Creating a New Era of ‘Social Capital’

Sajan Pillai is CEO of UST Global, a Southern California-based IT services company with operations in 24 countries. Under his leadership, UST Global is creating job opportunities through a program called Step It Up America, which trains minority women from inner cities to work in the knowledge economy.

Pillai recently sat down for an interview with Knowledge@Wharton and Wharton Social Impact Initiative vice-dean Katherine Klein, to discuss the program and his social impact philosophy.

He says:

“In order for a company to be successful for the next millennium, you need to have a purpose larger than oneself — something beyond a traditional sense of business operations…We also figured that while the traditional industrial revolution had brought about industrial companies, which had financial capital as their competitive differentiator, in the last century it gave way to intellectual capital. Companies with large intellectual capital succeeded.

I think a new type of capital is evolving — social capital, which has to be a fundamental fabric of the company. Our model was transforming lives. What it meant was that by using technology we intended to transform the lives of the community, of our customers and our employees.”

Watch the full interview on YouTube, and read a transcript on Knowledge@Wharton.