Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bramha Vishnu Mahesh...[TES Summit 3]

Rummaging through the visiting cards that i collected in the Mumbai summit i found the visiting card of a very interesting venture --Inkfruit.I met one of the founders,Kashyap Dalal and connected with him instantly as he was around 25-26 years. After discussing a few things about his venture he gave me his card and i was taken aback by the positions he and his partner held in their company.
Kashyap was designated the MAHARAJA and his friend was the NAWAB.I just smiled at the designations ,shook hands and left for the rest of the talks.

Why did they do so? Why didn't they go with the conventional CEO ,COO stuff ?
First impression was that these guys are just having fun but soon i realised it was something more than that.
It was about breaking conventions , It was about setting your own benchmarks and being iconoclastic.
It was about having designations that come with very less ego .It was about enjoying the business rather than the posts.

Above all it was about understanding business the Indian Way.

I was just immersed in the thought of understanding business the Indian Way and thinking for myself that do we really need to name our organizations like our western friends?Do we really need a board of directors or the age old "Navratnas" could do the job for us?
Why can't we name a post  as "Kautilya" for the Chief Financial Officer or may be a "Chankya" for the Chief Strategy Officer?

This way the person knows from day one...what is expected out of him.

While my mind was finding more relatable names for the designations ...on stage came the Retail king of Indian market ..Kishor Biyani.
I don't need to introduce him or his Big Bazaar but it was as if he somehow read my thoughts and continued with my thought process.

He started his talk by saying that in India only one type of business survives and that is the one which does business "The Indian Way".
I paused my thought process and hooked on to what Biyani Ji was saying.He said that his organization is influenced by indian mythology a lot.

According to Indian mythology ,In Srishti(Universe) Bramha Vishnu Mahesh(Trinity) have their tasks cut out.
Bramha -He is the Visionary Creator.(Entrepreneur)
Vishnu - He is the Preserver .(Managers)
Mahesh - He is the Destroyer .(I don't know if we have such post in our organizations)

Now this is  a very simple concept that someone has to envision the need for something new.You should have someone who does this in your company.You may call him a CEO,MD or President but this guy has to do the creation.
When we have decided on what to create ,preservers(managers) should come in picture and they should preserve that creation for its due duration.
When the creation has served its purpose for the duration decided,it has to be destroyed or else it will become stale.

Nature also creates life and then preserves it for some time and then destroys it,so businesses also need to create something useful,preserve it and then keep checking on its utility.If it has stopped being useful ...destroy it and start something new.

I think if these three guys can run the Srishti for ages ,they obviously can run our Businesses.
Figure out the Brahmas and the Vishnus and the Maheshs of your company and enjoy the basic understanding of business  - The Indian Way.


PS: There is another controversial yet debatable topic on most of us wanting to be a Vishnu , Don't you think we need to be a Brahma or Mahesh first?

but that's for another post ...  :)

18 comments:

Sandeep said...

dude... Nice one.. I think .. SHiva as a destroyer is more of a transformer... so we need people who would manage change.. learn... unlearn and relearn... Shiva would foster innovation. ..destroying the existing ways to think.. promoting transformation in thought

Gaurav Vashist said...

I mailed this post to Kashyap Dalal as well...That's what he replied....

Hi Gaurav,

Nice post! It was fun reading it ... infact noted down some of the positions for future posts in the company.

I'm good. Hope you are doing great as well. Happy 2010.

Spectre said...

Well, the concept of innovation, good management, and accepting change in an organization are already there.

Bottomline: I don't see the point of giving 'Indian' names to an existing idea or post.

You could open a new company, fill it with people educated in the so called 'western' way of doing business, and give the positions 'Indian' titles for their western equivalent. The difference it makes to your business is zilch.

=> There's more to the 'Indian' way. Maybe the Maharaja of Big Bazaar can talk about it. But titles don't matter. Titles are superficial.

Isha said...

good bro........as usual :)

Gaurav Vashist said...

@Sandeep,Isha ...Thanks a lot :)

@Spectre --Well well OMG thats a hard hitting one. :)

The concepts are already there and i never claimed this to be a new concept.

Alrite i have to defend my "Indian Way" thing....

Suppose we have the Indian population(100 Crore +) as our audience and we want them to learn the basics of doing business.

