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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra - September 12th, 2006

Name of paper: MUMBAI MIROR (Times of India)
Date: Monday, 11th September, 06 (page 22)
TAKING THE ADVICE OF CONSULTANTS
-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: A consultant is required for every organisation. Why? Because, being an experienced person, he can look at the problem objectively and unemotionally and then offer you a simple solution. This is where the role of a management consultant comes into play.

Therefore, before making any action plan for your company, it is necessary to take the advice of a consultant.

Chanakya advices,


“He should ask the councilors concerning a matter exactly similar to the undertaking he has in mind, ‘this work was like this, or, if it were to happen like this, how then should it be done?’. As they might advice, so should he do that work” (1.15.24-25)


Here, Chanakya suggests that when a company takes a management consultant on board for advice and suggestions, it should be with an open mind.

Here are a few tips:
  • CHOOSE THE RIGHT CONSULTANT

There are many consultants available in the market. However, you should be clear what kind of expertise you want. Choose such a person who is experienced and has a thorough understand and the knowledge of that particular field in question. He should not only have a theoretical aptitude but also a practical know-how of the problems you are facing or may do so in the future.

The consultant should be a person who not only gives advices, but also makes sure that you are benefiting from the same. He should be able to explain the problem with simple examples.

  • SIT AND LISTEN TO HIM

Having chosen the right consultant, it is important to sit down with him and explain what you want from him. As already pointed out, don’t forget to ask, “What should be done?” The right questions will give you the right answers. His insights are very essential for building your strategy.

  • FROM ADVICE TO APPLICATION

After getting the necessary advice, many companies usually think that the work of a consultant is over. But wait! Think through every possible angle. Having a consultant in an advisory capacity is just the beginning. You should try and involve him in the application aspect as well. Let him also be a part of the process to apply these ideas and get the desired results.

Remember – the consultant has to be a part of your team throughout the duration of the project. If and when the need arises, you could and should go back to him before starting another project.
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra - September 18th, 2006

Name of paper: MUMBAI MIROR (Times of India)
Date: Monday, 3rd July, 06 (page 21)
THE SEVEN STRONG PILLARS OF ANY BUSINESS
- Radhakrishnan Pillai

A strong foundation is the key to any successful business. Your vision, your commitment, your purpose - all from the basis for an organisation. They are the all-important pillars, the most essential part of any building.

In his groundbreaking Arthashastra, Chanakya lists seven pillars for an organisation.

“The king, the minister, the country, the fortified city, the treasury, the army and the ally are the constituent elements of the state” (6.1.1)


Let us now take a closer look at each of them:
  • THE KING (The leader)

All great organisations have great leaders. The leader is the visionary, the captain, the man who guides the organisation. In today’s corporate world we call him the Director, CEO, etc. Without him we will loose direction.
  • THE MINISTER (The manager)

The manager is the person who runs the show - the second-in-command of an organisation. He is also the person whom you can depend upon in the absence of the leader. He is the man who is always in action. An extra ordinary leader and an efficient manager together bring into existence a remarkable organisation.
  • THE COUNTRY (Your market)

No business can exist without its market capitalisation. It is the area of your operation. The place from where you get your revenue and cash flow. You basically dominate this territory and would like to keep your monopoly in this segment.
  • THE FORTIFIDCITY (Head office)

You need a control tower - a place from where all planning and strategies are made. It’s from here that your central administrative work is done. It’s the nucleus and the center of any organisation.
  • THE TREASURY

Finance is an extremely important resource. It is the backbone of any business. A strong and well-managed treasury is the heart of any organisation. Your treasury is also your financial hub.
  • THE ARMY (Your team)

When we go to war, we need a well-equipped and trained army. The army consists of your team members. Those who are ready to fight for the organisation. The salesmen, the accountant, the driver, the peon - all of them add to your team.
  • THE ALLY (friend / consultant)

In life you should have a friend who is just like you. Being, in the same boat, he can identify with you and stay close. He is the one whom you can depend upon when problems arise. After all, a friend in need is a friend in deed.


Look at these seven pillars. Only when these are built into firm and strong sections can the organisation shoulder any responsibility and face all challenges.

And while building them, do not forget to imbibe that vital ingredient called values, speaking about which, in his book ‘Build to last’, Jim Collins has said, “Values are the roots from where an organisation continuously gets its supply as well as grounding – build on them!”


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Nikhil Gadodia
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra - September 18th, 2006

Name of paper: MUMBAI MIROR (Times of India)
Date: Monday, 18th September, 06 (page 22)
THE KEY TO SUCCESS IS SILENCE!
- 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)

While making a corporate strategy, there are certain associations and relationships that one needs to keep secret from others. And there are some that need to be given openly to the public. Learn to differentiate between the two.

For example, the brand ambassador of a company should be openly exhibited/used in order to achieve the desired branding and sales target. But people being used within the corporate structure – like the key technicians or consultants - should never be publiced.

