Criterion Systems, Inc.
Mid-Size Business Nominee
Promod Sharma, President and CEO
1. Why do you believe CSR strategy is important for a company?
I believe that corporations have the same responsibility to give back to society that individuals do. As our company has grown we have increased our CSR engagements, most recently becoming a patron sponsor of The Women’s Center. A strong CSR strategy has a positive impact on the company, beyond being a moral good. When we are recognized for our corporate activities, we also get positive brand awareness and our employees are proud of our efforts, supporting our corporate culture and reinforcing our collective desire to give back.
2. Do you believe that the CSR work you participate in should be affiliated with the work you/your company does?
No. I believe company leaders should decide on what they want to improve in this world and focus on that. My focus has always been on helping families, and we support that in a variety of ways.
3. What makes your company stand out compared to other companies participating in CSR?
While we encourage, support, and celebrate our employees’ many and varied community outreach activities through our Criterion Cares program, from a corporate perspective we take a very focused approach. For years, Criterion has financially supported organizations that serve the well being of trafficked and/or mistreated women and children. In 2016, the company signed on as a corporate sponsor and an annual contributor to The Women’s Center. By choosing to support one organization in a focused way, we can have a big impact.
We are now extending this focused approach to our growing offices in Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Kansas City, and others by seeking out local leaders and organizations to partner with to make a difference. The commonality among all our efforts is an underlying desire to help improve women and children’s lives through education, skill development, healthcare, and play.
4. Do you believe contributing back to the community allows your company to have a deeper connection with its clients/customers?
We don’t do it for that reason; we do it because we want to. But in the end, we do get recognition and are noticed by customers, which helps us nurture positive relationships.
5. What advice would you give to companies trying to participate in CSR?
Be honest with yourself about what you want to participate in and where you want to make a difference. Identify something you want to change, stay in your lane in what you want to do, and do the best you can. Work with heart and make it happen.