There are numerous business houses in India that have survived many decades and some of them are older than 100 years. The founding fathers of these businesses had such a great vision and foresight of how their businesses needed to survive long years in the interest of community and economy of the nation. They had built their business on a strong foundation of values – ethical, social relevance, economical sustenance and environmental awareness. A sustainable business does not need any newer definition of Corporate Governance. These Corporate houses and the then Indian Governments co-existed so purposefully, unmindful of global competitions and resource crunch. The unselfish entrepreneurism of the founders, always keeping the consumers in mind, amply underlines the need for businesses to be always customer and people centric. They created lakhs of employment opportunities for successive generations to earn, live, thrive and prosper.
Business sustainability is the buzz word today in the corporate world but every business must be aware that there are business groups and entities like Birla Group, Wadia Group, Times of India, Shalimar Paints, TATA Group, Shapoorji Pallonji Group, Dabur, Kirloskar Group, Godrej & Boyce, ITC, TVS Group, SBI etc are living examples on how they have sustained their existence over many decades.
Not with standing two World Wars, the Great Global depression, India’s independence struggle, the population growth, the licence-permit raj, controls on foreign exchange and expansion, and the reforms of the 1990s: a handful of Indian companies have seen it all, and adapted along the way to do well. India has around three dozen century-old companies that are listed and still actively traded. One will be surprised to see such a long list of corporations that have weathered many storms and are still standing tall as a true testimony to the indomitable spirit of their leaders, their business acumen and ethical mind set.
“Response to change is the first condition for survival in business,” says Dwijendra Tripathi, a former IIM professor who authored The Oxford History of Indian Business