Sunday, April 5, 2009

Chanakya to Lakshmi Narayan Mittal : History of Indian Business - 2

Marwari businessman made a remarkable rise in the early 19th Century in Calcutta. There general characteristics remain astute , cleverness and also strict money mindness . Intially they where selling Indian textiles to British markets and then importing the British textiles in Indian markets .

However when the need for the Indian textiles in British market vanished , they diversified into other markets . However , most of the famous businessman in 19th century, started from the cotton industries only . Though most of them are severly money minded and have been alleged as a scrupulous collaborator , who by and large doesn’t bother anything more than money .There was person who was very different from the regular scheme of things .

Jamanalal Bajaj , who also started from the same cotton industries had a bend of ascetism from his earlier days , when he was adopted by the Bajaj family . He had a great leadership skills and made his business successful in his very early age . However , he was influenced very much by the Mahatma Gandhi’s model of trusteeship in Business . Gandhi use to consider Bajaj as his 5th son . Jamanalal implemented the ideals of Gandhi in his business which is a more concise version of Gandhi’s political framework of ‘Satyagraha’.

The trusteeship model , could be said as the earlier version of ‘Corporate social responsibility’ . The entrepreneur was only allowed to take the required remuneration for his sustenance and the rest of his profit he should share with his stakeholders , employees and larger society . Gandhi further gave advise on the tactical dimension of the model . He asked not to incur debts , not to give credit , not to deal with forbidden goods , and not to engage in a business , of a get rich quickly scheme.

(To be continued ….)



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