Therefore, to succeed in any project, Chanakya suggests,

“In case of secret association, those concluded in secret shall succeed” (3.1.11)

Every business leader has friends, strategists, associates and market intelligence experts, from whom he takes advice and to whom he even gives information. These are his resources for thoughts. Until and unless it is required, he should never make them public. Only after understanding this can he succeed in reaching his desired results.

Here are some steps for maintaining secrecy in a project:
  • LET THE IDEA EVOLVE
Many people get excited when they come up with a ‘billion-dollar’ idea. They go on telling others about it. They feel they have hit a gold mine and others will come to buy this idea. However, it’s just a matter of time before some one else (including your competitors) takes the idea and may even go on to profit from it. So please let the idea mature in your heart and mind before you work on it. Take time with yourself.
  • EXPERIMENT IT QUIETLY
As your ideas take shape, talk to a few people – just a few -who can help you to make it practically viable. Think through all the areas that are important to make a project successful – like the research involved, finance required, the people needed, the technical expertise, time to complete the project etc. Then, before you go for the full project, do a pilot project. Thus, you will know the difficulties involved. Remember, a sculptor always makes a six-inch model before the actual 60-foot statue!
  • EXECUTIVE EFFECTIVELY
You should make your moves very quietly till the time to attack comes. Most importantly, you would keep all plans away from your competitor’s eyes. However, when you do execute the plan, make sure that it is complete and perfect. As the saying goes, “Never give your opponent a second chance; you may not survive the counter attack!”


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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra - October 23rd, 2006

Name of paper: MUMBAI MIROR (Times of India)
Date: Monday, 16th Oct, 06 (page 25)
MAINTAINING SELF-DISCIPLINE IN THE OFFICE
- 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)


All of us, at sometime or the other, have to do a job that we don’t like. It’s a universal truth and will remain an eternal requirement.

In this environment, self discipline becomes the key to success.

Chanakya says,
“One doing whatever pleases him does not achieve anything” (7.11.35)

There are many things in life that we like to do but should not - eating junk food, sitting late at offices even when it is not required, browsing the net without a purpose, all these add up to make a person unproductive and inefficient in the long run.

Hence, discipline becomes a must, especially in an office atmosphere. It could initially be just ‘external’, like a boss guiding, directing and controlling an employee. However, in the long run, external discipline should become internal discipline.

The following are some tips on how to self discipline yourself in the office:
  • PLAN YOU DAY IN ADVANCE
Most employees in office do not have a purpose. Neither do they have an idea of what they are supposed to achieve when they leave their homes. It is more of a routine for them to travel to and from office. They hardly have any enthusiasm. To avoid all this, an employee needs to, before leaving the office itself, plan his next day. A good time-table will help tackle not only such regular activities as mailing, report preparation, calls etc but also special activities like presentations and meetings which need to be looked at in detail. Keep one hour extra in your plan to accommodate unexpected events.
  • DO NOT BE IMPULSIVE
Most problems happen when one becomes impulsive, especially when faced with a new or unexpected work. For instance, if you are doing a particular work and someone calls up or comes up to you for a different task, do not jump at the new project immediately. Slow down. Complete the work in hand first before you take up the new task. Your original plan for the day is more important. In fact, you should keep track of what you have planned for the day on the hour, every hour.
  • BE PROACTIVE
Stepen Covey, in his book ‘7 habits of highly effective people’ says that being proactive is the most important habit of a successful person. So do not wait for problems to crop up; find solutions even before they arrive. The more you get into the habit of ‘right thinking’ the more focused and sharp you will become.

Remember, discipline is not an inborn thing - it needs to be cultivated. We may fail many times but just don’t give up, it is important to get up and keep going.


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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra - October 30th, 2006

Name of paper: MUMBAI MIROR (Times of India)
Date: Monday, 30th Oct, 06 (page 21)
DO WE TAKE THE NEW JOB OR STICK ON?
- 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)

Now that’s a true quandary that all of us have faced at sometime of the other. To continue in the current job or move to a different company, to be in service or start our own business, to keep working or take a break for a higher education – these questions haunt every person in the corporate world today,

Chanakya offers a solution for managing such conflicts,
“In case of two alternate routes, he should march in a region suitable to himself” (10.2.10)


This advice is self explanatory. But the choice taken subsequently could either make or break us. And not just for choosing jobs.

Such a ‘conflict management situation’ can arise for any and every aspect of life itself. At such times, you have to think through your head and feel through your heart. Keep a check of your strength and weaknesses.

