It has now been proved that India is the fastest growing major economy in the world. And who are propelling this growth? All individuals, firms and companies in agriculture, manufacturing and service sectors.
All firms and companies develop their strategies and plans to grow with profit, e.g.
1. Product enrichment and diversification;
2. Retention and enlargement of clientele base;
3. Customer awareness through promotions;
4. Customer service and satisfaction;
5. Criss-selling products
6. Innovation and technological advantages
7. After sales service; and so on.
But what should come first is mostly not talked about. The most important factor to my mind is the honesty that will add to all the above parameters and will result in the overall growth in sales revenue, market share and profit.
That’s why we write शुभ-लाभ (Shubh-Labh) on our business installations that means goodness first and then profit. An income generated through fair, genuine and licit means brings peace and happiness.
One day the Chartered Accountant (CA) of Mr JRD Tata was advising him how accounts presented in a particular way could save the company from paying a large chunk of taxes. Tata asked him whether it was legal. CA replied in the affirmative. He asked again whether it was ethical. CA this time kept mum. He then emphatically said,
“I don’t need any money that is immoral. Pay taxes as per law.”
And that’s why JRD Tata was considered the most renowned and respected industrialist of India. He was the Chairman of Tata Group and was awarded India’s highest Civilian Award, Bharat Ratna. He was also an aviator and was conferred the honorary rank of Air Commodore by the Indian Air Force. When he died, the Parliament was adjourned in his honour which was not done usually for a person who was not a member of Parliament.
Honesty is the way of life. Whether it’s service to parents, love for children, loyalty, patriotism, controlling anger or fulfilling promises, honesty always pays dividends. It’s not acquired by way of a degree or diploma, but it should be inculcated right from the infancy stage.
During school days, one day Shri Gopal Krishna Gokhale, a freedom fighter and social reformer, (who had the unique distinction of being the political teacher of Gandhi) presented his homework, and incidentally he was the only student who had given the right answer. Teacher asked the class to clap for him, but Gokhale started crying. Teacher asked him the reason. His innocent reply was,
“This was done by my father, so this clapping for me is wrong.”
Honesty may look difficult, but easy to practise, as in that case, the mind will not be required to perform acrobatics. And it’s so simple,
“I’ll do only what’s right, even when I find myself alone. Wrong is wrong even if all others are doing. I can’t take what is not mine, not ethically mine.”
Let me conclude with this beautiful quote by Mr JRD Tata:
“Uncommon thinkers reuse what common thinkers refuse.”