Be patient and persistent. It takes time and effort to build a successful purpose-driven business. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. Just keep working hard and stay focused on your purpose.
Intoday’s competitive business landscape, the race for profits often takes center stage. However, there are some leaders who also prioritize a mission-driven purpose. They use their business to make a positive social impact and recognize that success isn’t only about making money. In this interview series, we are talking with some of these distinct leaders and I had the pleasure of interviewing Andesudar Sanan.
Andesudar Sanan is a purpose-driven leader and the CEO of Ministry of Travel, a travel company that specializes in sustainable and ethical travel. He is passionate about using business to create a positive impact on the world.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us your “Origin Story”? Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I grew up in a small village in India, where my parents instilled in me the importance of education and hard work. After finishing school, I moved to the Australia to pursue my dream of traveling the world and making a difference. I realized that the travel industry was a great way to achieve both of these goals, so I started Ministry of Travel to create a travel company that would be a force for good in the world. We focus on sustainable and ethical travel, and we donate a portion of our profits to charities that support local communities. I’m proud of the work that we do at Ministry of Travel, and I believe that businesses have a responsibility to make a positive impact on the world.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?
One of the most interesting things that has happened to me since leading Ministry of Travel was speaking at the an International Conference about our work on sustainable travel. It was an honor to share our story and inspiring to hear from other leaders who are working to make the world a better place. Afterwards, we were approached by a group of young people who were inspired to start their own social enterprises. We were able to connect them with resources and mentors, and we’re excited to see what the future holds for them.
We often learn the most from our mistakes. Can you share one that you made that turned out to be one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned?
One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is the importance of delegating. I used to try to do everything myself, but I realized that I couldn’t scale my business without delegating. It was hard to let go of control at first, but it was necessary. Delegating small tasks freed up my time so that I could focus on the strategic aspects of my business, which helped me grow it much faster.
As a successful leader, it’s clear that you uphold strong core values. I’m curious what are the most important principles you firmly stand by and refuse to compromise on. Can you share a few of them and explain why they hold such significance for you in your work and life?
The three most important core values to me are integrity, compassion, and excellence.
These values guide my decision-making and help me to be a better leader. I believe that they are essential for any successful leader.
What inspired you to start a purpose-driven business rather than a traditional for-profit enterprise? Can you share a personal story or experience that led you to prioritize social impact in your business?
I was inspired to start a purpose-driven business because I believe businesses can make a positive impact on the world. I saw firsthand the poverty and lack of opportunity in India, and I wanted to use my business to make a difference.
Can you help articulate a few of the benefits of leading a purpose-driven business rather than a standard “plain vanilla” business?
Purpose-driven businesses are better for people and the planet. They attract and retain top talent, build loyal customers, and make a positive impact on the world.
How has your company’s mission or purpose affected its overall success? Can you explain the methods or metrics you use to evaluate the impact of this purpose-driven strategy on your organization?
Our purpose-driven mission has helped us to attract and retain top talent, build loyal customers, and make a positive impact on the world. We use employee engagement surveys, customer satisfaction surveys, and social impact metrics to evaluate the impact of our purpose-driven strategy.
Can you share a pivotal moment when you realized that leading your purpose-driven company was actually making a significant impact? Can you share a specific example or story that deeply resonated with you personally?
One pivotal moment when I realized that leading our purpose-driven company was making a significant impact was when we received a letter from a customer who had traveled with us to India. She told us that our trip had changed her life and inspired her to start her own social enterprise. It was incredibly rewarding to know that our work was making a positive impact on people’s lives.
Have you ever faced a situation where your commitment to your purpose and creating a positive social impact clashed with the profitability in your business? Have you ever been challenged by anyone on your team or have to make a tough decision that had a significant impact on finances? If so, how did you address and reconcile this conflict?
Yes, I have faced situations where our purpose and profitability clashed. I have always made the decision that I felt was best for our company and customers, even if it meant sacrificing some profits.
I believe that by focusing on your company’s purpose and values, you can create a business that is both profitable and makes a positive impact on the world.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs who wish to start a purpose-driven business? What are your “5 Things You Need To Know I Order To Create A Highly Successful Purpose-Driven Business.”