There are two ways i can present my idea...
1)Innovation,management and change management way.
2)Bramha Vishnu Mahesh way.

In the first case i bet 99% will miss the point,they'll think that we are not as educated to listen to this type of stuff.Very few will make sense out of it.

However in the second way,they may get the point.I bet 99% will get the point.We have grown with these stories,we have grown watching mahabharta,ramayna. Most of us know Bramha ,Vishnu and mahesh.So i just want to relate the business fundas in a way that they know already.

I just want to tell millions of entrepreneurs in my country the very basic rule to doing business.. in a language they comprehend.

I believe ,most of the time it is not what you want to say but how they want to listen?

I respect the western ways of doing business a lot and i think we can learn a lot from the Googles and the Apples.
I personally do that.

but if i have to teach a small farmer the ways of doing business i'll not take help of Steve Jobs or Eric Schmidt...i'll explain him the Brahma Vishnu Mahesh Way.Coz they are his heroes..he knows them.

I can keep Jobs and Eric to myself.

I hope i do justify the "Indian Way" of doing business.

Anyways thanks for the comment,it angered me first but then i thought about the relevance of this post.I questioned the need for it and i got a few answers myself.

Thanks a lot for two more words ,after curtain and bon apetit its spectre and Zilch added to the kitty.
You never stop learning.

Please do let me know who am i talking to coz Spectre doesn't suggest much...

Suresh said...

Nicely done..U have the amazing quality to express things in a very simpler way...keep it up dude..[:)]

Rookie said...

@vash
anger for a post ->
shud never happen again. u are not supposed to be praised all the time or how are u supposed to learn. Spectre gave words to my thots too, as i was procrastinating the commenting part.
Praise does make one happy, but critiques shud be kept more closer.

Btw, I wonder how do you not know spectre, I used to think that everyone from our batch knows him as this was the only nick he used all four years.

Rookie said...

Coming again, I do not want to procrastinate any more. :)
What rule are you talking about.
The post talks only about titles, and ur defence talks about teaching basics in indian titles.
It should be the rules and basic that should be Indianized rather than the titles to explain them. (Superficially speaking of course).
And a small farmer would definitely not need all this titles to go about his business anyway.

Gaurav Vashist said...

@Rookie
Hmmm...thanks bhai...I agree 200% to what you say ,i am not supposed to be praised all the time.Pichle kuch blogs se i was getting all positive comments and i know that i have just begun with blogging so It could be the Beginner's Luck.I wanted to get out of that zone and keep evolving.
So what i did was ..I wrote that "Absolutely Relative" blog.I knew that it was a subjective issue and intentionally i took a side in it.I wanted to see some unfriendly comments and i wanted to see how do i handle them and how do i react to them?

I got them there but i handled them as my mind was ready for that response.

However with this post,i thought it would be liked by all...so honestly, getting a unfriendly comment in this one was something unexpected.I had thought of some other genre of comments ,instead i got my friend Spectre nullifying my BVM theory :).

I think this was the real test that i wanted in Absolutely Relative but got it relatively over there and absolutely over here.

Thats why i thanked Spectre and i would again like to do that.

Waise Spectre hai kaun yar, i have no idea?

Gaurav Vashist said...

@Rookie
The rule that i am talking about it is the "Creation,Preservation and Destruction".
I believe if we do a survey on "Which nation has the maximum number of Entrepreneurs ?"
I bet the answer would be India.
We have a nation where majority are self employed,the gamut varies from
Tilak(NITH) to Kashyap Dalal(Inkfruit) to Airtel(Sunil Bharti Mittal).

And i am also assuming that Majority of entrepreneurs in India are of Tilak Genre.
Now any business when starts is very very small.
Let's assume Mittal and Tilak started together.
Both were small at one time ,but Mittal grew and Tilak Didn't.

Reason can be various but one thing that i feel is ...

Mittal Learn't , Unlearn't and then relearn't the things. He got into crankshafts then into yarn factories--did away with them , then into landline phones --did away with them and finally got into the mobile sector.

He knows when to kill some process and when to build a new one.

Similarly Tilak learn't that he can make a living by making samosas and chai.He learn't it quite well.. but he never unlearn't it to try other ventures .May be go for a canteen in the college.As Tilak never unlearn't the thing... he never relearn't the thing.

