NiMo, NaMo and Ethics
AFTER NIRAV MODI'S PNB SCAM:
“Well,” asked my friends, “As the founder of Ethics India, why did you not teach ethics to your neighbor, Nirav Modi?”
Yes. NiMo was indeed my neighbor, but I take solace in the fact that as soon as I started my PhD in Business Ethics, he relocated to the much coveted sea-facing Samudra Mahal penthouse.
Next, news came out that NiMo is believed to be hiding in Belgium. Coincidently, I woke up to that news in Belgium itself.
Sheer coincidence, but it made me think hard.
KNOW THY NEIGHBOR?
How well do we really know our neighbors in a time-warped, hectic metropolitan like Mumbai? The occasional reaching-back-from-work-at-the-same-time. The, “Hello! How are you doing?” No empty sugar bowls, no emergency ice refills during parties. Though sometimes the doors to our adjacent homes would open at the same time and NiMo’s wife Ami and I would share a few lines of conversation about children or work.
Why am I talking about this? Working in the space of Business Ethics in a country like ours, I am always met with a certain degree of scepticism. “Will this work in India” or, “Is there hope for India?”
As we keep focusing more on profit making and competition, ‘Ethical Fading’ is now becoming a major issue in the country. Poor corporate ethics are giving Indian companies a bad name. Can ethics be taught? NiMo’s case and Mallaya’s disappearance shows that they have acquired a reputation for not following the industry’s unwritten code of business ethics. The series of misconducts related to corruption and escape are raising a serious concern.
It’s now time for the Compliance Professionals to expand their scope and value within the organisation by imposing an ethical culture at workplace by effectively communicating the importance in such a way that it becomes difficult for the stakeholders to think beyond it. One such initiative is taken by Legasis, that recently introduced the Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional Course for Compliance Professionals to train them to Comply by Choice.
We need Indian corporate as they have a large influence on people and society to
follow the ethical path. It will benefit them and also our country to be respected in
the International arena and give them a larger probability of sustaining and
succeeding themselves. Therefore, for a successful business, country and life
NiMo makes me lose hope.
NaMo’s actions give me hope and
Ethics is the only hope.