When Ram Rajya was established, everything was going right for the Gods and Brahma felt it is time for Lord Vishnu to return back to his abode. He informed Rama that his time has come to return to Vaikunta and approached Yama raja to bring him back. The truth is every human being has to die one day even if it is Gods incarnation. Yama raja tried many times but was not able to reach Ram and take away his life because Hanuman guarded Ram’s life. Rama understood the problem Yama raja was facing and decided to trick Hanuman. He dropped his ring that fell into a crack in the floor and then requested Hanuman to go and fetch it.

Hanuman could change his large body into as small as a fly. So he jumped into crack. He followed the crack until he reached patal-loka(Nether world) where he was greeted by Vasuki, king of snakes. Vasuki knew the secret of life and death and also knew that one day a ring will fall and a monkey will follow the ring.

He asked Hanuman what was he looking for? Hanuman replied, I am hanuman and I am looking for Ram’s ring. Vasuki said, come with me I will give you ring. He took Hanuman to a room full of Ram’s rings. And asked him to take anyone. Hanuman was surprised and asked him how can there be so many rings? He replied each ring represent one kal chakra. In every chakra, there is a treta-yuga in which there is a Ram and a Hanuman. Every time Ram will drop his ring and a monkey will come to patal loka searching for his ring. By the time monkey returns back to earth Ram is gone. Hanuman the scholar understood the kal-chakra and he let go his dear God.

But we, the normal human beings do not let GO our desires and feelings!

Every political leader or Chief Executive of a company feels that their country or company will be in turmoil if they leave the position. And therefore cling on to it for ever. As if there will never be another leader of their qualities, capabilities and vision. History says otherwise as new leaders with different perspective and thought process emerge and take the country/company to new heights. Once you complete the assigned/promised task or time, step down and move aside so that new leadership can emerge and take it to the next level.

As per Hindu scriptures, there are four Asramas (stages) in our life. Up to the age of 25, it is Brahmacharya the student phase of life. In this Asrama, one is supposed to acquire knowledge from his teacher and to remain celibate. Next is Grihasthashrama, the stage of life when the person is married and has to fulfil all his duties towards his wife, children, father, and mother. This could be up to the age of 50 or 60. Vanaprastha (retired life) is the retirement stage, where a person progressively hands over household responsibilities to the next generation, takes an advisory role, and gradually withdraw from the world. Above 70 years is the Sanyasa Asrama (renounced life) and it is marked by renunciation of material desires and prejudices, represented by a state of disinterest and detachment from material life, focussed on Moksha, peace and simple spiritual life.

But in India, the land of spirituality, we find people clinging on to positions of power and privileges even after crossing the age of Ninety! New generation should challenge this and bring a perspective change to the society by bringing in old values as mentioned earlier in scriptures.

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises; he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so”. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Indeed, Customers are the lifeblood of any organization. Many organizations include Customer satisfaction as their motto but how many of them live that is a question. Equally important is to realize that a satisfied customer may not be a loyal customer, at best, they are neutral. What we should try to achieve is to create loyal customer and only a delighted customer is loyal customer. Only when you exceed the expectations of the customers they become loyal and customer expectations keeps increasing based on demands on their jobs and support experience from other suppliers including but not limited to your competitors. Typically, what do the customers expect? They expect services that are Excellent, Effortless, less expensive and hassle free besides products that are of good quality, reliability and performance that helps them improve their productivity and performance.

Product differentiation is diminishing with technological advances and price difference is narrowing with operational excellence. What can differentiate your organization with competitors is your customer support. Today’s customers are not only looking for superior product and technology at competitive prices but unforgettable service that makes them successful and confident. Customers will soon forget the price and the initial problems they encountered in getting the product fully functional but they will always remember how you treated them when they had a problem and needed urgent support from you. Any customer that walks away, disrespected and defeated represents thousands of dollars’ worth lost business, in addition to the failure of a promise the brand made in the first place.

There are only three ways to organically grow the business. Increase the number of customers, Increase the average value of a sale per customer and Increase the frequency of purchase. Besides good products, the only way to achieve these objectives are by providing legendary support and creating loyal customers who give repeat business. In today’s declining economy and highly competitive market when business and margins are constantly on the decline the best option for companies to survive is to focus on the service business as well. There are many advantages on this approach.

