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Showing posts from October, 2010


Praising American presidents has not been quite my forte! However, I celebrated Obama’s Presidential victory wholeheartedly (read my editorial in The Sunday Indian, issue dated November 9, 2008) because I almost believed that he held a promise that American presidents in the past have rarely held! He really could have been the change the world was waiting for. Recession had shown its ugly face once more in the greedy capitalist world and Bush had left a near criminal legacy behind. There was no better a time for Obama to prove his worth. But forget bringing the world out of recession, Obama has not even been able to do anything to bring the USA out of recession! Of course, if we were to believe the Nobel Committee and its choice for the Nobel Prize in Economics this year, then there is nothing wrong with the capitalist system and nothing much to be done at all but match the existing unemployment with the existing jobs vacant in various companies! Ludicrous... just like their Peace Priz


ONLY THEN WOULD WE KEEP GETTING GOVERNMENTS TRULY FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE AND OF THE PEOPLE Last December, the state assembly of Gujarat passed a bill to make voting mandatory – that bill is still to see a nod from the Governor. Revisiting the issue, L K Advani and Narendra Modi both recently echoed the viewpoint again and asked the legislation to make voting compulsory in the state, especially after a low turnout rate in the recent civic elections. On an average, the voter turnout rate in Gujarat has been around 50 per cent, while a month back Bihar saw a turnout rate of 43-45 per cent! The recent developments with respect to compulsory voting remind me of an editorial of mine that I wrote way back in 2007 – on allowing voting through SMS! Although I never advocate mandatory voting in a democracy, as that is not logical, what is essential is a larger engagement of the electorate which has been diminishing by the day. In fact, this larger engagement need not be just for a few co


Post liberalization, India has not only witnessed tremendous economic growth, but has also experienced something which was more of a distant dream preliberalization. With stock markets surging northwards, India Inc. has been all set to storm the lists that feature the “-est” of the world, both in terms of scale and scope. Not only did the Indian economy, within a span of less than two decades, touch the trillion dollar mark, but at the same time, India Inc also booked their slots in the Fortune 500 and Forbes lists with unprecedented frequency. However, such entries did not change the attitude of these Indian corporations towards social cause. Unlike the West (and even China, Hong Kong and other Asian countries), Indian billionaires largely kept themselves away from the whole idea of philanthropy. This is quite evident from the fact that in spite of the surging number of billionaires, the fate of our workforces has not changed much. Else, how can one justify India’s Gini coefficient (a


Gandhi has been my favourite for seminars on leadership and management for years! In fact, in the last chapter of my first book Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch, I described him as the ultimate successor of Krishna as a management guru! The reason is simple! To me, there is no greater a management guru than Krishna; and the Gita is my ultimate guide to management! Krishna guides a handful of five brothers to victory against the army of a hundred brothers in the mythological Mahabharata, and in a similar way, Mahatma Gandhi guided us to Independence against all odds! Whether Krishna was true or not is debatable, but Gandhi was for real! And what we all know about Gandhi is that when he died, he said, “Hey Ram, He Ram, He Ram,” – though now even that is debated by various scholars. However, what many of us don’t know about Gandhi is that he used to read the Gita daily and called it the most important guide to success. So what is it about the Mahatma that makes him such a revered fi