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"Capitalism with a Conscience?"
Our “3-Q’s” for this month were answered by Hyder Raheem, a current employee of Nestle Company. Here is what he had to say in answer to our questions:
1. Having spent years in Pakistan as a young boy, what is your perception of altruism and voluntary service and how do you think it is perceived in other parts of the world?
A very interesting question and one that I have not thought about before.
I believe an individual's perception of altruism and voluntary service is a combination of his environment and values. Having spent a good portion of my childhood in Pakistan, I was exposed to some of the poorest parts of the world at a very early stage.
Personally, I believe it is every individuals responsibility to help those among us that are less fortunate. I believe that so much of our "status" in life is random and that it would be selfish and short-sighted for us to ignore those people that are less fortunate. Selfish because life is meant to be more than personal progress and
short-sighted because we are all interconnected in one way or another.
In terms of how altruism is perceived in other parts of the world, I think people from all countries have a sense of responsibility to humanity as a whole. Perhaps what is different is the level of urgency felt by those people that are reminded of the plight on a daily basis.
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2. You describe yourself as both an entrepreneur and a traveler. How can VolunTourism, in your opinion, help you to be yourself?
The beauty of VolunTourism is that it combines three major interests of mine: Traveling, Entrepreneurship and Volunteerism.
The VounTourism model uniquely combines the opportunity to own/manage a for-profit business with the opportunity to help people around the world.
VolunTourism is a great example of the relatively new phenomenon of Social Entrepreneurship – the combination of capitalism and social responsibility.
When you add the traveling dimension to the mix, it becomes a great fit for a person like myself.
3. How would you describe the connection between VolunTourism and what you describe as "Capitalism with a Conscience?"
The power of Capitalism to generate wealth is now undisputed. The next logical step in the evolution of Capitalism is adding a sense of social responsibility or "Conscience". The social entrepreneurship model of VolunTourism is the future of volunteering and social work. For too long, people have been forced into two camps:
- Focus on making money and improving your standard of living, or
- Choose to be an economic martyr and focus on serving society.
By bridging this gap, organizations like VolunTourism leverage the power of capitalism for both personal and social gain.
Hyder Raheem was born to Pakistani parents in New York City in 1974. Having grown up in both the US and Pakistan, Hyder experienced multiple cultures at an early age. He completed his high school education in Michigan City, Indiana and went on to get an undergraduate business degree from Indiana University in 1996. Upon graduating, Hyder went to work as an Accountant at General Mills in Minneapolis but later switched to a career in Brand Management. After gaining Marketing experience with two medium-sized Consumer Packaged Goods companies in Chicago, Hyder completed his graduate degree in business at The University of Texas at Austin concentrating in Marketing & Entrepreneurship. Currently, Hyder works in Brand Management in Los Angeles for Nestle USA. He frequently travels to Europe, South America and Asia for business and personal interests. In the future, Hyder expects to continue his career in business while increasing his involvement in social services.
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