International Finance
Business Magazine March-April 2019

Let your Business strive to become an integral part of the community—and grow sustainably

Let your Business strive to become an integral part of the community—and grow sustainably
Global industry expert and CEO of English Tea Shop Suranga Herath is in the pursuit of a trending ideology in new-age business.

Introducing Prajāva

Prajāva means community; and the idea of a  community has never been more important to a business than it is now. Prajāva in a business is about the change in mindset, where a business goes from believing itself to be a part of the community to actually being posited in the center.

Who’s in your Prajāva?

A Prajāva mindset means understanding the elements that form the community, and how every decision you make can have an impact on each one of them. A community includes everyone from customers to suppliers to employees to their families. It can also include investors and factor in intangible elements such as the environment. In short, a business community is much bigger than many businesses appreciate. And this gives businesses a huge power to affect change when harnessed correctly.

The benefits of Prajāva

When a business looks after its community, there are higher chances that the community will reciprocate. So by considering the interests of customers, employees, suppliers’ et al. stronger and more fruitful relationships are formed. This is not about quick wins but a long-term strategy that puts sustainable relationships at its core.

There is mounting evidence to suggest that sustainable businesses grow quickly. A recent survey by a leading sustainability accreditation B Corp. revealed that purpose-led businesses grow 28 times faster than normal businesses.

Suranga Herath
Ceo, English Tea Shop

Why now?

It’s no secret that consumers love sustainability, and now, there is an even bigger appetite for brands willing to do things differently.

The key thing is to make sure the strategy is long-term, and take into consideration the community as a whole.

A good example of this is from the tea industry where there has been a big move toward compostable tea bags, often produced using genetically modified corn. This move can benefit the community in so many ways: by addressing plastic issues, and the like. However, it can potentially create problems for others.

So, while it’s often easier to think short-term, it is important for businesses to use the Prajāva mindset in order to find solutions and create long-term strategies that are good for all members of the community.

Getting started

There are seven steps to installing a Prajāva mindset to your business:

  1. Put a long-term plan in place: Visualise your end goal and outline steps that will help to achieve it
  2. Map your community: Connect the dots between different groups in your community. Identifying the size of your community will set your business apart and position it for uncapped growth.
  3. Make a list of ways to help individual parts of your community.
  4. Focus first on projects which also most help your business:  Focus on creating win-win situations. This ultimately drives employee engagement, and increases our productivity too.
  5. Recognise you can’t help everyone all the time but every little helps.
  6. Reinforce a sustainable culture: Create a practical guideline for members of your community who can independently implement sustainable means of working in their day to day.
  7. Set targets and measure efficiency: The only way to track results and impact of new approaches is through setting measurable outcomes. Therefore, it is necessary to list KPIs and stay motivated in achieving them

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