Beyond the Bottom Line 

Money has often been a byproduct of delivering value. Still, a new business philosophy beyond profit, Conscious Capitalism, is scaling the horizons by emphasising purpose, stakeholder orientation, and social responsibility. Settling the dust of chasing the pursuit of profits glorifies the idea of inclusive growth with evolving traditional capitalist practices. Many emerging corporations have proven that compassion goes hand-in-hand with business. Mahindra Group has initiated Project ‘Nanhi Kali’ to educate underprivileged girls using digital solutions. Ratan Tata has been an active philanthropist in supporting society through education, disaster, and healthcare, setting his footsteps for social responsibility and conscious capitalism. PepsiCo has introduced a direct-seeding methodology that reduced water consumption by around 30% and cut down greenhouse gas emissions to date.

Imagine a world where businesses are not solely driven by profits but contribute to society and the environment. CSR responsibilities and strict sustainability measures foster ethical practices that provide inclusive benefits. Amazon’s willingness to acquire Whole Foods Market hints at a conscious approach to capitalism. In today’s dynamic landscape, constant change and continuous evolution can be progressive; other notable brands like Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, REI, and Tata are staying ahead for conscious capitalism. In the future, we might see a classic example of tech-driven, conscious capitalism promoting transparency and ethical business practices.

A Japanese concept called “Kaizen” advises consistent, continual growth for stakeholders and embracing challenges as an opportunity to problem-solve and progress. Rather than focusing on pleasing stakeholders, businesses should reflect on transforming society. Shawn Vij, Conscious Business Leader, stated, “I am a pure capitalist and believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to make a lot of money. The difference is in ‘how’ we do it and “what” we do with it. If our only goal is to make money at no cost, then we’re bound to harm others and ourselves in pursuit of those things. When this happens, we’ve used capitalism to cripple our value system.”

The Deloitte Millennial Survey, 2014, indicates that 75% of the global workforce by 2025 will be millennials, who look out for companies that make a positive contribution to society’s welfare and do not single-mindedly pursue only economic profit. The basis of conscious capitalism often brings long-term financial gain to companies like Unilever-backed Lifebuoy, which aims to change hygiene behaviour across Asia and Africa. In the process, this maximises their environmental, social, and financial capital. Based on Nielsen’s online survey of 30,000 consumers across 60 countries, 55% of respondents agree that they would be comfortable paying more for products and services from companies that are working for positive social and environmental impact. From consumers to employment, there is a paradigm shift in ideas and expectations, so gearing up with conscious capitalism will embrace a new way of doing business with four pillars of conscious capitalism: higher purpose, stakeholder orientation, conscious leadership, and culture.

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