Private ownership allows Mars to remain free. The nature of freedom demands that it be used responsibly by Associates and units alike. Our way of doing business allows us to remain free as a company and gives Associates as individuals the freedom to innovate, act and grow while achieving our common goals. This creates the kind of environment in which we are all excited to work. Our private ownership, unanimity of purpose and high ethical standards allow us to move quickly in exploring new ground, act boldly in the face of competition, and take risks wherever they are justified.
If Mars continues to create sufficient profits, we will be free to operate the business in the way we regard as best. As Mars grows, we weigh decisions about our diversification with great care, wanting to enter only those businesses and markets where we may excel.
By staying close to consumers, we know that certain things convince them to buy our products again and again. Quality products and services, consistently meeting standards of excellence and made and delivered with minimum impact on the environment, have always been the foundation of our success. Others also claim quality, but few can match our commitment to offer our best and to raise our standards through constant innovation.
Our company is dedicated to the highest quality in all the work we do. Quality is the uncompromising standard for our actions, and it flows from our passion and our pride in being part of the Mars community. Quality work is the first ingredient of quality brands and the source of our reputation for high standards.
We must remember that we cannot influence millions of consumer choices until we have convinced the first one, then a second and a third consumer to buy our brand. Each individual sale should be considered our most important sale. If we forget this, there is a risk we could rest on our past and ignore our future. We depend completely on our consumers to build our future, and we must tirelessly seek to understand their needs.
Mars began to prosper in the depths of a depression, has met strong competition and has grown to its present size all as the result of billions of purchases made each year. These purchases are often among the smallest a consumer makes, yet they have financed our growth around the world. Why has this happened? How are we to continue this success?
The freedom of Mars depends on the creation of profit. Because Mars is profitable and generates cash, we need not borrow money to the extent that we might lose control over our affairs. As long as Mars remains free, our wellbeing always can come before any other financial priority. Together, these give us the ability to build our business and continue to make a difference through our work. Every Associate’s commitment to Mars must be the same as the family’s commitment: to see our principles work for everyone’s benefit inside and outside our business.
Mars is one of the world’s largest privately owned corporations, and it’s a deliberate choice. Many other companies began as Mars did, but as they grew larger and required new sources of funds, they sold stocks or incurred restrictive debt to fuel their business. To extend their growth, they exchanged a portion of their freedom. We believe growth and prosperity can be achieved another way.
Efficiency is a task we all share. It demands constant and open communication and defines how we work as individuals and as an organization. Lean businesses, small staffs and large jobs held by highly talented Associates are all signs of the Efficiency Principle at work.
The operation of any business is complex, and much experience and knowledge are required to make ours run well. For this reason, we think carefully before becoming involved with activities in which we may not have a high level of expertise. When we launch new businesses, our ROTA policy helps us to make them efficient and profitable as quickly as possible.