The biz page of The NY Times had an interesting article the other day about pharmaceutical giant Teva, a company that doesn’t have the brand name of a Pfizer or a Merck, but is the biggest generic drug maker in the world.
The opening of the article described how its competitors’ (mentioned above) executives both had private planes to shuttle them on both corporate and personal trips. The CEO of Teva, however, flies commercial flights when traveling domestically in the US and when he heads overseas? He flies business, not first. And Teva is a company with a market capitalization of 51.92 BILLION bucks!
There were two quotes that jumped out at me that all of us can learn from. The first was from Ronny Gal, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein who said this about their travel methods: “The day they get their own plane, is the day I downgrade them.”
But it was William S. Marth, the biz class travelling CEO who said the sound bite of the article for me.
When describing the company’s incredible success over the past decade (their profits have jumped from 135.5 million to a whopping 2 billion dollars), along with his business practices up and down the balance sheet, Mr. Marth had this to say . . .
“Frugality doesn’t mean doing less. It means doing as much or more with less.”
There’s a big difference between cheap and frugal.
You don’t want to be cheap.
But when faced with a business that has economics like ours, frugality is a necessity.