Hallucination of seeing Mahatma Gandhi and talking to him happens not only with Munnabhai but also with many Business Managers. There are some “Business Ethics” in his instigations. Corporate Gandhiji is a new dimension to study.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
All corporate managers processes some common aims-
-Should be on par with by the “Fortune Global” company.
-Reached a billion dollars turnover.
-Provision of employment to 25000 people every year.
-Should be recognized as a “Multinational” company.
But, how to realize these dreams in practicality. The doctrines of management written by foreign professionals like Peter Drucker, Jackwelsh, and Kove are worth following but, they do not match Indian market and do not go with the attitude of our people. Just like the way Americans and Japanese have their own management professionals to guide them, is there nobody in our country? Why not? There is someone.
He is the example.That toothless, empty smile on his face.That elderly personality.That partial ascetic.The Satyagrahi……
Mahatma Gandhi.His life itself is an example to the whole world even to the cooperate world.
He never operated a business organisation.He never took a Management degree like MBA. He always searches for truth. His endeavor, his agitation, his learned ways of settling disputes.All these have to be observed by the cooperate world.
Some management professionals like, C.K Prahallad, Arvind Choudary have witnessed Gandhiji in a new dimension, as Chief Executive Officer. Gandhiji won independence for our country with great determination and firm resolution, a company organized with the spirit would realize an amazing success.
“FATHER OF STRATEGY”
The first lesson from Gandhiji to the business managers is “Structural Ideas”.This is one formula in “Strategic Management”.Coperate leaders ponder over the company’s expansion and turnover in the same way Gandhiji used to dream about India’s Independence.
Sampurna Swaraj was his mission.
Gandhiji had certainty and clear-cut vision of his goal-many business managers lacks this.
He was absolute in the path he followed-most of the managers lack this.
There were agitations among the people for independence.Many revolts rose up, many lives were sacrificed but, the result was nil.Gandhiji perceived that the extortion which worked in America, Russia and France would not work in India.It is because our values are different, our culture is different.We respond to obstacles in a way different from other countries.
“Give me your blood and I will earn Independence for you”-Subhash Chandrabose called to the people with great anxiety.How many people responded? A state had arrived in which he had to wait for the help of other nations.Gandhiji understood that sacrificing their lives had become a passion among the Indians.That is why he changed the structure. Gandhiji chose a path which not chosen by anybody in history. He asked people to abandon weapons and ushered them into the path of ahimsa.He asked them to cooperate with him and stand by him.He asked them to make salt of out the sea.He introduced handlooms and asked them to weave their own clothes.He promoted the use of khadi and boycotted foreign goods.He asked them to silently get imprisioned.How creative and innovative were these ideas!
That is why people believed in him and followed him.Gandhiji had a clear understanding over the nature and attitude of the people of India.The most important thing is that the cooperate managers should have a good understanding over the needs of their customer and understand the market.“Like the Mahatma managers should have a clear-cut idea of their goals.If needed they should keep aside the traditional ways and innovate new methods.Only those people will be successful leaders in the market”, says Boston Consulting Group,Chief Executive,Arun Myra.1
Managing long-term projects
Long-term projects should be organized with great firmness and consistency. The struggle for Independence-Years and years of combat against slavery to Britain. We were not sure whether we would ever be freed from their rule and given indp.Yet,Gandhiji never lost hope.To keep the confidence of his colleagues, he supported their every attempt with exertion.That is the fighting spirit of Gandhiji.
In general, there are two categories of managers.First, those who are experts in achieving temporary short-term results to the company.There are no epitomes where these managers could operate long-term projects.Second, those who are skillful in organizing long-term projects. Those who can relate their temporary success with their long-term aims are very few and they always shine in their career. The Mahatma comes under this category.
Marketing management skills of corporate Gandhiji.
An exertion depends on the people.A business depends on the market. Woollen clothes are costly in India because the demand is less and ours is a warm country.Where as in America woollen clothes are basic commodities in high demand and thus earn profits.
The same was done by Gandhiji.In South Africa he used to dress himself inorder to make himself look more European. He thought that only then would he have some influence to serve the community.But,when he arrived India,he gave up his infatuation towards the European style and dressed in a simple manner.He started speaking in common man’s accent. He led an ordinary life. Because in India this attire would influence the masses to work with him.
