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Indian Heritage in Business and

Management- the concepts of Quality,

Economics of Giving and Law of
Dr. P.V. Seshasai Ph.D.,
• Ancient India has been rich both in terms of spiritual and material wealth.
• The philosophy of simple living, high thinking, ensured that ancient India
was relatively free from ecological catastrophes and famines.
• Story of Portuguese invaders visiting India
• India would not have suffered countless invasions resulting in loot and
plunder, had she not been wealthy
• In the first century India contributed 32.9 percent for the world GDP.
• Till early 1800 India and China were the leading contributors for the world
Sreni System
• From 800 BC to 1000 AD Sreni (Guild) system was widely used in
municipal, community and other spheres of Indian society.
• Sreni evolved its own vocabulary, monetary systems, rules and
• Gana (group), pani (sector), poga ( entity), vrata (services), Sangha
(organization) and rigarna (trading) are some of the words denoting
• Karya chintak (managerial leader), sreshthi (managers/traders)
Jetthaka (employees).
• The word Sangha can be associated with Buddhist Prayers.
• Buddham Saranam Gachami, Dharmam Saranam Gachami, Sangham
Saranam Gachami.
• The meaning of the above prayer is , “participation in the activities of
a sangha was meant to channelize an individual towards
• An organization, in its ideal state, has the potential to facilitate the
highest self-growth.
• The scriptures offer guidelines on how ordinary human life can be
channelized to life of purpose also known as Purushartha.
Historical overview of the evolution of the
professional and community practice in
Sl. No. Period Historical Developments

01 7500 BC- 4500 BC No reliable evidence in spite of an advanced civilization

02 4500 BC-1900 BC Extensive and vigorous trade and commerce. Evidence available with
controversy surrounding dates

03 1900 BC-800 BC Sophisticated SRENI system of managerial tradition

04 800 BC-300 BC Inter-Sreni arbitration enacted in Bhandagarika
05 300 BC-100 BC Maurya Dynasty—impetus to corporate entities through the
development of codes, rules and professionalism
Historical overview of the evolution of the
professional and community practice in
Sl. No. Period Historical Developments

06 100 BC- 250 AD Increase in trade and commerce;

Trade with Romans; Structured, governed and regulated business organizations

07 250 AD-550 AD Gupta dynasty encourages rules and regulations to guide managerial systems,
accounting etc.,

08 550 AD-1000 AD Decline in international trade; Disappearance of Sreni Codes

09 1000 AD-1750 AD Islamic influence on the sector ideas of trade and commerce
10 1750 AD-1900 AD British system of corporate organizations introduced.
Purushartha: Goals of life
• According to life sciences every organism goes through physical growth.
• Organism has a life cycle.
• Nature acts as a restraining force for the unrestricted growth.
• Ex: rapid growth of cancer cells, Lion population.
• Hence, nature ensures checks and balances.
• Business world is one segment which is not understanding this law of nature.
• In a race to win competition and become number one, companies will be in a
situation where they have to exploit their respective environment.
• Peter Senge also advised companies to avoid unethical competition.
• According to Hiten, Capitalistic approach will not be able to guide
distributive justice.
• Biblical sins also disapprove these sins.
• However, because of capitalism, there will be a situation where justice
will not reach to people who actually deserve it.
• The negative implications on the society are, competition is created in the
name of gender, class, nativity and everything else.
• According to Indian ethos, wealth generation and distribution should be
guided by 4 goals of life.
• Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha.
Purushartha- Goals of Life


