“Ma, me & mangoes” – Episode 22 (Feminine values into finance)

(My mother’s aunt who is like my grandmother is at our home. I call her Kaveri Doddamma. There are N number of memorable moments spent with her from my childhood days. It is always exciting to have her home. Of course, when she and my mother are together they talk and talk and talk. I believe that must be their stress-busting activity.)

Mother: Kaveri Akka (KA), did you like the mango pulp that I had sent?

KA: yes, it was really good as always. Did you manage to sell all of the mango pulp?

Mother: most of it, I still have some for home use as they can be preserved for almost a year.

KA: In spite of lockdown, you seemed to have been really busy this mango season?

Mother: yes, it kept me really busy and I enjoyed making mango jam and pulp.

KA: Good that you bought that agricultural land back in the early 90s, or else it would have been really expensive to buy it at today’s price.

(I was overhearing the conversation as I was in the same living room reading the newspaper. When I heard about purchasing agricultural land and its price, I knew the words that would come out of my mother’s mouth.)

Mother: at least you understand and appreciate my decision to buy that agricultural land. Neither my husband nor my son wants to appreciate it. (my mother was looking at me while saying this.)

Me: (had an innocent smile on my face and gave a typical Indian head-nod)

Mother: I had to literally force and fight with your father to buy that land. I was telling him it will be an asset that will appreciate eventually!

Me: (I was reminding myself, “Chinmay, you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you along with your father for the rest of your life.”

So, again, I had an innocent smile on my face and gave a typical Indian head-nod.)

Mother: And your father used to always say, “it’s a dead investment. I could earn more by investing it in our business of manufacturing carton boxes”. But today, ask him if he could get that kind of return if we sell that land?

Me: (still, I had an innocent smile on my face and gave a typical Indian head-nod.)

This reminded me of a TED Talk I had watched many years back by Halla Tomasdottir on the topic – A feminine response to Iceland’s financial crash.

(I have shared the link at the end of this article)

In that TED talk, Halla mentions the following values that she refers to as ‘the feminine values into the world of finance’:

1.    Risk Awareness: we believe that you should always understand the risks that you are taking, and we will not invest in things we do not understand.

2.    Straight Talking: telling it as it is using the simple language that people understand. Telling people about the downside and potential upsides, and even telling the bad news that no one wants to utter.

3.    Emotional Capital: we believe in doing emotional due diligence is as important as doing financial due diligence. It is actually people who make money and lose money, not Excel spreadsheets!

4.    Profit with Principles: we care how we make our profit. So, while we want to make an economic profit for ourselves and our customers, we are willing to do it with a long-term view that has both social and environmental benefits.

She emphasizes that it is not about women being better than men it is actually about women being different from men. It is about bringing different values and different ways to the table. She also believes that this helps in better decision-making and less herd behavior, and both of them hit the bottom line with very positive results.

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Irrespective of whether we are men or women – as a business owner or entrepreneur or as a key decision-maker, when we are in that decision-making process,

Do we involve others – men or women, junior or senior, amateur or expert?

Are we open to suggestions?

Do we end up having a discussion or an argument? (in a discussion ‘what is right?’ is the priority, but in an argument ‘who is right?’ is the priority)

Remember the definition of insanity by Albert Einstein, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Link to the TED Talk video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsmgvrcH94U

#values #inclusivity #money #numbers #financemanagement #bottomline #financeacademy