Dr. Bob’s Reads: “Decency Quotient”

Interesting perspectives from Ajay Banga, president and CEO of Mastercard:

  • Inclusive capitalism” – Ajay Banga is a good example of a growing number of CEOs that are searching for ways to show that they care about more than boosting short-term profits and stock prices. Banga and his “inclusive capitalism” peers are leading their companies in a way that benefits all stakeholders (employees, customers, suppliers and community).
  • Profitability” – Banga is quick to point out that corporations can’t ignore profitability, but he says, “CEOs also need to confront anxiety and mistrust among consumers and employees who feel disenfranchised by everything from automation to globalization.”
  • Decency quotient” – is a way of telling employees to treat their coworkers and community the way they’d want to be treated. “Put your hand on my back, don’t put it in my face,” Banga says. “Give me a level playing field. Give me a chance to win.”
  • Closing the retirement gap” – Banga is a proponent of making sure employees have enough retirement savings. “There is no way that 401(k)s, social security, and the like can keep you alive once you retire,” he says. “The math doesn’t work.” Last year Mastercard increased its 401(k) contribution to $1.67 for every dollar a U.S. employee puts in, up to $6% of base salary, up from $1.25 for every dollar saved. “Companies can help to solve this retirement gap issue,” he says. “That, to me, is one of the biggest social problems in this country.”
  • Impact Fund” – Banga has also poured Mastercard’s 2018 tax savings (from the Tax Cut and Jobs Act) into a series of projects, including the creation of an Impact Fund that will support “economic growth for everyone.”


Bottom Line:

Banga, who has increased Mastercard’s stock price more than 13-fold since becoming CEO in July 2010, views the “decency quotient” as a fundament part of Mastercard’s culture / purpose. “You can’t win [as a company] by standing on someone else’s shoulders and beating their head in.  That to me is not winning, that’s just crude schoolyard bullying.  And right now, we have a lot of crude schoolyard bullying going on. We need to find that decency inside ourselves and start talking about how we can all do this together.”



“Decency quotient – How this CEO frames inclusive capitalism for his company”  by Stephanie Mehta


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