BY ROBIN GHOSH
( FORMER CHIEF ECONOMIST, BENGAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY)
KOLKATA, 19 SEPTEMBER 2022
Business in essence is an interaction . Business is just another way in which we express ourselves. Fundamentally , there is no difference between any other interaction and business interaction. In business interaction there is a perception that you have to be greedy and unkind to succeed in the business world.
Surprisingly, the opposite is true. Rather, if you practice good values and if you are in touch with your soul , you are assured of sustainable success. CEOs in most companies never talk about personal values nor encourage their staff to be happy by putting their soul to work. Happiness is never taken seriously.
In fact, CEOs should share values like kindness, mutual respect and family. Believe me, if you share with your staff personal values and importance of family, employees will turn productive and loyal and also more happy.
Dell Company follows this model. Michel Dell , the CEO, takes Happiness seriously. Employees working in Dell are so happy that they never want to leave the company. Values in business are important. In fact, it is very critical. Consider our economy. In Spite of many ups and downs, we are a thousand times better off today. Our quality of life has improved significantly.
If you observe deeply , you will find that this has been possible because of two factors. On the one hand , our vibrant democracy and on the other hand , our deep spirituality. People are inspired by a love of the divine and a strong passion for relationships with other beings.
At this point , let us examine the paradigm. Human morality on one axis and market systems on the other. A Market system or democratic capitalism is good when people treat each other with respect. In a democratic marketplace, ideas are shared, people behave honestly and positively with each other. When this happens then capitalism is the best solution. Capitalism flourishes with trust and responsibility.
Unfortunately, when people don’t have those values, capitalism doesn’t work so well. So, the values of the people matter. Arthur C Brooks, the Management Scientist puts it nicely ” A car in itself isn’t moral or immoral – what matters is the morality of the person driving it and whether they treat other people on the road with kindness and respect. That leads to much better traffic.”
The question whether business is a curse or a blessing hinges on how you are conducting your business for what purpose? If your goal is to amass money, power, pleasures and fame then you are not creating true value. But if your prime idol is a love for spirituality, family bond , friendship and a passion to serve others you are blessed. And you are happy.
Tooling up a business is like creating a machine . It is apolitical and neutral. Our moral values decide whether it is Demon or God !!