Management aspect derived from kautilya's arthashastras
Management Fundamentalsin Kautilyas)HJD=ID=IJH= IRADHAKRISHNAN PILLAI This is the first of a series of articles on management principles as seen in Kautilya’s Arthashastra. The author, Sri Radhakrishnan Pillai, has done the ‘Interdisciplinary Sanskrit and Indology Course’ on Arthashastra in the Chinmaya International Foundation, with Dr. Gangadharan Nair, Dean of Shree Shankaracharya Samskrit University, as his study guide. Radhakrishnan is also the founder- director of Atma Darshan, which has won even international honours in the field of spiritual tourism within a short span of three-and-a-half years. His experience in the field of marketing and logistics in the last thirteen years gives an interesting practical edge to the articles.Introduction courses from best possible Management is a subject that institutes due to this demand.evolved as a science starting A company or a corporationmid-20th century. Peter Drucker today is much more than a busi-is crowned with the title of ness machine. They are employ-‘Father of Management’ and is ment generators, wealth cre-also called a Management Phi- ators and socially responsiblelosopher. Today we find that entities. No doubt most of themangers including ‘manage- Fortune 500 companies arement trainees’ are in high ‘Semi-Governments’ by them-demand in the corporate world selves. They have a large say inand it is the highest paid pro- decision making and policy for-fession across the globe. We can mation at both national andsee the large number of students international levels. Thereforewho are racing to do MBA Management and managers
have direct and indirect import ‘knowledge’. We have contri-on our daily lives. buted some of the greatest theo- The quality of managers ries and concepts in all fieldsbeing produced at Management which had helped in the deve-institutes and the output of lopment of human civilisation.managers in various organisa- Today, most of the compa-tions is an essential area that we nies are run, based on conceptsneed to monitor on a regular that evolved from the West,basis. Countries are getting mostly America, and Japan.compressed and the world is Every country has its ownbecoming a global village. Only unique culture and so its Man-if our generation can generate agement style also has to bevalue-based and principle- unique to fit into its owncentred leaders, can we look for- culture. Americans developedward to a peaceful, co-operative their own management system,and productive world which is so did the Japanese. So, what isthe dream of great visionaries. the Indian Management System Good and effective managers and how is it different fromare required in most fields and other systems and theories?not just in business enterprises. Do we have anythingThe areas of politics, science, ‘unique’ to contribute to thelaw, health, defence and even evolving thought of Manage-spiritual organisations are look- ment research and study? Thising forward to good managers is an area of discussion in mostand to opinions and suggestions of the Management forums,of management thinkers. seminars and conferences. Indians are occupying top When such questions criss-positions in some of the best cross our minds, we need to askcompanies across the globe. ourselves a fundamental ques-They are in high demand to run tion – is Management just a 50-companies productively and year-old science? What are theefficiently. Many of them have Management principles due toalso started companies which which India was such a pros-show tremendous growth rates perous nation for over 5,000year after year. years of history? India has always been a To understand this we needcountry of ‘thinkers’. Bharat to look back into our ancientmeans a country that revels in Scriptures. While digging the
treasures of knowledge our able student ChandraguptaRishis left for us, we come across Maurya on the throne as thea unique book called Kautilya’s emperor. Hence he is called aArthashastra. ‘King Maker’. He is also cre- dited to have masterminded theBackground of Arthashastra defeat of Alexander in India Kautilya’s Arthashastra is the when the latter was on hisoldest book on Management march to conquer the world.available to the world. It was As a political thinker, he waswritten by Kautilya (also known the first to visualise the conceptas Chanakya and Vishnugupta) of a ‘nation’ for the first time inaround 350 BC. When literally human history. During his timetranslated, it means ‘Scripture of India was split into variousWealth’. The main focus of the kingdoms. He brought all ofbook is on the creation and them together under one cen-management of wealth. tral governance, thus creating a However, the book is a mas- nation called ‘Aryavartha’,terpiece which covers a wide which later became India.range of topics like statecraft, He documented his lifelongpolitics, military warfare, law, work in his book Kautilya’saccounting systems, taxation, Arthashastra. For ages, rulersfiscal policies, civil rules, inter- across the world have referrednal and foreign trade etc. It also to the Arthashastra for buildingcovers various technical subjects a nation on sound economics,including medicine, gemmo- based on spiritual values.logy, metallurgy, measures of Emperor Ashoka is supposed tolength, tables of weights and have built and expanded hisdivisions of time, among many kingdom on the principlesothers. described in this book. Shivaji, No wonder scholars down the ruler of Maharashtra, is saidthe centuries have time and to have studied this book inagain described Kautilya as a order to plan and defeat therare mastermind who could be Mughals. The forts that he builtan expert in so many varied and and the navy he created standspecialised fields. till today as an example for all Kautilya was responsible in of us to be proud of.bringing down the Nanda Even though India anddynasty and establishing his Indians never forgot the
Arthashastra, the study and Om. Salutations to Sukrapractical application of the book and Brihaspatilost its importance for quite a There is an important insightfew centuries. we can get from this. Kautilya However, apart from being invokes the two great Acharyasseen as a scholarly work, this (Gurus) of the Asuras and thebook today needs to be once Devatas. We find in the Puranasagain presented to all, for prac- that the Asuras and the Devatastical application in today’s were enemies and hence hadworld. The book has many prin- two different viewpoints. Thisciples and techniques, which means that, Kautilya has con-once applied, can cause a tre- sidered both the differing view-mendous improvement even in points of the extremes beforeour day-to-day management of reaching any decision. Edwardthings and situations. de-Bono, the world-renownedKautilya’s Arthashatra thinker of ‘Lateral Thinking’ said, “The most intelligent man We find the roots of Artha- is the one who can look at twoshatra in the Rig Veda. The Artha- different contradictory view-shastra deals primarily with Eco- points at the same time andnomics, Politics or Statecraft and arrive at his own decision.” ThisPunishments; therefore it is also is the quality that a leader hascalled Dandaniti. The Arthashas- to develop when there are peo-tra is a book based on pure ple coming to him with contra-logic, Anveshiki. Most of our dictory viewpoints. The book isancient Indian books start with based on logical discussions tak-the invocation of a deity before ing into consideration all kindsthe writing of a book – in most of ideas of various Acharyas.cases, Ganesha, the Lord who The Arthashastra containsremoves obstacles, and Saras- nearly 6000 sutras divided intowati, the Goddess of Know- 15 books, 150 chapters, and 180ledge. However, in Arthashastra, sections. The 15 books containedwe find that Kautilya begins by in the Arthashastra can be clas-invoking Sukracharya and sified in the following manner:Brihaspati. Book 1 on ‘Fundamentals ofOm Namah Sukra- Management’, Book 2 dealing brihaspatibhyam with ‘Economics’, Books 3, 4
and 5 on ‘Law’, Books 6, 7 and Management Aspects8 on Foreign Policies, and Books Though the book covers vari-9 to 14 dealing with ‘war’. Book ous topics, in the following15 deals with the methodology series of articles, we will be lim-and devices used in writing the iting ourselves to the Manage-Arthashastra. ment areas in the Arthashsatra. Another interesting and Book 1, ‘Concerning the Topicnote-worthy fact is that Kautil- of Training’, is taken up, asya’s Arthashastra is not the first many aspects of the Fundamen-Arthashastra. From a number of tals and Foundations of Man-quotations and references in agement are contained in it. Itlater works, we know that there has 500 sutras, divided into 21were at least four distinct chapters and 18 sections. Weschools and thirteen individual will also be making a few refer-teachers of Arthashastra before ences to the other books ofKautilya. Throughout the book Arthashatra where topics ofhe makes references to these Management have been dealtvarious Acharyas who include with.Bharadvaja, Visalaksa, Parasara, The areas covered underManu, Pisuna and Kaunapa- Management include - training,danta, among others. The great- management education, leader-ness of Kautilya was that he ship skills, selection of employ-made the principles contained ees, consultation, crisis manage-in his Arthashastra so applicable ment, risk management, strate-that probably the previous gic management, corporate gov-Arthashatras got lost with pas- ernance, information systems,sage of time. The very reason intelligence network, competi-that this book has come down tion, mergers and acquisitions,to our generation after over 2200 etc. among many others.years shows that he had really We will be taking an overallfine-tuned each concept in such view of all these topics in thea detailed manner that it sur- following articles.vived the test of time. This Some may ask, ‘Is this bookshows the farsightedness of written over 2200 years ago stillKautilya. He has worked on the applicable in today’s Manage-psychology of the human mind ment world?’ To this, greatthat never changes with time. thinkers have responded, ‘The
