we donated $1 million USD to food banks in 21 countries to supply over four million meals to those in need.


  1. What is the OpenText philosophy behind the CSR initiatives? For how long has OpenText been actively involved in CSR initiatives in the country?

Ans- OpenText has a long-standing tradition of volunteerism and supporting the communities in which we live and work. We have been able to integrate social development into our culture and have received heartening support from our team in India. Our efforts in the areas of education, environment, healthcare, and empowerment of the community we work in are endeavors towards achieving this. We have extended our view of CSR beyond charity; it is a means to create self-sustaining communities that we can nurture for a long period of time.  OpenText’s commitment to CSR efforts has been manifested in global as well as local communities’ initiatives by effectively leveraging the company’s advanced technological strengths, global business deployment, and diverse, specialized human resources. We have been participating in life changing CSR programs from supporting food banks, distribution of educational kits, upgrading of ICU facilities in government hospitals, all these during and post pandemic phases.


  1. How is OpenText supporting CNN Thanda school? 

Ans- Education is a key focus for us and we believe that continuous effort and long-term commitment is essential to bringing about effective change in this area. CNN Thanda is a government primary school located in Hyderabad that OpenText has been supporting for more than six years now. We were approached through our NGO partners, Nirmaan that invited our employees to visit the school in 2015-2016. Most of the students’ parents are migrant laborer’s and would sometimes take the children along with them to work. They were constantly migrating for work, hence did not put much emphasis on the education of the children. These parents were unable to provide basic necessities including food to their children resulting in absenteeism from school. Consequently, these students fell off the education grid which led to more dropouts.

Initially we started our collaboration with the school by volunteering time of our employees to conduct workshops for students to enhance their learning. As we got more involved, we realized that the school needed financial assistance to provide a healthy learning environment for students. We disbursed two rounds of funding to the school in March 2018 and September 2019, and officially adopted the school in November 2019 to become a long-term partner. These funds were utilized to provide classroom infrastructure, nutrition for students, improve sanitation and overall development of the school.

To support the teaching staff, we appointed two teachers at the school and our NGO partner, Nirmaan, conducted a one-day workshop for teachers on professional teaching methodology, annual plans, session plans and goal setting.

Other initiatives for the school:

  1. In June 2018 and July 2019 – The Youth for Seva (YSF) School kits that were funded by OpenText and its employees, were distributed at the CNN Thanda primary school. Combining two initiatives into one!
  2. In Feb 2019 – The OpenText CSR team, in association with Smile Foundation conducted a health camp for 4th and 5th grade students on February 8th, 2019. The CSR core team and few OpenText employees volunteered at the venue and assisted in the proceedings.
  3. In Nov 2018 and Dec 2019, invited the school students to OpenText office as part of Children’s Day celebrations. This was a much-awaited occasion, because the school conducted a competition amongst 4th and 5th grade students and selects a total 50 students to participate in the event.
  4. In 2020, since the school was not open, we worked with Nirmaan to provide ration/nutrition kits to the families of the school students to support their daily wage-earning parents who could not go to work due to lockdowns. This was done twice during that year when so many livelihoods were affected.
  5. From this year onwards, the medium of instruction has changed to English for all Telangana schools and the teachers appointed by OpenText has hired are proficient in English and will help the existing teachers at the school to impart quality education. The NGO Nirmaan reported positive results from the teaching imparted by these teachers so far. Children are completing homework and parents are requesting extra coaching, as well.


  1. Empowering the underprivileged is something that has proven to be a big determining factor in making them independent, facing the world with confidence, and looking forward to a better future. What are the sustainable livelihood approaches that OpenText is adopting for this Hyderabad school?

Ans- Over the past seven years we have worked towards the overall development of the CNN Thanda Primary school and have seen the attendance close to double over this period of time. It is in no way a small feat and gives us confidence that our efforts have improved the learning environment for the students.

We have focused on three areas to ensure overall development of the students and prepare them for a better future.

