Davos: As the World Economic Forum's annual Davos meeting begins here today, co-chair Hari S Bhartia has called for rebuilding trust between people and corporations and adopt 'business for livelihood' as a theme for Indian and global economies.
"As the devastating effects of the financial crisis have receded from their full fury, this is the best time to rebuild trust between people and corporations.
"And that cannot be done unless we create the conditions that will give people a better future ? a relief from the clutches of hunger, scarcity of water, poor sanitation and lack of adequate healthcare," said Bhartia, Co-Chairman and Founder of Jubilant Bhartia Group.
Bhartia is one of the co-chairs this year for WEF's Annual Meeting 2015, a five-day high profile global summit that would continue here till January 24.
In an article written for the Forum, he said business leaders have increasingly come to recognise that corporations are both social and economic entities and "a clarion call of 'Business for Livelihood' would be one of the most effective ways to ensure that we can creatively and effectively re-imagine the future of the entire planet in this new global context.
"The rate of combined unemployment and underemployment in developed nations ranges between 4 per cent 12 per cent and is as high as 30 per cent for non-industrialised countries.
"Youth unemployment is staggeringly high ? worldwide, an estimated 73 million young people between the age of 15 and 24 are unemployed. Some of the political and social unrest in the Arab world and parts of Europe is directly related to youth unemployment," he said.
Bhartia said the focus should be on four areas that can create sustainable enterprise: education, employability, innovation and entrepreneurship.
"At the corporate levels, companies can put various strategies in place: they can create incentives to hire younger or female workers, or capture gains from labour mobility and establish home employment laws and best practices," he said.
The industrialist further said that what is relevant at a global level has to be applicable for individual nations too.
With regard to India, he said the country is arguably set to take a giant leap forward and emerge as one of the world's four largest economies by 2020.
"But it is still reeling from the scourges of poverty, unemployment and alarmingly high infant mortality rates.
"In India we have realised that businesses cannot be mere mute spectators to this reality. On the cusp of a new beginning, a national strategy embracing the idea of Business for Livelihood may well help India in its attempt to regain its rightful place at the high table of nations."