  • Stable revenue streams that smooths out cyclical system business.
  • Better margins than system business.
  • Excellent service is a competitive differentiation and advantage.
  • Customer loyalty and repeat business.

Excellent Customer support provides a critical competitive advantage in today’s increasingly competitive and commoditized marketplace. Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Superior Support wins the game. However, Customer expectations are constantly on the rise and companies are finding it challenging to meet those expectations. In the analytical industry, if you are selling high value product, your customers expect lifelong free service and instant resolution to any problem by faster response time and minimum downtime. Whereas most companies are trying very hard to increase their service revenues as their margins in system sales is declining constantly. What are the options?

  • Value added services – Analyse the challenges of your customers and you will find many avenues to create a special service to earn revenue. In the Indian context, some examples are
    • Training and development – as attrition rates are extremely high and business growth is generally in double digits, addition of new work force is a continuous process and to be productive they need training.
    • Validation and regulatory support – If your customer base includes pharmaceutical customers, they may need such a support from your organization.
  • Service contracts – you could offer comprehensive service contract with all spare parts covered and a higher version of the same that includes consumable parts as well.
  • Besides installation, OQ/IQ/PQ services, you can also offer disposal services at the end of the life of the system. In between upgradation/modernization, firmware and software upgrades, etc. could be offered at specific cost.
  • Routine maintenance with health check-up of the system could be planned at pre-determined intervals.

Customer service means anything that touches a customer―directly or indirectly and it is so much more than just solving problems or addressing complaints. Every interaction with your company, whether offline or online, is another opportunity for your customers to determine if you are exceptional or not, which ultimately decides your business success and growth.

What steps are to be taken to ensure that your organization is ready to provide legendary support to your customers?

  • Good strategy, excellent execution and focus make any organization successful. If you want superior customer service as the main differentiator, create a strategy and vision to promote and support that process.
  • Create a customer oriented mission statement and brand image and ensure all the employees ‘live the brand’. Employees from top to bottom must walk the talk of the brand promise. Managers are responsible for enforcing this, but more importantly, for leading by example.
  • Train your front line employees, your ‘Brand ambassadors’, who meet your current and potential customers every day. It is said that technical competence contributes only 50% to the customer satisfaction but equally important is customer management skills. Most companies focus on providing technical training but only few focuses on preparing them for customer management skills.
  • Create meaningful service metrics and monitoring mechanism with action plans to make instant corrections when deviations are detected. Obtain regular feedback from customers as well as service delivery team and initiate corrective actions on the most critical and common issues.

We often equate giving good service with creating customer satisfaction. However, excellence in customer service is about creating customer loyalty. Knowing the difference between satisfaction and loyalty is the first step in developing customer focused excellence in your organization. If you have acquired customers by offering lower price, the relationship is only transactional and they will leave when someone else offers a better price. If customers have joined you because of superior support and value addition, these will remain loyal, and buy more from you in future.

KV Venugopalan

If you want to know how good your company’s products are, attend your competitor’s sales meeting. And if you want to know how bad is their product attend their Support Executives meeting. And this behaviour is universal. Why?

Those at the senior management level might say that we are our worst critic and such unique behaviour is essential for development. If objective self-assessment is the purpose, I am in full agreement; however, the real fact is entirely different. In real life self-deprecate something is to belittle it or downgrade it. That is, to reduce its perceived status, importance, and value.

Every Marketing or Sales person must know that their job is to sell whatever products that are available in their sales desk. Efforts should be made to find ways and means, positioning strategies and market opportunities to maximise their business. Instead, a major part of the sales meeting time is wasted in praising the competitors’ products and criticising our own products. Since this behaviour is universal, we must go deeper into the causes and suggest alternate solutions to optimise the meeting time to make it productive.

What are the possible causes of such behaviour?