Arthashastra is a book about the agement consultants, intelli-management of the ‘human gence agencies, public/civil ser-mind’, which has remained vants, government officials,quite the same over the ages’. military personnel, students of Who can benefit from the various fields, etc. In fact Kau-Management insights from the tilya’s Arthashastra is a must forArthashastra? They could be every intelligent person irre-business leaders, managers, spective of which profession hepoliticians, chartered accoun- belongs to.tants, human resource person-nel, management trainers, man-
Management Fundamentalsin Kautilyas)HJD=ID=IJH= IIRADHAKRISHNAN PILLAIThe Topic of Training ‘knack’ of effective management that consists of quick decisions, When we study the lives of strategic movements, a quickgreat businessmen and some of insight into the crux of anythe most productive managers, problem is not just acquired bywe note that very few of them a formal management training.have had a formal education inmanagement. Both Bill Gates, Management is athe richest man in the world. Mindsetand Warren Buffett, the secondrichest man in the world have As we study the lives ofhad no formal management these great leaders of society,education. Many others like we observe that they have de-Walt Disney or Akio Morita, the veloped an ‘intuitive’ insightcreator of Sony, too never went into situations that demandto business schools. How is it their attention. Today our gen-they could manage such huge eration has started consideringbusiness empires? When and management as a subject that ishow did they achieve these learnt in various colleges andgreat managerial skills? institutions. However , manage- Even though formal educa- ment is not just a subject, but ation is very important, it is not ‘mindset’. This mindset can beeverything in management. The developed by anyone with ba- sic education and a long period of trial and error methods, con-The author may be contacted by email at tinuous learning and years email@example.com experience.16 May 2005
The good news is that these Kautilya, who wrote the Artha-great leaders can transfer their shastra, it took him years to trainmanagerial skills and years of Chandragupta Maurya to con-experience to the next genera- quer the cruel Nanda King.tion through a process of sys- Just like the ‘Law of thetematic training. Farm’, in training too, we have Training deals with selecting to go through the whole natu-the right candidates, mentor- ral process. Selecting the rightship, management of the senses seed, sowing it, watering it,and continuous learning. Most waiting for it to sprout, pro-importantly, it requires a lot of viding it the right amount ofpatience. Training is not a sunlight, letting it grow in thequick-fix solution. It is a long- right environment – none of theterm gain. It is looking at the stages can be avoided. Only inlarger picture in spite of short the right season and right timeterm loss or failure. Today many do we enjoy the harvest.companies are focusing on this Training deals with impart-training aspect in a big manner. ing an understanding of someLarge groups like Tatas, Infosys, of the deeper secrets of the hu-Wipro, Mahindra and Mahindra man mind. Most importantly,etc. have their own full-time training is a matter of disciplin-training centres. ing the mind. We will examine All great leaders of history a few verses that deal with thehave emerged from a long pro- topic of training, in Kautilya’scess of training. Mahatma Arthashastra.Gandhi took 21 years in SouthAfrica before he returned to Selection of TraineesIndia to fight for our freedom. In one of his lectures to MBAShivaji was trained right from students, Sri Rajesh Kamath, thehis childhood before he formed Deputy General Manager (H.R.his own army to defeat the Department) of the MahindraMughals. Pujya Gurudev him- and Mahindra Group, said, “Ifself spent ten long years with I have to fire someone for non-Swami Tapovan Maharaj before performance, it is due to myhe came down to the plains to mistake, not his. I have to bebuild the worldwide Chinmaya careful during the selection pro-Mission. Even in the case ofTapovan Prasad 17
cess.” Selection of trainees is the of desire to learn, listening,key to any effective training retention, thorough understand-programme. Otherwise we end ing, reflection, rejection of falseup frustrated, with huge loss of views and intentness on truthtime, energy and money. and not on any other person. Kautilya, in his Arthashastra, (1.5.5)*deals with the aspect of train- Thus a ‘trainable’ person ising in a detailed manner. The the one who has the followingfirst book of Arthashastra itself qualities:is titled Vinayadhikarikam mean- 1. Desire to learning ‘Concerning the Topic of 2. Effective listening abilityTraining’. 3. Ability to reflect (think from Kautilya says that selection all angles)of the right candidate to be 4. Ability to reject false viewstrained is very important. Dur- 5. Focus on truth, not on anying those days in the fourth person.century B.C., when the castesystem was prevalent, Kautilya 1. Desire to learn – Theselected Chandragupta Maurya, trainee should be keen towho was not a kshatriya, to be- acquire more knowledge. Hiscome the next emperor and take focus should not be on immedi-over the Nanda dynasty. This ate monetory or material gains.shows that the choice of a right He should keep himself sur-candidate for management or rounded by and learn fromleadership training should not experienced people underbe limited to birth, caste, colour, whom he can learn more.creed, religion or country. 2. Effective listening ability In the following verse, he – Listening is ‘hearing plusdefines the qualities that we thinking’. At a higher stage ofneed to look for in a person, listening, the mind itself calmsbefore taking him as a trainee. down. It is a total receptiveThis verse is very important for state. The trainee should focusthe H R departments who have on listening more and try to getto continuously keep recruitingmanagement trainees. *(1.5.5) - Book 1, Chapter 5, Verse 5. This The training disciple is the one same method will be followed through- whose intellect has the qualities out, while referring to the verses in Kautilya’s Arthashastra.18 May 2005
a deeper insight into the words Mentorshipof his teacher. He should not get Once the right trainee is se-into arguments trying to prove lected, he has to be nurturedhis point. with the help of a senior who is 3. Ability to reflect (think experienced in that particularfrom all angles) – After listen- skill. This system of mentorshiping to the viewpoints of vari- has taken strong roots in today’sous people, he should be able corporate training structure.to sit back and reflect on his Even experienced people haveown. He should consider all now started calling themselvesangles before coming to a con- mentors more than leaders.clusion. Both logical thinking Narayana Murthy is now offi-and creative thinking are quali- cially designated the Chief Men-ties of the mind that are tor of the Infosys Group. Arequired. mentor is more like a catalyst 4. Ability to reject false who guides the process withoutviews – Rejecting false views taking part in the reaction.does not mean being rigid. He Training and discipline areshould come to his own conclu- acquired by accepting thesion, after correct thinking and authoritativeness of the teachersanalysis. He should be able to in the respective fields.reach his own decisions with (1.5.6)intellectual conviction. We need to have an attitude 5. Focus on truth, not on any of surrender to our mentor, ourperson – A trainee should not Guru. This will lead to disci-just get carried away by the pline. We should be able to ac-viewpoints of different people. cept that our mentor under-He should be able to arrive at stands the subject better than wethe truth after careful analysis. do. Even though at certain timesHe should look at the situation we find it difficult to acceptobjectively. He should be able certain decisions of his, we stillto see the problem as separate need to follow his orders. Thefrom the person. full picture will become clearer The selection of the right to us in due course of time.trainee is the first step. This is Swami Tejomayanandajilike checking the quality of the once said, “At times I used toseed before we sow it. wonder why Swamiji (GurudevTapovan Prasad 19
