Managing Director's Speech : Sustained responsibility
Good evening and welcome to our annual gathering.
I look forward to this event every year as I am sure a number of you do. It is a chance to reflect on the year gone by and visualize the road ahead.
This year in particular has seen significant growth for our company in many ways.
I would like to take this opportunity to highlight a few.
1. We have added to our Partner Portfolio the K S Rao family in Andhra Pradesh, wherein our detailed prospecting has begun.
2. Fomento was sanctioned its first Bauxite deposit, and has been recommended for two further deposits in the adjoining area. We are to commence production in the 4th quarter of this year.
3. Today Fomento stands operational in 27 locations with 2800 employees. Year on Year we completed 8 million tons with a mission to reach 15 million tons this time next year.
4. Our computer institutes have graduated 500 students with the fifth institute being commissioned in Pissurlem.
5. One out of every Four Patients (66,000 this year) in Goa, benefits from our health care network; making us the second largest health provider in the state of Goa, after the government of Goa.
6. Another successful year for the Gyan Jyothi Puraskar initiative where in a new batch of students from our 3 states were allocated the scholarships, taking the total Fomento Scholars to over 150. I am happy include and welcome the children of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra to the Gyan Jyothi Puraskar inititative from the next year.
7. Ashiyana and its focus on women and children through Ashadeep, old age home and other initiatives continue to be an inspiration to us all. A constant reminder of how lucky we actually are. We intend to double our allocation and Human Resource time to expand on these initiatives.
8. The Modu Timblo Scholarship at The London School of Economics has entered into its 4th year, with already 3 post Graduate Modu Timblo scholars having entered into the Public and Private sectors.
9. This year in a joint initiative with the Dempo Group and the British Council, Fomento has instituted the Goa Education Trust (GET) which shall be providing annually 5 Goans, fully paid post graduate scholarships to study in varied fields in the United Kingdom.
Our important annual goals aside, we must not lose sight of our main philosophy: The philosophy of sustained responsibility.
Sustained responsibility is doing what is right regardless if someone asked us, forced us or threatened to penalize us for not doing so.
Problems in today’s climate arrive unexpectedly in any shape or form. The problem faced by our industry today is the problem of perception. Illegal or Irresponsible activities are the core of this problem. Regardless of how stringent we are in our environmental safety standards, not acknowledging the danger of illegalities around us makes us ‘guilty by association’. The ‘guilty by association’ label prevents the public from learning of our 24 hour ambulances, our computer schools and our passion in developing new ideas and enterprises.
It is necessary for a company to acknowledge who their stakeholders are and what their issues or concerns are. A stakeholder is a person or entity who is invested in the long term economic and if I may add emotional well being of us.
Such was the case of the late Dr Mallikarjuna – a devoted medical practitioner who as a stakeholder listened to the concerns of the local residents of Sandur. Upon listening, he embarked upon an HIV awareness campaign in the location and conducted workshops for 500 households. Dr Mallkiarjuna could have treated Sandur like any other Social initiative, but like a stakeholder he engaged in what his fellow stakeholders termed ‘a real issue’.
A non-stakeholder is one who does not assume ownership but passes judgment. We may all have our versions of who these people might be. We have business models of prospecting issues, extracting solutions and exporting growth. I call their work, the business model of prospecting fake causes, extracting convenient problems and exporting blame.
The Portuguese translation of Fomento has a dual meaning other than ‘develop’ and that is ‘sustained encouragement.
This meaning could not be more apt for the direction; we need to take, not just for the growth of our company, but for the growth of several enterprises, around our company.
Our job is to not just write out cheques for new ideas or projects under the garb of development, but to ‘cocoon’ them, until they evolve into self sustainable enterprises. A case in point is Fomento’s venture into waste management solutions with the Sonsoddo project.
It is my hope that ‘Fomento’ will use its ‘Resources’ to provide ‘sustained encouragement’ for project which will empower women, encourage and support children, empanel substantial healthcare to site a few.
To conclude, I would like to borrow a quote from a strong advocate of sustainable enterprise and health care reform – President Barack Obama:
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change we seek.”
I wish all the stakeholders of the Fomento Resources family the very best for the year to come.