4b. Maroma: Embedded in the community
Maroma was founded in the late 1970s by Paul Pinthon and Laura Reddy and is now a multi-million dollar business with over 80 staff. The Indian business sells home fragrance and body care products: incense, candles, aromatic essence, reed diffusers, room fresheners, votive, candles, gift sets, potpourri, fragranced mats, perfume spirals and perfumed sachets.
The Auroville community owns all shares in Marona. While the CEOs of Maroma are founders and follow the charter of Auroville, along with the other business owned by the community, Maroma’s employees have the autonomy to run and manage the business.
Maroma’s profits constitute its contribution to the Auroville Foundation. These funds serve to finance and create infrastructure assets in the sector of road building, water and sanitation, power (including from alternate sources such as solar, wind and biomass), as well as telecommunication, and housing for Auroville residents.
“Maroma is a quintessential example of an enterprise fully embedded in its community. It has a governance and business model that locks-in its social mission. After 40 years of serving its community, Maroma demonstrates the resilience of the Fair Trade Enterprise model. It shows that business can be designed to put people and planet ahead of growing its own profits.”
Erinch Sahan, CEO, World Fair Trade Organisation
Maroma aims to achieve a balanced relationship with its suppliers through selecting suppliers that are able to offer products that match product specifications but allowing suppliers to set their own prices. If suppliers get into economic difficulties, Maroma looks to support them to move through those difficult times.
Maroma is verified by the World Fair Trade Organization as a social enterprise that fully practices Fair Trade. This means they structured as a mission-led enterprise as well as implementing the 10 Fair Trade Principles in all their operations and supply chains.
Find out more about Maroma in this World Fair Trade Organisation podcast.
- This is an extract from the forthcoming ‘The Business of Wellbeing – Alternatives to Business as Usual’ Guide, launching in January 2020. For more extracts, please click here
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