Published by The Vibes
Entrepreneurs smart enough to make money are intelligent enough to fix societal problems, says PETRA group chairman.
KUALA LUMPUR – PETRA Group chairman and chief executive Datuk (Dr) Vinod Sekhar has reiterated his call for corporations to do their part in tackling problems plaguing the nation in the interest of economic, community and environmental developments.
Speaking as a panellist at the 2nd Waste Management Sustainability Forum hosted by CT Event Asia at the Royale Chulan Hotel today, Vinod said despite advancements in other fields, Malaysians are still facing basic issues related to education and poverty.
He added that the persistence of such matters has impacted the handling of waste management, with effort required from industry players to rectify problems faced by the people prior to any significant economic headway.
“Far too often, businessmen sit back and do not get involved in struggles faced by their community.
“However, if they (businessmen) take the necessary steps to educate the public on the benefits of recycling and collecting waste, then people will be able to understand the value of secondary resources in Malaysia to themselves personally,” Vinod said.
He emphasised how vital it is to enlighten the public with knowledge on environmental affairs, saying: “If we don’t educate the youngest and poorest members of our community on why sustainability is important, then we are going in circles with no way forward.”
Vinod said entrepreneurs should be aware of their societal position and the power that they hold to bring about meaningful change, especially when the betterment of the people and the environment is at stake.
“We (entrepreneurs) have the money and the influence to make a difference. The question is, are we willing to look beyond the first move at the wealth of potential that is present in our people and natural resources? Are we willing to play chess instead of checkers?
“If you are smart enough to make money and successfully build businesses, surely you are smart enough to play a role in fixing societal problems.
“When you fix societal problems, the community that you work with is enhanced, stronger, and more vibrant. Therefore, creating a stronger market. It’s a win-win.
“As such, businesses will profit and get to make more money,” Vinod said, adding that businesses with a role in their communities will do better and have a bigger market.
“Your business will grow, and the people will grow with you. That is social capitalism.”
Vinod took the opportunity to stress that while the circular economy, or the reprocessing industry, is fraught with problems and challenges, the capabilities of businesses should be unleashed to solve those problems.
“Industry players can take the initiative to train and create jobs for individuals to collect recyclable materials, thus creating opportunities for businesses to make money, while also getting people out of poverty,” he said, noting that such endeavours must be analysed from a holistic viewpoint.
Towards the end of the session, Vinod also expressed his hopes for the organiser to work on following up with the suggestions that had been put forth by speakers, as discussions had featured salient points.
“Throughout the exchange of views, noteworthy speakers presented important points on the necessity of sustainable waste management and the ways in which we can go about achieving our goals.
“I am looking forward to seeing more events like today’s, and I hope it can lead to consequential progress,” he said. – The Vibes, February 22, 2022