Swami Chinmayananda) used come a self-discipline. The mindto take certain tough decisions. has to be trained through regu-However, in spite of not totally lar practice. One should be ableagreeing with him, I never lost to handle lust, anger, greed,faith in him. Today when I am arrogance of knowledge andin his position (leading the power and should not get over-worldwide Chinmaya Mission), excited due to sudden gain orI understand why he did so.” dejected due to unforeseen loss.Management of the A king, behaving in a contrarysenses manner and having no control Without managing the over his senses quickly perishes,senses, no leader can progress. be he the ruler right up to theAs you keep going up the lad- four ends of the earth.”der of success, temptations keep (1.6.4)coming your way. Often, thedownfall of great leaders hap- Lack of sense-control willpens when their senses take surely ruin a leader in the longover. Sex scandals, shattering run. Greed for power and posi-decisions taken in a fit of anger, tion comes out of lack of sense-over-indulgence in power, etc. control. We have seen so manyare due to handing over the children from wealthy homesreins to the senses. and big business empires ruin- Control over the senses, which ing the hard-earned wealth of is motivated by training, should their forefathers, due to lack of be secured by giving up lust, an- sense-control. Though one may ger, greed, pride, arrogance and possess great wealth and power, over-excitement. it will all be slowly lost if one (1.6.1) does not handle the senses well. Control over the senses isinitially motivated externally by Continuous Learningproper training. It is a process Learning is a continuous pro-of disciplining of the mind. cess. You have to keep yourselfHowever, no external pressure updated with the latest happen-can help one to maintain this ings around. The most impor-discipline for long. Initially it tant part of continuous learningmay be out of fear imposed by is to associate yourself withseniors, but slowly it has to be-20 May 2005
persons who are more experi- not just gathering more andenced and knowledgeable than more information. As Swamiyou. Vivekananda said, “If know- He should have constant asso- ledge was available in books, all ciation with elders in learning, the libraries in the world would for the sake of improving his have been sages!” Information training, since training has a collection is just the first step. root in that. Nowadays information is rea- (1.5.11) dily available through the inter- The root of training lies in net, television and various otherassociating oneself with seniors. sources, thanks to the techno-It is by being around with them logical revolution. However, in-that we come to know the way formation gathered has to beour seniors look at certain situ- converted into knowledge by aations with a deeper insight process of thinking, analysisthan we can obtain on the sur- and reflection.face. Once, a person who was Even knowledge is not theclimbing the corporate ladder final step. Knowledge has tofast was asked, “How do you evolve into wisdom. A wisekeep getting promotions so man is greater than a know-fast?” “I keep observing what ledgeable man. He can look intomy boss does and learn to the crux of any problem withinacquire his skills,” came the a split second.reply. Practical application – Our knowledge has to have some From continuous study ensues usefulness. Hence, Kautilya says a trained intellect, from the its practical application is very intellect comes practical appli- necessary. Otherwise it just re- cation, and from practical appli- mains a mere theory, with no cation, self-possession. usefulness either to the person (1.5.16) or to the society around. This Kautilya, in this verse, gives application has to be for theus the three steps of acquiring good of others. It has to be use-expertise in any field. ful to take the society to a pro- 1. Continuous study ductive state and to a higher 2. Practical application level of consciousness. 3. Self possession Self possession - By apply- Continuous study – Study is ing in the practical world theTapovan Prasad 21
concepts a person has devel- juniors. That golden momentoped by thinking, he comes to never comes. You have to starthave a higher level of confi- it here and now.dence in himself. The success of When I was in CIF (Chin-his theory in the practical world maya International Foundation),also crowns him with many studying the Arthashastra, Iother worldly benefits like asked Swami Advayanandaji,appreciation, money, honour, the Acharya in charge of CIF,etc. He thus becomes an expert “Swamiji, in our Chinmaya Mis-in the very area or field he has sion the various Acharyas getbeen working on for so long. transferred every now and then. Self possession is a ‘state of When do you decide when tobeing’. He has become one with start training the others to takehis subject. He has perfected the over, while you may have to goart. From this point onwards his to some other centre?”work is just a sport for him. He Swamiji’s reply gave the gistdevelops an intuitive wisdom. of training in the most beauti- ful manner –Pass It On To Others “Training your juniors starts Management training is a the moment you join. It is beingcontinuous process. One learns ready to leave the position atand teaches. One does not have any given point of time. Theto wait to become an expert to system has to run by itself.”teach others. There are seniors Training is working in a de-who know more than you; at tached manner and yet givingthe same time there are juniors your best to it. Its an under-who know less than you. Keep standing that no one is indis-learning from the seniors, and pensable. You realise that youwith your own experience, keep are not the owner but just a partteaching the juniors. Thus the of the whole. Like the Guru-circle of life will get completed. Shishya Paramapara, the wisdomMany people wait for a golden has to flow from one generationmoment to start training their to the other.22 May 2005
Management Fundamentalsin Kautilyas)HJD=ID=IJH= IIIRADHAKRISHNAN PILLAILeadership Qualities shastras like Mahabharata, Rama- yana etc. are more popular, as Throughout the Arthashastra, they are written for the masses,references have been made to to teach dharma to every indi-more than a hundred qualities vidual, while the Arthashastrasof leadership, along with the are limited in appeal, as they aremethods of developing them. written specifically keepingThe main focus of the Arthashas- leaders in mind. In every soci-tra is on creating an ideal soci- ety, the leaders are few and theety, which can be done only followers numerous. Therefore,through inspired leaders. many thinkers have also saidHence, we can say that Artha- that Arthashastra is addressed toshastra is a book on ‘Creation of a particular section of the soci-Leaders’. ety, especially the intellectually Sri L.N.Rangarajan, a politi- oriented people who can guidecal economist, in his translation the society towards materialof Kautilya’s Arthashastra, says, welfare and prosperity.“There is a basic difference be- In this month’s article wetween the Dharmashastras and will be looking at some keythe Arthashastras. Our Dharma- qualities that a leader shouldshastras address themselves to have. Leadership qualities areindividuals, teaching them their not the monopoly of any indi-dharma, while Arthashastras are vidual, race, country or genera-addressed to rulers.” tion. Leadership is an art that Hence we find that Dharma- can be developed by any indi-The author may be contacted by email at vidual from any firstname.lastname@example.org The only way to develop it is to18 June 2005
have a higher goal or ideal in himself always be energetic.”front of us. The goal itself will (1.19.1-5)inspire us and, through us, the The first and foremost qual-others around us. Great leaders ity of a leader is to be active.are born when they sacrifice No other quality can replacetheir individual pursuit for hap- this. The enthusiasm of thepiness, for the sake of the hap- leader is itself an inspiration topiness of others. From an aver- others. As the famous sayingage lawyer, a ‘Mahatma’ Gan- goes, ‘People learn more bydhi was born. From a Narendra, watching actions than listeningthe great Swami Vivekananda to sermons.’ Leaders are thewas born. ones who have a positive energy In the Arthashastra, chapter field around them. Only if he/19 of Book 1, titled ‘Rules of a she is energetic and active, theKing’ describes the various subordinates will also displayqualities of a leader. A complete energetic enthusiasm. The bestand detailed study of this sec- example is our Gurudev Swamition can prove very fruitful to Chinmayananda himself. At thevarious students and teachers, age of 75, he had the enthusi-who want to develop leadership asm of a 25-year-old, which wasqualities. It gives exhaustive, infectious and difficult to resist.step by step guidelines about What attracted most people tothe kind of life a leader should him was this energy level,lead, right from his daily time- which is still felt in a vibranttable, to his method of conduct- way throughout the Chinmayaing himself with different types Mission. Even after a decade,of people. since he left his mortal coil, he continues to inspire those whoBe Ever Active have not even seen him. Such is “If the king is energetic, his the magnetic power of a trulysubjects will be equally energetic. enthusiastic leader. It is veryIf he is slack (and lazy in perform- contagious.ing his duties) the subjects will also One cannot afford to be lazybe lazy, and thereby eat into his in front of one’s juniors. If thewealth. Besides, a lazy king will boss comes late to the office andeasily fall into the hands of the is found sleeping there, whatenemies. Hence the king should can one expect from one’s sub-Tapovan Prasad 19