  1. A genuine self-assessment to understand our strengths, weaknesses, and that of our competitors so that marketing and sales strategy could be fine-tuned accordingly.
  2. An insurance policy for the sales team, in case they fail to meet their sales budget. A maladaptive strategy to protect the self.
  3. A constant fear and sense of insecurity
  4. Standard cry of those who blame everything else other than themselves when things go wrong in their life.
  5. Refusing to admit that they are responsible: Some people cannot admit failures and mistakes so they blame others for them in order to escape from the responsibility.

Such behaviour is seen at individual level also. While it is acceptable to be humble, stretching it too far becomes self-deprecating and is considered a negative attribute. People with self-deprecating behaviour often compares themselves with others and feel inadequate and ashamed of themselves. Depression is a possible outcome.

How to overcome such thoughts and behaviour so that every one of us becomes confident and proud of ourselves. There is a very important stanza in Bhagavad Gita that explains this behaviour

uddhared atmanatmanam, natmanam avasadayet

atmaiva hy atmano bandhur, atmaiva ripur atmanah

bandhur atmatmanas tasya, yenatmaivatmana jitah

anatmanas tu satrutve, vartetatmaiva satru-vat

A man must elevate himself by his own mind, not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well. For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his very mind will be the greatest enemy.

What happens in organizations? If you do not get the expected promotion or salary increment, you blame others, your boss, your colleagues or the organization itself for its policies and everything else. But never yourselves! There is a proverb, which says that, “A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on its wings. Always believe in yourself….”. Generally, people feel inadequate, doubtful and afraid and look outside for support to achieve things or positions in their life. That is a wishful thinking. There is only one person responsible for your growth or downfall. That is yourself.

So how do we elevate ourselves and be our best friend as the Gita says. Here are some of my tips.

  1. Have confidence in yourself. We are all unique in our own ways and have our destiny to achieve. Do not compare with others or try to do what others do. Find your own path and reach your destined destination.
  2. Success is first achieved in our minds. Plan, prepare and work hard towards achieving your success. If you do not know where to go and what to do, start with reading books. There are plenty of very useful books such as Success through Positive Mental Attitude, Think and Grow Rich, 7 Habits of Highly effective people, The Power of Positive Thinking, Who moved my cheese, Eat that Frog, etc.
  3. Work hard to achieve Technical knowledge and expertise, Professional skills and positive attitude, attributes essential for success.  
  4. Practice self-discipline. Waking up early, regular exercise, proper meals and rest, meditation, etc. helps you keep both physically and mentally fit.
  5. Keep on improving every day. Find your weak points and work hard to eliminate those. Seek regular feedback from people who matter or a mentor, coach.
  6. Set big goals and stay focused.
  7. Energy, enthusiasm, inspiration and perspiration. These are essential for success.
  8. Develop good habits, eliminate bad habits and practice time management.
  9. Celebrate success.

You are unique and be proud of yourself!

Indian analytical industry is passing through another difficult phase currently and most companies are struggling to meet their budget and expectations of the stakeholders. How do you ensure that the impact of business slowdown is minimum for your company?

In their book ‘The Discipline of Market Leaders‘ M. Treacy and F. Wiersema argue that no company can succeed today by trying to be all things to all people. It must instead find the unique value that it alone can deliver to a chosen market. These three value disciplines are Operational Excellence, Product Leadership and Customer Intimacy. Different customers buy different kinds of value. Some customer segments appreciate low prices, while others want the most superior and innovative products. Some customers expect the best of the best customer service, while others want to be able to get quickly a reliable product and support without much hassle. It is therefore important to clearly choose your customer and narrow the value you want to focus on. Market leaders choose to excel in delivering extraordinary levels of one particular value while maintaining a threshold standard on other dimensions of value.

While companies pursuing operational excellence concentrate on making their operations lean and efficient, those pursuing a strategy of customer intimacy continuously tailor their products and services to meet every possible expectations of the customer. Companies that pursue product leadership strive to produce a continuous stream of state-of-the-art products and services. Expected outcome of these individual strategies is lower price, superior service and technological leadership respectively. While every company should strive to excel in any one discipline keeping the other two at or above industry standard, no company can or try to excel in all the three discipline, as they are not always complimentary. What should the analytical companies in India should focus on?

