Companies which are able to balance between profits and their ability to equally add value to the society are the companies of the future.
The fundamental reason that businesses are founded is to make profit. This happens through a process of value addition otherwise known as product or service offering in the business circles. A good product-market fit is considered a game changer when trying to enter a market. The bottom-line however is that there has to be an element of giving. Of adding value. At consumer level, this is providing quality products and services at the most affordable price and with a high degree of efficiency and satisfaction. At societal level, this is known as corporate social responsibility (CSR); the act of engaging in activities and practices that contribute to the betterment of the society.
A good business has to have a component that dictates her engagement with the society. For some entities, it could be just a policy while for others, it could be a fully-fledged department in the core organizational structure of the company, the latter being a pointer as to how important community engagement is. Looking at how private companies conduct their corporate social responsibility activities in Kenya, a few points emerge. First is that a huge financial outlay is involved. One of the largest commercial banks by asset base has invested Kshs. 1 billion in community programs since its establishment a decade ago. A leading telecommunications provider has invested approximately US$ 3.2 million in social, economic and environment initiatives in addition to opening a state of the art Kshs. 3 billion educational and residential high school for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.