The Business of Business is Business

Friday, July 08, 2011 Posted by Pratheesh

Author: Ratin Duggal (2011-2013 batch)

When I hear social activists and NGO workers shout slogans and hog media attention to get corporate honchos to participate in CSR activities it makes me feel amused.

I understand that we all should give back to society once we reach a level where we can make a difference, but is it our duty? Is it the duty of corporate bigwigs to organise CSR activities, just to get these social activists off their back and the government from imposing taxes?

Charity as defined by the Oxford dictionary is “generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless”.

The key word here is generous. I would also like to mention here that an act can be generous only if it has the right intentions and starts off as a selfless act.

Many Businessmen feel pushed into making charities and indulging in CSR initiatives. The reason business exists is because the proprietors want to make money. It can be for many other reasons too, but certainly not to give away your money. Acts of generosity should only be invoked by something inside and not something external.

The Business of Business is Business. Business exists only so that it can generate more business. The hunger can never quite be satiated, but is it a sin not to be satisfied?

I agree that there are many scrupulous practices out there which show businesses as selfish operations with no concern for gullible customers. The customers too are very shrewd and if they are never questioned on their morality, then why are businesses?

It is an unsaid truth that most businesses run for profits alone and the brand building around it is to protect the customer from getting hurt by the true intentions of a business.

Yes, the corporates owe society but no more than society owes them. They create job opportunities, promote development and invoke aspirations in the public.

Society and businesses exist together because they need each other and not because they want to. So yes, there is no harm in pushing businesses to help in the betterment of society by giving aid, but it also isn’t wrong when businesses retaliate and refuse to give up their hard earned incomes.

The business of business is business and not charity, but to get businesses to contribute is society’s business.


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