Meet Hussnain Bashir - CSBs PhD Research Scholar in Sustainable Business Models
Before coming to NHH Hussnain worked in retail and advertising sector. He is currently in his third year of his PhD and a research scholar at the Centre for Sustainable Business with prime focusing on sustainable business models.
What inspired you to do a PhD?
Coming from Pakistan, a country that is being greatly affected by climate change, discussions within the sphere of sustainability have always attracted me. However, my own
sustainability adventure started during my master’s degree in 2016, when by a wonderful coincidence, I attended a guest lecture by Lars Jacob Tynes Pedersen on sustainable
business models. It turned out to be an immensely inspiring experience for me. It led me to take further courses in sustainability and eventually take my PhD broadly focused on the themes of sustainable business models.
How did your interest of sustainability come about?
The extant academia within the domain of sustainability illustrates how businesses have created environmental and social issues. However, now companies are learning from their past mistakes and want to create positive impact in society. Unfortunately, sometimes companies experience barriers in their journey to transform their business models for sustainability. Through my research, I aim to help these companies in overcoming these barriers.
What types of issues are you looking at in your research?
My first project was in collaboration with one of the top FMCG companies in Norway Orkla. I investigate a particular case of Orkla business model experimentation for sustainability. I look at the barriers to adoption of these sustainable business models from consumers’ perspective as well as I try to answer to the key question of what steps companies like Orkla can take to overcome these barriers. Along the same lines, I have two more projects that are looking at green consumer behaviour and actions companies can take to facilitate green consumer behaviour. This is one side of my research through which I hope to help businesses in making positive impact. The other side of my research focuses on measuring and communicating the positive impact through sustainability reporting. Just as businesses confront uncertainties in transforming business models into sustainable business models, in the same way businesses encounter difficult choices in their sustainability reporting. So,
through my research, I want to investigate these risks and bring possible solutions to business academia and business community at large.
Our planet stands at a very critical stage. Our generation could be the first generation to experience complete and permanent loss of eco-systems or our generation could be the last generation to deal with poverty and global hunger. I am trying to do my bit for the latter.
Do you have any advice for students pursuing a PhD?
I think it is very common to experience setbacks in your research. Sometimes you would like to pursue a research idea only to find out there are 10 articles already out there on that research idea or other times you would have wonderful research idea but not adequate data to test it. Setbacks like these are part of our daily routines as researchers. But in my
experience, if you want to chase success in this field, the important thing is to make sure that these obstacles do not let you down. You need to stay focused, stay persistent and most importantly stay motivated. Rome was not built in a day, so always remember that these obstacles are just there to push you every day and to make you aim higher!
And lastly, what’s your favorite thing about CSB?
The people! For me, it is very important to surround myself with colleagues and friends that stimulate me to do a better a job and support me when I need help in my job. To that end, I believe I am extremely lucky to be part of CSB because here, from my supervisor to my fellow PhD scholars, everyone makes a genuine effort to support each other so that we thrive as individuals and as a team in our profession.