How does one do this? Well, here are some tips for you to follow when facing that tough decision:
  • ASK YOURSELF
The first person you have to consider is yourself. Ask yourself if you are doing the right thing. If you feel that - in the current company and industry - your growth has stagnated, then, prepare yourself for a change. It would actually be great to have an open discussion with your boss or seniors to get a direction. If you still feel the solution is not forthcoming, then seek help externally.
  • SPEAK TO OTHERS
You can consult the experts of your field and check if you are capable of doing something better. If this is too difficult, look at the websites that can guide you in this matter. Join an online group of like-minded people and seek guidance and tips for better understanding of your situation.
  • FOLLOW THAT ‘GUT-FEEL’
Finally, after all this analyses, the important part is to take a step in the direction where you want to be in the future. If you continue doing what you are doing, you will continue getting what you are getting. So if you want to be different from what you currently are, do something different. Once you take this first step, half the battle is won – provided you want to fight for something better!

Look, there are plenty of opportunities today. But few take risks. Only, those who take calculated risks with measures steps can succeed in achieving their long-term goals.

And please never regret a decision. Even –and especially – if it is a wrong move, keep going along the chosen path. You just need to follow the military maxim- “Burn the bridges behind you”. That’ll leave no avenue for retreat!


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Nikhil Gadodia
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra - November 5th, 2006

Name of paper: MUMBAI MIROR (Times of India)
Date: Monday, 23rd Oct, 06 (page 21)
DON’T FORGET THOSE WHO GOT YOU THE JOB!
- 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)

Of all the places, it’s in the office where most people will concede that their success has come about due to the contribution and guidance of various people.

Now it’s our duty never to forget even the smallest help given. Even the world’s first management guru – Chanakya – says the same,

“He should gratify, according to his power to help, one who has helped him” (7.16.17)

But let’s face it - the human mind is very unstable and we generally forget people and the things they have done in the long run. And with today’s fast-changing world where there’s hardly any time, it is even more difficult to remember.

Practice these suggestions,
  • WRITE IT DOWN
Make a list of people who have helped and have been instrumental in shaping your life and career. Your first boss, the placement agency, the friend whom you always call up for any professional help you need – all of them. Treat this list as one of the most important documents of your life. Keep adding names as more people help you.
  • MAKE AN EFFORT TO CALL
When making the list, don’t forget to add their contact details. Special dates in their lives would be a good addition too. These will give you a good reason to give a call and wish them on special occasions. If not all, just one call a year on their birthdays would be enough.
  • GIVE A GIFT
Chanakya, in his book Arthashastra, says that gift is the most powerful medium to influence anyone. Do not even waste time thinking about this! However, you need not go out of the way to buy an expensive gift. As given in the verse above - “according to his power” - buy in your capacity.
  • BE READY TO HELP
Most of the above may even look superficial. But helping out, especially when needed, is the most valuable thing you could do. The HR head of company put it beautifully, when he said, “Always help others to get jobs – you never know when you would require one”


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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra - November 6th, 2006

Name of paper: MUMBAI MIROR (Times of India)
Date: Monday, 6th Nov, 06 (page 20)
PLEASE DON’T WAIT TO TAKE THAT FIRST STEP
- 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)
Most of us wait for the right opportunity to get our dream job. We wait for a ‘wanted’ ad to appear in the newspaper before even thinking of making the next jump in career. Even businessmen wait for information to get the ‘dream’ contract.

This is a big mistake!

Even if our dream job or project is currently not available at present in the market, we can create the opportunity. Chanakya was a great believer in self effort rather than depending on fate or destiny to shape up situations. He says,
“One trusting in fate, being devoid of human endeavour, perishes, because he does not
start undertakings or his undertakings have miscarried (failed)” (7.11.34)

Obviously then, if opportunities don’t knock at our doors, we go to opportunities and knock their doors! Now how does one do that?

Here are a few tips:
  1. KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS
Before you go around banging on doors, do a little bit of of introspection. Know your strengths. Focus on what you are good at. Chanakya calls this as a person’s Swadharma (what one is naturally capable of doing). Create your dream work / project around what you can deliver better than others. Prepare your resume or business plan clearly highlighting your past experience and what makes your different from the others.
  1. TAP THE RIGHT PERSONS
Now a good resume or a business plan is not enough in itself. We have to market ourselves. For this, it is important to know who the people are and which companies would like to use our services. Mail your proposal, call up and take appointments. Finally, go and have a word with them. A face to face meeting is an absolute must. Don’t wait for someone to call you. There are many companies that have vacancies and projects to be executed, but do not advertise.
  1. BE CLEAR ON THE FINANCIALS
Lets be honest - there are no free lunches. Before you pitch yourself, also think through how much money you want to make from this new initiative. During the meetings speak and work on the financials and economics involved. A win-win situation can happen only when we are clear about our roles, goals and more importantly, the financials.

Remember that, when you finally and your dream job or project, it is not enough. In fact, it’s the beginning. Fro then comes the time to deliver what you promised.

Show your capability, not just by words but by result-oriented actions too. And learn to work with others, for that’s the secret for succeeding in any project.


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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra - August 23rd, 2007

The entire thread has been too good and of great help. thanks.
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