A Note From Jeff: Teaching Ethical Business Practices in India
At the beginning of May, I had the opportunity to travel to Indore, India for two weeks to teach at Acropolis University. I had the opportunity to teach the principles of social entrepreneurship, sustainability, ethical business practices and a principle I consider to be the most important in all of business.
This principle is simply:
Finding Purpose in What You Do.
Life is a bucket, and we’re only one drop of many. I have always maintained the belief that we are not just a coffee company. Rather, we’re an ‘Opportunity Business’ for our farmers. This is how Camano Island Coffee Roasters is ‘Finding Purpose in What We Do’.
In Finding Purpose, What can YOU Do: The Triple Bottom Line.
Well, while teaching some of India’s finest students, I explained my blueprint for “Finding Purpose in What You Do”, with what I like to call the Triple Bottom Line:
1) Do good for the environment
2) Be good to the people around you
3) Do good business in creating profit
The Triple Bottom Line is my blueprint for “Finding Purpose in What You Do”. But what I found to be one of the most gratifying out of my trip was how these students already practice The Triple Bottom Line without even realizing it!
The Indian students I taught were a median age of 25, and they believed wholeheartedly that they are in fact the new generation of change. This generation will eliminate India’s notorious Caste system. Even though their grandparents believed in it, and their parents put up with it, this generation will no longer tolerate it. Instead, they want equal chances and will not strive for anything less. Truly, this generation lives for ethical business practices.
What I love most about traveling and learning about different cultures, is the amazing entrepreneurial spirit these folks have. There’s a horizon of entrepreneurs that bleeds into the system, spreading innovation, new ideas and bringing about ethical business practices.
They honestly believe they are a middle class country and they will continue to improve even though ‘statistics’ of India say otherwise. I have had the privilege to travel to 40 countries and I have found an amazing common belief everywhere I go: young people are more in touch with the truth than any generation. They refuse to live for themselves as much as an older generation may. They would rather become part of something bigger and level the playing field through ethical business practices.
Even, after many decades of top down leadership, innovation is embraced greatly in India. Seeing these students excited about doing ethical business and becoming a part of something much bigger than themselves just fired me up. I believe, there is no such thing as a limited resource but rather limited thinking. These students do not — by any means — have limited thinking.
Camano Island Coffee Roasters — Finding Purpose in What We Do By Living Ethical Business Practices.
Ethical business practices transcends into what we believe here at Camano Island Coffee Roasters. We do not give handouts to help the poor, but rather walk with the poor. Doing the simple act of drinking a cup of our coffee, is directly helping 24,000 farmers worldwide.
By doing this, we give them life changing education and opportunities to sustain themselves which leads to generational change. Poverty makes you invisible, however, as a loyal coffee drinker, you help bring out those in the shadows of poverty.
Let’s face it, our farmers deserve nothing but fairness, the opportunity to break the generational barriers, and the ability to sustain themselves.
Camano Island Coffee — with you, the coffee lover as our partner — gives them this opportunity to better their lives and their children’s lives forever.
I may be back home on my beautiful island of Camano, but I feel as if a piece of my heart was left in India. I wish from the bottom of my heart, the very best for my Indian students and hope that they can become the new generation of entrepreneurial change, prosperity and integrity.