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Placing Humanity At The Core of Business


01 Jun 2017 |

Placing Humanity At The Core of Business

Published in Business Report, Sunday Independent, 14 May 2017.

“When corporate culture takes its cue from its leadership it plays out its reputation performance, its profit and the perception of its corporate brand,” says Brenda Kali, the managing director of Conscious Companies SA at the awards held over the weekend.

The finalists were showcased and the winners were announced.

The finalists were: IQ Business, Turner and Townsend, Strate, Thomson Reuters, Belogotex Floor Coverings, Joe Public. In the NGO, NPC and NPO category they are: Imvula Empowerment Fund, Afrika Tikkun and the Smile Foundation and PETCO.

The leaders of the winning companies headed the company to create a conscious business environment and to prosper, perform and persue profits while placing a premium on people, community, culture and the environment beyond the bottomline.

The winner of the companies category is Strate and the NGO, NPO and NPC category is Afrika Tikkun and the Smile Foundation.

Strate: Monica Singer, the chief executive of Strate, a technology company that serves the financial markets, is a rare breed of individual. Adversity had shaped her to embody the conscious strands of creating business value through human value beyond the bottom line.

“The world sometimes does not cope with transparency, honesty and love,” she says, displaying a unique femininity in a male dominated environment. In 1996 she understood the need of the market to execute efficient financial digital solutions and successfully disrupted it moving away from historic manually intensive paper driven processes to offer efficient, digital systems as a Central Securities Depository. As a result South Africa is ranked among the best economies in the world for its financial market development and tops the regulation of its exchanges. Trade volumes now exceed 350000 from 4000. Through Singer’s vision the company has become a national asset, internationally recognised as a Financial Market Infrastructure (FMI) trusted to use state-of-the-art technology.

Afrika Tikkun and Smile Foundation: Marc Lubner, the chief executive of Afrika Tikkun and founder of the Smile Foundation is the recipient of several awards that include the Distinguished Service to Society Award. Under the stewardship of Lubner, the company has made an indelible difference in society and young people by breaking the cycle of poverty, crime and abuse. Afrika Tikkun Investment Trust, (ATI), ensures that all profits are routed to fund the hundreds of learners in dire need of assistance. The number of programme beneficiaries dramatically increased from 1 200 to almost 20 000 with the annual spend increasing from R20million to R60million.

“I intend to live a life of purpose. Lubner says. “We have a responsibility to live out Nelson Mandela’s values in our everyday lives.

The Smile Foundation treats children with facial abnormalities and offers a comprehensive healthcare solution for children with facial conditions. Partnering with key academic hospitals in the country, corrective surgery is made possible for children who would otherwise be deprived of the gift of a smile.

It has been a four-month process where the call for nominations initiated a flood of entries. This inaugural event celebrated the winners as beacons of consciousness for their contribution to businesss and society in South Africa.

“Giving life to King 4 for companies to take accountability,” says Michael Judin, one of the guests at the Conscious Companies Awards.

The winners received a trip to India to do a mindfulness meditation course and a handcrafted and forged steel and copper sculpture by renowned artist Paola Warrender.

Staff reporter