Ninety percent of the top end analytical instruments are imported into India, as we have not developed the technological expertise or infrastructure to achieve self-sufficiency in one of the critical element of our scientific backbone and economy. Nine out of the top ten suppliers are subsidiaries of multinational companies who must follow their global corporate guidelines for sales and support. What must these and other companies must focus on to be successful?

Among the three disciplines we discussed earlier, Indian subsidiaries of the multinational companies have no direct role in product design and development. They may give suggestions but must always focus on selling what is available at the company’s platform. Neither they have much influence over achieving operational excellence except for fine-tuning the local field operations and improve efficiency. However, the one discipline they have control and must excel is Customer intimacy, even if that may not be the global corporate focus. Why is it critical?

What are the expectations of an Indian customer? Essentially, she is looking for superior Product with adequate Performance, excellent Reliability, reliable Quality and good Productivity. Support should be Excellent, Effortless, less expensive and hassle free. Systems should be priced as low as possible so that they can compete in the world markets with their products. Customer Expectations keeps rising with demands on their jobs and based on services they receive from competitors or other vendors with whom they are interacting at a professional or personal level. Another important reason why Indian companies should focus on providing superior support is that there is lack of reliable, experienced and trustworthy third party service providers unlike in many other industries such as consumer durables, home appliances or computers. No engineering college teaches high-end analytical instruments such as Chromatography, Mass spectrometry, NMR, etc. Therefore, supplier companies usually hire fresh engineers and train them for a long time on their products and technologies to make them competent and productive. Only those companies who can meet these expectations can sustain their operations and grow their business year after year. While it may not be always possible to meet the expectations in terms of price that would be more than overcome but even compelling for your customers to always come back to you for the quality and reliability of the support. Price is critical only at the time of purchase but quality and reliable of your support remains visible and important to the users throughout the lifetime of the equipment. If you can provide that kind of total support and get your customers’ total trust, you ensure your success today and tomorrow.

Another important factor that companies must focus on is the long-term value of retaining customers. A loyal customer is the biggest asset of any company and only a delighted customer is loyal customer. While most companies focus on achieving customer satisfaction by meeting their expectations, to make a customer delighted you must exceed their expectations and set new benchmark for support every day. Therefore let customer success be your mantra for success.


In our society or in organizations you will find two categories of people, thinkers and doers. Thinkers realize what is right and wrong and have a sense of rationality. They also tend to be excellent planners. Whereas doers are action oriented and excellent in execution. Generally it is difficult to find a thinker who is doer or vice versa. Only when both these qualities reside in one person, progress happens with equality and justice.

A Professor of Management could be a thinker who can teach great theories but not necessarily execute those theories into practice and make a team and company successful. Even in organizations a thinker could at times paralyze day to day operation due to continuous analysis. At the same time creative ideas can only be generated by thinkers, which absolutely crucial for continued success in a highly competitive environment. Thinkers are open to new ideas, new concepts and are constantly trying to improve or change the way things are done. They are willing to experiment and change and try new things, new processes, invent new products or services. Doers are the people who get things done. They prefer an efficient, optimized process and don’t appreciate tinkering with the process or with people who introduce a lot of change. Doers don’t like change as change is disruptive to the existing norms and processes. Clearly every society and organization needs both “Thinkers” and “Doers” and people who can be the bridge between the two camps. A firm composed completely of Thinkers is basically a research lab or a think tank, while a firm composed completely of “Doers” is ideal for military at the junior ranks and not evolving business. We need both of these skill sets to be effective in any operation.

At the national level, we had the planning commission, who are great ‘thinkers’, but if the commission consists mainly of academics and scientists, their plans may not be suitable at the ground level for implementation. In fact ministries responsible for implementation, hates planning commission because many plans are un-implementable. That is the difference between ‘birds eye view’ and ‘worms eye view’. At 30,000 feet above the ground, the bird can see complete picture and give directions to the ground team in which way they must proceed to reach the destination successfully. However they may not see the real obstacles that are on the ground that inhibits implementation. Hence one need both bird’s eye view and worm’s eye view to make a great plan that would be successful.



