Corporate Chanakya

Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani
Friday, Dec 23, 2022

Recently someone forwarded me a video clip on WhatsApp in which Jaspal, a renowned motivational speaker from India, was speaking about growth, progress and success in the context of the modern business corporate world. While delivering a lecture in a very interesting way, he emphasized that if the turnover (income rate) of any corporate organization increases, then it is called growth. If this growth is linked with positive moral aspects like ethics, honesty and social respect, it becomes development and if humanity and spirituality are given priority in the journey of development, then it is called success.

This short inspiring one-minute video reminded me of a book in which Radhakrishnan Pillai, a writer from India, tried to elaborate the teachings of the great ancient Hindu philosopher Kautilya Chanakya, born thousands of years ago in Taxila (present-day Pakistan), with the modern corporate world. The book 'Corporate Chanakya' available online on Amazon is divided into three sections: Leadership, Management and Training.

According to the author, following the teachings of the ancient philosopher Chanakya is essential to move forward in the modern world's business enterprises. The book emphasizes the importance of a team leader's foresight, vision and effective tackling of critical situations by referring to various business empires. The first edition of the book was published in 2010, which set records for the highest sales in a short period of time. Internationally, it is very popular among professionals, business leaders and management science students.

In the context of the corporate world, more or less every successful multinational organization seems to be following the teachings of Chanakya. The leader of any organization is like a ruler whose secret of success is their reliable and trustworthy team members. Every front is important for a corporate organization to survive and compete in the market. On the one hand, it is vital to keep an eye on external forces including government policies and business competitors, there is also a dire need to maintain internal discipline and professional integrity among team members.

In ancient times, a state with a stable economy was able to dominate neighboring states, but today financially stable multinational corporations are in a position to influence global affairs due to their economic status. The key performance indicators of today’s business leader include how successfully he/she strives to strengthen the organization in terms of generating revenue. However, Chanakya believed that the purpose of business activities should not be the exploitation of the people but welfare. The rate of profit must be the lowest while the market outreach must be expanded.

The attitude of the public dealing staff should be friendly towards the customers because negligence and rudeness can damage the reputation of the organization. According to Chanakya, the opinion of every member of the team, serving on a top position or a lower one, must be heard with due attention because a small stick can control a tall elephant, a small lamp can dispel darkness, a hard mountain can be broken with a small hammer. Similarly, a simple idea presented in a business meeting can lead to a great revolution in the future.

According to Chankya, success does not come at once, but it requires a step-by-step tireless struggle and immense patience. He also has a lesson for the working class that just as the strength of a businessperson is their capital and the strength of a country is its army, so is the strength of a working person is in fact their abilities, competence and loyalty. If a person keeps updating their professional skills on ethical principles, nobody can stop them from achieving success.

Today, despite the passage of thousands of years, the developed countries of the modern era are trying to transform themselves into the cradle of development and prosperity by benefiting from Chanakya’s worthy teachings. The followers of Chanakya are performing their best in most of the multinational corporate organizations including Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Silicon Valley, etc around the globe.

The writer is a member of the

National Assembly and patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council.

He tweets @RVankwani