Monday, May 21, 2007

A speech with a difference

Last Saturday, I noticed in the back page of The Economic Times a full page report. This was not a report per say, but the speech of the Chairman of Hindustan Lever Limited.

Two things about this report attracted me. The content of the speech, which talked about brands being at the forefront of social change. How HLL brands like Lifebouy had created a more hygienic society, how Annapurna salt was being used to combat iodine deficiency and so on. In other words, it was about how brands that operate with social consciousness are both successful for the company and society. Even considering the fact that HLL would need the image of being a socially concious company to be successful, the fact that chairman Harish Manwani chose to highlight this in his speech at the Annual General Meeting was impressive.

The other thing that attracted me was the fact that a mainstream newspaper known for its cut throat and often crass commercialism would publish such a speech in its entirety. This may be customary for ET, but this is the first time I have come across such an article, and therefore, I was surprised.

I do think the speech is worthy reading. The speech is a PDF file. I link to the company's homepage from where you can pick the speech up.