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Archive for the ‘LIFE LESSONS’ Category

Trees rustled softly in the wind and crickets chirped.  It was a cold night.  I trembled under my blanket.  The air had a misty, damp smell and the only noise I heard in my tent was the swift shaking of the hood as it swayed in the soft winds of the night.

I pulled the blanket over me,  zipped all the windows shut and snuggled to keep me warm.  I could not move much either on a airbed as they would bounce and the sheets would slip off exposing the cold top of the bed.  Slowly staring into the night sky, making shapes out of the stars visible thru the nets on top of the tent, I must have dozed off into a deep sleep.

The next morning, the Sun shining thru all possible vents in the tent, a pinkish grey color radiated through the helpless tent.  The lake across from our tent shimmered with the reflecting light of the sun.  Some early birds had already hit the water with their paddle boats and little yachts.  I woke up to take in the morning glory and decided to jog.  Jog all the way up to the breakfast area.  Yeah, it was already 7:30am – thinking all along, “Hope I am not late for Breakfast.”

Some habits die hard!!! Ciao. Pooja

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Dabbawalas to market Reliance Power IPO

Dabbawalahs of Mumbai

MUMBAI: Reliance Money, the financial services and products distribution company of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, has latched on to a marketing innovation. The firm has roped in the Six Sigma perfected dabbawalas to get an edge in their run-up to the Reliance Power IPO, among a host of other tradeable financial services. The dabba which arrives on the dot at most office desks with home-cooked food, will have other steaming offers in a bulging paper envelope. Apart from the full bouquet of mutual funds, insurance products and money transfer services, Reliance Money expects to push demat accounts, and IPO application forms through this channel, beginning with the Reliance Power application forms. The dabbawalas will not only carry Reliance Money’s messages across the city, they will even pick up requests and completed forms from customers back to the company.

“Its a dedicated two-way communications channel,” says Sudip Bandyopadhyay, director of Reliance Money. “The idea is to reach out to a maximum number of retail investors.” According to recent estimates, the dabbawalas move around 1.6 lakh lunch boxes everyday across the length and breath of Mumbai, with a workforce of around 5,000.

The alliance ensures that Reliance Money gets access to the most sought after segment of 24-60 year old professionals in the city, “each of who is individualistic enough to insist on fresh, hot home food every day. Reaching out directly to this segment makes more marketing sense than acquiring impersonal mailing lists,” says the director.

Given that some parts of this segment may not qualify as traditional equity investors, putting across a customised value proposition for each individual is an added bonus. According to reports, though the average dabbawala has no formal education beyond class eight on an average, their work practices draw upon a 120-year old logistics system. That means the familiar workforce on Mumbai streets – for whom even the unruly Mumbai traffic stops to let pass – misses no more than one delivery in every 10 million.

Though the deal with the dabbawalas is to be an event-based deal, Reliance Money is also looking at alternate channels to sell its services. It has also tied up with coffee chain Barista, where each outlet has a trading kiosk. Many travel agencies (like Kuoni) as well as courier offices (like DTDC) too will distribute the company’s financial products.

Reliance Money is the electronic transaction platform associated with Reliance Capital, a private sector financial services companies.

 

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Going to Goa

Being from a family the ancestors of which apparently drifted from Goa during the Portugese invasion and thereafter seeking a living down south, we have always had a special place in our hearts for Goa. It is the only state where Konkani is the language of the parliament and State. Though heavily influenced by Portugese and has a twang to the kind we speak, it still has the musical notes to it. After many many years, lyricists have continued to add a few lines in Konkani to their songs for the Bollywood movies. ( Remember Bobby? )

Our affair with Goa started in 1974 with a few families – mainly a pilgrimage trip to all temples . This was an awesome train (steam engine – mind you) ride we have never forgotten. The picture of beautiful landscape, occasional fire when coal from the train is thrown on dry grass along the tracks, the sunsets, the delicious nick-nacks from hawkers in the train, the songs, dances, card games amidst the dhadak-dhadak of the train.

