Hearing from Dr Vinika D. Rao – Executive Director, INSEAD Emerging Markets, Gender & Africa Initiatives; Asia Director, HGIBS
What motivated you to be an advocate for businesses to act as a force for good? When you do something that has an impact on others, you have to ensure that said impact is positive rather than negative. It’s about feeling that you are ‘stewards’ who have been entrusted with something that you need to take care of, develop and be accountable for protecting. To be done with a sense of humility, an awareness that you will not be around in this role forever, only for as long as you are useful to those that you are impacting, and so you should also be developing other stewards who can take over from you. I believe the BAFG awards will recognize the efforts of such leaders and organizations and catalyse similar impetus by others.
What were your key takeaways after graduating from INSEAD in relation to having a positive social impact on the community? By intentionally delivering profit with purpose, responsible business leaders can prioritise the needs of current and future generations and our planet. As the recent discussions at COP 27 have highlighted, the problems that we need to solve require the combined and urgent stewardship efforts of all of us. BAFG has to go a step beyond being driven by the business case for doing good. For true impact, responsible business leaders have to embrace the idea that their organizations must be ‘purpose-driven’, delivering value to a wide array of stakeholders. They need to look beyond their shareholders, to include their employees, customers, suppliers, and the larger communities that they operate within, to be effective stewards for all.
What were the main reasons for accepting an invitation to be an IAA Singapore BAFG judge? The BAFG awards provide their nominees with the opportunity to showcase their Stewardship Approach of long-term value creation by balancing the needs of all their stakeholders, including their present community, future generations, and the Planet.
What do you believe are the critical elements for a business to act as a force for good? Companies need to understand that increasingly customers will not buy from them, employees will not work with them, investors will not fund them and partners will not collaborate with them if they do not integrate the SDGs into their value chains to optimize their impact on multiple stakeholders.
Anything else you would like to add? As a leading global business school, INSEAD can lead by example by integrating societal impact into its own operations and pedagogy, developing responsible business leaders, and contributing to local and global prosperity.
Meeting our 2023 Judges – Interview series
Post #1 – Diana Gan – Founder of Elementary Capital
Post #2- Kaushik Burman – General Manager & Managing Director at Gogoro India Pvt Ltd)
Post #3 – Dr Vinika D. Rao – Executive Director, INSEAD Emerging Markets, Gender & Africa Initiatives; Asia Director, HGIBS
Catch-up with 2022 Winners – Interview series
Post #1 – Michelle Woo, VP Venture Build, ENGIE Factory Asia Pacific (Corporate Winner)
Catch-up with 2022 Judges – Interview series
Post #1 – Li Lian Liew GEMBA’13 – Director, Corporate Planning at Tan Tock Seng Hospital & Central Health
Post #2 – Apo Ozkececi MCCC’19Dec-S – SVP Commercial & Regional Head, Asia Pacific, Accelya