Realising potential to make a change
Profits before people isn’t a foregone conclusion. Ben Pike reports
CORPORATE success and social responsibility toward the Third World are not mutually exclusive ideas, says youth leader Imteaz Ahamed.
Instead, companies who are able to look beyond their immediate quarter by quarter results can make investments that not only make the world a better place but also increase their long-term profitability.
The 24-year-old Reckitt Benckiser national account manager is hoping to convince delegates of this and make more contacts when he heads to the One Young World Summit in the United States later this month.
At the Pittsburgh conference, 1500 delegates from the UN, young leaders and the likes of Bob Geldof, Bill Clinton and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey will meet to find ways to create change in their countries through engaging the power of youth.
‘‘ Around 52 of the largest companies in the world have 50 per cent of global turnover so big business has an opportunity to change things very quickly,’’ he says.
‘‘ The reason they need to care is because the opportunities in terms of growth in the future is going to come from these impoverished nations. It’s a social responsibility but there is also an economic opportunity out there.’’
It’s that same idea of corporate responsibility that is running through Ahamed’s own concept, called elev8, to bring prosperity to parts of the Third World.
Ahamed aims to do this by outsourcing data entry to poorer countries, especially in parts of Africa where there has been an explosive growth in internet usage.
He presented this idea to last year’s conference in Switzerland and is hoping to cultivate yet more contacts in Africa as well as his home country of Bangladesh.
‘‘ This would lower costs of major corporations by outsourcing to the Third World but it is also about corporate social responsibility through giving economic opportunities in these places,’’ he says.
‘‘ Staff, shareholders and the wider communities are becoming more aware of the broader impacts business has on the world in areas such as the environment, labour and exploitation.’’
OPPORTUNITIES: Imteaz Ahamed will attend the One Young World Summit in the US.