Thereafter, we must have visited a couple of times to see family and of course visit temples.

During my engineering days at BMS, we went on an educational tour to various places and industries. Goa stop being one for pleasure, and the rest of them for academic delight we shall say.

I almost took up a job there after graduation. I was actually quite looking forward to it. For whatever reasons I never got to see that realize. Looking back it is a mixed feeling. The company did not do well and would have given a rather bumpy start after all to my career.

Each time the place has extended different flavors and culture to us. Last time we went to Goa was in 2006 and spent a few quality days at a resort in south Goa with family. Despite heavy rains and being indoor, we enjoyed all aspects of Goa. I have always tried to capture the essence of the land, history, culture, tradition, food, festivals etc.,

I found this piece in The Economist. I like the choices, the suggestions and the highlights. Hope you do too.

From hippy to hip: this former Portuguese enclave is no longer the exclusive preserve of the backpacker set

“There’s one thing I know, Lord above/I ain’t goin’ to Goa.” So sang the Alabama 3, a London band famous for singing the theme song for “The Sopranos” television series. “There ain’t nothing worse than some fool lying on some third world beach wearing spandex, psychedelic trousers, smoking damn dope pretending he’s gettin’ consciousness expansion.”

This about sums up a typical view of Goa, once a Portuguese colony situated about 400km down the Arabian Sea coast south of Mumbai, and long popular with hippy-styled Western backpackers. Sure, Goa still lures budget travellers with a yen for trance music and full-moon beach parties, but India’s most laid-back state, also one of its smallest, has also become a hip destination for Mumbaikars seeking a beach-lined reprieve from the city. Returning visitors may be surprised to discover quite a few new boutique hotels, restaurants and bars.

This relatively new demand has helped fuel India’s boom in budget airlines. The best way to get to Goa however is a train ride thru Pune OR try the road via the Karwar coast.

With its relaxed pace of life, unique culture, breathtaking landscape, fabulous white-sand beaches and friendly locals, Goa is the perfect weekend antidote to Mumbai. The mountain range of the Western Ghats cuts Goa off from the rest of India; this natural barrier has let the area develop along different economic and cultural lines.


Then and now

For centuries, Goa was an important trading centre. The presence of the Portuguese (from the early 16th century to 1961, when India annexed the territory) profoundly influenced the state’s hybrid Indo-European culture, affecting local attitudes about everything from food to religion. Catholics form a 30% minority, concentrated mainly along the coast and so remain highly visible to tourists. But most Goans are Hindu, and both religions co-exist peacefully.

Today, Goa is India’s wealthiest state per capita. Although not free from hardship (and battles over development—see this website for details), most residents live in relative comfort. The ideal time to visit is between November and February, well after the monsoon season of June to September.


Getting around

Goa is easy to navigate, and relatively traffic-free. On a weekend break, eschew public transport and hire taxis (the ubiquitous white Maruti mini-van), which are inexpensive, but be sure to negotiate prices, as there are no meters. Hiring a taxi for a whole day is also common, and ensures that you do not waste precious time getting lost.

For those staying only one night, the surprisingly uncrowded beach at Bogmalo is just ten minutes’ drive from Dabolim, Goa’s airport (tel: +91 (0)832 254 0806). The Bogmallo Beach Resort (website) is decent, and all rooms have a picturesque sea view. There are some peaceful beachfront cafés, such as Sea Cuisine (tel: +91 (0)832 255 5969), where you can enjoy the Arabian Sea at sunset, less than four hours after stepping out the door in Mumbai.


On the beach—day and night

If you are in Goa for two nights, you must head either north or south; the coastline is too long and varied to cover both. The more developed—and more crowded—north is the easier option. A good base is the charming boutique Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel (tel: +91 (0)236 622 7631, website), at Querim, Goa’s northernmost beach. Housed inside an old Portuguese fort, it has incredible sea views, well worth the 90-minute drive from the airport. It has only a handful of rooms, so be sure to book in advance. For something more upmarket, the nearby hilltop Nilaya Hermitage (website), Fort Tiracol’s sister, is one of India’s most exclusive addresses and a fine destination for an evening drink or meal.

