Business: Masks Versus Core Values, by Rishi Gerald

If you are a regular reader of the business section in Parvati Magazine, you may recall Mikael Meir referring to core values, core beliefs and articulating a company vision. If a company’s core values, core beliefs and vision are truly aligned, then no mask will be there. Unfortunately, masks exist in business more often than not.

For example, I have been working in the US since May 18, 2012, travelling over 15,000 miles. It amazes and saddens me everywhere I go to see how many American companies who claim to be environmentally responsible are not. Did you know that not all Starbucks recycle? Most Starbucks across the United States put all garbage, including those manila recycled napkins, into landfills. Look, Starbucks, don’t pretend to care. Either remove the mask of being environmentally responsible, or take an active stand transparently leveraging your power to educate your consumers and rallying together to make a change. The mask Starbucks wears makes me wonder if they even do really practice ethical coffee trade, paying fair market prices and supporting eco culture in third world countries.

I am tired of being in the world’s largest consumer market and seeing the lack of respect for recycling, reusing, and reducing. I am tired of companies saying one thing and doing another. Many companies wear a mask as a means of marketing to gain market share. If values, vision and beliefs aligned, Starbucks would recycle at every location.

Even in the transparency of the information age, these masks and misalignments are everywhere. If you have ever been to Costco you will be familiar with the policy of a person checking your cart and receipt at the exit doors. I always felt this was to prevent shrinkage (shoplifting). According to a sign I recently saw at the Costco in Los Angeles, they check the receipt to make sure we, the consumer, have not overpaid. If this is the case, then how can they do that with a quick look in the cart and receipt? Perhaps the marketing department felt that this signposting would make people feel at ease with being checked. But a more honest sign might read “Studies show that random checks at the door deter shoplifting, which keep our prices lower. We understand this is a slight inconvenience to you, and we are most grateful to you for your understanding and patience”. Mask free. Transparent. Imagine that.

Today’s consumer is more educated and masks will eventually be seen just as that. I look forward to the proliferation of the information age helping all consumers to become informed and supporting a mask-free business environment.

Rishi Dev (Rishi Gerald) is the CEO of Kupid’s Play Records. He describes Kupid’s Play like this: “Kupid’s Play is the Sound of the I Am Revolution. As an international record label devoted to raising global consciousness we bring awakened artists to the commercial mainstream. Our vision extends beyond a traditional record label. We know impossibilities are not real and build non-traditional revenue models by embracing new technologies in the current economic landscape. We know music is everywhere. Kupid’s Play actively seeks out creative opportunities to get its artists’ music to their fans in new ways ensuring that the Sound of the I Am Revolution is heard.” With two decades of experience in the music industry, Rishi has been nominated for numerous marketing awards and earned a Gold Record in the music industry for management.