Businesses Gain When Profit And Purpose Go Hand In Hand.
Chariots of Fire, a 1981 sports movie, best illustrates how higher purposes can lead to glory and success. This drama is beautifully written and based on the true story of two British track and cross-athletes, Eric Liddell, and Harold Abrahams. They competed at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris for their sporting achievements and because they were passionate about something else.
Abrahams, a Jew and a devout Christian, ran in honor of God, while Liddell, a Christian, raced to overcome racial prejudice. Both won gold medals for their respective races. This is the best example of what a higher purpose could accomplish.
Businesses with a purpose, such as the Abrahams and Liddell stories, are more likely to succeed today. These businesses are financially viable and can be socially meaningful for a long time. Profit and purpose are not mutually exclusive coordinates. They are mutually exclusive because one cannot exist without another.
Over the past 20 years, the business world has been experiencing turmoil that has brought to light the importance of corporate purpose. More than ever, organizations require a higher purpose. In the wake of 2008’s global financial crisis, the public has grown more convinced that businesses should “exist” for greater reasons than to achieve top-line growth or supernormal profits.
Another reason for the increased focus on corporate purpose is the shift in consumer mindset, especially among young shoppers. Consumers more concerned about their communities expect businesses to show more compassion and social responsibility. People today, particularly those of the Generation Z age, prefer to buy products from companies that are environmentally and socially responsible. Shortly, our children — “the citizens of tomorrow”–may ask businesses about their positive effects on the world.
Future-Proofing Your Business
If organizations are preparing to serve future consumers, they may need to answer children’s questions today.
Studies show that customers trust brands with strong purposes four times more than brands without strong ones. According to Forrester, 31% of the 4,818 U.S. internet adults believe that a company’s reputation for social responsibility influences their buying behavior.
Only businesses with a higher purpose than others can make decisions in everyone’s best interest. According to Harvard Business Review, companies with strong ambitions outperform the market by 5%-7% annually, grow faster, and have higher profitability. This is not all. Companies with strong purpose and vision are likelier to be innovative and transform.
Walking the Path Together
A purpose is more than a lofty, well-crafted slogan. A strong corporate sense can help companies increase their customer base, retain a skilled workforce, and pay off in consistent revenue and profits if it is followed with good faith. It is important to have a well-defined purpose, explaining why a company exists worldwide. This helps you maintain a positive reputation on the market.
For nearly eight decades, the Mahindra Group has lived a purposeful life. It is one of India’s most beloved corporations, with interests in more than 100 countries. The Group was founded in 1945 and has remained true to its “Rise” philosophy. It believes in “driving positive changes in people’s lives” and that it can “enable others to rise.
There are repeated pleas for businesses to see beyond a strong balance sheet. This is especially important when the world is facing many challenges and millions of people are suffering from poverty and hunger. We should all work together to make the world more equitable and greener.