It is possible to swim at Tiracol, but there can be a strong undertow towards the estuary. A better option is nearby Ashwem beach, where a sandbar ensures that the water remains clear and shallow. Even in peak season, Ashwem is peaceful, and its southern tip is a great place to watch the sun set.

The best examples of north Goa’s lively culinary and nightlife scenes are at Candolim and Baga beaches. At Candolim, Club 21 is the archetypal Goan beach shack, serving the usual naans and curries, as well as delicious fresh sandwiches, fruit juices and cocktails. It also has a weekly barbecue and friendly local staff. Sweet Chilli (off the Taj Fort Aguada junction at Sinquerim, tel: +91 (0)236 247 9446), is a cheerful outdoor restaurant, with great food and regular themed nights. Or head to Ingo’s Saturday Night Bazaar at Arpora, a fun spot with no cover-charge, open from 4.30pm until midnight. Besides an expansive open-air flea market, there is outdoor entertainment such as fire-eating and live bands, and plenty of international food stalls.

At Baga, Mambo’s bar (Tito’s Lane, Saunta Vaddo, tel: +91 (0)236 227 5028/9895), in the open air on the palm-fringed beach, has a casual atmosphere and good music for lounging or dancing. Next door, Tito’s (website) is very exclusive, a touch pretentious and popular with the Bollywood set. For something quieter, simply cross the lane to Baga beach itself, where the Pyramid beach shack has candlelit tables on the shore, and the stillness is more than a little revitalising.


In the capital

To get in touch with Goa’s rich history, head inland to Panjim (also known as Panaji), the state’s charming capital, on the banks of the Mandovi river. Expect an unhurried Mediterranean feel and characteristic Portuguese architecture, particularly in the old quarter of Fontainhas, where you might even hear a snippet of Portuguese spoken.

Stock up on Goan cashew nuts (Zantye’s is an excellent brand) and delicious pastries on 18th June Road. Mr Baker (tel: +91 (0)832 222 4622, on Dr RS Road, opposite the Municipal Gardens) offers succulent lamb, chicken or vegetable Goan patties. Try some bebinca, a Portuguese-style cake made with egg yolks, and take home a pot of mango jam: this is what many Goan families eat for breakfast on the Portuguese-style breads of pao or poee. A sunset cruise on the Mandovi river is an excellent way to wind up an afternoon.

East of Panjim lies Old Goa, the region’s former capital. It is no longer a town in the formal sense, more the site of some beautiful, slowly decaying Catholic cathedrals and churches. The Church of Bom Jesus houses the remains of St Francis of Xavier (minus a toe, bitten from the corpse by an over-zealous devotee) and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (see website). Both this and the Sé Cathedral opposite, the largest church in Asia, are landmarks in Indian Christianity.


Elsewhere

With more time, the beaches of south Goa, the spice plantations at Ponda and even the Dudhsagar waterfalls inland are all worth visiting. A weekend in Goa though, is best spent doing what the Goans do: enjoying life at an unhurried, most un-Mumbai pace.

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Arthur Ashe, the legendary Wimbledon player was dying of AIDS which
he got due to infected blood he received during a heart surgery in 1983. From world over, he received letters from his fans, one of which conveyed: “Why does GOD have to select you for such a bad disease”?

To this Arthur Ashe replied: The world over — 5 crore children start playing tennis, 50 lakh learn to play tennis, 5 lakh learn professional tennis, 50,000 come to the circuit, 5000 reach the grand slam, 50 reach Wimbledon, 4 to semi final, 2 to the finals, When I was holding a cup I never asked GOD “Why me?”. And today in pain I should not be asking GOD “Why me?”

