There's more to a 'good business' than just money - this is now the (business idea) prevalent perception that guides potential investors, consumers, employers and even the common public. A recent study to gauge people's understanding of a 'good business' found that conventional metrics including financial performance, market share, or even profitability have now taken a back seat to qualities like ethics, social responsibility, and inclusiveness.


The 'Mahindra Good Business Study', (business idea) commissioned by the Mahindra Group to mark its 75th anniversary, showed that the perception of a good business "is a deeply personal view, based on individual values and life experiences" and a key business issue. The study surveyed 2,089 respondents aged between 18-65 years across ten Tier 1 and 2 cities to understand what they look for in an enterprise before working for, spending on, or investing in a company.

The study found that the term 'good business' is now "associated with (business idea)  having 'ethical standards', 'caring for the community', and 'inclusivity'". People look for these attributes before traditional business metrics like financial performance, market leadership, profitability or growth, the study added.

Sixty-two percent of the respondents said that good business constitutes more than a financial return, while 14 percent associated the term with qualities such as environmental consideration and CSR commitments.

Over 45 percent of young respondents - aged between 18 and 25 years - prioritised ethical standards, caring for the community and inclusivity, rather than just profits. Contrastingly, performance metrics like profitability, growth and market leadership were the benchmark for increase (48 percent of respondents) among older respondents aged over 46.

"Interestingly, 46 percent of Tier 2 cities respondents cite 'care for the community (15 percent)', 'ethical standards (20 percent)' and 'inclusivity (9 percent)', as the first thing that comes to their minds when they hear the term 'good business'; as compared to 47 percent of Tier 1 respondents who associate good business with business metrics such as 'financial performance', 'market leadership', 'profitability' or 'growth'," the study said.

Job seekers' definition of a good company extended beyond pay and perks to include community initiatives, flexible working hours, environmental consideration and workforce diversity, the study found. Nearly half - 49 per cent - of the respondents chose salary and employee benefits, career and growth potential and climate change policies and environmental commitments as the top 3 considerations for a 'good' business'.