Most Indians have heard ‘वैष्णव जन तो’ bhajan growing up. Associated with Mahatma Gandhi, the bhajan was written by Narsinh Mehta in the 15th century. It speaks about ideals and mentality of Vaishnava (follower of Vishnu).
Our business practices and values have been based on Indian culture and traditions. Let us explore Business concepts based on ideas from the bhajan.
वैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये जे पीड परायी जाणे रे ।
A good entrepreneur understands problems of common man, and bases his business ideas on solutions to these problems. For e.g. to solve problems of dairy farmers Tribhuvandas Patel with Dr. Verghese Kurien founded the Anand Milk Union Limited or Amul, which is one of the biggest brands in India.
पर दुःखे उपकार करे तो ये मन अभिमान न आणे रे॥
But a successful entrepreneur should not become over-confident and arrogant. We see many examples such as Ramalinga Raju, Chairman of Satyam Computer Services, Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya, Harshad Mehta etc. where arrogance and overconfidence led to downfall of business empires.
सकळ लोकमां सहुने वंदे,
Businessmen should respect everyone. Even billionaires sell products which are bought by ordinary people. For e.g. an ordinary daily wage worker can buy product of a giant multinational like Reliance. Ordinary people are employees in big corporations and make them successful. Hence every business owner should be respectful of their employees, customers and society at large.
निंदा न करे केनी रे ।
One should not criticize or disparage their competitors. In Business strategy, instead of trying to simply compete (Red Ocean Strategy), organizations should innovate and create new value (Blue Ocean Strategy), where competition becomes irrelevant.
वाच काछ मन निश्चळ राखे,
Just like a ‘Vaishnav Jan’, entrepreneurs and professionals should have clear and honest communication with stakeholders. According to Birla Committee Report on Corporate Governance, companies should show fairness accountability and transparency in their actions. There should be regular audits, analysis and reporting of operations of a company.
धन धन जननी तेनी रे॥
The poet Narsinh says that the mother of such a souls is blessed. In business, one can draw the analogy that our Motherland India would be prosperous and developed if leaders of industry and entrepreneurs abided by these guiding philosophies.
Abhishek Sharma Poddar management and Technical Campus