Trust is one of the most valuable attributes of a business. Some business communities even consider word of mouth as an ironclad guarantee. If someone tries to break his word, he no longer survives in the sphere of business. There is no room for untrustworthiness in the business community. I remember an inspiring story I read some years ago.
A person once went to purchase shoes. He did not have enough money in his pocket. He decided to convince the shop owner to give those shoes on credit. Respecting the request, the owner agreed. The person left happily with the new pair of shoes. A couple of days later, he went to the shop again to request the owner, asking for some more time to pay the bill. The shop was closed and surprisingly the neighbouring shops were also closed. Upon enquiry, he came to know that the owner of that particular shoe shop had sadly passed away the day before. At that moment, a temporary greedy feeling gripped his mind, and he decided not to disclose his shopping to anyone to avoid paying the bill and keep the shoes for free.
After a couple of guilty days, however, the person revisited the shop willingly. He met the son of the demised shop owner, who was in charge of the shop. He candidly told what had happened, expressed his condolences and drew his wallet to pay the bill. But the son stopped him and told him that there was no necessity to pay the bill as the shoes were a gift from his late father. The person surprisingly asked the reason, to which the son replied: “Sir when you purchased the shoes, I was also there beside you. Perhaps, you might have mistaken me for one of the salespeople. My father trusted you, and you paid back with honesty. In business, we respect these virtues, and this is a small reward and a gift to salute your conscience.”
I also remember the first profit in my life. We would purchase spices from Dubai’s wholesale market. One of the traders named Mullah Chacha was my father’s old friend. One day when I went to his shop to purchase spices, he told me that he had received a bag of good quality chilli powder and I should buy it. Since I did not have enough money in my pocket, I expressed my inability to purchase it at that moment. The shop owner decided to offer me the bag on a month’s credit. I brought the bag to my shop and in a fortnight sold the powder with a profit. I immediately rushed to Mullah Chacha and paid his bill. He asked me why I returned the amount 15 days earlier, and I replied: “Chacha you trusted me so much, and it is my responsibility to respect that trust.” Chacha appreciated me for my honesty and blessed me with business success.
Friends, there is a quote by Roy T Bennet: "Keep your promises and be consistent. Be the kind of person others can trust."
Dr Dhananjay (Jay) Datar is the chairman and managing director of Al Adil Trading.