Hope the “Managers”are able to understand The Mahatma.
“BRANDING BAPU”-Essential in today’s global economy.
The advertising budget of the Indian Corporate Institutes amounts to crores of rupees every year.This is the minimum money spent to increase the popularity of a particular brand among the public. In those days……........there were no televisions and very few newspapers whose circulation was confined to the cities.In such situations Gandhiji could take his message to every corner of the country even to the remote places by making use of the meager resourses.The managing editor of ‘Smart Manager’, Geeta Pirmal says that Mahatma’s style of carrying his massage to every one is a marketing lesson to the corporate managers.2
Event management and Communication skills of Corporate Gandhi.
If Gandhiji conducted the Dandi March all by himself, alone, nobody would have known about it but, he did not do that.His opinion was that to influence the thoughts of the people it should be made an event.He started from the Sabarmathi Ashram along with his 80 other colleagues till Dandi.They walked 245 miles of distance. He pledge that he would die but not return to the ashram till India got its independence. The masses were moved by this. With this he became a successful event manager. Great leaders like Mothilal Nehru were astonished by Gandhiji’s events. It was the same in 1942 when ‘Quit India Movement’ was held, the news spread in a few seconds through out the country. From the streets of Delhi till the remote villages in Andra Pradesh, every where it was the same talk.Gandhiji is quite aware of how to convey his massage to the people. He made the best use of the few newspapers available. He himself ran a newspaper.Perday he used to write to hundreds of his colleagues and followers. Here we should specify Gandhiji’s style of writing. His language was so simple that even a layman could understand and provoked him to think. The public relation officers need to perceive this. Many of the commercial adds lack clarity of information. Some show no relation between the product and the advertisement, we can never understand them
Gandhiji’s writings are unforgettable. Though it has been years since the Mahatma had lived we still quote his writings and sayings to depict ahimsa and untouchability, such were his writings.A media professional Ragendra says that on reading the speeches of Bapu,the corporate managers will understand how a matter can be conveyed in direct language. It was Gandhiji who earned a branded value for India in the world. His Satyagraham was a brand, his charka was a brand, his khadi was a brand, his smile was a brand.Even today our political leaders make use of the brand value in some or the other way.
“Freedom Fighter” –Goal seeker.
The struggle for independence did not start with Gandhiji. Before he had come many others thought of different ways of gaining independence, they held meetings and processions. But they never included the common man and general public in the fight.Gandhiji went into the public, shared his thoughts with them an asked for their help.He developed in them the feeling that they were always a part of the event.What is happening in the corporate world?. The decisions of the board room do not reach the employees. The change has to be started with the common jobholders working for salaries but, nobody is talking to them says, the Vice President of Grow Talent India, Shabbeer Merchant.3
Leadership Qualities of Corporate Gandhi.
The leadership procedure of the Mahatma is very constructive to the corporate world. Only then even the last employee will feel that he is a part of the company says, Arun Myra.Some managers who take the 100% credit when the project becomes a success and simply search for an excuse when the project fails have to learn a lot from the Mahatma.Gandhiji never held others accountable for the failure of an extortion. In the Chouri-choura incident he paid all the responsibility even though it was not his fault. Any extortion that was led by him was always a success. When India became independent he never sang his own praises for earning it for the country. When the whole country was celebrating independence he was fasting in the name of god.
“A Man with Principles”
“The path you follow to achieve your aim should be as great as your aim”--says Gandhiji.This formula should be implemented in the corporate world. Some businesses are running in the under world black market. Some people have taken to smuggling under the dishonest and corrupt leadership with mediators joining hands. There are some companies which never mind behaving scandalous for securing contracts, for increasing their value in the share market and to threaten the other competitors. Gandhiji knows well how unhealthy it is, so, he always asked us to respect our opponents.
Companies which have high aims and ethics continue for a long time and make place in history. Example, Tata, Wipro, Infosys. Not only these, any company which follows a set of principles has its own characteristics on examining its history, says, the Rodics and management president C.L.N.Murthy.The institute which runs on Gandhian principles is free from torture of the heads and bosses. There is no harassment for high profits. No giving and taking bribes. There will be a job satisfaction among the employees. There will be no ego problems in the members of the management.Ajim Premji and Narayana are the two who follow the trust-ship principle of Gandhiji.They have made their employees as their partners. They distributed good profits among their partners. The chairman of the Sahara Group is known as the ‘Management worker’. May be this type of atmosphere would have prevailed in the corporate world of Gandhiji’s Ramraj.