Happiness keeps u Sweet, Trials keep u Strong, Sorrow keeps u Human, Failure Keeps u Humble, Success keeps u Glowing, But only God Keeps u Going…..Keep Going…..

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During one of my many visit to book stores, this time in Japan, I happened to pick Prof, Albert Lszlo Brabasi’s book ‘Linked-How everything is connected to everything else and what it means to Business, Science and Everyday life’. I was not only fascinated by the topic, but also intrigued by the way in which he had handled the subject.

Many years later, I would apply the framework and even subscribe to tools to enable me build a good and effective linking system of human relations and associations.

So, with blogging and reading, I was tempted to try and capture a few key elements of this book. I found a well captured essence in the NY Times article I decided to share.

ALBERT-LASZLO BARABASI, a professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, became fascinated with the structure of the Internet in 1998. He and his student researchers designed software robots that went out on the Net and mapped as many of its nodes, hubs and links as they could. He then began studying other networks and found that they had similar structures. The Internet in particular, he found, had taken on characteristics of a living ecosystem.

That made for a valuable insight in itself. But Professor Barabasi went a step further and analyzed the genetic networks of various living organisms, finding that their genes and proteins interacted in much the same networked way as the Internet.

This conclusion, described in Professor Barabasi’s new book, “Linked: The New Science of Networks”, could alter the way we think about all the networks that affect our lives.

Professor Barabasi’s well written book will be understandable to most readers, but its core concept takes a moment to absorb.

Start by thinking of a highway map of the United States before the advent of the Interstate System. Each city, or node, was connected pretty much at random to others in the network of American cities. Each city has the same relative weight, or “scale,” in Professor Barabasi’s terminology. Knocking out one city doesn’t disrupt the network. Traffic can be rerouted easily.

In contrast, consider the airport hub-and-spoke system that dominates the nation’s airline transportation. A few nodes like Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas-Fort Worth have become far more important than, say, Lincoln, Neb. Knocking out the important nodes has serious cascading effects throughout the network.

This is similar to a disruption on the Internet. Because the nodes of these networks do not have the same scale, Professor Barabasi calls them scale-free, a concept that permeates the book.

Once you understand that concept, you’re off on an intellectual detective journey. Professor Barabasi has invented a vocabulary to talk about the structure of networks.

“We are witnessing a revolution in the making as scientists from all different disciplines discover that complexity has a strict architecture,” he writes. These networks do not operate at random, the author contends; there are laws that govern their behavior.

In the case of human genes, scientists have decoded the genes and proteins of DNA, but that is just the first important step in understanding how genes and proteins interact, Professor Barabasi says. The next step, he writes, is understanding how genes and proteins interact as part of a network, and he predicts the discovery of a clear set of rules for their behavior that will help unlock some mysteries of the human body.

Professor Barabasi makes that prediction partly because he and his researchers mapped out the interactions of 43 primitive organisms and found they took the form of a network with rules.

There are many examples of scale-free networks. Even a cocktail party can be mapped that way: the most sociable people are the “hubs” that link all the guests in a pattern that can be drawn. Other scale-free networks include the electrical power grid, companies and consumers linked by trade and the nervous system of living creatures.


Business writers have long talked about “network effects,” meaning that a network generates more power than individual parts can do by themselves. That was part of the intellectual case against allowing Microsoft to dominate so many personal computers using its operating system.

But Professor Barabasi has put more flesh on the relatively primitive concept of the network effect. His work is relevant not only to physicists and mathematicians, but also to business executives, computer scientists, sociologists and biologists.

Networks have strengths and weaknesses, and Professor Barabasi contends that we have to understand both. On the positive side, because of the multiplicity of connections, some things happen quickly. A good idea can win rapid acceptance.

Professor Barabasi uses the example of Hotmail’s explosion in popularity. Created on July 4, 1996, by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith, it had one million users within a year. By the time Microsoft came knocking on the door to buy it a year later, it had 10 million. “Innovations and products with a higher spreading rate have a higher chance of reaching a large fraction of the network,” he argues.

