a Business as Mission Network:: Turn Good Business and Missions into Great Ministry: Case Study of Olive Technology: Raising the Benchmark <body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d27430628\x26blogName\x3dBusiness+as+Mission+Network::+Turn+Go...\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dTAN\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://businessasmission.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://businessasmission.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d6117473324771524729', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>
Business as Mission Network:: Turn Good Business and Missions into Great MinistryTurn Good Business and Missions into Great Ministry with News, Resources, and Tools from the leading businesss leaders, authors, pastors around the world

Case Study of Olive Technology: Raising the Benchmark

Business as Mission companies never arrive. The purpose of Kingdom Business is not fulfilled once a company reaches a sales quota, maximizes shareholder wealth or even accomplishes a specific ministry—it’s a never-ending process. According to Joseph Vijayam, CEO of Olive Technology, it’s about setting a benchmark and consistently raising it.

“It’s like being a Christian,” Vijayam said. “Let’s keep deepening that calling and keep challenging ourselves in what we can do. If we don’t keep doing that, eventually BAM companies will be no different from others.”

Vijayam’s company, Olive Technology, is missional to its core. The benchmark Vijayam has set -- to be 100% business and 100% ministry is seemingly impossible, yet 80 employees in 3 nations daily live out that challenge.

Olive is an IT outsourcing company with offices in India, USA and Indonesia, providing software development, web design, iPhone app development, eBook conversion, and managed services to some of the world’s leading companies and non-profits. Olive has also served ministries such as Saddleback Church, Campus Crusade for Christ, International Bible Society and Trans World Radio.

“We have an understanding of the ministry domain,” Vijayam said. “Ministries have a very specific business process which the average company won’t understand. We are a trusted partner, and people feel secure working with us.”

Olive has reduced cost for ministries as well. Because of their access to diverse talent pools in the three geographical regions in which they have offices, the company can offer world class solutions at a lower price. Often times, Olive has even reused some of their code libraries to further reduce costs for ministries. They have also connected ministries to one another.
“We work with so many ministries, we know who’s doing what with technology,” Vijayam said.

For example, Olive built an online mapping system for Campus Crusade for Christ that tracks where churches have been planted and where the church needs to focus. Then, they introduced many other ministries to Campus Crusade’s mapping resource. They even integrated some of the mapping plugins to allow other ministries to interact with the website.

Olive’s mission expands beyond the scope of working with ministry clients. Olive’s purpose is “to provide human, technological, and financial resources for growing God’s kingdom in India and worldwide over multiple generations.”

Equipping the Kingdom with Human Resources

Human resources are provided by the flexibility Olive provides to its employees to engage in ministry work. One Olivian advises Wycliffe India, another is an elder in his church, and Vijayam himself sits on a number of ministry boards and serves as the Chairman of the Technology Working Group for The Lausanne Movement. Ministry takes place within Olive as well, both to the company’s Christian and Hindu employees. Optional devotions take place every morning in the company’s conference room, with Bible reading, exposition and prayer.

“Prayer is probably the most culturally relevant ministry that happens at our offices because everyone yearns to be prayed for,” Vijayam said. “To non-Christians, the concept of a personal God is just unfathomable, but they love it.”

Serving God through Technology

Olive provides technological resources for God’s Kingdom not only through the work they do for ministries, but through several technology initiatives directly undertaken by the company itself. They provide free web hosting for more than 60 ministries in India through indiagateway.net.

They also have two online ministries, mahalife.com and mahajesus.com. “Maha” is a Hindi word, meaning “great.” Mahalife.com is a seeker-sensitive outreach site for Indian youth. Topics include relationships, career, health, sex, and other issues relevant to youth. Through the site, teens and young adults can connect with counselors via chat or email. Counseling is not a common practice in India, which happens to be one of the closet suicide capitals of the world.

Over 100,000 people each year take their own lives in India. Through mahalife.com, Indian youth can receive counseling without facing the stigma of going to a counselor. Mahalife.com counselors are Christians, equipped to point counselees to life and hope in Jesus Christ.

Mahajesus.com, another Olive eMinistry, is an online introductory course to who Jesus is. Each student who takes the course online is paired with an e-coach who walks the student through it and answers any questions he or she may have.

Providing Finances for God’s Work

Vijayam is a staunch supporter of the third tenet of Olive’s mission, which is providing financial resources for the growth of God’s kingdom. This is part of how he believes BAM companies should be proactively involved in missions and ministries. “We should have specific and consistent giving, both financially and in taking on projects that don’t result in a financial return,” Vijayam said, “You must give financially and not wait for the ship to come in or for that big profit. Take initiative.”

While Olive has pursued its mission for the past 13 years and is recognized as a pioneering BAM company, Vijayam sees many more miles to go.

“I really mean it when I say there is so much for Olive to learn in this whole arena of BAM,” he said. “It is like passing a camel through a needle’s eye. Trying to be a witness in the marketplace is just as difficult. We look back, just like people, and say there is so much of improvement that is needed. There are so many missed opportunities.”

Vijayam encourages BAM companies to consistently raise the benchmark that they set. He said the bottom line comes down to always asking how can we serve the church and its mission with the resources we have, be they people, knowledge, facilities, or finances.

“The BAM movement as a whole, and Olive as a company, I think are just scratching the surface of what can and should be done to be salt and light in the marketplace,” Vijayam said. “God help us.”

Labels: , , ,

posted by Justin Forman | 10.20.2009 - 7:19 AM


Add a comment