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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra - September 3rd, 2006

Name of paper: MUMBAI MIROR (Times of India)
Date: Monday, 17th July, 06 (page 21)
CHOOSING THE RIGHT BUSINESS PARTNER
- Radhakrishnan Pillai

(This weekly column will explore the relevance and application of Principles and Strategies of Chanakya as discussed in his 3rd Century BC treatise, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, in Today’s Corporate World)


Let’s face it: in today’s corporate world, getting funds is not really a problem. The Indian market is flooded with money for anyone who comes up with good ideas.

Of course, in the struggling phase, a new businessman may think his idea is not good. However, if he strongly believes in his own concept and continues to put in efforts, the situation will change eventually. He will even get many people who are ready to finance his company.

This is when opportunities crop up for getting a new and financially stronger partner. However when such offers come flooding in, the challenge is to choose the right partner.

Chanakya advices,

“If situated between two stronger kings, he should seek shelter with one capable of protecting him” (7.2.13)


So when multiple partners arrive with a lot of money and even experience, you should be very alert and cool-headed. After all, a wrong choice can ruin the business that you have created from starch.

To make the correct choice, one should be able to evaluate strengths and only then tie up with the one who is strongest. Here are a few tips to determine who would be the right partner.
  1. CONSIDER YOUR VALUES
Business is about values you follow. Each person puts his feelings, hopes and emotions in building the organisation. When a new partner comes, it is important to consider if your values and his values match. Both the parties should have the same wave length in thinking.
  1. THE LONG-TERM APPROACH
At times, one may impulsively accept funds when it’s readily available. But consider all possibilities, and have a long term approach before you tie up with anyone. Otherwise it is like a person who was not getting married for a long time. As soon someone says “YES”, he jumped into the wedlock, only to realise later that it was the greatest blunder of his life! So check all the credentials with known sources before the partnership becomes an agreement. It may take some more time – but you will be a winner in the long run.
  1. ITS NOT JUST MONEY
Partnerships are not just about money. It is not just plain give-and-take. In fact, it is about a life-long relationship that needs to be built upon. So, as Stephen covey says in his book, ‘Seven Habits of highly effective people’, “….you need to develop an emotional bank account”. You will have to spend time with your partners regularly. It is necessary to communicate with them so that the relationship builds beyond just business transactions.

Remember, every business story is a story of team work and having the right team with you. No wonder then that choosing the right team members is highly important to win the game.


Best Regards,
Nikhil Gadodia
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