Exploring the quality, in the Indian Context
• In the Indian Context TQM stands for Total Quality of Mind.
• The western thoughts of TQM are oriented towards materialistic
• These models missed out the moral and ethical means of reaching
these goals.
• The TQM approach focuses on areas of improvement rather than on
framing an individual when things go wrong.
• It is a temporary fix it approach
• Edward J. Deming’s (father of quality movement in the modern world) views
on achieving TQM:
1. Transformation of the individual.
2. Transformation is discontinuous
3. It comes from understanding of the system of deep philosophical knowledge.
4. The individual transformed will perceive new meanings to his life, to events
and to interactions with others.
5. Once, individual understands the deep philosophical knowledge, he will
apply these principles in every kind of relationships with both living and non
living things.
6. Then he will transform others by standing as a role model.
7. He will be a good listener/sympathetic but not weak.
8. Continually teach others
9. Help people to overcome from their problems.
10. Pulls them into the new philosophy without a feeling of guilt about the
11. Profits are by products of offering good products and services to the
12. “Most important things cannot be measured and most important things
are unknown or unknowable”.
• These two observations are closer to the philosophy of ‘detached
involvement’, where the individual focuses on the action and not on
• These days in modern business concept of ‘appreciative enquiry’ is
becoming more and more popular which is opposite to problem
solving approach.
• Detachment involvement contribute to the ‘quality of work-life’
thereby increasing the effectiveness of TQM , appreciative enquiry
and Kaizen.
Attributes of detached involvement and
attached involvement
Detachment Involvement Attached involvement
• Psychological energy conservation • Psychological energy burnout
• Reactionless actions • Reactionful actions
• Inner autonomy- Self efficiency, • Dependence on external anchors-
abundance mentality comparison- lack mentality
• Be in the world, but not of it • Be in the world and also of it
• Work commitment • Reward commit
• Life enrichment • Job enrichment
• Work is an offering to divine • Competitive rivalry
• A production philosophy oriented in Indian ethos is aimed at creating
a product/service that provides the consumer with the maximum
• It should be produced with least amount of resources, reducing the
waste to the maximum and rendering least harm to the environment.
• Consumption philosophy should be oriented towards the
consumption of only those that was needed.
• People should understand the importance of environmental
Concept of Cradle to Cradle
• It is a bio-metric approach popularised by Michel Braungart from Germany and William
McDonough from US.
• It is an approach to the design of systems, materials involved in industrial/commercial
production are viewed as nutrients circulating healthy and safe metabolism.
• This phrase was coined by Water R. Stahel in 1970s.
• C2C model aims to eliminate dangerous materials like heavy metals, harmful chemicals
etc., in the manufacturing process of products.
• Non-toxic, Non-harmful effects on the natural environment fall in the category of
technical nutrients; they can be reused. A kind of effective waste management practice.
• Ex: Redesign of Ford River Rouge Complex,
• Cow- how it can convert Nikrustha to Utkrustha.
The Economics of giving
• The concept can be well understood with the
following two sayings
1. Bhishma’s advice to Yudhisthira in
2. Arthur brook’s opinions expressed in the
article in Portfolio 2007 issue.
• The Concept of Shubh Laabh
• Laabh is similar to Loabh.
• Effect of loabh on an Individual’s and
Organization’s life according to Law of Karma
• Concept of Udyog: Udyog takes one to Yoga.
• The concept of “use of wealth of a place of
worship for a greater common good”
• Out of the five activities which are to be regularly practiced
in a temple two are more important (Jnana daanam and
Anna daanam)
• Kochi King’s example.
• N.S. Raghva (former joint managing director of Infosys) -- the
concept of Giving
• All religions speak about tendencies (ShadRipus) that
misdirect man from his innate sense of perfection.
• According to Hindu Scriptures
• Kama, krodha, lobha, moha (delusion), mada, matsarya- known as
asuri sampada
• According to Christian Tradition- The seven cardinal sins
• Lust, gluttony (excess greed), greed, sloth (laziness), wrath, envy and
• According to Buddhist Philosophy 17 mental defilements.
• Video on root causes of 17 mental defilements
17 Defilements (Violations)
• abhijjha-visama-lobha: covetousness and unrighteous greed
• byapada: ill will
• kodha: anger
• upanaha: hostility or malice
• makkha: denigration or detraction; contempt
• palasa: domineering or presumption
• issa: envy
• macchariya: jealousy, or avarice; selfishness
• maya: hypocrisy or deceit
• satheyya: fraud
• thambha: obstinacy, obduracy (Stubbornness)
• sarambha: presumption or rivalry; impetuosity or impulsiveness
• mana: conceit (Self-importance)
• atimana: arrogance, haughtiness
• mada: vanity or pride
• pamada: negligence or heedlessness; in social behaviour, this leads to
lack of consideration.
Law of Karma

• In Sanskrit Karma means action or deed.

• All religions believe that our actions are
responsible for the experiences we undergo
in the present as well as in the future.
• “As you sow, so shall you reap”(Bible)
• As per Sanatana Dharma there are three types of Karma.
• 1. Sanchita Karma 2. Aagami Karma 3. Prarbdha Karma
• Ex: Storage of water in a desert.
• If one tries to follow Satwik life, one can change his Sanchita Karma.
• The Law of Karma ensures accountability.
• An individual is responsible for whatever is happening to him.
• While Law of Karma holds us accountable for our past doings, it also
gives us an opportunity shape our future.
• VIDEOS ON Karma: Jaggi Vasudev, Rajan and others
Key points
• Quality in the products and services offered to the objective world
will be ensured only when quality is there in the minds of the people.
• Quality, as it relates to organizational performance is not just related
to products or services but is rather a multi-faceted concept wherein
all the resources and processes are intertwined.
• An emotionally and spiritually intelligent organization recognizes that
quality management is a holistic concept, which stimulates
commitment, integrity, work-life balance, individual and
organizational learning which leads to sustainable performance
improvement and quality enhancement for the entire organization.