Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Creative Capitalism- The Path to Responsible Profiting

In the midst of global chaos, 'Creative Capitalism' brings out a ground for the creation of profits interspersed with the right help to the rural sector. As Indian economy continues on it growth curve, creative capitalism takes the lead in promising to fulfill the needs of the mass at large; from the corporate sphere to the rural sector.

Recently at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, Microsoft Corp Chairman, Bill Gates called on for a new 'creative capitalism' to help the poorest people and discussed the aspect of capitalism which would serve not only the globe's wealthy but also the poor. Taking this idea ahead were the national and international business leaders at the 2nd Global Business Leaders Forum organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) in Mumbai.
"Creative Capitalism means to build sustainable business which is responsible and which meets all short term and long term needs of the stakeholders", accentuated Paul Skinner, Chairman, Rio Tinto, and Chairman of the CBC board. "Having a distinct business model and value proposition; making strong local presence; global connectivity; contributing to sustainable development and continuous review, reinvention and global benchmarking are the key levers for building world class corporations", said Mr. Skinner, which according to him would help in building world class corporations.
Also present at the Forum were Mr. K V Kamath, Vice President CII & Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, ICICI Bank; Dr Anil Khandelwal, Chairman and Managing Director, Bank of Baroda, Rahul Bajaj, Past President CII & Chairman, Bajaj Auto Ltd., Ms. Naina Lal Kidwai, Group General Manager and Country Head, HSBC, Mr. Gary Hoffman, Vice Chairman, Barclays Bank Plc, UK,Mr. Richard Laing, Chief Executive, CDC Group Plc, UK among other dignitaries. Mr. K V Kamath expressed to a packed audience the challenges faced by the emerging economies and emphasized particularly in Indian context the importance of sustained and inclusive economic growth. "Today in India, we have a paradigm of growth. Challenge is not only to do business in a profitable manner but also to ensure that it is inclusive and responsible", said Mr. Kamath.
Where social capital meets social enterprise, capitalism takes a new facet according to Dr. Anil Khandelwal, Chairman and Managing Director, Bank of Baroda. This would lead to building responsible global corporations with increasing commitment to social responsibility. "Importance on health and education, vibrant focus on Indian farming community; promoting small and medium size units; institutionalizing governance mechanism and focus on developing skilled human resources are some of the prerequisites for building world class corporations according to Dr. Khandelwal.
But whether such an inclusive growth was possible and affordable by the corporations was questioned by Mr. Rahul Bajaj, Past President CII & Chairman, Bajaj Auto Ltd. at the second session of the Forum. Expressing his view points on the matter, Mr. Bajaj said that to achieve the objective of global responsible corporations, changes in Government, businesses and individuals are prerequisites.
Earlier at the Forum, Dr Mohan Kaul, Director General, CBC, emphasized "Today despite significant growth we see increasing gaps between haves and have-nots. In order to build world class corporations, we have to develop successful strategies by experimenting, outsourcing and innovating".
Furthering the discussion by highlighting the role played by today's national and global banks, Richard Laing, Chief Executive Officer, CDC Group plc, UK mentioned the importance of microfinance and the strategies adopted by multinational banks like Citigroup, ICICI and Barclays among others to reach the remote masses. "Market based altruism is more sustainable than pure altruism." held Mr. Laing
Speaking on the financial sector contributing to social capitalism, Gary Hoffman, Vice Chairman, Barclays Bank Plc, UK said that clear, sustainable & accessible alternatives have to be made available. "The bottom line is to make an accessible financial system." Concluding the discussion, Mr. Hoffman reiterated that developing responsible business is not about philanthropy but an opportunity for the financial industry, the government and the social sector to meet the needs of the masses toget

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