Is to have a purpose behind your business important?

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Is to have a purpose behind your business important?

It is a simple question, really. To ask yourself the Why behind your business than the What. When Maggi launched the ‘Atta’ version, it changed its brand slogan to ‘Taste Bhi, Health Bhi’. Although it did not come soon after the ‘maida’ version, which was the original and sold and loved as much as any comfort food around the world, it came after the health conscious took a backseat as started labelling it as fast food. HDFC Std Life’s ‘Jiyo Sar Utha Ke’, ICICI’s ‘Hum Hain Na’ and The Indian Express’s ‘Journalism of Courage’ (among many, many others) too understand the need to be purpose driven and the fact that adding something meaningful to your venture goes a long way in helping an entrepreneur make a business decision.

Many international businesses such as Walmart, BMW cars and even the most popular social networking website, The Facebook started with a purpose. Where they are now is, as they say, stuff the dreams are made of. And money, well, it could just be termed as a ‘by product’ of contributing to something that is bigger than the entrepreneur and his/her people put together. Finding a purpose should not be as superficial as having to decide on what will look good to the world, it is indeed as easy as dreaming a dream and had come quite naturally to people whose organisations today even look for candidates who possess the similar traits at the time of hiring.

Let’s understand it with the help of an example, through which we will explain how can purpose of an organisation work for the greater good of the society. The manner in which employees of Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Hotel endangered their own lives to protect customers is known to all. Eleven employees laid down their lives. A Harvard Business Review article describes how the Taj has built such a team. The Taj Group has a three-proged system of recruiting. They target small cities and towns where they feel the traditional values of respect for elders and consideration for others still persist, because they themselves stand for these values and want their customers to feel the same. They recruit from schools looking not for academic excellence but for students who display respect for elders, cheerfulness and are most in need. Selected individuals are trained for a year and a half, while being paid a stipend and are given free boarding and lodging facilities. Finally, candidates who show high potential are recruited to the Taj.

The Taj Mahal is sure known for the service, it is that which it is respected for. We can always learn from the industry leaders on how they find a purpose to live by. The names Ruchard Branson and Azim Premji are known to one and all, not only for the amazing organisations they have helped built, but also for their, not-for-profit, philanthropy work, which has helped more millions of people than their companies have affected.

What are your thoughts on it? Please feel free to write them in the comments’ section.


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