Why did Tilak behave the way he did and why did Mittal behave the way he did?
Answer is ---
Tilak never attended the Harvard Business School...Mittal did.
Mittal was told the concepts of Creation,Preservation and Destruction..Tilak wasn't.

Mittal and Tilak may have started as a child but Tilak proved to be a Dwarf.
He didn't grow....Mittal has become a full grown Adult.

However in all these years Tilak knew Bramha Vishnu Mahesh. He worships them daily.
If i can tell him that these are your gods and they function like this...so why don't you also run your business in the same way?

I think he'll get the point.
It's not about titles ,it's about knowing what we have and implementing it.

Period.Full stop.

Phewwww........

Rookie said...

I guess, that you are mistaking self employment with Entrepreneurship.
All in all, Entrepreneurship serves for a greater cause to help create employment for others. Self Employment serves for sustaining one self and does not bother about others(in terms of creating job).
Now as to your rule, it would be most essential in self employment, bt than u don't need all the titles.
For eg tilak, understands himself the need for that rule. Thats why his menu changes as per the demand of the student.
Entrepreneurship is more of a desire of an individual and it can't be imbibed into someone through any kind of learning if there is no willingness. Self employment comes out of necessity but Entrepreneurship comes out of desire and willingness.

Now your rule in Entrepreneurship, lets look at this way. A textile mill do not need this thing. Because the sole aim of that mill is to do what it already does best. Employ new tricks, but than there is no need to unlearn earlier ones, as it would simply means putting in effort again in learning things which could have helped had they not been unlearned. Same goes for most of the basic manufacturing things like screws, nuts, and other basics.
But come to cutting edge technology and research, than you need the rule what you talk about. But at that level, titles effectively don't matter. Or do they ??

Anyway, point still being, that such titles, as spectre put eloquently gives zilch, but doesn't help the greater cause. Though I do agree that ur rule sounds interesting at the first look but looking at the bigger scheme of things, it doesn't help.
Better would be to come up with a indian way which can ignite that desire in tilak to be the canteen administrator.

Rookie said...

That was almost as long as a usual post :D
Apologies, if I sounded rude, but these are just my opinion, hoping to ignite some fruitful debate.

Gaurav Vashist said...

Rookie Bro...we are just discussing an opinion over here and regardless of our differences on it...we still love each other :D .So no need for that apology thing...wapas le use.

Chal phir ho jaye kuch fruitful discussion.

>>>> I guess, that you are mistaking self employment with Entrepreneurship.
<<<< I guess you are mistaken if you differentiate the two :) Please Please don't stop me from calling Tilak an entrepreneur. I would feel offended. :D
Any one who is enterprising is into Entrepreneurship.Be it Tilak,be it a person who comes in the bus and sells a juicer for 10 Rs or be it Murugan or be it Mittal ,Biyani or Larry page.If one is enterprising he is an entrepreneur.
Wiki defines entrepreneur as "one who undertakes an endeavor".

>>>> All in all, Entrepreneurship serves for a greater cause to help create employment for others. Self Employment serves for sustaining one self and does not bother about others(in terms of creating job).
<<<< There is no such thing as a "Greater Cause or a Smaller Cause" there are just Meaning-ful causes.Tilak is meaningful in his own way,mittal in his own.Every first generation entrepreneur starts as a self employed person only.No one starts with employees on day one.Infact Tilak also had two small kids employed ...so i guess he is an entrepreneur in your definition as well.

>>>Now as to your rule, it would be most essential in self employment, bt than u don't need all the titles.
For eg tilak, understands himself the need for that rule. Thats why his menu changes as per the demand of the student.
<<<Totally Agree to this point.Yar i also don't want them to call themselves Bramha ,Vishnu or mahesh.I just want them to understand business this way.Its the concept and not the titles.However i agree post talks about titles,so i'll be doing some modification to the post as well .:D .I think its not "doing Business -The indian Way".It should be "understanding Business -The indian Way".

Gaurav Vashist said...