ordinates? The Bhagavad Geeta However great the vision of(Ch.3, 21) says that people gen- the leader may be, he cannoterally follow whatever the keep others truly inspired, if hisleader does. A good leader heart is not full of love.should be able to take quick and “In the happiness of the sub-effective decisions. If he keeps jects lies the benefit of the king andpostponing important matters, in what is beneficial to the sub-his subordinates too will do the jects is his own benefit.”same. Such a leader will soon (1.19.34)lose control over the subordi- Leaders of most societiesnates. Without any control, the look at their individual happi-subordinates will start spending ness and the attainment of self-the excess money of the organi- ish goals as the primary crite-sation in unnecessary areas. rion, while taking key decisions.Since the leader is not vigilant They think that by this particu-and alert, the enemies and com- lar method, they will be able topetitors will easily overtake keep themselves happy forever.him. So, in order to inspire oth- But the fact is quite different.ers, to maintain and expand the Happiness is interdependent; ifwealth of the organisation, and others are happy, it is condu-also to be in touch with the lat- cive to one’s own happiness. Ifest developments around, the a person just tries to keep him-leader should be ever active and self happy, neglecting the hap-energetic. piness of other people aroundLove for the Team him, it will hit him back very hard over a period of time.Members A leader understands this A leader can create a team, point very clearly – in the hap-but there can be no team with- piness of his subjects lies hisout a leader. He is the nucleus own benefit. In fact, this shouldaround which everything takes be the prime objective of theplace. At many points, he takes leaders. A king does not havetough decisions that may seem any individual desire left. Theharsh to a few people. However, only desire left is the welfare ofhe has to take into consideration others.the overall benefit of the team When the subjects are ben-and not just his individual ben- efited, the king will naturally beefit.20 June 2005
happy. There are many leaders before taking any decision inin the political as well as the matters regarding that particu-corporate circles, who do not lar area. This consultationwant to educate their juniors out should be done in a spirit ofof the fear that if they get edu- humility, with a desire to learncated or empowered, they and understand more.would overtake the leader him- “All undertakings should beself. By doing this, one is just preceded by consultation. Holdingsuppressing the hidden poten- a consultation with only one, hetial of a person. On the contrary, may not be able to reach a decisionif one offers appropriate train- in difficult matters. With moreing to the subordinates, after counsellors it is difficult to reachidentifying the core unique ar- decisions and maintain secrecy.”eas, not only will they become (1.15.2, 35, 40)fully productive, they will alsobe thankful to the leader for “Therefore sit and counsel withgiving them the timely help and those who are mature in intellect.”support that was needed and (1.15.20-21)repay him ten-fold. A selfless Any important undertakingman gets more than what he should be preceded by due con-requires. This is a natural law sultation with experts in thatwhich a leader has to under- field. There should be more thanstand and follow in order to be one consultant, because a singlesuccessful. individual may have a narrow or biased vision. Therefore it isConsultation important to heed the view- There are various areas that points of at least two to threethe leader has to look into. It people. After examining thesemay not be feasible for him to viewpoints, he can come to histake care of all these areas him- own decision.self. Hence he should take help Further, care has to be takenand guidance, consulting ex- that he should not go on con-perts in various fields. Today sulting more and more people,we find that even the President leading to confusion and inde-or Prime Minister of a country cision; there is also the fear thathas specialists like the principal these important matters willscientific adviser, chief security lose their secrecy. Therefore, itadviser etc., whom he consultsTapovan Prasad 21
is advised that one should only special seat for the acharya, aconsult a few, and only those religious teacher, who used towho are mature in their intel- be consulted before taking anylect, meaning experienced and key decision in the society. Thesharp persons. leader himself understands that We find the same advice he is not the ultimate. Therefore,being given by Lord Rama to he looks for guidance from thehis brother Bharata in Ramayana, acharya. The acharya, in turn,telling him how to run the king- understands that he too, as adom effectively, while asking person, is not the ultimate. Hishim to go back to Ayodhya with validity comes from his deepthe Padukas. understanding of dharma. He gives suggestions or decisionsRespect Spiritual People based on dharma. Thus the This is a unique quality whole society runs on the basisfound in the Indian manage- of dharma.ment system that cannot be Today, our parliamentaryfound anywhere else in the system of governance, adoptedworld. India, right from its very from the West, has no place forbirth, has been a spiritual coun- any spiritual masters. Every-try. It has taken spirituality as body takes decisions based onits national ideal. Centuries his own individual judgments,have passed, yet we never gave without consulting anyone su-up our search for Truth. Our perior to him in moral stan-gurus and spiritual masters have dards. It is the state of the blindbeen our role models and also leading the blind. Only if ourour benchmark for excellence. law makers can understandWe have gone back to them once again that there has to beagain and again to check if we a seat for a spiritual guide inhave missed the right track our system of governance, cansomewhere. we go back to the glorious days In ancient India, hermits, of India.ascetics and spiritual masters Throughout the Arthashastra,were respected and revered. we find that acharyas were givenThey were invited to the courts a patient hearing on variousto take important decisions. In matters and also invited to courtvarious religious books and sessions, where they had thestories, we find mention of a highest and the most important22 June 2005
seat offered. The king could knowledge and the skills that hestart the session only after of- has acquired in his years of ex-fering salutations to these great perience. As he trains his jun-masters. iors, he naturally takes up Pujya Gurudev Swami Chin- higher responsibilities andmayananda said, “A leader is moves up the ladder. A trueone who creates more leaders.” leader understands the goldenThis is what Gurudev himself principle that ‘the best way todid. A leader does not stick to keep rising higher and higherpower, position or authority. He is to give more responsibilitiestrains potential people in the to the persons below you.’Tapovan Prasad 23
Management Fundamentalsin Kautilyas)HJD=ID=IJH= VRADHAKRISHNAN PILLAISocial Responsibility perform charity for self-projec- tion. They will not donate if What would happen if we their names are not inscribed onwere to hold our breath for a temple walls or announced fromlong time? Simply, we would the dais in public functions.suffocate. We have to let go of Our ancient thinkers under-our breath to let the next breath stood that the creation of wealthcome in. The same is the case is through the network ofwith wealth creation. You have society and hence has to beto let go of the money in your given back to the society.hands for new money to come Man is a social animal and isin. In fact, if wealth comes to dependent on the society for hisus, we have to understand that survival. While some peopleit is given by the Lord, to be have more wealth and someshared with the less privileged. less, the important point is thatUnfortunately, the reverse is the wealth has to flow from thecase; the more we have, the privileged to the less privileged.more we try to keep. The secret Equal distribution of wealth hasof being blessed by the wealth been one of the main challengesyou have created is to give a of many thinkers in the field ofgood part of it back to the Economics. Even the idea of col-society. lecting taxes is to ensure the What exactly do we give flow of wealth for the better-back? Just money? Many people ment of the society, to create a prosperous nation.The author may be contacted by email at If individuals keep email@example.com ting their wealth to the right
people, everyone including the India and Socialgiver will be highly benefited. Responsibility Corporate Social Responsibi-lity (CSR) is the key word in India has always been a so-many companies today. They cially responsible country. Inunderstand that being a socially Indian culture we have beenresponsible company creates taught to give back more thantrust among its customers. A what we get. In fact, workinggood brand image is created for the upliftment of the societyand because of good values, the is considered to be a very noblecompany attracts more and virtue.more customers. It is our culture to donate The Tata group of companies Rs. 101 instead of Rs. 100 oris one of the best examples in Rs. 1001 instead of Rs.1000. Whythis aspect. For over a hundred do we add that extra one rupee?years, this organisation has Our forefathers have taught usgiven back to the society much that it is an indication of ourmore than anyone could have intention to continue giving inexpected. The foundations and future also. Further, that onethe various trusts of the Tata extra rupee also signifies thatGroup have contributed to we should always give a littlesocial causes in the fields of more than expected, more thaneducation, employment genera- what we need to give. Thistion, science etc. It is worthy of additional one rupee symbolisesbeing taken up as a case study prosperity and abundance, anby any student of Management. overflowing that defies the We find the same kind of finality of a rounded sum.social responsibility in various Even after God Realisation,international organisations like some great masters work in theFord Foundation, UNICEF, society, as they consider it theirCommonwealth etc. The main responsibility to lead the soci-objective is to give back to the ety to a better quality of life, asociety the wealth that also higher level of living. As busi-belongs to the society. nessmen, leaders and managers,
