Saturday, 2 February 2013

Corporate Lessons from Mythology - 4

Corporate Lessons from Sastras 

The nineteenth century was that of entrepreneurship, the IT driven twentieth century was that of management and the twenty first Nano technology era is that of direction and control leading to corporate governance.

Digitalization, Deregulation, Privatization and Globalization were once the buzz words. Noises are heard on high regulation, nationalization and de-globalization and de-leveraging even at the very root of capitalism.

The corporate goals are heavily skewed towards profit goals eclipsing other goals. The term corporate governance is doing its round in various global forums today.

We have no dearth of lessons on corporate governance in our ancient Indian Sastras. ‘A trader is like a honey bee, which sucks the honey without damaging the beauty and fragrance of the flower’ say Rig Veda.

We should make profits for the society without damaging the environment is very well brought out by this saying.

The corporate firm was used around 800 BC itself and was referred to as “Sreeni”. This was compatible to the modern day Anglo – American Corporate.

Artha (wealth creation) and Kama (materialistic enjoyment) have to conform to Dharma (righteous conduct) as per our Sastras. This is like the modern theme of “aligning all stakeholders with fairness”

The maxim ‘samastha jananam sukhino bhavanthu’ (Sundara Kandam of Ramayana) propogates ‘maximum welfare for maximum people’ – The concept of corporate social responsibility was very well thought in those ancient days. We also have maxim like ‘Vasudeva Kutumbam’. This means we have to treat the whole world as one family. This matches the Vedic maxim ‘Man lives individually but survives only collectively’.

There are several terms of corporate governance spelt out in Sastras –

Lok Sangrahm – Greatest possible good to all

Dhanam – Creation of wealth through competence (Kausalam) and productivity

Swatantrata – Autonomy and independence in business development.

Dharm yudh – Level playing field for all

Vividhata – Variety or innovation.

Ancient Sastras says it all.

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