Profit’s not always the point

Profit's not always the point - Harish Manwani - UnileverProfit’s not always the point

by Harish Manwani, COO Of Unilever, October 2013, Singapore

I happened to see this video on a Delta flight between France and the U.S. I was impressed to hear the COO of a major company talking about the importance of companies being responsible in society. That’s refreshing. I have no idea how sincere he is, or Unilever actually is, but it’s still refreshing to hear concepts like this being discussed on the public stage.

I feel very strongly about this. We need companies that we can trust (see this post) and who have the good of our overall society within their goals. I believe that companies that do this can be more profitable over the long term than companies that don’t.

Profit’s not always the point

My notes from – Profit’s not always the point

  • Growth that is consistent, competitive and profitable. Not enough!
  • Have to add the fourth G for growth that is responsible.
  • “Companies that survive will be companies that embrace the 4th G”
  • Need a new model – “how do we make money AND do good?”
  • How to make sure we have a great business and a great environment around us?
  • “Doing well by doing good”
  • Define companies role as a much larger purpose than the products and brands that they sell.
  • “You’re here to change lives”
  • Brands indeed can be at the forefront of social change.
  • Project iShakti in India, teaching women how to do small business and carry the message of nutrition and hygiene.
  • Unilever buys 100% of its ingredients from sustainable sources!  (True?)
  • Don’t do it alone. Partnerships, coalitions.
  • Be the change.

Do you know if this is a sincere message from Unilever? They make a pretty big splash on sustainability on their website,, and I’m wondering if this really is an important priority for them and if they truly act on it.

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