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A true ‘learning’ organization with a social heart
Madhu Vishwanathan,
Professor of Business Administration, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
MART is a family. Belongingness, caring, interdependence trust, transparency teamwork and shared leadership are core values at MART.

We are passionate about our purpose of helping the poor improve their quality of life. We believe sustained Profits follow in serving this higher Purpose with Passion. We bring a 'Business Mind, Social Heart' to our work because the poor deserve the best strategy to pull them out of poverty but with a compassionate heart.

Our philosophy is enshrined in our corporate logo. The handshake in the letter M depicts:

  • Teamwork which is the bedrock for our organization. We deliver better solutions as a team than as individuals.
  • Building partnerships to deliver superior value. We bring together the leading experts in the field, dig the most relevant facts, work closely with clients, and constantly test our ideas before making our recommendations.
  • Creating a synergy between development and corporate sectors, a business mind and social heart, is what helps us achieve our objectives.
  • Provide handholding support to our clients.
  • Personal touch (holding of hands) and humility (heads bent forward) in our relationship with clients and other stakeholders.

Business Mind Social Heart

The innovation effort does not stop here. The most important element of innovation is having a responsive organization with the right culture and mindset. I believe companies should have the ability to work with the underserved and informal markets, ability to manage the cost of transactions that are likely to bring results in medium or long term, ability to collaborate and develop partnerships with stakeholders and create a win-win proposition for all. Flexibility in operation and ability to take quick decisions are part of the DNA of such companies. More than this, companies that encourage risk taking by stretching limits and do not penalize failure would bring maximum innovations.

We believe companies that pursue the larger purpose of serving underserved markets with passion will make sustained profit. These companies believe ‘what is good for the society is good for the company’ and therefore focus on benefiting wider stakeholders rather than just the shareholders while focusing on innovations in emerging markets. I call this the - Business Mind Social Heart ™ approach. I would conclude by saying that companies need to innovate at three levels - product, process and people (organization) to make their offering most relevant to low income consumers.