we have a moral commitment building the Aryavarta – the In-to the people around us. dia of the golden era. In the Chinmaya MissionPledge, Pujya Gurudev Swami Qualities of aChinmayananda has used twobeautiful statements, which rep- Responsible Societyresent the Mission’s commit- Cleanliness: While making ament to the society, of ‘giving blueprint of the society that hemore than what we take’ and wanted to create, Kautilya em-‘producing more than what we phasised cleanliness. No build-consume’. These are the ideals ing plans were cleared by theof our nation. governing bodies without en- suring proper cleanliness. Main-Creation of an tenance of cleanliness, sanitationIdeal Society and hygiene was a part of the house building regulations. The Kautilya was a master plan- following verse will give an ideaner of the society. He planned of how the roads were duringout an ideal state in his mind that period.and also created a golden era inIndian history during this pe- “For throwing dirt on the road, the fine shall be one-eighth of ariod. The Arthashastra contains pana, for blocking it with muddya large number of verses that water, one quarter.” (2.36.26)give us an insight into the kindof society that he had in mind. When we look at the condi-Most of the important concepts tion of the roads in India today,of cleanliness, respect to others, we should really feel ashamedtaking care of the under-privi- of ourselves. Spitting, urinating,leged etc. were taken into ac- indiscriminate digging and gar-count, while creating the bage disposal on the roads areKautilyan society. very common. However, things We will study a few verses, have been drastically changingwhich deal with the aspects in the last couple of years. Pun-Kautilya had considered, while ishments in the form of fine im-
posed on the person throwing set up a benchmark for otherdirt or blocking the road shows companies to follow.how much importance they had Women’s Employment –placed on the maintenance of Even during the 4th century,public property. It was not just when women did not have ad-a matter on paper, but was equate social rights, Kautilya, asimplemented under strict con- a revolutionary thinker, in-ditions. cluded women’s employment in his plan for an ideal society. Shifting of Over-popula- References are made to rightstion: Migration to the country- given to women, especially mi-side was encouraged in order to nor girls, widows and elderlyprevent overcrowding in the cit- women, throughout the Artha-ies. This also ensured wide shastra. There were special prop-spreading out of the population erty rights for women, too.across the nation, not just con- In the second book of thecentration in particular cities or Arthashastra, the Chief Textilenational capitals. Commissioner, while setting up “He should cause settlement rules for the textile industry, hasof the country, which had been been advised to providesettled before or which had not been employment to women to thesettled before, by bringing in people extent of allowing them to workfrom foreign lands or by shifting the from their own homes. The rawoverflow of population from his own material would be reached tocountry.” (2.19.1) them in the morning and the Kautilya also encouraged finished or semi-finished pro-and invited people from other duct collected in the evening.places to come and settle down “Those women who do not stirin the countryside. He also un- out – those living separately,derstood that a man will not widows, crippled women – who wishshift alone. So he encouraged to earn their living, should be givenshifting and migrating in work by sending his own femalegroups. This concept of build- workers to them with a view toing new cities was encouraged support them.” (2.23.2)also for employment generation. Fairness in Treating aJamshedpur, created by Jam- Conquered Territory – Manyshedji Tata, as a residential set- have considered Kautilya as atlement for his employees, has
very crafty administrator, who conqueror should give them taxwould do anything to actualise exemptions, gifts and alsohis dreams. This is not really honour suitable candidates. Hetrue. The following verse will should not force anyone togive an idea about how he change to his own lifestyle;treated the people of a instead, he should be willing toconquered territory. adopt the dress, language and “The conqueror shall substi- customs of the local people andtute his virtues for the defeated their traditions. Instead ofenemy’s vices and where the enemy breaking their places of wor-was good, he shall be twice as ship, he should show the samegood. He shall follow policies which devotion to their gods andare pleasing and beneficial to the should himself participate inconstituents, by acting according to their festivals and enjoy theirhis dharma and by granting favours amusements. The leaders andand tax exemptions, giving gifts and chiefs of the towns and variousbestowing honours. He shall adopt communities of the conqueredthe way of life, dress, language and territory should also be givencustoms of the people and show due respect and their opinionsdevotion to the gods of that territory should be considered. Further,and participate in the people’s he should ensure that the ill andfestivals and amusements. He shall the helpless are cared for.please the chiefs of the towns, In fact, a whole chapter ofcountry, castes and guild; the ill,and the helpless shall be helped.” the Arthashastra, chapter 5, sec-(13.5.3-15) tion 176 of book 13, is fully devoted to this aspect and titled The conqueror shall add his ‘Pacification of the Conqueredown virtues to those of the Territory’.defeated enemies. If he finds There is a lot that today’sgood qualities in them, he shall corporate world can learn fromtry to acquire them. Today we these concepts in the Arthashas-find that after wars, the people tra. Internationally, there areof the newly acquired territory lots of mergers and acquisitionsare not given any importance. (M & A) that are happening.Here, Kautilya suggests policies Once the new managementwhich are pleasing and benefi- takes over, there is a culturalcial to the conquered popula- shock in the whole system. Intion, based on dharma. The most of the cases, people are
told to leave the organisations tor of all, has to replenish thedue to down-sizing and cost- pocket of his devotee – only, thecutting. giver must have absolute faith Here, Kautilya gives top pri- and indomitable courage.”ority to the people. He under- Gurudev here rightly pointsstands that the main asset of any out that modern Economics hasorganisation is its people. It is not dared to experiment deeplyvery important to keep them with the quality of giving.happy, even if they happen to Wealth always comes back ten-be in an acquired territory. fold to the person who gives, this is a natural law. Many goodGive, Give, Give companies have the practice of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chin- giving 2% to 10% of the profitmayananda says, in his advice to social causes. Once a chair-to householders, “The secret of man of a Fortune 500 companygetting is GIVE-GIVE-GIVE. was told about this concept ofWorldly people of small keeping aside 10% of the pro-crumpled hearts can never fits for social projects. Heunderstand it and modern eco- started thinking deeply. Askednomics has not dared to what happened, he replied, “Iexpound it. Give away the last was wondering why the per-penny, and ten pennies must centage to give back to the soci-and will come. He, the Protec- ety is so little!”
Management Fundamentalsin Kautilyas)HJD=ID=IJH= VIRADHAKRISHNAN PILLAIThe Running of an importance to the economicOrganisation aspect of a state. He says that wealth is the foundation of a Kautilya emphasises that the nation. Bhishma in the Maha-foundation of an organisation is bharata also says that artha is theits financial strength, its foundation of this world, andeconomy. No good organisation spirituality is the foundation foror country can run effectively that. Even spiritual organi-without having its economy in sations require the support ofgood condition. Kautilya’s strong finances to carry theirArthashastra makes many refer- noble messages across the globe.ences to the methods of A leader should understand thismanagement of an organisation. first.They can be broadly classified “The objective of any kinginto three: (leader) or state (organisation) is to1. What a leader should know create, expand, protect and enjoy2. Handling the employees/ wealth.” people There are various dimensions3. Keeping a good accounting to wealth. It is not enough just system. to create wealth; a leader should also know how to expand and1. What a Leader/King protect it. A good businessman Should Know is not satisfied with just what Arthashastra gives prime he gets; he has an industrious spirit to expand what he hasThe author may be contacted by email at got. He needs to have the firstname.lastname@example.org to produce more wealth.
