The Balancing Act in Business While addressing a group of Delhi based youngsters interested in Entrepreneurship, Adi and Smrithi ji answer a question on balancing needs of others and oneself while managing a business.
Q: I don’t know how to put his question. When we enter business, we feel we need to think about others, but we also feel like we need to think about ourselves. So we have this conflict. How to deal with it? We need to be free from conflict and there should be happiness.
It is a very important question. That is why we refer to Mahabharata. In the Mahabharata the heroes are said to be parakramis. Krama means effort. Parakrama means tremendous effort. They bring tremendous enthusiasm and effort, in dealing with tasks. Now any business needs to have that parakrama. See, someone who receives a monthly salary does not need to show parakrama. Isn’t it? Because for them it is a 9 to 5 job. But one who is at the forefront of market dynamics, for him market is always shifting. It is never one way. It is shifting. And hence initiative becomes very important. If you do not have parakrama, if you are not a parakrami, then you will be at the receiving end of the market forces. And that is not acceptable in business. Then, you will be in fear and insecurity, not as a consequence of market dynamics, but because of your own worldview. If that happens, it is not good for business. There might be conflicts. But what is said in the Mahabharata is that, dharma pradhan hai. Dharma is prime.
If you look at the Gita, it starts with a conflict. It is because of this that we say Arjuna Vishada yoga. He started having tremendous inner conflict. “Is this right or not? What am I doing?” Because for a leader, when we see, you are dependent on….see this is beautifully brought out in the conversation of Krishna, Arjuna and Yudhishthira. Arjuna and Yudhishthira say,”We listened to your words and we have gotten into Mahabharata, into the Kurukshetra war. This is a dharma yuddha, but we are convinced about you and hence we have…based on faith in you, we have made this decision, nischaya. What is it that you derive confidence from?” So he clearly says,”Dhrida Nischaya.”
That is what a leader needs to possess. Now, you are at the forefront of business. The future is uncertain actually. Any business leader faces this. “Which market to invest in. Will a market open up or not. Will my business succeed or not.” You might do all your homework, all that is important. Quantitative methods need to be applied, but finally it comes to your dhrida nischaya. And when you face a problem, it is your dhrida nischaya, that firm conviction that takes you and breaks open those challenges. Otherwise where is the path? For a monthly wage earner, that is why we call it naukri. (Laughter) I have not touched upon it for obvious reasons, but it not considered really good for everyone to be monthly wage earner. At least in the Mahabharata times. Because self-reliance was given a lot of pradhana. That is why you would do your own work. Until very recently, this…even in villages if you go to, even now you’d hear people will say,”Are naukri ke liye jaana hai kya? Gaav main kuch kaam nahi hai, naukri ke liya jayen?” This is how you would see, you’d be so proud. That is not arrogance. That comes from this reasoning that self-reliance is given the highest pradhana. For a business leader, that self-reliance becomes very critical. Investing in it becomes very critical. One needs to have dhrida nischaya, one needs to be a parakrama, you need to be able to innovate, apply firmly, be decisive in action. Once you decide upon something, you should not look back. Repentance should not be there. Objective analysis should be there, but not repentance. Only then you can move forward. Otherwise, you take up anything, challenges will always be there, conflicts will always be there, difference of opinions will always be there, in anything. Even, let’s say you want to get into a college, you will have difference of opinion. That does not mean you don’t decide and go forward. Does that mean you constantly keep repenting, “Are,mujhe tho wo hi karna chahiya tha!” This might be okay, this mindset might be okay for a monthly wage earner, not for a business leader. So developing these qualities is very important. Otherwise….that is why it is said that success is an attitude, not just an objective reality. It is an attitude that you display. And because of that attitude and hence Lakshmi is said to reside in one’s heart. Lakshmi is not supposed to be just objective wealth.
(Smrithi ji) Not just in the bank (Laughter)
(Adi ji) Not just in the bank, okay, many people don’t get it. Where does the puja of Lakshmi happen? In the heart. You develop those qualities of parakrama and so on, that retains Shri. That retains Lakshmi. You will feel prosperous inside. You will not have a beggarly attitude. That is why, you need to actually have your hearts open, and hence, daana dharma was prescribed. You allocate…it even went to such an extent that in early times, more than 30% was allocated for society. Or even 50% in many cases. Now we have CSR and other ways of giving back to the society! A personal social responsibility is also needed! That gives a sense of prosperity!