A Case-let on Business and Personal Ethics

Ali, Hamad, Abdullah and Sultan were close friends. They completed their studies in Mechanical Engineering, Information Technology, Business Studies and Electrical Engineering respectively. The four friends studied Business Ethics as part of their curriculum, while completing their graduation from a renowned institute. They were taught the importance of ethics in personal and professional life, especially when it came to their workplace, be it their own organization or their employers. They understood the significance of ethics in personal life, and was therefore never in favour of short-cuts during their college days. They were of the opinion that it is sincerity, dedication, determination and perseverance coupled with ethical approach in all the endeavours that would see a person reach the peak of their professional and personal lives. All their peers, teachers and even their friends and relatives liked their attitude and approach which resulted in their smooth sailing life, till they completed their education. Once they graduated, the four friends decided to start their own company, rather than work for someone else. They felt it was important for them to be entrepreneurs who could be job providers, rather than pure job seekers. All the four met with their teachers so as to seek opinion and advice so as to give shape to their plan. The teachers gave them professional inputs and reiterated the importance of an ethical approach in whatever they do. These pep-talks boosted their morale and the four finally took the plunge and started a small restaurant in a small town. There were many competitors, some of them quite old and were popular among the local people. initially they realized it would be great to rope in customers by providing the customers price advantage by lowering the prices of their products and services vis-a-vis the competitors. They succeeded to a large extent till the competitors retaliated by lowering the prices to a level, where it was practically impossible for the four friends to compete, especially because they were new in the market and had limited resources, notably money. They looked for all the possible alternatives to stay viable(alive) in the cut throat competition, but with every passing day, their survival became difficult. It was at this point Hamad met one of his old friend, Akbar, who was known to be a manipulator during the college days. Hamad shared the hardships he was facing in his business and Akbar immediately provided him a host of solutions which included the following

(1) Purchase inferior quality raw materials and reduce the prices of the products and services so as to compete with their rivals

(2)Make false promises to the customer so as to rope them in, fulfill those promises for a period of time, till the they win the trust and then revert back to the evil means of doing the business

(3)Stop paying salary to the staff members by  promising them of bigger benefits once the business comes out of the red, even if it means problems for the staff and their families

(4)Serve stale foods, even if meant compromising on the health of the customers.

Hamad came back and discussed the plan with his business partners. All the three vehemently opposed all the points and reminded Hamad about the importance of ethics learnt and implemented by them during the college days. But the business was unable to withstand the competition and at this point the four partners decided to compromise on their ethical values, morals and implemented all the ill practices proposed by Akbar. The change brought in their approach resulted in increasing their profits which was  a matter of concern for their competitors. The competitors however, continued their ethical means of doing the business without compromising on quality related issues. It wasn’t long before the customers of restaurant managed by the four friends started to complain about food poisoning and there were some instances where people had to be hospitalized. This led to police case, and all the four friends were booked for unethical business practices and for playing with the life of the people. The four were then imprisoned and the court gave a verdict of life imprisonment as three of their customers died after consuming foods from their restaurant.


About manishankarscribbles

A management trainer, consultant and faculty with experiences in South Asia, Middle East and Australasia. I am also present in www.manishankarthetrainer.blogspot.com and www.twitter.com/manitwitts apart from https://manishankarscribbles.wordpress.com .
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