Next, he should know that “Be ever active in the man-the wealth earned has to be agement of the economy, becauseprotected as well. Otherwise it the root of wealth is economic activ-would be like a vessel which ity; inactivity brings material distress.has a hole in its base. We may Without an active policy, both cur-go on filling the vessel, but due rent prosperity and future gains areto the hole, all that is put in it destroyed” (1.19.35,36)leaks out. The net result is It is important to be active‘zero’. in the management of the eco- Having protected the wealth nomy. Activity brings wealth.he earned, he should also know Can you imagine an organisa-how to enjoy it. This is true even tion that is lazy and also rich?at the individual level. The Without continuous activity,prime responsibility of the head whatever is earned will be dis-of a family is to earn bread and sipated, without leaving muchbutter for his family. Not stop- hope even for future wealth.ping with that, he has toexpand, that is, earn more 2. Handling themoney for a comfortable living Employees/Peopleand the higher education of his There can neither be a leaderchildren. He also needs to without followers, nor a kingprotect his hard-earned money without subjects. Having earnedin good investments. Finally, he enough wealth and knowing thehas to know how to enjoy the strategies of how to handle it,wealth he has earned by using he also has to understand howit for himself and others. Spend- to handle people.ing of wealth in the right direc- A good leader is first a goodtions is as important as earning ‘people’ manager. Withoutit. Or else we would just become knowing how to handle people,misers, without knowing what he cannot run the organisationto do with the wealth earned. properly. Understanding people
is to understand their minds. to good advice. Then we needPeople have different tempera- to use the second method -ments, attitudes and mindsets. daana, the offering of gifts – ‘IfHow to handle each one is a you do this I will give you that.’study in itself. Among the most Incentives, promotions, a goodfamous of Kautilya’s theories is vacation, raise in pay etc. arethe one known in today’s cor- offered by various companiesporate world as the ‘Theory of today to motivate employeesMotivation’. towards better productivity. Well, some employees do notTheory of Motivation get motivated by external benefits. The leader now has to Saama – counselling take corrective action. He has to Daana – offering gifts start using punishment. This Danda – punishment has to be implemented to Bheda – separation continue to retain control. The This theory is used by punishment can be severe orKautilya in various areas like mild, depending on thethe running of a state, making a situation.plan for warfare, passing judg- If punishment does not yieldments over criminals etc. the desired result, one has to Let us see an example to resort to bheda or separation.understand the application of ‘Divide and rule’ is a very prac-this theory in today’s corporate tical and effective way of han-world. You may find that one dling certain difficult situations.of your employees is not work- In the Indian context the phraseing properly. The first step that ‘divide and rule’ has gathered ayou take is to speak to him and very negative meaning becausetry to understand him. This is of its association with the policysaama – counselling, the prelimi- adopted by the British to subju-nary round of discussion. Most gate India. However, the policyof the problems in life start due of ‘divide and rule’ can be usedto lack of communication. Once creatively for the welfare of thewe sit down across the table and very people concerned. For ex-discuss things straight, many ample, if two students are veryissues can be resolved. noisy and troublesome together, However, some employees the school teacher separatesare such that they never listen them and seats them far away
from each other so that they will (punishment), becomes a terror. Abe attentive and learn the les- king with a mild rod is despised.son well. In the organisational The king who is just with the rod iscontext, sometimes a single in- honoured”. (1.4.8-10)dividual can become a negative Punishment does not meanforce by creating a small coterie that you have to become aaround him with his personal Hitler, and kill indiscriminatelycharisma and ability to influ- just to prove your strength andence people to his way of think- power. A king who is verying. This can be handled by geo- severe with the rod becomes agraphical relocation, or alloca- terror. However those who dotion of duties in different de- not punish at all, are not takenpartments, or promotion of one seriously. The one who is just isor more of the group to a dif- honoured by one and all.ferent role of responsibility de- What happens if the kingmanding their energies in a dif- does not punish at all?ferent direction altogether, thus “If the rod is not used at all, theweakening the negative force of stronger one swallows the weak inthe group. Here the separation the absence of the wielder of theof the group of people actually rod.” (1.4.13-14)unifies them in the cause of the If the king does not mete outorganisation. Finally, if none of just punishments, the peoplethe above methods work, one working under him will takehas to resort to the removal of things for granted. They maythe person from the organi- appear to be working, but insation altogether. course of time their productiv- ity will go down. The most deli-Punishment cate part is that the people in We may wonder if it is nec- the higher rungs may misuseessary to punish at all. Parents their powers when the king ishave this conflict while dealing absent. It is likely to become likewith their children. Kautilya the law of the jungle withoutsays punishment is necessary, any control. The strong willbut it has to be just and within swallow the weak. The wholethe right limits. One of the other legal system may end in a statenames of Arthashastra is Danda of crisis.Niti, the art of punishment. “He (leader) should constantly “The king, severe with the rod hold an inspection of their work,
men being inconsistent in their productivity of a person. Heminds”. (2.9.2-3) says there is no scope for a The human mind is unpre- person to get paid just to sit idle.dictable. It can slip from its Results are very important. Whybalance at any moment. It is should the state treasury pay avery necessary for a leader to person for not working? Wagesregularly inspect each one’s are paid only to those whowork. This can be done by work.checking reports every now and Today our government orga-then. He can organise a good nisations need to implement thisManagement Information message in its fullest measure.System (MIS) for creating Just sitting in the office will notrecords. But he should not be suffice if the country has tototally dependent on reports progress. The managers ofalone. He needs to keep a physi- various government institutescal check on each activity need to pull up their socks andhappening at the ground level. do the same with their juniorMeeting even the lowest of the staff too.employees and finding outproblems with the help of intel- 3. Maintaining a Goodligence services is recom-mended by Kautilya. Accounting System We see this throughout our “He (leader) should check theancient history books also. Be it accounts for each day, group of 5Lord Krishna or Shivaji, they days (a five-day week), fortnight, aused to go around their king- month, three months (quarterly) anddom incognito, even at night, to a year.” (2.7.30)ascertain the ground level We can clearly see from thisrealities. verse that the modern way of If inspection is not held on a daily, weekly, monthly, quar-regular basis, the king will lose terly and annual accountingcontrol over his employees first, methods were used by Indiansthen his subjects and finally his more than 2300 years ago! It iswhole kingdom. advised that the leader should “Wage is for work done, not keep a check on the accounts infor what is not done.” (3.14.8) a systematic manner. Kautilya This verse shows how says that the king needs to takefocussed Kautilya is on the full control of two aspects of
any state – the treasury and the individuals who are responsiblearmy. If he loses control over for revenues and expenditureseither of them, there is a good from the treasury.possibility of take-over by the Next, Kautilya explains howenemy. Kautilya also lays stress the records are to be maintainedupon the aspect of keeping with details of each entry. Thecontrol over the accounts by mastermind that he was, hestating that the first thing a king looked into the details of eachshould do after getting up in the aspect of the treasury. It ismorning hours is to check his surprising to see the way he hasaccounts. handled this subject in a most Apart from keeping track of practical and efficient manner.the total accounts, the king “He should check the incomeshould keep control over the and expenditure with reference toindividual accounts too. the period, place, time, head of The individuals in an organi- income/expenditure, source, bring-sation make up the total ing forward, quantity, the payer/paid,organisation. There is a possi- the person causing payments to bebility that a few of the employ- made, the recorder and theees are misusing the financial receiver.” (2.7.31-32)powers given to them or are not The financial record booksmaintaining proper records. needed to have these columns,Hence he suggests, where the entries about the “In addition to reporting in de- period, time and place of thetail as well as in aggregate, there is transaction could be done. Italso an individual accountability for also had to maintain details ofthe revenues and the expenditures.” the source of the income or(2.7.24) expenditure, who brought it or There are various people who spent it, the person whowho are responsible for the received it, etc.revenues which flow into the Thus, a total plan was madegovernment treasury and others by Kautilya in a systematicwho are responsible for the manner to manage the economyexpenditure. These two extreme of a state properly. No wonder,ends of revenues and expendi- with such amazing standardsture are likely to be the most set up by him, India in thoseeasily corrupted. Therefore it is days saw the golden era in ournecessary to keep a check on history.
