By Kiran Gulrajani
Can business cater to the interest of all stakeholders including customers, employees and environment?
The Conscious Capitalism Institute (CCI), in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industries, organised a summit on 9-10 March 2010 at Mumbai. The event attracted a milestone gathering of organisations interested in reclaiming their greatness and their larger role towards society.
The CCI was started by Dr Raj Sisodia, a professor of marketing at Bentley University, USA, and Dr Shubhro Sen, a visiting professor at Bentley University. The duo was inspired by a book written by Dr Sisodia called Firms of Endearment: How World Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose. The book evaluates the performance of a few companies like Google, Honda, Whole Foods, Toyota and others who have departed from the paradigm of maximising shareholder wealth for a holistic credo called SPICE, that looks to please all stakeholders viz: Society, Partners, Investors, Customers, Employees and Environment. These companies outperformed business-as-usual by 900 per cent. Through CCI, the professors hope to popularise this broader and more holistic worldview within corporate India.
Many courageous visionaries, early adopters of a brave new paradigm, added value to the gathering. After Dr J J Irani’s (director, Tata Sons) welcome remarks, Raj Sisodia shared how the CCI movement is most relevant in India now since it derives inspiration from ancient Indian wisdom and because of India’s vantage position in the world today. SBI Chariman, OP Bhatt, attributed the resurgence of SBI to the personal transformation journey of more than two hundred thousand people through the Citizen SBI initiative. The initiative was an HR process designed to bring about spiritual transformation in the employees of this major Indian bank. Many lives changed in profound ways, he admitted.
The Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Kapil Sibal, in his keynote address, emphasised the need for corporate India to invest in business solutions for problems at the bottom of the pyramid.
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev of Isha Yoga invited leaders to expand their perceptions and see the interconnectedness of self and all life. “How would you treat your employees once you know that you are all one?” he challenged in a humorous and, yet thought-provoking talk.
Senior corporate executives mingled with leaders shaping education in the country, authors, young entrepreneurs, leadership coaches and more. The summit invoked and evoked the spirit of hope, ushering in a new world in which conscious and caring businesses create more prosperity and joy for themselves, their stakeholders and all of society.
Kiran Gulrajani (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the CEO and Chief Mentor, CoEvolve and co-founder Enable (previously www.eternalelearning.com) and Dr. Santhan Reddy (email@example.com) is co-founder, DeepRedInk
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