The managers of tomorrow have to hit the ground running as soon as they walk out of college. This is because of the complex world in which we are now living. They will also have to meet the needs of the communities in which businesses are operating.

That was the message of Coca-Cola India President T Krishnakumar to a batch of students graduating from Rajalakshmi School of Business, Chennai.

Encouraging the students to take an approach different from the traditional one, ‘KK,’ as he is known among his colleagues, said that the needs of all stakeholders in business—shareholders, consumers, community and government—have to be addressed by tomorrow’s managers to be seen as being successful.

“Over the last few decades the very concept of satisfying one set of people, which included promoters and shareholders, has now moved to stakeholders. Today you cannot satisfy returns to your shareholders without satisfying other people involved in your business,” he told the young management graduates.

Communities and societies in which businesses operate are being watched more closely than ever before. Hence, the communities have a virtual position in the business and their interests have to be kept in mind. Companies may or may not accept their presence but their virtual presence is a reality.

Since addressing the needs of communities is critical, in terms of value creation, the efforts should be directed towards the challenges that the world is facing, KK told the audience, dipping into the wealth of his working experience over last 34 years.

“Each word I utter, every decision I take, has innumerable consequences which not only affect some people/parties directly, but also affects many people indirectly. So it’s very important to be aware that the level of responsibility and accountability you will shoulder will be humongous," he concluded, as he wished the students well for their future".