Long before "corporate social responsibility" became a buzzword in the mid-’90s, Arvind Kumar, an Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIMC) student then, with support from the institute’s professor of sociology Surendra Munshi, started the Initiative for Community Action (INCA). INCA is IIMC’s way of repaying its debt to society. Students try to contribute in solving some of the problems non-profit organisations (NPOS) face by offering free consultancy services for social work projects run by them.
Munshi, the guiding spirit behind INCA, explains, "INCA’s philosophy is service to those who serve others". A symbiotic relationship exists between IIMC’s budding managers and the social worker, the NPOS gain valuable managerial inputs while students gain direct experience of handling consultancy projects in an organisation. npos are usually unable to pay for consultancy services although they are aware that some management inputs and models can improve their service considerably. This is where INCA steps in. Says Munshi, "We offer what we are equipped to offer to those who offer their free services to others. Students get no credit, nor are INCA projects a part of their academic requirements. But all those who have participated have enjoyed the satisfaction of a unique learning experience."