What does brushing twice a day have to do with profits and impact?
Somik Raha

Somik, your conclusive remark: “the metrics that surround you drive your action” is indeed apt & quite pertinent. But what do you do when surrounding metrics are conflicting. The case in point is the instance of Steve Jobbs who once remarked that he produced for his own self and not for others’ satisfaction. In other words, he would not market a product unless he was personally satisfied about its presentability, efficacy and utility on all counts irrespective of and unconcerned about what the market/customers expected from Apples. His co-directors on the other hand were more concerned about the market demand and competitive environment. The share-holders & employees looked for larger dividends/bonus consequent upon larger profit. Integrating all three apparently conflicting interests into a common goal is no easy task. Towering personality of Steve Jobbs succeeded in setting his personal standard as the standard for the company. But that personal factor did not prevail after his demise. How do you go about in a conflicting environment where the metrics are not uniform and are at variance.

In third world countries where poverty is significant and survival of small and middle scale businesses poses a constant challenge, the surrounding metrics are predominantly profit-driven and rarely value-oriented. To bring about a change in this realistic scenario is again no easy task. This explains why public services unconcerned about profit or loss, have encompassed social and business spaces to a large extent in developing economies, leaving very little room for private enterprises to enter, compete or grow. Understandably it has led to stagnation. Taking the case of India, in early 1990’s under Dr. Manmohan Singh as the Finance Minister, India took the bold decision to come out of this stagnant socio-economic subsidy-driven policy and instead to open up the private sector. In last two decades, we have witnessed vast expansion of private sector almost in all areas except the Railways, mines and the roads. But Our private enterprises are essentially profit-driven for their very survival. What is your prescription for Indian businesses to bring about transformational metrics?

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