Sama, Dana, Bheda, Danda, Maya, Upeksha and Indrajala are the seven techniques used by Kings to rule their Kingdoms. This is a political methodology to approach a given situation. Start with conciliation or gentle persuasion (Sama). If that does not help, offer money/material wealth (Dana). If that still does not change the status quo, use threat or cause dissension (Bheda). Use punishment or violence (Danda) to resolve the situation where the previous three fail. Use of illusions or deceit (Maya), deliberately ignoring people (Upeksha), use of jugglery (Indrajala) are also suggested to resolve any situation.

1) Sama – It is the best means to attract and convert others to one’s side. It consists in winning people with sweet words and looks. People who are friendly by temperament and straightforward may be brought round by Sama. ‘Sama’ can be deployed in four ways.

1. Praising the merits: This can be done by flattering a person on the basis of his personal qualities, occupation, good nature, learning or wealth.

2. Linkage: Emphasizing relationship with the concerned person.

3. Mutual benefits: Explaining how solving the conflict can benefit the two parties.

4. Awards and honors: To award an internal enemy and give him honors to tame his warring tendency.

2) Dana – There are five kinds or varieties of dana (gift) viz. pritidana, dravyadana, svayarhgraha, deya and pratimoksa. If a person gets help from another and acknowledges help by reward that reward is called pritidana. The miser and the poor should be brought round by pritidana. Military captains, heroes and citizens should be won over by this dana. Those who fall at feet should be honoured by dana. The gifts can be of many kinds: giving up demand on what is owed, return something received, donate something, allowing to keep something from the enemy, etc. are some of them.

3) Bheda – Bhedopaya is of three kinds: to destroy or end the friendship between people, to create dissension and to make the parties quarrel with each other. First step is to identify the persons who can be influenced by this technique. He who is falsely criticized, he who has been invited to come and then insulted, the angry one, the unreasonably forsaken one, he who harbors hatred in his mind, he who has not been respected though deserving of respect, etc. are some of the kind of people one can influence to create dissention in the enemy camp. 

4) Danda – Dandopaya is of three kinds, viz, killing, denuding of wealth, and inflicting pain on the body or torture. Danda has two other forms, prakasa (open) and aprakasa (secret). Those who have become objects of hatred to all people should be subjected to ‘prakasa’ danda. People, whose killing the world will detest, should not be killed openly, but only secretly. The King, who possesses the three powers (of wealth, army and people’s support) and is fully conscious of the time and environmental factors should annihilate enemies by the instrument of danda. Evil people should be defeated by danda itself.

5) Maya – Maya means practicing deception by magic or other yogic powers. The powers can be acquired by practice. People who employ this go about at night in various disguises. They disguise themselves as beautiful women or even as animals. They also deceive people by creating illusions of clouds, fire or lightning. For instance, Bhima killed Kicaka by going to him in the guise of a woman.

6) Upeksa – Not to dissuade people who indulge in unjustifiable grief, war etc. is the principal aim of the upaya called upeksa

7) Indrajalopaya (magic) – To scare the enemy is the aim of lndrajala.  By magic one can create illusions of clouds, darkness, rain, fire, etc. in order to instil fear among troops of the enemy etc.

Successful Managers and Sales persons employ these techniques every day in their life. Personal and organizational success hinges on how well you persuade people to willingly follow your directions. Your boss may give you specific powers, but execution and results come from successfully influencing others. Most of us try to persuade by using our best arguments, best data, logical flow charts and rationality to generate the thinking, decisions and actions we seek. But science says that most decisions are emotional.

Every leader or manager depends on getting things done through others. Let us evaluate how we can apply the principle of ‘Saptopaya’ (7 techniques) in our day to day life.

Sama – Winning people with motivational and sweet words, showing the benefit of doing things in a particular way, skill development training, counselling, etc. are all part of Sama technique.

Dana – Incentive schemes are a great motivator for superior performance. Higher increments, promotion, awards and rewards are all techniques employed by organizations to persuade employees achieve higher performance in their organizations.

