Breakout Session Day 2

Business Resilience in times of Crisis: A multi – sector Perspective on Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8)

29 October 2020 | 10:00 – 11:30 IST

Co-Host: Aston UniversityIDRC  


The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the glaring gaps in our existing systems for integrating the welfare and protection of the labour force especially for the most vulnerable and marginalized sections. At the same time, there have been several instances of businesses acting swiftly to protect their workforces through ensuring shelter, liquidity, job security and healthcare support.  A closer examination of these businesses reveals a continuous focus on employee/ labour welfare & development and conscious efforts on creating decent work opportunities. In fact, it is this outlook that has enabled these businesses not only to insulate their workforce but also to capture new opportunities (case in point being firms being able to swiftly transition to PPE manufacturing or sanitiser manufacturing). Such enterprises have ensured a faster recovery of their own operations as businesses slowly resume operations.

These positive examples clearly demonstrate that labour welfare is not at cross purpose with business prosperity and that a committed and motivated workforce is integral to business resilience. There is a need to replicate these models and understand the enabling and disabling factors to strengthen such practices. There is no doubt that all stakeholders especially the private sector and the governments have to establish new mechanisms to ensure livelihoods and to extend social protection to all segments of the workforce. Further, interactions/ relationships between MNCs and their value chain actors need to be re-examined to ensure adequate action on SDG 8 and in turn reinforce business resilience.

This session will inform the PROGRESS project, which is an on-going collaboration between Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) and Aston India Centre for Applied Research (AICAR), Aston University, UK, which have teamed up to explore and investigate how private sector companies – as part of GVCs, production networks and FDIs in India have/could better contribute towards achievement of specific SDGs, particularly inclusive education and life-long learning (SDG4), employment and decent work for the youth (SGD 8), women’s social and economic empowerment (SDG 5), sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12), and Climate Action (SDG 13). 

Session Objectives:

  • To understand how stakeholders can address/have addressed the issue of Decent Work and how this has helped to respond to volatile, uncertain situations
  • To examine challenges faced by value chain stakeholders across sectors to ensure Decent Work
  • To inform policy level practices in relation to Decent Work


Ms. Devyani Hari

Centre for Responsible Business

Dr. Bouba Housseini

PhD, Program Officer, Employment and Growth (Inclusive Economies)
International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

Ms. Gillian Dowie,

Senior Program Officer, Employment and Growth
International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

Ms. Chitra Ramdas

General Manager, Organizational Development
Shahi Exports

Mr. Kamlesh Vyas

Managing Director
Group Mars (Mars Jewels, Hosur and Rams Jewels, Mumbai)

Mr. Bala Reddy. V

Founder and CEO
Our Food

Professor Stuart C. Carr

School of Psychology, Massey University