PANDEMICS: Morality Vs Profitability
From ages, having a highly profitable business has been a dream of every entrepreneur. Business Expansion and Growth are the Key goals of every business. All businesses are susceptible to Risk of failing and loosing. A highly successful business can also become redundant overnight because of any calamites like earthquake, war or a pandemic. And smaller businesses are never really equipped to handle such a situation as they have no risk analysis experts working for them nor do they generally have a back-up plan. A country like India, offers no independent insurance plans also for sudden loss of a job or income. It does come as a rider in few health insurance policies, offering compensation if a person stops earning due to a critical disease.
In short, Failure can strike you in your face anytime! So how do we come out of the Pandemic we are facing and bring our business back to profitability.
As they say, “History repeats itself!” Some of the questions we have today, their answers lie in studying Human History. First understanding the pandemics and what they brought along with it.
Key Lessons from History:
- The Health hazard of The Pandemic is even worse than a War. Health is the top priority in such times.
The Spanish flu in 1918, killed 50 million people which was much more than were killed in World War-1. The Black Death, or pestilence, that hit Europe and Asia in the14th century was the deadliest pandemic recorded in human history. It killed some 75 to 200 million people, according to various estimates. In early 1340s, the plague struck China, India, Syria and Egypt. It arrived in Europe in 1347, where up to 50% of the population died of the disease.
A Pandemic has to be taken really very seriously.
The outbreak also had lasting economic and social consequences. ( Prsently also all these countries are again impacted by Covid19).
In the words of Stanford historian Walter Scheidel, pandemics are one of the “four horsemen” that have flattened inequality. The other three are wars, revolutions and state failures.
- Pandemics Changed Human & God Relationship: Pandemics also changed the way Humans thought of God! As Frank M. Snowden, a Yale professor and author of Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present, observed, the outbreak challenged man’s relationship to God. “How could it be that an event of this kind could occur with a wise, all-knowing and omniscient divinity?” It is time to stay strong and not let your faith shake in divinity.
- Bridging the Gaps Humans Created: In his book, The Great Leveller”, Mr. Scheidel writes how the Black Death led to improved wages for serfs and agricultural labourers. “Land became more abundant relative to labour [after the death of millions of working people]. Land rents and interest rates dropped… Landowners stood to lose, and workers could hope to gain,” he writes. In parts of Europe, wages tripled as labour demand rose.
- Pandemics have pointed out THE MAJOR FLAWS OF HUMAN BEINGS:- It has united humans, if you look at it this way. The disease attacks all the species, telling us we are nothing but all alike- just a part of one category of species. It is also time for us to be more considerate to our fellow human beings. for example, in the industrial revolution, did we actually care what happened to workers and the poor and the condition that the most vulnerable people lived in. In Covid times, a big question is raised that do we even care for other species like animals, birds and even nature.
- We need to work for the Larger good of mankind and Ecosystem in which we live: When Bruce Aylward, who led the W.H.O. mission to China, came back to Geneva said, “if we are to be prepared now and in the future, there has to be an absolutely fundamental change in our mind-set. We have to think that we have to work together as a human species to be organized to care for one another, to realize that the health of the most vulnerable people among us is a determining factor for the health of all of us, and, if we aren’t prepared to do that, we’ll never, ever be prepared to confront these devastating challenges to our humanity.”
- Why are we so focussed on Profitability above Morality: We only care about ourselves and our comfort and profitability! Are we even thinking about mankind, other human beings, other species and nature. Before we start making profits again, become a “True Leader”, analyse how your business is of “Value” to everyone. Does it persecute any segment of the society? Are we gaining at the expense of others or truly gaining by offering a value proposition?
Conclusion: Create a Business with Values which is nature friendly and benefits mankind and then let profits and abundance follow for all
Key Points for Business Leaders:
- Its time to create a business with strong morality and ethics
- Products that are eco-friendly and support nature
- Work Culture that supports the health of employees and supports the most vulnerable segment of the society
So how strongly does your business pass the litmus test of Morality, before it passes the test of profitability and sustainability.