By M. Ekhlaque Ahmed, 

In my own philosophy and belief, creating a Vertical Impact is more important than absolute  number. While we can see this having been emphasized by a number of Business philosophers in terms of related concepts like big picture, intent, mission, objective, advantage etc., Social philosophies and organizations also need to have a clear mission and must operationally measure the impact of their work in creating social value. This came up as a point of discussion with Dr. Asher of Naya Jeevan last week. In cascading its mission (Self Employment with Self Reliance) GEAR has a clear operational philosophy of creating an Impact rather than going for number. We do it the following ways:

1-      Developing historical data and fact sheet showing improvements in the lives of GEAR partners on and after Self Employment creation. This is measured in terms of economic value addition, income, children’s education and such other important factors.

2-      These important parameters of small number of families, we serve, are key focus rather than adding more and more partners beyond our capacity. We prefer to reinforce these families through recycling on completion of one loan cycle. This helps the family for a continuous improvement and acquiring a sustainable position.

3-      Our ultimate objective through the vertical focus is to bring in economic and social prosperity rather than spreading the resource with narrow results not creating sizeable impact and may be fizzling out.

4-      Further expansion to the vertical focus is now planned to bring in value addition by providing  health/medical services in collaboration with companies like Naya Jeevan for GEAR partners.

5-      Several other improvement plans are:  adding education to the children of these families, vocational training  in collaboration with  institutions working in these fields and religious education for the entire family for a balanced life intent.

Two weeks back, the news of a man killing all his children and wife and later also taking his own life in Faisalabad is one amongst a number of tragic episode of our society. This reportedly happened in sheer disappointment caused by apparent unsolvable economic issues in the life of this unfortunate family. This must have generated huge amount of ‘post-facto’ sympathy and feeling involving ‘we could have easily helped him out’. This can give us regret. We are accumulating a lot of it on daily and perhaps on hourly basis. Should not we work for creating a Societal Empathy sparked with Positive Force to save people from such tragic event. We need to invent something I would prefer to call ‘Collaborative Empathy’ and that too on war footing.

Author is president of GEAR and Professor of Marketing at IoBM