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Black-swan events, global warming, COVID-19 and a host of other natural and man-made disasters have tested the resilience of businesses across the world. Usually, blame for business failures is apportioned to external factors such as adverse business cycles, badly framed government regulations and lack of infrastructure. However, the causes often lie within -- short-term thinking, destruction of natural resources, exploitation of labour and poor management, to name a few.
To outlast their competition, build resilience, gain competitive advantage and achieve greater returns in the long run, businesses must improve their performance on material ESG metrics: Environmental impacts such as monitoring their consumption of natural resources, waste discharge and carbon emissions; Social factors such as ties with local communities, diversity and inclusion, and building a good reputation with stakeholders; and Governance, including board effectiveness protocols, approach to senior executive compensation and appropriate reliance on independent directors. The benefits from implementing ESG factors include more efficient use of resources, lower cost of operations, reduced risk, higher employee productivity and increased investor interest.
Outlast: How ESG Can Benefit Your Business is a clarion call to corporate leaders to follow the pathway of ESG. The authors, Mukund Rajan and Col. Rajeev Kumar, draw upon their considerable experience of working for some of India's largest organizations to present evidence and case studies that show that ESG is the mantra of the future. This is a timely must-read for all those who belong to, or aspire to be part of, the corporate world.
Dr Mukund Rajan chairs a pioneering investment firm focused on catalysing Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) improvements. Previously, in a twenty-three-year career with India's largest corporate house, the Tata Group, he served as the Group's first Brand Custodian, Chief Ethics Officer, Chairman of the Tata Global Sustainability Council and Member of the Group Executive Council.
A graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, Dr Rajan completed a Doctorate in International Relations on a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University. His previous books include Global Environmental Politics (1996) and The Brand Custodian: My Years with the Tatas (2019).
Dr (Col.) Rajeev Kumar is a strategic communication consultant and a Fellow of the International Association of Business Communicators. In the Army, besides combat leadership roles, he served as Director of Media and on a diplomatic assignment with the UN Iraq-Kuwait Observer Mission. In the Tata Group, his last role was as Head of Learning and Development at Tata Group Corporate Communication. Dr Kumar earned his PhD in Organizational Communication from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and was a Fulbright Doctoral Fellow at Texas A&M University. His previous book, Intrapreneurs@mjunction (2014), is a case study of entrepreneurship.