Should Business Be Driven Only By Profits?

Posted on February 8, 2011 in Business and Economy

By Ravi Radhanpura:

“Money isn’t the most important thing but no other thing is as important as it is.”

The above saying encompasses Man’s beliefs today. It is logical for a company to have profit oriented outlook given that it sometimes shelters many a thousands personnel and their several thousand family members. They also help the society as a whole by producing goods we consume or services we use. But, as Kautilya says in Arthashastra, “When man plays with someone else’s resources, he robs the society as whole from those resources.” When companies disrespect nature whether be rivers, forests, animals or even humans, it is a blotch on human superiority.

Today, several prominent examples of big organisations bring into the light, the satanic nature of the conglomerates. Way back in 1980s, the Bhopal Gas tragedy due to Union Carbide IL’s negligence of safety measures in its greed and lethargic management resulted in deaths of more than 10000 people and many million affected via diseases, genetic disorders, etc. It’s act of washing hands over the incident and responsibility is particularly shameful. In recent times, Vedanta Cairn is in controversy over mining projects which would affect thousands of hectares of forest covers and loss to several thousand tribal people and animals in Orissa. The exploitative nature of Microfinance institutions and other financial institutions with exorbitant interest rates as high as 40% is another question mark on trusted nature of financial institutions and governments. Similar is the case of BP oil spill in the north atlantic ocean resulting into severe marine crises. If they had a bigger picture in mind other than their vested interests, these events would never occur.

All progress is based upon universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income. The shining examples of such ideologies are TATAs, AMUL- cooperative, The Grameen bank,etc. But apart from very few honestly working business houses, even CSR (Corporate Social Responbility) is a mere tick mark in the regular itinerary for those companies. They simply dump some amount of money into certain NGOs and make it a marketing tool. Today’s world does not belong to Marx or Gandhi, neither are the people as ideological as JRD Tata, it’s a place of much objectively oriented selfish people who lead their motives. Having said so, no one objects the profit oriented philosophy for this how growth results. But the idea of inclusive socio-economic-environmental development is one such which needs to be addressed by all.

One wishes, he wakes up next morning to see that the wild goose chase for more and more money ends, but an ideology and growing together and living cohesively with the environment prevails.

Alas, I wonder the dream would end short.