Ratan Tata questions ‘definition of ethics’ of companies that lay off long-serving employees

In a recent interview, India's most respected business leader, Ratan Tata talked about sensitivity towards employees being crucial to survive and do well in the long run. Tata was quoted saying layoffs amid the COVID-19 pandemic was a knee-jerk reaction and shows lack of empathy among the top leadership.

The respected industrialist and philanthropist was quoted saying in an interview with Shradha Sharma, founder and CEO of YourStory 
“Accept that you have to change in terms of what you consider is fair and necessary in order to survive. One cannot continue to do business in certain ways and one won’t survive if you are not sensitive to all your stakeholders. Working from home is one solution. Laying-off people will not help you solve your problems as you have responsibility to those employees.”

Key highlights of the interview with Ratan Tata include

  • It is impossible to survive as a company if one is not sensitive to its people. 
  • Whatever your reasons may be, you have to change in terms of what you consider fair or good or necessary in order to survive. 
  • Business is not only about making money. One has to do everything right and ethically for customers and stakeholders. 
  • Making mistakes is a part and parcel of business. The important thing is to do the right thing at every turn and not shy away from difficult decisions.

Speaking about the plight migrant workers, who were left to fend for themselves after Centre imposed lockdown, the industrialist said, "Labour force one day was just told that there is no work for you and we don't have the means to send you home. This highlights the lack of business ethics."

These are some of the lessons other business leaders and entrepreneurs can learn from and follow too!


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