A colloquium on the topic ‘Success Through Sustainability - Utopia or Reality’ was held at Amriteswari Hall of School of Business (ASB), Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, on August 1, 2018.
Dr. Santosh Mahapatra, Clarkson University, USA, inaugurated the O-zone club, the Operations club for MBA batch 2018-20 at ASB. Dr. Raghu Raman, Chairman, School of Business, Coimbatore and Dr. Hemamala, Assistant Professor, School of Business, Coimbatore, also joined the function.
Dr. Santhosh started the session with the basics by explaining what business actually means, how it could have evolved over ages and how it got transformed by the introduction of attributes like innovation, efficiency, technological development. He explained Operations Management as creation of goods and services managing processes for the same.
Dr. Santhosh discussed whether success in business can go hand-in-hand with sustainability. He questioned why the operations management can or cannot perform as per the required results. The proposed reasons were change in trends, globalization and uncertainty (both internal and external). He gave the examples of a few firms which were successful during the prime of their times but gave away their crowns owing to making mistakes. The first example he gave was ‘Kodak’ which didn't care for the innovation brought in by one of its employees through digital photography because it feared that innovation would threaten Kodak's photographic film business. Next was ‘Woolworth’ which had aggressive expansion strategies.
He added, "Human beings after industrial revolution have disturbed the environmental balance in a span of 200 years. It pays to be environmentally responsible. For example, Patagonia, a American clothing company by Yvon Chouinard, went bankrupt thrice because Yvon refused to do continue manufacturing processes which could potentially harm the environment. Still, Patagonia boasts of customer loyalty who have trust in its brand."
In the end, Dr. Santhosh concluded that operation's role in doing business has not remained the same but has evolved way beyond the human predictions. The budding business practitioners should keep in mind that one has to give back to the environment and emphasize the bottom line - Planet, People and Profits.