Basic needs – We realized that in order to encourage children from enrolling and not dropping out, we needed to fulfill some of the basic needs that were keeping these children away from the school. Nutrition was the first issue that needed to be addressed. Children were often coming to the school around noon as mid-day meals were provided. To reduce this absenteeism, we initiated breakfast to enhance nutrition as well as get the children to school in the morning. This has significantly improved the attendance We also firmed up the kitchen area for cooking. To improve the overall hygiene, we fund the salary of a cleaning staff and provide supplies.

Education – Our team devotes time to conduct workshops on subjects that students needed additional support on such as Mathematics, English and Computers. We also funded the repair of computers at the school which were being utilized by the students. To support with additional teaching staff, we have appointed two teachers to ensure the 1:40 teacher student ratio.

We have also given access to the OpenText office to some of these students through competitions to help them envision a future workplace where they can make their dreams come true. These initiatives have garnered heartening response from the students.

Infrastructure – Building confidence among students has been a priority for us and providing them the infrastructure they deserve has gone a long way in motivating them. We have invested in providing better sanitation and improving the overall condition of the classrooms and the playground. From installing new water filters to giving new life to the classrooms with lights, fans, decoration, fresh paints, and chairs, we have seen the students get excited about every small development over the years.

Outside the classroom, we funded the build of separate toilets for girls and boys and providing wash areas. We also brought down the old building, leveled the play area, and built a stage for extra-curricular activities and provided playground supplies.

During the pandemic, lot of small private schools shut down. This academic year, new students joined CNN Thanda, because of the improved infrastructure and facilities as well as due to the breakfast being served.


  1. OpenText employees are also encouraged to get involved with the causes they are passionate about. How has this initiative impacted their lives and what has been their feedback?

Ans- We have a robust CSR program and encourage employees to contribute to the social ecosystem. OpenText employees have three volunteer days off as part of their annual benefits package and we encourage them to participate in CSR initiatives. During the pandemic, they supported the local communities. Employees have recently worked alongside NGOs on a community aid program to assist in the distribution of nutrition and sanitation kits.

Another important initiative undertaken over the years is called Smile on Wheels. We have partnered with SMILE Foundation to provide healthcare for the underprivileged. Our employees periodically visit the locations along with SMILE. We sponsored medical professionals, van, mobile medical equipment, etc. towards this initiative. Currently, we are supporting other programs besides Smile Foundation. Last year, OpenText employee volunteers participated in assembling and distributing school kits at both Hyderabad and Bangalore. Through the years, employees across both cities have attended the annual cultural show organized by Youth For Seva.


  1. Is the company planning any other CSR activities in the near future?

Ans- Ans- Being a good corporate citizen and investing in the communities we serve is integral to how we do business. Below is an outline of our vision and action plan for how we can strengthen our people, products, purpose, and planet in the coming years.

Initiatives in the pipeline:

  1. Extending Internship Program: The Engineering Internship Program currently has 100 positions. We will extend the program across both Development Centres of OpenText in India. Considering the success of the program, we will increase the program to 150 positions.
  2. School adoption: With children and education being an important focus for us, we will adopt two schools alongside Nirmaan in Hyderabad – Mandal Praja Parishad School and Seri Lingampally Mandal. Mandal Praja Parishad School is a government school near OpenText office with students from 286 under privileged families. Our aim is to improve school attendance and enhance learning outcomes. We will contribute to basic infrastructure improvements such as toilet construction and refurbishment of classroom and kitchen.
  3. Youth For Seva School kit drive: In partnership with Youth For Seva, a nation-wide volunteering movement we will undertake a school kit drive. This initiative is focused on providing school kits to financially challenged students at chosen schools and slums. Each school kit contains bag, books, stationery, and water bottle.
  4. Youth For Seva Chiguru event: Chiguru, the annual cultural show organized by Youth For Seva, exists to broaden that definition of growth to include Music and the Arts, Cooking and Yoga, Technology and Public Speaking. The children who participate in the event are mostly from government schools, orphanages, or shelter homes across the state. There is enormous participation from various corporates. OpenText employees from Bengaluru and Hyderabad participated in past events and are keen to do so this year as well.



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