Bheda – differentiating people based on performance and behavior is very common in organizations. High performers are given more financial rewards, faster promotions, better performance ratings and rankings in during annual performance reviews and included in select clubs etc. to differentiate them from average or below performers.

Danda – warning letters, salary cuts, demotions and finally terminations are some of the method employed by Managers.

These four methods are the most popular ones. Maya is employing deception. Making calls to your offices to check how people are responding, visiting incognito to stores or offices to gauge employee performance and response, etc. are part of Maya. Ignoring people by not wishing them, not inviting them for company meetings, not copying them on important internal communications, etc. are some kind of Upeksa.

An outstanding sales person also employs these techniques every day. Can you think of few instances and respond to this article?


We make hundreds decisions every day. Decision making is a process of making choices with the available options and information. Whether they are routine in nature or those impact ours and others life, making good decisions takes time, practice and conscious thought. Your knowledge and ability to make sound judgment pays a vital role in good decisions.  It is critically important that we evaluate all options before taking actions on important matters in life. I usually follow the 4Dprinciple, Do, Delay, Delegate or Dump, but the crux is in deciding which one to do, delay or delegate. Certain decisions in life or business are good to delay particularly in a fast changing environment. Here is a story from Mahabharata.

Chirakari is the son of Gautama Maharishi. He used to think deeply before doing any deed and so he earned the name Chirakari. Once when Gautama was away from the ashram Indra came there as a guest. Considering it as her duty to treat a guest of her husband properly during his absence Ahalya received him well and gave him fruit to ease his tiredness. Indra went back. Gautama on knowing this on his return suspected the chastity of his wife and calling his son Chirakari to his side asked him to cut off her head. After giving the order Gautama went to the forests.

Chirakari had a peculiar nature. He will ponder over things deeply before taking any action. He knew he must obey the orders of his father but killing one’s own mother was a greater sin than disobeying a father. In obedience to his father’s order Chirakari came before his mother, weapon in hand. He did not kill her immediately but pondered over the consequences of the deed. How shall I obey the command of my Father and Guru and yet how avoid slaying my mother? How shall I avoid sinking, like a wicked person, into sin in this situation in which contradictory obligations are dragging me into opposite directions? Matricide is a great sin, he mused, and then again, who would be there to look after father if mother died.  Weighing the merits and demerits of the act Chirakari sat thinking without doing anything.

Gautama when he reached the forest thought again about Ahalya and her crime. After all what has she done? A guest came to the ashram and as duty-bound she welcomed him. It was indeed a great sin to have killed her by her own son. Immersed in thoughts of this kind, sad and repentant, Gautama returned to the ashram to find Chirakari sitting silently deeply engrossed in thoughts. On seeing his father Chirakari was perplexed and he explained to his father about the good and bad effects of his order. Gautama was pleased to see his wife alive and blessed Chirakari with long life. He also made these comments “One that reflects long before he acts is certainly possessed of great intelligence. Such a man never offends in respect of any act.  Though the clamor of being an idle man may stick to him or may be regarded as a foolish person, it is only by those who lack better understanding and foresight of situations and life.

Decision Making Process

Generally in a business environment all our decisions are guided and governed by objectives and goals set to be achieved in a given time frame. There are many different methods of decision making, but planning and preparations are essential to ensure that you make the right decisions most of the time.

  • Define the problem – correct diagnosis of the problem is essential to identify and administer the perfect solution. If diagnosis is wrong, treatment goes awry and the patient can die. Identifying the cause of the problem can also help us choose the right solution easily.
  • Develop the alternatives – decision making is choosing between alternatives and therefore we should develop as many alternatives as possible. Brain storming is a technique usually employed by organizations to get variety of options to choose from. Not doing anything is also a decision, provided you have developed and evaluated many alternatives and found this is the best option.
  • Evaluate the alternatives – There are many scientific methods employed to evaluate alternate decisions such as T-chart, PMI (plus, minus, interesting propagated by Edward De Bano), Buridan’s Ass, decision matrix, etc. Use the best and most suitable method for your particular situation. At the same time it is critically important that one should not fall in the trap of “paralysis by analysis”. As a leader your knowledge about the situation and potential impact of the decision should help to take decision in a time bound manner to avoid the pitfalls of delayed decisions when the real requirement was quick decision. 
  • Make and implement the decision. Once any decision is implemented it is also important that you constantly check the progress and make corrections on the way as required.