1. Start with a clear purpose. What problem are you trying to solve? What impact do you want to make on the world? Once you have a clear purpose, you can make all of your decisions based on that.
Example: When I started Ministry of Travel, my purpose was to create a travel company that would be a force for good in the world. This purpose has guided all of my decisions, from the destinations we offer to the way we operate our business.
2. Build a team that shares your values. It’s important to surround yourself with people who are passionate about your purpose. They will be more likely to go the extra mile and help you achieve your goals.
Example: At Ministry of Travel, we have a team of people who are committed to sustainable and ethical travel. They are passionate about our purpose and they are always looking for ways to improve our impact.
3. Be transparent and accountable. It’s important to be transparent with your customers and stakeholders about your purpose and your impact. You should also be accountable for your actions and make sure that you are living up to your values.
Example: At Ministry of Travel, we publish an annual impact report that details our progress on our sustainability and ethical goals. We also have a customer satisfaction survey that we use to gather feedback on how we can improve.
4. Be patient and persistent. It takes time and effort to build a successful purpose-driven business. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. Just keep working hard and stay focused on your purpose.
Example: It took me several years to build Ministry of Travel into a successful business. There were many challenges along the way, but I never gave up on my purpose.
5. Measure your impact. It’s important to measure your impact so that you can see what’s working and what’s not. This will help you to improve your programs and make a bigger difference.
Example: At Ministry of Travel, we measure our impact on a number of factors, including the amount of money we donate to charities, the number of jobs we create in local communities, and the amount of carbon emissions we offset.
I’m interested in how you instill a strong sense of connection with your team. How do you nurture a culture where everyone feels connected to your mission? Could you share an example or story that showcases how your purpose has positively influenced or motivated people on your team to contribute?
To instill a strong sense of connection with my team, I focus on the following:
Communicating our mission and vision regularly. I want everyone on my team to understand why we do what we do and how their work makes a difference in the world. I regularly share our mission and vision statements, as well as stories about our impact, with the team.
Creating opportunities for team bonding. I want my team members to feel comfortable and supported by each other. I create opportunities for them to socialize and get to know each other outside of work, such as team lunches, happy hours, and retreats.
Recognizing and rewarding individual and team contributions. I want my team members to feel valued and appreciated for their work. I regularly recognize and reward their individual and team contributions, both publicly and privately.
One example of how our purpose has positively influenced our team is a story about a team member who was struggling with burnout. She had been working long hours and was feeling overwhelmed. I sat down with her and talked to her about our purpose and why we do what we do. I also helped her to set some boundaries and to take some time for herself.
After our conversation, she felt much better and she was able to refocus on her work. She is now one of our most productive and engaged team members.
I believe that when team members feel connected to their work and to each other, they are more motivated and productive. I am committed to creating a culture where everyone feels connected to our mission and where they feel valued and supported.
Imagine we’re sitting down together two years from now, looking back at your company’s last 24 months. What specific accomplishments would have to happen for you to be happy with your progress?
In two years, I would be happy with our progress if we had increased our positive impact on the world, grown our team and expanded our reach, and achieved financial success.
I believe that these are realistic and achievable goals, and I am confident that we can accomplish them in the next two years.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
A sustainable living movement would focus on teaching people how to live in a way that reduces their impact on the environment. It would also encourage people to support businesses and organizations that are committed to sustainability.
How can our readers further follow your work or your company online?
They could do so by visiting https://ministryoftravel.com.au
This was great. Thanks for taking time for us to learn more about you and your business. We wish you continued success!
About the Interviewer: Chad Silverstein is an accomplished entrepreneur and visionary leader. He started his first company, Choice Recovery, Inc., while attending Ohio State University and grew it to become an industry outlier before selling the business after 25 successful years. With the launch of his second venture, [re]start, a career development platform, Chad aimed to help people find meaningful career opportunities. Under his leadership, his team was recognized as a “Top Workplace” award winner for over a decade, twice being ranked the #1 small and medium-sized business to work for in Central Ohio. Chad sold [re]start in 2023, enabling him to focus on building an online community of high-performing leaders and continuing to make a positive impact in people’s lives.