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25 May 2007

Need and not Greed

It was nice to see the PM exhort simplicity and non-ostention to the corporate world. In his personal demeanour and life too he practices what he preaches and so it was an effective appeal. But I did not see (on tv) anyone cheering in the highly ostentious room where the CII meet was held. They were like children chastised by the school principal as he spoke about inclusive growth, criticised cartelisation etc.

Sections of business and media channels did not seem to greet it with cheers. There were murmurs about Talent Retention ( to justify the high salaries and stock options); What about excessive and wasteful consumption by Govt.MPs (valid point, but why mix issues?); and so on and so forth.

I guess there is also a concern about what would happen to the champagne popping events, luxury brands, the good life and maybe a sense that austerity would detract from the shining India story.

Thinking of corporates and development, one name that stands head and shoulders above others is the name of Jamshedji Tata.

"Jamsetji Tata - The founder of the Tata Group began with a textile mill in central India in the 1870s. His powerful vision inspired the steel and power industries in the country, set the foundation for technical education, and helped India leapfrog from backwardness to the ranks of industrialised nations". (From the TATA site)

Jamshedji Tata and his family and foundations, built industries in various sectors, factories, townships, Cities, Hospital and medical care, Research and development institutions and in Art & Culture, Education and Learning, Science & technology, Sports, Environment & Nature- there isn't one facet of development of India that was left out.

I own a copy of biography of Jamshedji Tata, and have read the one on JRD Tata-Beyond the Last Blue Mountain. Whenever I get some time, I read about the founder, the group and their various forays and I find it very inspiring and educational; if I catch a documentary or TV interview,I try and not miss it. For instance, to read about the work being done by JUSCO makes me very happy.

Many industrialists came forth after independence to the task of nation building, in response to Gandhi and Nehru's call, but Jamshedji Tata like I said before, is First among Equals. In business today, we need JUST ONE more Jamshedji Tata.

Or, as Mahatma Gandhi said, There is enough for everyone's need but not enough for any one persons greed.

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