The short film below, from the TED talks series, is delivered Harish Manwani, the Chief Operating Officer of Unilever. It is not, perhaps surprisingly, an advertisement for soup or soap.
Harish joined Unilever in 1976, rising up the corporate ladder, to his current eminent position. This talk seeks to add to the three basic tenets of growth, Manwani argues, which traditionally is built upon consistency, competitiveness and profitability, by adding responsibility.
The notion of adding social value as a contingent outcome with economic value is not new, but the telling of it by a key player in a world wide corporation is remarkable.
Manwani tells of the Unilever project, Shakti, which seeks to empower women in small business (..and to sell soap). But he argues with passion that science underpins his company’s activity, yet teaches millions about hygiene and hand washing as life saving activities.
‘A brand can be at the forefront of social change’ he says – this is a powerful argument for the Social Business model we think. Do you agree?