A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business

Henry Ford never said something more meaningful. A business has more implications on the society and environment in which it functions. Its not only the philanthropic activities which matter but activities like “Go Green” paves the way for a sustainable development and a better future for generations to come.

Understanding what an organizations Corporate Social Responsibility may be, may turn out not just an attempt for brand building in the long run, but a survival strategy, in the changing era of government intervention and policing.

CSR policies today, more than ever function as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby organizations would monitor and ensure its support to law, ethical standards and even international norms or expectations. Consequently, today organizations are embracing responsibility for the impact of its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere, just to ensure a humanitarian face towards the ecology within which they thrive. Furthermore, CSR-focused businesses would proactively promote the public interest  by encouraging community growth and development, and voluntarily eliminating practices that harm the public sphere, regardless of legality. Essentially, CSR is the deliberate inclusion of public interest into corporate decision-making, and the honoring of a triple bottom line: people, planet, profit.

Today, CSR is not just a thing that companies may choose to do, but it is gradually turning out to be strategic inclination of major MNCs getting positioned for a better future. Today it has become a key component while evaluating a brand value and its recall value. Considering this take by the MNCs, can even the smaller and medium sized enterprises neglect whatever CSR is possible, in their disposition?

E-Governance Failures – Can it be averted?

E-government, in short, allows the private sector to operate in areas that used to fall strictly within the public domain. The challenge for policy makers is to recognize that what is good for business is consistent with good government. Planners start with grand visions of on-line services but then flounder amid cross-agency squabbling. Or they fail to attract enough users or get sidetracked by expensive high-tech bells and whistles. Research on e-government efforts around the world has helped to identify three critical lessons for their proponents.

First, don’t underestimate the resistance of government employees to change. Washington State overcame this barrier by creating the Digital Information Academy. Mandated by the state’s governor, the academy helps departments map their existing services, encourages them to rethink the design of their services, and tries out new processes on focus groups. By involving government employees, the academy makes them less fearful and gives them a stake in e-government’s success. To ensure cooperation among departments, the governor required all of his chiefs to sign contracts stipulating the services they would put on-line within a specified time frame. When friction arises, the academy mediates.

Second, e-government services don’t justify the investment if citizens and businesses don’t use them. The majority of the people of almost every country don’t have Internet access (Exhibit 3), so e-government initiatives must include efforts to increase Internet penetration and usage. Most countries will have to develop channels other than personal computers in homes. In Dubai, for instance, where PC-based Internet penetration is under 15 percent but mobile-telephone penetration is over 50 percent, e-government will eventually adopt wireless applications. In Hong Kong, where Internet penetration is more than 40 percent, the government is nonetheless building e-government kiosks in shopping malls, supermarkets, and railway stations.

But access isn’t enough: e-government must also give the public financial or other incentives to use the Internet for transactions. In the United States, for example, people who file their tax returns on-line get their refunds deposited into their bank accounts within three weeks—half as long as it takes those who file paper returns to get a check in the mail. More than 30 percent of US tax returns are currently filed on-line.

Finally, e-government can be either a profit engine or a financial black hole, depending on the strategy and mind-set chosen. Its cost ranges from $30 million for department-specific efforts to over $100 million for fully integrated service portals. Unless vendors too invest at the outset, governments must justify these commitments by identifying, up front, the specific ways in which costs will be cut and users will be served more cheaply and conveniently. The National Information Consortium, for example, agreed to provide e-services to the citizens and businesses of the US state of Virginia in return for a cut of every transaction.

The Role of Karma in Organizations

“Karmanye vadhika raste ma phaleshu kadachana, Ma karma phala hetu bhurba te sangostav karmani” — (Chapter 2:47) Bhagwat Gita.

[You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to doing your duty.] Continue reading “The Role of Karma in Organizations”

Growth Strategies of Web Based New Generation Firms

The cyber world has really come alive with the onslaught of WEB 2.0 technologies. Today, many start ups are being formed by students and entrepreneurs across the world. The web based firms with often no brick and mortar presence have been generating enviable returns, considering the low investments made on them. No wonder, students and young entrepreneurs have started viewing these businesses as endless oceans of opportunities. Continue reading “Growth Strategies of Web Based New Generation Firms”

What motivates better performances in organizations

What makes some employees tick?

Employees need various kinds of motivational incentives in organizations. Not always the best paying organization has the highest employee satisfaction score, and thus a higher performance. So what makes employees deliver their best. Check out this wonderful video. Continue reading “What motivates better performances in organizations”

The GE-McKinsey matrix and its Limitations for Business Portfolio analysis

A business portfolio is defined as a collection of Strategic Business Units, commonly called SBUs, that make up a firm or a corporation. The optimal business portfolio (a dream for all organizations) is the combination of multiple SBUs such that it helps to exploit the most attractive industries or markets, keeping in mind the competitive strength and weaknesses of the parent corporation or the firm. A SBU can either be an entire company or a division of a large firm, that formulates its own strategy and has separate objectives from the parent organization. Continue reading “The GE-McKinsey matrix and its Limitations for Business Portfolio analysis”

Top B-Schools of India in 2010

As per a study done by PagalGuy, the following is the ranking of B-Schools in India in 2010. Overall a sample size of 9576 respondents were used to evaluate the rank perception of 184 B-Schools in India. The study chooses factors such as brand of the school, faculty reputation, placements, industry recognition, student extra-curricular activities, infrastructure, locational advantage and student quality. Continue reading “Top B-Schools of India in 2010”

How to Curb Gray Markets

Gray markets are a perennial problem in some industries and even some of the biggest of companies are searching for a solution to this problem. While no fool-proof plan has been devised yet, below I have shared some ideas which may work in many cases, especially in the technology industry. Below I have mentioned some of the methods, followed by the expected results: Continue reading “How to Curb Gray Markets”

How the internet affects Porter’s generic strategy models

In the emerging global economy, e-commerce and e-business have increasingly become a necessary component of business strategy and a strong catalyst for economic development. Michael Porter (1980) has argued that a firm’s strengths ultimately fall into one of two headings: cost advantage and differentiation. By applying these strengths in either a broad or narrow scope, three generic strategies result: cost leadership, differentiation, and focus. These strategies are applied at the business unit level. They are called generic strategies because they are not firm or industry dependent. Continue reading “How the internet affects Porter’s generic strategy models”

Innovativeness to Innoventiveness

During the last couple of years, as the world has gone through turbulence having almost faced the worst recession of all times, the consumers have become wary of investments. The plastic-card happy consumer is embarking on an era of thrift. Today, as the consumers are saving more, they also want more value for every penny spent. To add to these woes the depleting material resource base across the world and increasing global population (expected to touch 9 billion by 2050) has only meant that the cost of living will increase significantly in the future. It would thus take a walloping effort from organizations and policy makers across the world to repudiate the Malthusian theory. Continue reading “Innovativeness to Innoventiveness”

Increase your personal value

Values of Asset
In our communities, cities, states, even countries, there are so many valuable assets. Yet, what’s the most valuable asset? If you said it is your your gold or your business or your dog then you’d be wrong! Did anyone ever tell you that life is controlled by your own hand? You are the most important asset in your life. Why? You are the one who is making the money. You are the one who is receiving the goods. You are the one who gets the benefit. Continue reading “Increase your personal value”