YOU -Entrepreneurship is more of a desire of an individual and it can't be imbibed into someone through any kind of learning if there is no willingness. Self employment comes out of necessity but Entrepreneurship comes out of desire and willingness.
Me - Rookie boi .....I Disagree to this one and i can't tell you how much??
Don't you think Google was a necessity and similarly don't you think Tilak was a necessity?
Its about desire,willingness,necessity,passion,risk all combined together.Necessity is a very relative term and i think its different for Larry and Tilak.
Tilak's necessity was to make himself sustainaible,earn some money.Larry's necessity was to oragnize world's information.
Both did it out of necessity ,but entrepreneurship is about seeing the unseen.hearing the unheard.Tilak saw the college as his customers and Larry saw the full world.Both equally meaningful.Now If you say Google is serving a larger cause and Tilak a smaller one,i think its offensive to the spirit of Entrepreneuship.

You - Now your rule in Entrepreneurship, lets look at this way. A textile mill do not need this thing.....

Me -Yar the rule that i talk about is needed in and every thing we do.Personally ,professionally and entrepreneurially...har jagah lagega wo rule.
Personally -You are reading a book(Creation,something new),You have to maintain the interest through out the book(good management),You have to keep checking whether the book is worth all this effort.If not stop it.(Destruction)
Professionally--I start making nuts/screws(creation),it has to be suuplied to Truck builders,Cientele has to be mainatianed.(Good Management).Truck builder stops your supply becuase you are very very expensive and slow.You have to stop your processes ,change them or you'll perish.(Destruction)
Entrepreneurially --We have discussed it all through.

You- Anyway, point still being, that such titles, as spectre put eloquently gives zilch, but doesn't help the greater cause.Though I do agree that ur rule sounds interesting at the first look but looking at the bigger scheme of things, it doesn't help.
Better would be to come up with a indian way which can ignite that desire in tilak to be the canteen administrator.

Me -As i said earlier that i shouldn't have put it as "Doing business the indian way" ,i should have put this as "Understanding Business the indian way."
I believe that the soul of doing business remains the same where ever you go,you just have to understand it in a way you can understand the best,
Boy... If each and every Tilak of this country understands the business basics,i bet it will make a lot of difference to how India as a whole does business.

That's what will change us from a nation of Dwarf Entrepreneurs to Entrepreneurs that grow.

Spectre said...

Guys, its fun to see this discussion here (which I seem to have kicked off)

Anyway:

1. I thought Gaurav knew my nick. Wasn't intending to make a 'nasty' comment anonymously. In fact, I even left my email ID while commenting. Maybe blogspot didn't show it to him for privacy purposes or something.

2. The comment wasn't really supposed to be against Gaurav's post. I wanted to add that titles mean much lesser than something more 'real'.

3. Rookie & Gaurav: Very interesting stuff. I read all of it and I haven't decided which side to take yet. Mostly, its all going over my head.

Cheers guys!

Spectre said...

By the way: Last I heard, Tilak either shut down, or was asked to shut down, and has now found employment as a 'chachu' in one of the messes in College.

Rookie said...

@gaurav
i completely honour ur 1st nd 2nd point, and admittedly I was mistaken on understanding.

on to the necessity and desire - no they are not same, and many times necessity do leads to enterprising but certainly not without desire.
Google was never a necessity, it was always a desire for Larry to organize the information. Necessity would be something like survival, Larry would have survived even if his desire wouldn't have came real. In Chine, google's market is still under 15%, so again, it wasn't a necessity. Desire is the only and sole cause behind the entrepreneurship. Yes, necessity may come in play, but without desire its as useless as car without fuel.

On your rule part, I still disagree. Point being - destruction. There is no need for destruction to create something new. Improvise and improvise some more. That would always come under good management. But yes, get rid of those, when they have served their purpose. That where destruction comes into play. eg.
personally - u read a book, and u practice the given things (considering book teaches something). But after an age, book becomes obsolete, than comes time to move over. But till then there is no need to resort to the final measure.
professionally - ur orders are diminishing, u need to improve ur processes, do some rca, and improve. but when the part u are making is no longer needed, than comes the measure of destruction. Till than its always good management.
similarly goes for the entrepreneurship.

Finally, as u said, India would transform from dwarf entrepreneurs to growing. But, the economy is still driven by the dwarf ones. The highest exporter in 2009 was China, and 2nd was Germany. How many big names can one say from this two countries who thrive on small entrepreneurs. (In both we are talking only about exports, so domestic market doesn't even come into play. :P)

Gaurav Vashist said...

Rookie boi....

Bas karte hian bhai....bahut lambi ho gai debate....

Arjun created it..
Both of us managed it well for some time....
but now i think debate is academic and we should Destroy it ...

:p