“When you share, it multiplies”-Sharing knowledge and Social Responsibilities
“You are only the patron of the human recourses of the public” -in these words of Gandhiji there are hidden principles of social responsibility that should be paid by the corporate companies.Gandhiji has a good percieverance over the impediments that occur when wealth converges at a single place. He knows that there will be an increasing intolerance among the people living below the poverty line. That is why it was said that ‘poverty is the dreadful face of Himsa’.The corporate companies should take over the responsibity of alleviating the hysterical anger among the lower class. When the companies go to underdeveloped areas and build schools and setup hospitals, the principle behind the idea is Gandhism.In the above context we are talking of cities where Industrial growth takes place. What about villages? Villages are the heart of the country. The Mahatma says, “A nation developes when its villages develop”. The corporate businessman opines that when the villages develop, the business turns out to be lucrative as it comprises 70% of the population. This means that 70% of the market lies in the rural areas.4 But, they do not posses the strength to afford. In order to acquire the ability to afford, their stomach should be filled in order to satisfy their hunger, their pockets should weigh a good deal of money. All this can be attained through self sufficiency. Once again the issue revolves around Gandhism.
The Mahatma proposed decentralization right during his times. He thought that with this the public participation will increase. He said there will be clear transparency and accountability. Presently all the corporations are absolutely implementing this principle. They are concentrating on greater efficiency through few resources. They are offering an out-source to small-scale companies.
“The man of deeds”-Applying Six Sigma Philosophy.
“The unnecessary expenditure in the company is increasing. Let us inculcate the habit of saving”………….and the CIO PowerPoint presentation closes. The hall reverberates with clapes.The next moment he gets into a foreign car and goes to dine in a five star restaurant. The next day he goes on business excursion. All the expenditure is again borne by the company.Gandhiji always advised others only after he followed it himself, and followed whatever he insisted others to. He believed that while bringing about a change it has to be started right from us.
The youth who have quit their education and jobs, middle aged lawyers, farmers, illetrate housewives. All these people are common persons who do not possess any special qualities in them.But, together they have all become the followers of Gandhiji and frightened the British away. This depicts an astounding success in the lives of common people.
Gandhiji associated very well with his fellow colleagues Nehru, Patel, Ambedkar who were great freedom fighters too, and got his work done by them. The corridors of the corporate world that are standing as an address to egoism should take this as a lesson. The corporate companies are well versed in purchasing skills but not in creating them. Gandhiji generated many leaders for our country, this should be comprehended by the Managers towards generating skills for their own company.
“GANDHIAN VALUES”-Understanding Customers
“A Customer is the most important visitor on our premise”
He is a part of it.
We are not doing him a favour by serving him.
He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so.”
These words written by Gandhiji were genuine. It was because he perceived the key ideologies of business, he could quote these words. Bus stations, Railway Station, Banks, Police stations…………where ever we go, we find these words beside the portrait of Gandhiji—‘Customer Care’, ‘Customer relationship’……. As many people think Gandhiji never opposed business but, he opposed the unrighteousness in it.
In these sixty years a revolution has been brought about in the definition of business. Nowadays business does not mean a single person getting profits. It involves some hundreds of shareholders and their welfare. This is one form of socialism. The HSB country head Niana Lal Kidvai agrees that every philosophy in Gandhism is useful to any kind of business in one or the other way. All these days Gandhiji was made confined to the Charka, Khadi and Ahimsa, he was never brought into light. But, above all these there lies an eminent global leader in the Mahatma. It is cheerful to know that atleast now than late people have recognized this propensity in Gandhiji.
Once in a Business Management School when the great grandson of Gandhiji, Tushar Gandhiji was addressing the students there was a spark shining in his eyes and in those eyes was the legend—An empty toothless smile on his face, The Mahatma Gandhi.
1. Economic Times
2. (Outlook ) Buisness India magazine
3. The Hindu-Business.
4. "Visison 20-20" by Dr. A. P. J Abdul Kalam
Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography-“My experiments with truth”.
In : economic articles
Tags: gandhi economic corporate company