I am a self-motivated student looking to combine my interests in emerging economies with human rights and environmental sustainability.
After HBA, I plan to work as a consultant in firms such as The Bridgespan Group to help NPOs build sustainable infrastructure and advise on strategic pivots. I aspire to own a private consulting practice and share my sustainable business expertise with emerging economies that are often forced to prioritize short-term profits over long-term goals.
In the past, I’ve helped educate over 800 female entrepreneurs in rural Punjab, India on sustainable business management. I continue to believe in ethical and profitable zero carbon footprint businesses that engage their community.
What is your personal definition of sustainability?
Sustainability in the business context is a forward-looking strategy aimed at extending profitable lifespan. To achieve this, individuals, companies, and governments must look to protect the two vital resources of environment and society. The rationale behind increasing emphasis on the triple bottom line is that these resources are essential to responding positively to changes in demographic, economy, and technology, and hence to improving living standards.
With most industries depending on natural resources, stakeholders must be involved in innovating for coexistence between the environment and profitability. Furthermore, public policies must fight for proper and equal development of social capital, especially in developing nations.
What role do you see sustainability playing in your professional career?
Sustainability brings integrity to any business plan. As a future consultant and a global citizen, I have the responsibility to balance my client’s needs with social and environmental impact. If the clients are inflexible on their profitability expectations, I will be challenged to find sustainable alternatives.
I hold the strong belief that growing population of socially conscious consumer will make sustainable business an enabler and qualifier to compete, as opposed to its current quality as a competitive advantage. This expectation adds a layer of accountability for meeting community involvement and environmental goals which cannot be met through PR stunts or press conferences.
My ideal career path will be to transition along with this trend from a business and profitability focus to coexistence. Supply chain considerations will involve the environment while new market entry strategies will involve female empowerment and education.
What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?
In Punjab, India last summer, I helped a microfinance institution troubleshoot operations for credit risk. The company’s business model already contains many human development initiatives, such as only providing loans to female-run businesses. I recognized that only with success stories and testimonials can the company successfully expand to neighbouring provinces and convince future customers on timely repayments. And so I catered my recommendations to combine conventional monetary loans with water purifier and bicycle loans, ultimately reducing local pollution and preventing diseases. My focus on solving fundamental sustainable issues was never prioritized by upper management who were inspired to investigate further.
This summer, I am hoping to in the public sector with Deloitte Strategy and Operations Consulting. Here I will be working to help innovate in anticipation of changing trends. Education, healthcare, non-profit and government projects will challenge me to meet desired social impact metrics and improve living standards.