Where we are today is based on all those decisions that we have taken throughout our lives. Which school to study, what subject to specialize, which career to choose and whom to marry, etc., are all our decisions taken after careful considerations.  It is possible that all our decisions are not perfect, but what matters in this world where law of averages prevail, is that we make more good choices than bad. Louis Pasteur once said, “Chance favours the prepared mind.” Indeed, the prepared mind of an effective leader thinks carefully and searches constantly for the opportunity to learn from past successes and failures, and then improves the way he goes about making crucial choices in the future.



1. He is the best of kings who has wisdom, who is possessed of liberality, who is ready to take advantage of the slackness of foes, who has agreeable features, who is prompt in action, who has his anger under control, who is not vindictive, who is high-minded, who is not hot tempered by disposition, who is not given to boasting, and who vigorously completes all works commenced by him.

Good managers are essential to any successful organization. Good managers attract exceptional staff; they make the organization a preferred employer; they help to increase market share; add to profits and surpluses, and reduce costs. Their staff are engaged, committed and ‘go the extra mile’. What are the attributes of a good manager? Trustworthy -Trust is the basis of all relationships. People want a leader they can trust to keep their word, to back them up in times of crisis and take the lead under good or bad circumstances. Decisive – There are no certainties in life but a good leader must have the foresight and wisdom to make educated and informed decisions. A good manager is good at managing people, they considerate, thoughtful, caring, decisive, kind, mature, modest and coach their staff and counsel those who need it.

2. If the king happens to be always forgiving, the lowest of persons prevails over him, even as the driver who sits on the head of the elephant he guides. The king, therefore, should not always be mild. Nor should he always be fierce. He should be like the vernal Sun, neither cold nor so hot as to produce perspiration.

A manager must be tolerant with people and processes and must listen and check before making judgments and acting. However extreme tolerance and forgiving could be seen as a weakness that could result in employees disrespecting the manager and thereby lowering the performance of the organization.

3. If the king becomes mild and mingles too freely with his subjects they begin to disregard him. They forget their own position and most truly transcend that of the master. Ordered to do a thing, they hesitate, and divulge the master’s secrets. They ask for things that should not be asked for, and take the food that is intended for the master. They even seek to predominate over the king, and accepting bribes and practicing deceit, obstruct the business of the state. They become so shameless as to indulge in belching and the like, and expectorate in the very presence of their master, and they do not fear to even speak of him with levity before others.

There is a saying in the scriptures “A Brahmin should be respected for his “Kshama” (patience), a Kshatriya for his power, a Vaisya for his wealth and a Shudra for his age”.  A Manager is essentially a combination of Kshatriya and Vaisya and should have the power and money to be respected by others in the organization. And power must be exercised when required while ensuring that excess use of power could also lead to exodus of good staff from the team. Not exercising the power when required is worse than over exercising.

4. The selection of honest men (for the discharge of administrative functions), heroism, skill, and cleverness (in the transaction of business), truth, seeking the good of the people, producing discord and disunion among the enemy by fair or unfair means, never abandoning the honest, granting employment and protection to persons of respectable birth,  companionship with persons of intelligence, always gratifying the soldiery, supervision over the subjects, steadiness in the transaction of business, filling the treasury, absence of blind confidence on the guards of the city, producing disloyalty among the citizens of a hostile town, carefully looking after the friends and allies living in the midst of the enemy’s country, strictly watching the servants and officers of the state, personal observation of the city, readiness for action, never disregarding an enemy, and casting off those that are wicked. The king, even if possessed of strength, should not disregard a foe, however weak.

To lead an organization successfully a Manager must achieve the following

  • Attract and retain the best talent in the team. A Manager is as good as his team.
  • Key members of the team must be action oriented, with excellent business acumen and other skills necessary for them to excel in their respective functions.
  • Keen understanding about the market and competitors strategy is essential to drive your company’s strategic plans and ensure success.
  • Industrial espionage is rampant these days and therefore always keep an eye on your employees while creating discord and disillusionment in the competitors camp.

