Shared Value, Conscious Business, and Spirituality in a Fashion Enterprise in South India

By Shreen Raghavan and Kala Shreen.

Published by Organizational Cultures: An International Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The article is a case study of a fashion house in South India, which has successfully and uniquely melded its business with social and environmental responsibilities in a spiritual and productive way, while producing a range of textile products. The fashion designer of this organization tells us that the attires are an expression of spirituality and divine consciousness. All activities are aligned with this philosophy. For example, organic raw materials for a particular fashion line are sourced from struggling farmers. In another instance, a range of products are produced using indigent weavers who work with a languishing craft skill. Dolls made by impoverished rural women from cloth scraps became an effective healing tool as well as a branding strategy for the fashion house. The creation of fashion here is not guided solely by the generation of profits for the organization but also by creating shared benefits along the value chain for its stakeholders in a conscious manner. This holistic approach to business is what, the authors feel, would be increasingly required in future and, thus, possibly represents a new operating paradigm for business enterprises around the world. Thus this article will examine the interlinked notions of shared value, conscious business and spirituality using a case study from India.

Keywords: Fashion Enterprise, Shared Value, Conscious Business, Spirituality

Organizational Cultures: An International Journal, Volume 15, Issue 1, March 2015, pp.15-29. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 801.695KB).

Shreen Raghavan

Management Consultant, Chennai, Other (Non US), India

Mr Shreen Raghavan is a Management Consultant, based in Chennai, S India. His consults primarily in the areas of Business Process, Strategy, Business Development, Corporate Social Responsibility and Integral Business. His assignments are with medium-sized companies in the region across manufacturing and service sectors. He has worked in multi-national companies in manufacturing, banking and IT sectors for almost 15 years, in Marketing, Finance, Operations, Investment and Strategy verticals. He obtained his undergraduate degree in engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and obtained his MBA from the McComb’s School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin, where he received the Sord Scholar Award in recognition of his distinguished academic record. He has also held several honorary positions in business and management associations in Chennai, including the Madras Management Association where he was elected as a Management Committee Member for 6 years between 2006 and 2012, and Honorary Secretary during 2008-09. He also chaired the Students’ Convention in February 2010 and the Brand Building Committee during 2010-11.

Dr. Kala Shreen

Chairperson, Research Division, Centre for Creativity, Heritage and Development, Chennai, Tamilnadu, India

Dr. Kala Shreen is the Chairperson of the Centre for Creativity, Heritage and Development in Chennai, India. She is also the Director of Cultural Dynamics and Emotions Network, School of History and Anthropology, Queen’s University Belfast, U.K. Her research interests include material culture, visual media, arts, crafts, textiles and more recently business anthropology. She has presented papers and lectured in several international universities in the USA, UK and Canada including Harvard University, University of Oxford, Rice University, University of California-Los Angeles, Queen’s University Belfast and Cape Breton University. One of her recent papers on Hindu material culture titled “Socio-cultural Dimensions of Ritual Objects” was presented at the University of Cambridge in 2010 and subsequently published in the conference journal of The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, (A Common Ground Publication) Vol. 5, No. 5, pp 79-92.