By contrast, networks have what he describes as an Achilles’ heel. Knocking out a single major hub can cripple the network, which the Sept. 11 attacks almost succeeded in doing. In the United States, the airline system, financial markets and telecommunications networks all suffered grievous blows.

The extensions of Professor Barabasi’s thinking go in many directions. What caused Cisco Systems and other technology companies that outsource much of their production to be so clobbered in 2000 and 2001? Cisco, in particular, had bragged that its Internet-based supply chain meant that it would never be surprised by having too much inventory. But, Professor Barabasi writes, Cisco did not understand network effects and had to pay for billions of dollars’ worth of components in its extended supply chain; oddly, Cisco, the master of the network, didn’t think in network terms.

“A me attitude, where the company’s immediate financial balance is the only factor, limits network thinking,” Professor Barabasi says. “Not understanding how the actions of one node affect other nodes easily cripples whole segments of the network.”

Professor Barabasi makes a provocative argument about “the market.” For hundreds of years, economists like Adam Smith have argued that there may be an “invisible hand” guiding the market but at the end of the day people cannot understand how the market works because it is too big, too complex, too random.

Nonsense, Professor Barabasi says. “In reality, the market is nothing but a directed network,” he writes. “Companies, firms, corporations, financial institutions, governments, and all potential economic players are the nodes.”

If you understand the structure and evolution of this network, you can, in fact, understand how the market performs, the author contends. That is sure to bring howls of derision from proponents of the dismal science known as economics.

If there is any criticism that can be leveled at him, it is that the reader is left wanting to understand more of the implications of his work. If we understand the network of the human body, can we cure cancer? If we understand the network of the global economy, can we stop recessions? If we understand the network of Al Qaeda, can we eradicate terrorism? The answers may be elusive, but Professor Barabasi’s argument suggests that answers may indeed be found.

 

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When my partner and I started Touchpoints, we wanted to put a framework that will stand the test of time. We pondered about it being technology oriented, domain driven, etc. Eventually, we decided on exchanging notes on our own core values and guiding principles. If we had common core values and guiding principles, the possibility of conflict as well as confusion would be minimized. We decided that while conducting business, transactions or communication we are more than likely to arrive at the cross roads of decision. We would then lean on our core values and guiding principles to show us the right path.

Today, almost three years into the business, we can highlight number of situations, during which, we have potentially been swayed towards what could have been lucrative and resulted in immediate fortune for a minor compromise in our principles. Our ability to say NO and move on to the right opportunity, I believe, has kept us in good stead and we have been able to keep a clean and fearless conscience about ourselves and our endeavors.

The link between values and a purely economic function like management was highlighted by Kaushik Basu, the Economist in the Cornell University in article July,2001 issue of India today. In the article TRUTH ABOUT LYING this is what Kaushik Basu mentioned:

Lying and honesty are intriguing subjects that have engaged philosophers for centuries. Social scientists took very little interest in them. This has suddenly begun to change. It is a much more mundane concern with lying and honesty that has been engaging economists and political scientists in recent times, but it’s a concern of some pervasive importance. Social analysts, notably Francis Fukuyama and Robert Putnam, have argued that societies with a high level of trust — i.e. where people tend to be honest, adhere to promises and respect contracts — tend to prosper. So, faster growth is not just a consequence of appropriate economic policy, savings rate, human capital and fiscal deficits but, somewhat surprisingly, the level of honesty in the citizenry.

This is one area in which the Indian citizenry can do with a little bit of brushing up. The damage usually gets done early, when children are taught that “honesty is the best policy”. As they grow up, they realize whoever taught them that lesson was not quite honest. There are many situations in life where a quick lie, a broken promise or a reneged contract can bring in gains.