Management Fundamentalsin Kautilyas)HJD=ID=IJH= VIIRADHAKRISHNAN PILLAIBasic Principles of keep accepting higher andManagement higher responsibilities. How does one face the Like adversity, prosperity problems that success bringshas its own quota of problems. along with it? To put it inWe may be surprised at this, but simple words, ‘Back to the roots,any successful person will back to basics.’ Every now andvouch for the fact that prosper- then, it is important to takeity brings its own problems. We stock of oneself. One has togenerally think that not being remember where one startedsuccessful is the problem and from, and where one is heading.once we are at the top, every- Otherwise, it will be the samething will be easy. An old story of starting to reach aairconditioned office, excellent particular place and landing upcars, a large number of people somewhere else.working under you – well this Looking back gives us theis the dream of a corporate per- strength to move forward. Itson. But success also brings a gives us an opportunity to lookgreater measure of responsibili- at our struggling days, theties. One of the best ways of dreams that we wanted tocontinuing to be successful is to achieve, the hurdles that we crossed, among others. It also gives us a chance to look at theThe author may be contacted by email at ‘simple’ yet basic principles email@example.com dealing with any problem.
So, in this issue we will once 1. The Means of Startingagain take a look at the basics Undertakings (Assignments/of what we started to explore – Projects)the Management ‘Fundamen- In order to manage, firstly,tals’ of Kautilya in his Arthashas- some project or assignment istra. needed. In the case of an employee, certain assignmentsDefinition and the Basic are given. For example, theElements of Management account statements have to be Management is largely a ready by a particular date, the‘mindset’. Once we develop this sales team has to achieve a par-mindset, we need not worry ticular sales target, etc. Assign-about whether we have done ments are usually given by theour formal education in man- seniors to the juniors. It is aagement or not. However, a process of delegation to com-continuous empowerment is plete a particular task.always necessary. What are the Projects are basically startedbasics of Management? What by the top management.are those principles that, once Companies and organisationsunderstood, make the whole work on projects. Either onecomplex world of Management takes up projects (which havebecome simple? been outsourced from other Kautilya, in his very first organisations) or starts one’sbook of the Arthashastra, states own projects. Many companiesclearly the foundations and work on multiple projects at anybasic elements of the Manage- given point of time, but therement world in just one simple are some which work on averse. single project for a long period “The means of starting under- of time.takings, the excellence of men and Assignments usually takematerial, (suitable) apportionment less time to complete comparedof place and time, provision against to projects.failure (and) accomplishment ofwork – this is deliberation in its five The leader needs to start oraspects.” (1.15.42) undertake projects in order to Therefore the basics of Man- assign jobs. This gives theagement can be summed up in organisation something to do,its five simple aspects thus: something to contribute. With-
out projects or assignments even more and more work. For thisthe best talent is useless. he has to keep an eye on the current trends in the market2. The Excellence of Men and scenario, and also observe Materials continually, the various changes The second aspect of man- that are bound to take placeagement is productivity. When- there.ever any work is started, it However, one cannot justrequires two basic elements – keep running a machine daythe men (the people who do the and night. Maintenance workwork), and the materials that are needs to be considered too.used by these men. The materi-als may include money, machin- 3. Deciding the Suitable Placeery and various other tools to and Timeprocess a particular task. This is the single most An efficient manager will be important factor for strategy inresponsible for bringing out management. There are variousproductivity from both men and factors that affect a businessmaterials. Productivity also environment. The global andincludes efficiency. political scenario, the various One has to bring out the best initiatives taken by the competi-from the people. Having hired tors, all have to be consideredthem and trained them, they before planning your move.have to be useful to the organi- The right timing is the keysation. By setting targets, to success in any undertaking.encouraging them and con- For example, we can note thatstantly guiding them, the companies wait till the budgetexcellence of men will be each year before declaring theachieved. new prices of various products/ How does one bring out the services. Quite often, a companybest from materials and waits to watch the acceptancemachines? This is where plan- of the competitor’s product inning comes into the picture. One the market before launching itsmay buy good machines with own.the latest technology. But what The other factor is the rightdoes one do if there is no work? place to attack. In the field ofIt is the responsibility of the management, this is technicallymanager to keep bringing in called ‘positioning’. Your
product or service should be should be a plan B ready. Whatpositioned in the right place. if plan B fails? Plan C shouldThere is no point in trying to be ready.sell an aeroplane to the lower There are various tools avail-income group living in villages, able to handle the risksor a first standard text book to involved. Insurance is a gooda postgraduate student. tool. One can easily insure one’s life as well as various materials Companies across the globe in case of unforeseen calamities.are spending huge amounts of Another backup plan is to savemoney to do R&D (Research for the bad season. In variousand Development) to analyse industries, the market is veryand conclude if the positioning seasonal. How does the man-of their product is in the right agement then provide for thesegment. Offering financial ser- salaries of the people during thevices like loans for tractors to ‘slack’ season? They shouldfarmers living in the rural areas keep a ‘reserve’ of funds foris ‘right’ positioning. While of- such needs.fering the same loan to a teacher At the governmental level, aworking in a metropolitan city country generally makes provi-is ‘wrong’ positioning. sions for natural calamities and disasters in its budget.4. Provision against Failure Failures are stepping stones 5. Accomplishment of Workto success. In any project we Finally, management is allundertake, there are more about the completion of work.chances of losing than winning. All of us start different kinds ofThe best way of avoiding fail- work at different times, buture is to be well prepared for it. most of us do not generallyThinking from all possible complete them. A great thinkerangles, taking into consideration once remarked, “I believe moreall the risks involved, is very in completing a few tasks that Iessential for any manager. One have undertaken, than startingneeds to have backup plans. many new tasks.”There should be various alter- Experimenting with variousnatives available in case the ideas is good, but finally onedirect path does not work. What has to focus on successfullyif plan A does not work? There completing at least a few of
them. Otherwise one lands up L.N. Rangarajan, in hisin a circle, going round and translation of Arthashastra, givesround without reaching any- a summary of the concept ofwhere. power as Kautilya emphasised: In the final tally, results “Power for Kautilya is not justalone matter. People do not military might or the economickeep count of the process, they strength backing it. Intellectualsee only the results achieved, power, which enables a king makejust as in a cricket match, even an objective analysis and arrive atthough one has made good the correct judgment, is the mostruns, if the team loses finally, it important. Intellectual power,has little value other than military might, enthusiasm and mo-embellishing the player’s rale – these are the three constitu-personal performance history. ents of power.” (pg. 625) Results, results and results! Therefore ‘power’, accordingIt is the bottom line for which a to Kautilya, has three constitu-manager is appointed. ents: 1. Intellectual Power (Know-Power ledge) Every person in a high posi- 2. Military/Money Powertion is endorsed with certain 3. Power of Enthusiasm anddecision-making powers. These Morale.executive powers are meant foraccomplishing certain tasks, not 1. Intellectual Powerto be misused for selfish (Knowledge)benefits. In the Arthashastra, the high- When it comes to the leaders est importance is given to intel-of the various nations, the lectual power. It is the powercontrol and power they possess of knowledge. A bright, analyti-is very high. Every manager is cal and sharp mind is alwayslike a leader of his organisation ahead in any chosen field.in his own way. Therefore a Kautilya himself was a giantcorrect understanding of the intellect. Dull people cannot beterm ‘power’ is very essential good leaders. Leaders have tofor him to function and achieve be men who are decision-the expected results. makers. These decisions affect
