Profitability or integrity? Why not both?

Profitability or IntegrityGrowth and profitability have been at the crux of the corporate agenda and defined the way businesses function. Companies have nevertheless encountered challenges while trying to achieve these goals, which have inevitably required them to sometimes ‘work around the way of the land’.

For instance, it is a common concern that in certain regions or sectors or business dealings, it is impossible to carry out tasks without greasing palms. This is because of archaic perceptions and practices that consider these practices indispensable to running day-to-day operations as well as ensuring sustainability in the long run. Earlier, this mind-set often overlooked unethical behaviour as long as the business was running smoothly and was in the companies’ favour. But today, such moral outlook is changing.

There have been significant regulatory pushes that have taken place globally with tighter provisions and controls to deter unethical practices and increase transparency. India ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) a few years ago, as it looked to reiterate its crusade to minimise corrupt practices. Recently, India also became a signatory of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)—the US Global tax law. FATCA is expected to enable cross border tax-related information sharing that will enable multi-jurisdictional inquiries into matters highlighted through these avenues. Cross-border collaborative enforcements are augmenting the liability of organisations, as these are now seldom constrained by geographic boundaries.

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