Many people make a mistake in trying to cash in on these gains too often, not realizing that each time one does it, one tends to damage a little bit of one’s reputation. If a person breaks too many promises, people will be wary of getting into agreements with him. In other words, excessive dishonesty and corruption, as in our society, is a sign of several things but, importantly, of myopia.

To a person interested in nothing but his own welfare, the Machiavellian lesson would be simple: try not to tell lies so that you can get away with the rare one when you have to. So even if people were very selfish, if they calculated their own interest rationally (that is, without short-sightedness), they would be more honest than they typically are.

Gandhiji once said, “You cannot be honest in one department of life and dishonest in another…..you have to function as a whole”.

We can therefore see that today even the hardheaded experts on management practices are willing to look at the values, which are behind management successes.

I am very excited about the concept of CREST (Center for Research, Education, Sadhana & Training) Center for Research, Education, Sadhana and Training is a program offered by Sahaj Marg Spiritual Foundation to impart personal and spiritual discipline along with knowledge to create living examples of the Sahaj Marg way of living. These courses are designed to cater to all dimensions of existence: the physical, the mental and intellectual, the moral, and the spiritual. Courses will be conducted under the ancient gurukula concept, with trainees living under ashram conditions, providing for a comfortable life in a Spartan setting, without luxury, but spiritually enriched.

The advantage of going back to our roots and trying to understand how management strategy and practices can be evolved by using the traditional Indian wisdom and ethos, therefore, can lead to immensely practical results. Yes, we will have an alternate problem in such a society – no Sarbanes Oxley, no Governance issues and true performance based outcomes driven by strong values and guiding principles. Meaning – IT companies will have not much to forecast growth on. I would rather live in such a society – wouldn’t you?

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The topic of Vedanta and its connection to Management(Leadership) was first introduced to me by my dear uncle and one of my mentors Sudhakar Kini – some day I shall write a whole article about him!!!

Around June of 1994 I decided to lead a life of balance as much as possible. I looked at various ways to organize my thoughts, activities and schedules. I found the answer at a seminar on “First things First” by Dr. Stephen Covey. The trick for me in all this was to define roles I played and set what we call ‘big rocks’ against each of the roles. The other key aspect I started practicing is to pay attention to the key factors –

Physical – Stay healthy, consider your body to be the temple for the God in your heart and maintain it will strong discipline.

Spiritual – Pursue a goal that helps balance all the material pursuits

Social & Emotional – Surround yourself and expand your circle of friends and family to have positive perspectives and emotional balance

Mental – Focus on Wisdom and not just Knowledge, be lateral, creative and innovative in execution of thought, work and activity.

While most of these were very easy to adhere to there was always a question about the spiritual component. After all I did not get the right ‘feeling’ by just visiting places of worship and listening to discourses or lectures. There was something missing. It is during Diwali day of 1995, while in NJ, my dear friend for 13 years then- Narayan (Nari) Rajagopalachari introduced me to what has become a primary purpose of my life now – Raja Yoga Meditation thru Sahaj Marg. To this day I believe it is the best gift of friendship I have ever received.

The mental aspect however, wanted to go deep and become wiser. During one of our long walks in Pune during my visit to India, Sudhakar and I used Spirituality, Vedanta and Management as a topic of discussion. He then presented me with a book called Vedanta Treatise by Shri Parthasarathy. Many surfing, reading and introspections later, this is my attempt to document some aspects. I for one is a strong believer in the concept of Leadership instead of just management. Hence I shall go ahead and call this piece thus.

Vedanta &Leadership

Vedanta is basically the quintessence of the Vedas. The origin of the word Veda is also traced to “vidya”(incidentally my sister’s name and many other relatives whose association I cherish) which being knowledge. Vedanta can be looked upon as being related to knowledge. It ultimately leads to the spiritual side of knowledge. Swami Parthasarathy in his book VEDANTA TREATISE says: Vedanta literally means the end of knowledge. It is a systematic knowledge which explains the relation between man and God. A knowledge that is founded on its own authority. Vedanta trains you to think for yourself. To analyse, investigate and realize the essence of life. Not to rely on outside forces to do your thinking. Not to submit yourself to blind faith, superstitious beliefs and mechanical rituals.

