New Delhi: It seems the optimism of India’s millennials for businesses has been rattled, as the young generation no longer has positive perceptions of business motivation and ethics, and become skeptical of latter’s role in the society.

In India, 78% of millennials feel that businesses focus on their own agenda rather than considering the wider society, according to Deloitte’s seventh annual millennial survey.

About 73% of the millennials are of the opinion that businesses have no goal other than making money. The perception is shared globally with 79% millennials expressing similar views about business’s social agenda.

S. V. Nathan, partner and chief talent officer, Deloitte India, says there is a clear need to bridge the leadership gap. “Millennials are eager for business leaders to be proactive about making a positive impact in society—and to be responsive to employees’ needs," he says.

The findings were revealed through a survey of 10,455 millennials, born between January 1983 and December 1994—questioned across 36 countries, and represent a specific group of this generatioe—those who have college or university degrees, are employed full time, and work predominantly in large, private-sector organisations.

The loyalty levels among Indian millennials is also considerably low with 47% envision leaving their jobs within two years, while only 24% are looking to stay beyond five years.

Abhishek Humbad, co-founder and chief executive at Goodera - a CSR and sustainability management platform, says that millennials want to be active participants in the social purpose of the companies they work for, and businesses that build a workplace culture around these ideals are rewarded with highly engaged, enthusiastic and invested employees.

“Companies that engage their employees in doing good are better positioned to attract and retain adept talent," he emphasises.

The study highlights that about 52% of Indian millennials are looking for opportunities of continuous learning from their employers, and notes that they overwhelmingly feel that business success should be measured beyond financial performance.

Namit Agarwal, lead specialist-private sector engagement, Oxfam India, asserts that the emerging paradigm of sustainable business requires Indian businesses to assess their impact on environment and society (both positive and negative) as a starting point.

“A sustainable business is one that creates decent jobs, pays living wages, respect human rights, ensures non-discrimination on the basis of gender, caste or religion and protects the environment. Globally Investors, consumers and employees are increasingly choosing to engage with sustainable companies. Indian companies are falling behind on this front," he says.

The survey further finds that young generation place a premium on factors such as learning opportunities, tolerance and inclusivity, respect and different ways of thinking.

“Skill based volunteering programs enable employees to build skills such as leadership, empathy, and team work. This volunteering focused approach also allows social purpose to authentically weave its way into the fabric of the organisation’s culture." adds Richa Bajpai, co-founder at Goodera.

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