Raj Dharma vs. Adhikari Dharma – Part 1

Duties and Responsibilities of a King and how it compares that with a modern day Senior Manager (reference from Mahabharata – advices from Bhisma to Yudhishthira).

In the “Mahabharata” Santiparva, Bhishma Pitamaha gave advice to the newly crowned King Yudhishthira about the responsibilities of a good king. Given below are some of the extracts of that talk and how it is relevant even today and can be applied in Managers day to day affairs. 

1. The happiness of their subjects, observance of truth, and sincerity of behavior are the eternal duty of kings. If the king becomes possessed of prowess, truthful in speech, and forgiving in temper, he would never fall away from prosperity. With soul cleansed of vices, the king should be able to govern his anger, and all his conclusions should be conformable to the scriptures. He should also always pursue morality and profit and pleasure and salvation (judiciously).

Manager – Employees are the most important resources for any organization. Motivated, committed, loyal and hardworking employees keep the organization always successful and ahead of competitors. It is indeed the Managers responsibility to take good care of the employees and keep them motivated by leading from front.

2. Readiness for exertion in kings is the root of kingly duties. The hero of exertion is superior to the heroes of speech. The heroes of speech gratify and worship the heroes of exertion. The king that is destitute of exertion, even if possessed of intelligence, is always overcome by foes like a snake that is bereft of poison. That king is not worth of praise who, is destitute of exertion.

Manager – Action orientation is an essential trait of any Manager.  Those who are members of the NATO club (No Action Talk Only) never achieve anything irrespective of their qualification and experience. 

3. It is the eternal duty of kings to prevent a confusion of duties in respect of the different orders. The king should not repose confidence (on others than his own servants), nor should he repose full confidence (on even his servants). These six persons should be avoided like a leaky boat on the sea, viz., a preceptor that does not speak, a priest that has not studied the scriptures, a king that does not grant protection, a wife that utters what is disagreeable, a cow-herd that likes to rove within the village, and a barber that is desirous of going to the woods.

Manager – It is essential that a Manager appoints the right person for the job and ensure they are performing their assigned duties and responsibilities to its fullest potential. He must identify those who are non-performers or whaling away their time in their desks and eliminate them without delay to ensure that motivation levels of those who are high performers are not affected.

4. The king should administer justice like Yama and amass wealth like Kubera. He should firmly follow the behavior of the righteous and, therefore, observe that behavior carefully. If the king is not wrathful, if he is not addicted to evil practices and not severe in his punishments, if he succeeds in keeping his passions under control, he then becomes an object of confidence unto all like the Himalaya mountains (unto all creatures).

Manager – Nepotism and favoritism must be avoided at all costs in an organization by the Manager. Such behavior only creates divide and increased politicking that severely impacts performance. Performance review must be conducted professionally and rewards, awards and compensation decided purely on merits and achievements. Anger is the biggest enemy and therefore a Manager must remain cool and composed displaying highest levels of maturity and compassion.

5. The king desirous of obtaining prosperity should always bind to his service men that are brave, devoted, incapable of being deceived by foes, well-born, healthy, well-behaved, and connected with families that are well-behaved, respectable, never inclined to insult others, conversant with all the sciences, possessing a knowledge of the world and its affairs, unmindful of the future state of existence, always observant of their duties, honest, and steadfast like mountains.  That king, however, who is of righteous behavior and who is ever engaged in attracting the hearts of his people, never sinks when attacked by foes.

Manager – The greatest potentials for the growth of any company are generated by a commitment to high corporate values.  Values raise the quality of corporate energies and elevate work to a higher level. Whatever be your job, when you add values to it, you will see Prosperity in abundance. Honesty, integrity, truthfulness, fairness, and justice are higher values. Punctuality, politeness, pleasantness, proper record keeping, orderliness, soft speech, cleanliness, accuracy, precision, workmanship, and thoroughness are physical values. Irrespective of your job, position and place, add values to your work. Go on adding them in quantity and quality. You will reach the heaven of Prosperity.