Byline: Arooj Asghar
Inclusive Capitalism is one new concept which covers the human equality and diversity alongside driving returns to the shareholders of a venture. Most of the Fortune 500 companies give stock options to their executives, shares to their staff in addition to annual bonus while also make heavy contribution toward corporate social responsibility by providing a proportion of their profits as grants to social impact causes.
The concept of building shareholders value has always been a driving force of a business especially for the listed companies. In a recent wave in the corporate world, businesses are not only viewed as a profitable ventures in terms of profit but also evaluated on the basis of their contribution towards the society.
There are only a few examples in Pakistan where we see Inclusive capitalism and shares were issued to the staff and to the community living at the site of their industrial facilities and fields. The premise behind inclusive capitalism is that Pakistan can't succeed if it leaves its people behind. Government of Pakistan issued shares of big state owned enterprises to the staff and local community from 2008-13 and later Government of Sindh also issued shares to local community of Thar from the Sindh Government's Thar coal mine business from 2013-18.
Such high-profile success stories indicate that businesses founded on this model can be a great benefit to those who participate in them and to society at large. Some experts wonder how wide an impact of inclusive capitalism can be on the society, and how corporate Pakistan will have to change its traditional views on wealth ownership in the absence of any regulatory reform. The local villagers in Thar Coal area and employees of state owned entities have become entrepreneurs and are earning returns from the organizations.
Capitalism is all about optimal allocation of resources. Some say that the more it is allowed to thrive, the higher the number of people who will be impacted positively by its growth. So, in that sense, being inclusive is perhaps a natural process. But for this to happen, what is really needed in Pakistan is more liberalization and fundamental reforms in the country.
For instance, until 2003-04, the fruits of telecom were not available to 95 percent of the country. Because of the reforms in this sector, it is now available to over 60 percent of the country. Therefore, it wouldn't be wrong to say that, in this sector, capitalism has...