a large number of people within It is difficult to beat a personand outside the organisation. who has control over these twoTherefore one has to be sharp- factors.witted enough to keep oneself 3. Power of Enthusiasm andupdated with not only what is Moralehappening around, but alsoforesee future events. A highly energetic man is a powerful man. Hitler, though2. Military/Money Power for the wrong reasons, was a passionate speaker. He could Money is a very powerful move the masses with histool. To a great extent, it is oratory. Enthusiasm is highlypower by itself. It has the contagious.capacity to buy men as well as Finally, the most powerfulvarious materials. The military men are the men of moralis perhaps the most powerful strength who are doublyforce in any society. It is well fortified with the strength oftrained as well as well equipped conviction. A simple, yet firmwith various weapons. In the Gandhiji could pull down thecorporate world, these two refer British Empire with his highto the financial strength of the morale and dedication.company and the skilled andefficient workers in its employ-ment. G
Om Chinmaya Sadguravena Maha MANAGEMENT FUNDAMENTALS BASED ON ‘KAUTILYA’S ARTHASHASTRA’ - Radhakrishnan Pillai(This research Paper is based on studies done on the book Kautilya’s Arthashastra, atChinmaya International Foundation (CIF) under the guidance of Dr. Gangadharan Nair.CIF is the Academic wing of Chinmaya Mission, based in Ernakulam, Kerala. Dr.Gangadharan Nair is the Director of Shree Shankara Univeristy of Samskrit, Kalady,Kerala. He has over 36 years of teaching experience in Samskrit and philosophy).IntroductionIn the current corporate and Management scenario, we find a lack of business ethics.Even though modern corporations have developed a basic framework on ‘CorporateGovernance’ it has merely become a piece of yet another document which theManagement signs as another process for the functioning of a company. Even some ofthe top Multinationals have a very well defined Corporate Governance structure.However, the practical application is hardly being noticed. This has become a veryserious problem to be considered when Corporations are becoming the prime movers ofthe society. We need to rework the basic Fundamentals of Management. The currentpaper is based on ‘Kautilya Arthashastra’ written in 4th B.C. by Kautilya, also called asVishnugupta, and popularly known as Chankaya. Various Management Gurus have alsoreferred to him as the world’s first Management Guru.Research Methodology
The current paper is based on the critical edition of Kautilya’s Arthashastra by Dr.Kangle (1972) which was taken as the primary source for this study. Other books andtranslations on the same subject have been used for reference; namely, the works byDr.Shamashatry, Mysore University,(1908)Ganapati Shastry (1924)and by Rangarajan(1992). The complete list of books used in this research is given in the reference section.Apart from the academic interpretation of the subject I felt it was necessary to explore thework’s practical relevance in today’s society, the management world in particular. Theaim is to give a basic framework derived from conceptual level to application level. Forthis purpose during the course of the research I also spent time interacting, learning andsharing his view point with professionals in various fields. I presented my views andpapers at two national level conferences, one in the field of Management, and the other inthe legal field. Interacted with about 20 Management ‘Guru’ and teachers, 2 CEOs, Metup with 3 Chartered accountants and 2 senior Judges, one of the supreme court andanother the High Court of Kerala followed by a a visit to a Law college and meeting withits registrar. I also met up with the Vice Chancellors of two universities of Kerala alongwith their registrars. I interacted with the Governer of Kerala State, the District collectorof Ernakkulam and spent some time with a Member of a Legislative assembly (MLA).During one of the conferences I also had a chance to listen to the Chief Minister ofKerala on ‘ Effective Governance’. I attended a workshop on ‘Character Analysis’ andconducted a workshop, for a group of youngsters on ‘Creative Thinking’. Finally I gave alecture for a group of students of an M.B.A programme on ‘Management Principles fromthe Arthashastra’. On the research front, I also prepared a research paper titled ‘The lifeof Adi Shankara - a Management Lesson’ which gives an ‘ideal’ of an organizationalleader in the context of the Modern Management Gurus.The prime objective of this course of study to find the ‘Truth’, which Dr GangadharanNair, described, should be the solo objective of any research work.
Kautilya’s ArthashastraWe find the roots of Arthashatra in the Rig Veda(Nair.G) . The Arthashastra dealsprimarily with Economics, Politics or Statecraft and Punishments, therefore it is alsocalled as Dandaniti. Arthashastra is a book based on Pure logic, Anveshiki (1.2.1). Mostof our ancient Indian books starts with the invocation of a deity before the writing of abook, in most cases, Ganesha, the Lord who removes obstacles and Saraswati, theGodess of Knowledge. However in this book we find that Kautilya, who is also referredto as Vishnugupta, towards the end of the commentary, begins by invoking Sukracharyaand Brihaspati. “Om Namah Sukrabrihaspatibhyam” Om. Salutations to Sukra and BrihaspatiThere are two important insights we can get from this. The first is that he invokes the twogreat Acharyas (Gurus) of the Asuras and the Devatas. We find in the Puranas that theAsuras and the Devatas were enemies, hence their Gurus would also would have haddifferent view points. This means that, Kautilya has considered both the different viewpoints of the extremes before reaching any decision. Secondly as we proceed we find thatthe book is completely based on logical discussions taking into consideration all differentview points.The Arthashastra totally contains 5363 Sutras, 15 books, 150 chapters, and 180 Sections.The 15 Books contained in the Arthashastra can be classified in the following manner:Book 1, as a book on ‘Fundamentals of Management’, Book 2 dealing with ‘Economics’,Books 3, 4 and 5 on ‘Law’, Books 6, 7, 8 describes Foreign Policies. Books 9 to 14concerns subjects on ‘war’. The 15th book deals with the Methodology and devices usedin writing the Arthashastra.
However, it also needs to be stated that these are general classifications from the writer’sview point. We can learn of areas covered in one book in other books also. For example,we can learn about the Fundamentals of Management from not only Book 1 but also fromBooks 2, 8 and 10.We find that Kautilya describes various specialized sciences in the Arthashastraincluding Gemology, Ayurveda, Architecture etc. What is really interesting to note is thatin this process we come close to the mind of Kautilya who appears before us a ‘mastermind’ who could specialize in so many different areas within one single book.Another interesting revelation is that Kautilya’s Arthashastra is not the firstArthashastra. From a number of quotations and references in later works, we know thatthere were at least four distinct schools and thirteen individual teachers of Arthashastrabefore Kautilya (Rangarajan, pg 16). Throughout the book he gives references of thesevarious acharyas which include Bharadvaja, Visalaksa, Parasara, Pisuna andKaunapadanta among others. The greatness of Kautilya was that he made the principlescontained in his Arthashastra so applicable that probably the previous Arthashatras gotlost with passage of time.. The very reason that this book has come down to ourgeneration after nearly 2000 years shows us that he had really fine tuned each concepts indetailed manner that it survived the test of time. This shows the farsightedness ofKautilya. He has worked on the psychology of the human mind that never changes withtime.This book was written by Kautilya for his disciple king Chandragupta Maurya. Basicallyin this research paper we will limit ourselves to the Management aspects given in theArthashatra.Management aspectsBook 1, ie ‘Concerning the Topic of Training’, is taken as the Fundamentals andFoundations of the Management aspects contained in the Arthashastra. It has 500 sutras,
divided into 21 chapters and 18 sections. As in any Management system, the book startsby defining what areas are going to be covered. Kautilya tells us before hand what isgoing to be taught in the following chapters. He wants the students to be aware what theyare going to learn. This is done by giving a basic structure of the Arthashastra startingwith the Enumeration of Sections and Books and also Enumeration of the Sciences(chapters 1 to 4).The next important aspect concerns, Training. Unlike in today’s Management system ofjust learning in a Business school, Kautilya starts in his more traditional manner oflearning through a Guru-Shisya Paramapara, by learning under knowledgeable andexperienced persons. Hence the following chapter, no 5 is titled ‘Association withElders’. Its very important for us to understand at this point that any knowledge that weneed to gather cannot be learnt just by mere theory. It is gained only by carefulobservations by people who are skilled in that science. This is the concept of Mentorshipthat we observe in today’s corporate scenario.Kautilya, also commonly known as Chankaya, has been generally criticized by manypeople as a very cunning person. Historians have also compared him to Machiavelli, theauthor of ‘The prince’, which contains methods that could seem adharmic or unrighteous.However this comparison may not be justified, as Kautilya gives a lot of stress on SelfControl and proper methods of winning over the enemy. The following chapter 6 titled,‘Control over the senses’, brings out a totally different aspect of Kautilya which manycurrent interpretations of Kautilya’s Arthashatra generally miss. In this chapter heelaborates in 12 sutras the importance of control over the senses by giving up Kama,Krodha, Lobha, Mana, Mada and Harsha i.e., lust, anger, pride, arrogance and fool-hardiness. He also gives various examples of kings who perished, having over indulgedin the senses. Finally in the 12th sutra he concludes by quoting King Jamdagnya andAmarisa who enjoyed the earth for a long time having controlled their senses. Thereforethe first teaching of Kautilya is, To conquer the internal enemies before you conquer theexternal enemies.