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Business Ethics

Updated: May 5, 2023

Business

A term used in all conversations and in all situations. More often the term business is used in a sarcastic mode.

Sample this, 2 friends will be talking to each other. One asks another for help to fulfill his task. The other replies, “let me see, I do not think I can offer you that help”. The first friend says, “Oh; do not be business minded”. In a casual discussion if the seeker of help does not get a favourable reply from another then he/she proclaims,, “you are business minded”. I have heard this in many of my conversations. I should also accept that I too have used this term in the same circumstances. The meaning of business term in the above conversations revolves around hard-hearted, unsympathetic, not caring et cetera. Does the business term really mean those negative words?


In my opinion, unfortunately the business term means a person or an engagement involved purely for material gain. The end result of Business is no doubt for material gains. I am of strong opinion that all important ‘personal touch’ precedes the material gain. Let us take this example, a person enters a shop. The shop is clean and the goods are arranged neatly. The shopkeeper creates a favourable atmosphere for the customer to enter. The customer is unsure where to reach or find his/her required product. The shopkeeper observes the customer subtly without staring. Shopkeeper guesses the confusion in the mind of the customer. Shopkeeper now moves forward and inquires gently, ‘May I help you?’. The choice of words is very important here. Shopkeeper can also ask ‘Can I help you?’. The two words ‘May’ and ‘Can’ will convey an entirely different attitude of the shopkeeper to the customer. ‘May I help you? Query will make the customer relax and embolden him/her to state the required item in clear terms. The question ‘May I help you’ will make the shop owner rivet his/her attention at the customer. The patient expectancy attitude from the shop owner will convey the attitude that the customer is the boss. Towards this I remember a quote from Mahatma Gandhi. I used to see this quote in all all banks. Nowadays this is not seen anywhere. I am reproducing a video prepared by me on the October 2nd birthday celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi.





The above video shows the importance given to customers. Every one knows the importance of customers alas now a days very few business entities practice it.


A brief look at Ethics

I was reading an article on the launch of a new motorbike. It was written that the engineers responsible for development of the product spent considerable time at the drawing board. Similarly for me, an online dictionary is the drawing board. Let me go back to the dictionary meaning of ‘Ethics’. My search in Google gave me this meaning for ‘Ethics’.

“Moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity”

I love this explanation; this is exactly what I had thought about Ethics. Each word in the above statement can be spoken endlessly on the meaning. Let us take the word ‘moral’. It can be explained in so many ways and with different contexts. I am not that competent to get into details of each word and my intention is not to bore you.

Each and every action of our activities revolves around belief, expectations which are fuelled by our attitude. In simple terms Ethics of a person, or an organization propels towards prosperity. The path towards prosperity is strewn with pin pricks, obstacles which are not unsurmountable.



Business and Ethics

How important is it?

I am of the opinion that Ethics is the first and last factor in conducting a business or a transaction. Business is an amalgamation of different activities which are diverse in nature but with a similar aim.

We have experienced this in our daily activities. A family decides to eat out or decide to watch a movie in a theater. They plan the normal easiest way to reach the place. Oh, the family gets the news that that easy route is inaccessible due to some disruption. The family immediately gather and each member starts explaining the alternate route to reach the venue. Many suggestions emerge and after some discussion all the family members arrive at a best possible route.

Here if I apply the term business then each member of the family gives suggestions or ideas as per individual perception. The total effect of this activity is to reach the goal in the alternate convenient route. Let us imagine one family member is not aware of the appropriate alternate route. The member decides to play a role in the discussion and gives some idea which will not add value to the discussion.

Similarly business is a smooth sailing process when different activities/thought processes converge at the main objective.

Role of Ethics in business.

Ethics as I think takes the entire environment of the business in its stride. Let me explain this with one of my recent business interactions.

5-6 months back it was complete lockdown in India. We were all using the net extensively for meetings. I used to attend more than a couple of events per day. In one of the event discussions I chanced upon a person who is in my line of business interest. I communicated with him separately. He responded positively. Our discussion continued unabated for 4 months. I could feel that in each discussion the person was trying to analyze my knowledge and experience. He used to raise different topics (all related to our common business interests). After each discussion he expressed satisfaction on the outcome of our discussion. Finally he came around and decided to entrust a part of his business activities to me. We had a couple more discussions on our business relationship. The terms and conditions were discussed thoroughly. We decided to begin from a particular date. Together we decided that an agreement should precede our working together. He gave a date for the draft of agreement to be sent to me. The promised date came and went. There was no sign of an agreement draft. He started giving reasons like the legal person is not in town, I have many agreements pending with him et cetera. He is a suave talker and I fell for it. I believe that people are honest at their words. In this after months of online discussions and one personal meet, I had no reason to doubt his words.

He told me that the agreement is almost ready and will be sent shortly.


Meanwhile,he suggested why not begin the preliminary preparations like training to my staff, learning the methods of digital marketing et cetera. I consented and deputed a staff for the interactions. She studiously went through the rigors and started practicing.


One day he called me to tell thatTHEY have decided to postpone the engagement till the database is ready. I have written ‘They’ in capital words with a purpose. He never mentioned others in all our interactions. His card said he is the managing director. When he wanted to backtrack on his promise and commitment he brought in others. This is sheer duplicity. This is an example of bad management. This is an example of conducting a business without ethics.. Not once he expressed apology nor he went into the mode of ‘May I help you’ mode mentioned above.


Should they co exist?

I have clearly laid out my business principles with ethics. For me the saying of Mahatma Gandhi is foremost. My business does not exist without the help and support from customers. Each and every one is important to me even if they are connected with me remotely. There are many examples of business houses proliferating on the strong foundation of ethics.



Advantages of togetherness (business & ethics)

Two is awesome. Togetherness is perfect. Ethics and conduct in business complement each other. Infact ethics is not only in business but also should be in everyone's personal life. I am depicting a promotion picture of mine on twosome and togetherness. The image shows two juicy, tasty ‘vada’ a dish popular in India. It is floating in the yellow brown liquid made of lentils which adds that yummy taste. I instantly hit upon the idea of ‘twosome is awesome’ concept.


I represent ‘s cube relations’. I am building my business with a clear ethics. I commit to the saying of Mahatma Gandhi.





Is there a fall out if ethics is not adopted in business?

Initially any business will get customers and will start earning. A company without any ethics but only with an intention to make money,, will see the end of the day soon. Customer satisfaction is paramount. Word of mouth on business ethics adopted will bring in more customers. It is rightly said patience is a virtue. Have not all thriving business entities gone through rough patches in their growth?


What is adopted in my firm ‘s cube relations’

Ethics is the base of our business. Customers are always welcome. We have set guidelines for our business interactions. I am always open to suggestions. I do not dictate terms with my customers. My customer knows what he/she is doing. I know I have to modulate my approach as per the aspirations of my customer.


My gains

In a span of 6 months, I am happy few firms have approached me to support their marketing operations. They express their satisfaction on the way we carry out the tasks.


My disappointment

The above detailed live experience put me down tremendously. I started thinking, even though briefly, should I stop trusting?. Should I stick to the documents to move forward? I now consider this is a minor hiccup. I am mainly dealing with the service sector. I should give a little room to myself and the customer to maneuver without upsetting the cart.

Summarizing my thoughts

I am glad for what my experience has taught me. I am fortunate my experience has revolved around the medical domain. Medical domain is a very complex domain. So many activities act independently with a single aim of patient satisfaction.


Respectful and Sincere welcome for your comments and suggestions.



Call: 9964540400, 8884540400.


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