The Dilemma of Business vs. Ethics–Answer this Question

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Alok Kejriwal, Founder of Games2Win earlier shared an awesome article  So you think you can ‘Start-Up’? Take this FURNACE test first, based on his entrepreneurial experience.

Post a few interesting comments (50+ comments so far), Alok asked a great question on ethics (after a comment by Amit, a reader):

Here is Alok’s Question

Let me pose to you 2 critical decisions I faced in my entrepreneurial life and lets see how you tackle the same:

1) In 2001 we began operations in China as mobile2win. In China, the biggest advertisers are Local Chinese companies in the same proportion as the Fortune 500 companies. After 10 meetings, I had a big problem on my hand – all these local company executives expected ‘gifts’ at the end of the meeting from the supplier to even continue a conversation. In India and in life, I had never ‘gifted’ anybody anything in business for a transaction, so my heart would not agree.

In my office, my Chinese colleagues told me ‘This is the way of business in China’

Question :  Assuming that you are a true entrepreneur, have raised money to start a business in a new country – what would you DO?

2) In a market that I will not name, we had a few accounting and secretarial positions opened. Intriguingly, late 20?s aged women applicants began applying. While we were interviewing, a fellow colleague came and met me in private. He told me that most of these women were pregnant or planning a baby and this was an old ploy (in that country) to gain a contractual employment with a company and then disappear for months on salary (after the baby was born), given that it was part of the employment contract. At the same time, I felt very ugly asking the candidates if they intended to have children in the future and hence could not ascertain what they state really was – and hence was not sure if I was being fair or not. Also, in the declaration, we did not ask ‘did you take a pregnancy test before coming here’.

Question : As the CEO of this start up company, if you got hit by a few such paid artists, you would be severely cash crippled and out. What would you do?

What would you do?

For answer and this superb discussion, read Alok’s answer (and decision) here.

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