India started investing in creating jobs in the last 5-6 years. They have been encouraging entrepreneurs and wanna be entrepreneurs from all over the country. I have realised that it is easier and more accessible to start a new venture in India now. India has been following the SDG 8 framework for some time now. SDG is a framework introduced by the UN and all the goals are aimed to be achieved by 2030. There are 17 SDGs out of which SDG 8 mainly focuses on full and productive employment. There are still some challenges in the Indian system that can be solved by adopting SDG 8 guidelines.  

  • Extreme working poverty
  • Lack of quality jobs and decent work opportunities
  • Insufficient investment
  • Under- consumption of products and services
  • Less inclusivity of women, children and youth

Along this list of challenges, SDG 8 was developed to improve the economic situation in the real world scenario. The sustainable development goal 8 promotes sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

A company aiming at achieving SDG 8 framework generally works on these points:

  • Take measures to eradicate forced labor and, end modern slavery and human trafficking
  • Ensure the prohibition and elimination of child labor
  • Recruit and use human resources in the best way possible
  • Provide productive employment and satisfying work to the employees
  • Build a fair and an inclusive environment for all
  • Hire more unskilled workers, women and people from rural areas
  • Increase female labor force participation rate
  • Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities
  • Create decent jobs, and promote entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation
  • Encourage the formalization and growth of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises/ entrepreneurs.

At Organiko, we are creating higher income opportunities for donkey owners. We are creating sustainable employment for our employees. Also, the work at our office includes regular brainstorming and subject specific job roles, which creates productive employment. 

Why should the growing Indian companies and startups adapt SDG 8 in their framework?

It can help in building a strong nation that can uplift the development of more opportunities, to build a better GDP. Companies can have a better chance of hiring talented and suitable people in their company, if they adopt SDG guidelines. The company can enhance the economic growth and can contribute in providing productive employment. This will ultimately increase the efficiency of the company’s processes.

It can create inclusivity at work which is already a rising issue in India.Each individual should have equal right to earn and have work of their choice. I believe that in the race of growth, the developing countries and organizations should not be left behind. Inclusivity is as important as growth. According to a report by FICCI, the SME sector has been creating roughly 11.10 crore jobs all over India. They contribute to around 8% of GDP. So, they should be kept in the focus along with the bigger companies. 

Also, being a women entrepreneur I firmly believe that women should be given equal chances to work as men. They should not only be provided with employment, but should also be given higher positions at work, according to their capabilities.  

I have been witnessing economic growth in India which is estimated to be 7.5% per annum. The required growth rate is a little higher but SDG 8 can help in achieving that also. Economic growth is one of the key features of SDG 8. 

The Government of India is also helping skilled workers and companies to increase employment with schemes like Make in India, Startup India, Skill India, Digital India, Suryamitra skill development programme and many more similar schemes. 

The cycle of sustainable economic growth

I understood the SDG framework through these points. Strong companies working on the sustainable economic growth framework will lead to better and productive job opportunities, which can be sustained and monetized for a longer period of time. These jobs increase the requirements and hence the consumption of products and services in the market. These job owners give a push to the small and medium businesses economically, by investing money in their companies and their products. Once these smaller companies start flourishing, they require more employees for specific and productive job roles. This increases employment and inclusivity of labor. The increase in employment gives a further push to the consumer market and hence the global economies grow.

Social startups adapting the SDG framework

A lot of companies/ startups like us have considered this and have been working on increasing employment opportunities for people. The problem is not unemployment, but it is employment with the least salary and irrelevant work.

A lot of social startups have worked on this by providing relevant jobs to people. They plan to create a sustained position for their employees which gives them money and sufficient work for a longer period of time. They create jobs that are not only related to the employee’s education but also their field of interest.

At Organiko we have built a community of people who are selling donkey milk and have raised their income from a monthly 7k to 15k. We have created awareness about the use and value of donkey milk among the donkey owners.  Along with this, Organiko is also responsible for employment of manufacturing workers and team members who are provided with the work in their specific domain with inclusivity at work. Our consistent efforts have led to a better lifestyle for the donkey owners and work to manufacturers.

I know a few startups that are doing the same in their own domains. Either they are providing employment or are helping in generating employment. 

The government is emphasizing a conducive trade and business environment. A startup called Yotribe has taken the initiative of teaching school students entrepreneurship. Their aim is to make children self-sufficient individuals in the future and provide efficient and respectable jobs to others as well. The startup itself has team members from different fields, working on what they like and know the best for a set tenure, on the basis of contract.

A recent venture called Apli.ai has been working on recruiting youngsters for different job positions in various companies. Bigger initiatives like Internshala, is providing people with basic skills and internships which may later turn into full time, sustained jobs.

At Organiko we are taking the following actions to achieve SDG 8

  • Spreading awareness about the opportunities the donkey owners can create for themselves and the skills that they require for it. 
  • We are teaching the women in the donkey communities about the process of making products from donkey milk
  • I am encouraging the youth of the country by taking mentoring sessions and helping them find out their career paths.
  • We have 5 employees working with Organiko right now and we are soon going to expand our brand, hiring more employees.
  • I chose entrepreneurship instead of a stable government job, and I encourage others also to select entrepreneurship as a career and create jobs for others.
  • I keep posting information and posts about entrepreneurship, how I started my venture and tips on problem solving, for the younger generation. 

Some startups from the YOUTHTOPIA Circle of Youth are also working on the SDG 8 framework:

A startup named RutuChakra started by Sanjana Dixit, is working on achieving menstrual hygiene for all women, through action, awareness and advocacy. The startup has provided 154,000+ menstrual pads and conducted workshops for girls in the villages and Period talks for the urban population in the country. This initiative has led to an increased confidence in women in villages as well as in big cities, which ultimately helped them to get better employment opportunities. 

You Lead, started by Shalmali Jadhav, is a venture that bridges that gap between mentors and wants to be entrepreneurs. This startup helps youngsters and 1st time entrepreneurs to get best guidance from mentors specializing in their field. Their efforts will increase the chances and the number of people becoming entrepreneurs, in the coming years.  

Almost every startup in India is trying to solve a problem and the majority of them have been able to create full and productive employment opportunities. Along with this, the role of women and fresh out of college students has equaled that of men. The Startup environment sees inclusivity in job recruitment and distribution of labor.

A lot of companies and SMEs have been adapting the SDG 8 framework lately. The companies, the cities and the country are taking steps to establish better employment and economic growth. In a country which is majorly agriculture driven, it is important for India to focus on this sector as well. A common misconception was dissolved by the SDG 8 report, suggesting that growth of agriculture does not lead to exploitation and depletion of natural resources. At Organiko, we make donkey milk skincare products and are enhancing the contribution of agriculture and animal husbandry. Let’s hope to see massive economic growth in the coming years and work relentlessly for it.

Reference:

Niti Aayog, Report on SDG 8, Available at https://niti.gov.in/writereaddata/files/Report_SDG-8.pdf (accessed August 2021)

Niyogin, The role of SMEs in the growth of the Indian economy, Available at https://www.niyogin.com/blogs/the-role-of-smes-in-the-growth-of-the-indian-economy (accessed August 2021)

The CSR Journal, Are Indian companies on track to achieve SDG 8?, Available at https://thecsrjournal.in/sdg-8-indian-companies-decent-work-economy/ (accessed August 2021)