“Over the years, with the growing role of markets, it is becoming increasingly difficult to believe in a company’s social objective of profit maximisation,” began Santosh Desai, MD & CEO, Future Brands Ltd. while opening the discussion on ‘Conscious Capitalism’ on the third and final day of AdAsia 2011 being held in New Delhi. He posted questions to the panel about what businesses should do to adapt to conscious capitalism, what limitations they face, and whether there is a need to make a fundamental change in the organisation.
Anna Bernasek, Journalist/ Speaker shared her view on integrity as a relation of trust and that more integrity you have, the more transactions you have. She shared her DNA (Disclosure, Norms, Accountability) framework of understanding how to create integrity where Disclosure stands for bringing things out in the open, Norms that need to be simple, efficient and intuitive and Accountability which means providing people with the perception that if they break the rules, they will be caught.
Following this was Duncan Goose, Founder & Managing Director, Global Ethics Limited, who shared with the audience the inspiring story of how he pursued his business objectives with a conscience, without jettisoning the core tenants of business ethics. Based on the idea of connecting with the consumer on everyday purchases with a positive change input, he introduced products at a premium price segment, the profits of which were deployed in making a positive impact for a particular social issue across the world. “We helped retailers get consumers into the categories,” he said.
Replying to Santosh Desai’s question on whether the very nature of the corporation needed to be changed or incremental good is enough, Duncan said, “It has to be in the DNA of the company. It has to be of the core business strategy and the company needs to ensure that everybody in the organisation is inclined to the goal.”