Building Successful Businesses This is an excerpt from the talk delivered by our Founders at Kapargam University to MBA students.

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India: A Land of Opportunities

From time immemorial India has been a land of opportunities. Many have this view that we were primitive people in the past and western influence has helped us to prosper. The opposite is true, in many ways. Let’s take a simple example. The GDP of India was estimated at 25% of the world GDP in the 16th Century. With the arrival of the British, the economy started to decline. India’s share reduced from 24% in 1700 to 3% in 1950. Even now we are struggling in many ways to improve the GDP.

If you look at famous explorers like Vasco da Gama and Columbus, they were exploring sea routes to India. Ofcourse, Columbus ended up in America. The very fact that explorers from several countries were sailing to India proves our prosperity.

Several centuries ago and even today, India remains a land of opportunities and you must make use of it, being in the land.

There was active exploration of trade routes to India from all over the world. No one would trade with beggars. Would they?

Q: What are the building blocks of a successful organization?

Obviously money! Just kidding. No matter how much money you have to start a business, the people are the most important part. Infact, a company is just an “organization” of people in a certain way to achieve a goal.

People in the organisation are the limbs of an organism. Each limb must move in perfect coordination. Limbs cannot have their own agenda. Then the organism can move nowhere. Similarly, the people in an organization must work in absolute coherence for the organism to keep moving and that too rapidly.

If you have to build a successful organization, you must invest in its people.


Let me tell you a recipe for a good team. Have you heard of the Pancha Bhutas? Can you name them? Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. These elements give us great insights on forming a perfect team.

Let’s take earth. Earth is the ground beneath you. Stable, secure and solid. A team member with the quality of earth can bring great stability. Ideas can fly, but we need someone to keep the team grounded. Sometimes a reality check is helpful.

Water is free flowing. It lubricates. We will need someone who is fluid. Many people I have met are so rigid! if they fix something, they do not have the maturity to handle changes. They get stressed out if things change. People who resemble the water element, are fluid and can handle changes without stress. They also act as a lubricant when “friction” increases in a team.

Fire! It just burns! People resembling the fire element are extremely action oriented. They are on 24 by 7. They can be tough task masters but if you just allow them, they will burn all the obstacles and just put the organization on the path of rapid success.

Air is all breezy. If everyone is worrying all the time, we will need someone who is care free. People resembling the air element move fast with ideas. Left on their own, they would generate excellent ideas. They may not be good implementers but will be very visionary. They can help set great vision for the organization.

Air element people can generate great ideas. We will need earth element to make the ideas practical and fire element to take the ideas forward.

Space. We love space! It holds everything together. Doesn’t it. Most of us fail to notice the space that carries all these objects. We only see the objects. People resembling the space element are those invisible silent people who hold the organization together. It would take tremendous effort on your part to know their true value because they do not care if you know or not. They just hold things together in a gentle embrace and things just happen.

It is not necessary that your organization has 5 people resembling these elements. Smaller teams can cultivate these qualities and create a magical organization.


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