Giving Back to the People in The Business We Grow

Story By
Randy Mulyanto

The people we have to consider in a business are not just our colleagues and customers. The community in which our business sits, and everyone associated with that community, also affect the sustainabilityy.

It is no longer a secret that wwhen someone decides to run a business, maximizing profit for the sake of livelihood isn’t the only responsibility that person has to consider. The three-p concept that every businessperson needs to bear in mind in their business activities is that of profit, people, and planet.

John Elkington came up with a term for this which he called the Triple Bottom Line. During an interview hhe said, “We felt that the social and economic dimensions of the agenda would have to be addressed in a more integrated way if real environmental progress was to be made.”

In the current climate, these three components are of significant importancece. Profit is always crucial and may be the most attractive reason why someone would create a business in the first place. Yet the planet factor has become more popular, proven by more companies implementing eco-responsible ways to run their businesses. The people part, however, may be the most critical of all.

I was convinced that the success of a business correlates with the people that experience indirect benefits from our products. But how do we send that message of goodwill? During a trip to India, I met two people from the tourism industry that showed me that giving back remains realistic and feasible.

I had an opportunity to learn from a Swiss tour operator about giving back. He is based in Basel, Switzerland, from where he runs tours to India. He still returns to the country, even after his many trips there. After our trip together, he told me that he planned to return to the Indian state of Rajasthan to meet a local partner related to his charity. I found out that he had contributed to the support of the locals immensely. With Swiss sponsors, one of his works was the establishment of a community center in the village of Kochala, Rajasthan. He had also installed solar power for houses and built a wall for the farmers. To me, he is indeed a hero for the underprivileged.

I also learned from a British-born Indian travel company owner that I met on the same trip. He once saw himself as completely British, whereas now he embraces his roots. In getting in touch with his heritage, he aims to encourage people to understand the real India through his privately guided tours and tailor-made unique holidays. He believes in sustainable tourism and his company ensures the clients experience the places they visit as they interact with the local people. Besides the income generated, there are conversations and intercultural exchanges that open up minds and inspire the locals. Regardless of the industry, these visits enhance the lives of all of those involved.

Businesses do impact the people outside of those whom we sell our products to. This needs to be our call to give back and it is always up to us to decide the ways in which we would we like to impact society. The value of a business lies in the community we serve.