N. Vittal once said a great deal about this topic. In his talk he tried to capture the essence of this topic while calling on the likes of Shri Parthasarathy to spread the knowledge of Vedanta. Knowledge of course covers a wide spectrum. Vedanta represents knowledge of a spiritual nature. At the same time our current economy where the world has become a global village is also known as a knowledge economy.

Before we explore the connections between Vedanta, assuming for the moment that it represents the spiritual knowledge and realizing the fact that management relates to the temporal and physical world, we can also have a look at the relationship between the matters temporal and spiritual.

The basic lesson of the Vedanta is to look beyond our existence and try to find a meaning in our existence. One lesson of the Vedanta has been summarized as aatmanam mokshartham jagat hitayacha. For an individual, one should try to reach moksha or realization and so far as the rest of the world is concerned, try to do good to the world. A manager therefore can think in terms of his own development on the spiritual side and at the same time ensure that his own organization is beneficial to the society. The ultimate purpose of existence as moksha has the advantage for helping every manager to realize that beyond the day to day hassles, success and failures etc. which all lead to stress, there is a more permanent and a more long lasting purpose or object in life. If a person is oriented in Vedanta and is aware of at least the purpose of life as Vedanta teaches, the minimum he would have a mental equipoise.

So one advantage of a Vedantic orientation may be to share some of the ideals of the Stithapragna as described by Lord Krishna in the Second Chapter of Bhagavad Gita and take the world as it comes. Vihaya kamanyaha sarvaan pumaamscharati nispruhaha nirmamo nirahankara sashantimadhigachathi. A person who is rooted in Vedanta is bound to be mentally detached and at the same time have a peace, which gives him strength.

The Stithapragna according to Lord Krishna can also be a contrarian thinker. In these days of highly competitive environment, probably a capacity to swim against the current may be one method of generating new ideas. Ya nisha sarva bhuthanam tasyam jagriti samyami yasyam jagriti bhutani sanisha prashyate munehe, says Lord Krishna in the Second Chapter. When others are sleeping the Stithapragna is awake and when others are awake, he is sleeping. So the creativity can be another strength that comes from an orientation rooted in Vedanta.

A third aspect is that a Vedantic orientation can help a manager to look beyond the immediate present and take a long-term view. It is true as the Keynes pointed out, in the long run, all of us are dead. But many a time in a competitive environment, that too which is time based competition, losing the long term perspective can be counter productive. Take for example, excitement about dot com companies and the mad rush of both the venture capitalists and the stock market into the dot com and technology stocks. There has been a corrective action taken. So, apart from contrarian thinking, a Vedanta based mentality will also help a person to take a long-term view so that one does not commit act in haste and regret in leisure.

The ultimate lesson of Vedanta is a continuous quest for improvement or in the management terms of today six-sigma! It is almost like the concept of moving towards perfection.

As the Upanishad says, Om purnamada puranamidam purnat purnamudachyate purnasya purnamadaya puranmevavashishyate.

The spirit of quality is nothing but the pride of the artisan in his art, and the quest for perfection. A competent manager who is imbued with the basic lesson of Vedanta, which is again, a striving upward towards moksha will also try to bring in this approach of continuous improvement or KAIZEN in every act.

Ultimately we can all make progress only by following the standard advice of the Taitreya Upanishad. Let us come together, let us enjoy together, let our intellectual strengths come together, let there be brightness of knowledge, let there be no poison of misunderstanding or hatred. That is the way probably we will be able to make the best out of Vedanta for achieving managerial success and satisfying performance as managers. In the management jargon “Collaborative thinking and functioning”.

An informative link: http://www.vedanta.org/

Sahanavavatu sahanaubhunaktu sahaviryam kara va vahai

Tejasvinam aditamastu ma vid visha vahai, om shanti shanti shanti

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