The third anniversary issue of Forbes India was definitely an interesting read, with a lot of selected write-ups. But I picked it up for a specific reason namely the smaller sized collector’s item delivered along with it. This special complimentary issue titled Be Good or Be Stupid has 22 thinkers share their thoughts on why virtue makes solid business sense. This was quite natural considering the fact, that in the recent times, most of the news in India has been related to scams, fraud and other forms of non virtuous acts by people in responsible positions. Be it in the government or the private sector there is enough talk about non ethical and unsustainable acts/practices. When each of these are objectively analyzed and thought deeply, it all leads to just a single pair of fallible values(!!) – Greed and Selfishness! It may also be surprising to note that many of the people involved in these manipulative acts actually don’t seem to be in need of any of the wealth that is being accumulated. They already possess enough of wealth.
When somebody reads through the articles of any of the select 22 thinkers, it seems obvious that the so called corrective actions being taken are not going to curtail the possibility of similar actions in the future. A recurring theme across most of these articles is that corrective measures if any should be at the level of the individual. Any amount of act, laws, regulations etc created by a group of people based on a set of manipulative actions that has been witnessed, cannot stop in the future occurrence of similar activities. If we want to build a healthy economic climate which is also sustainable, it has to be built on some eternal principles of fair play at the individual level. And if there is any nation that is at the greatest advantage to provide inputs for what these eternal principles should be it is India. The subtle aspect of dharma has also been referred in a handful of articles in the issue.
As stated in the age old knowledge repository of India, no aspect of society including business and commerce should be neglected. Even their roles and practices should fit under the higher dharmic requirements. The only solution then seems to be greater emphasis on individual spiritual evolution. It is very vital that existing business owners and as well as aspiring entrepreneurs take drastic steps with respect to developing their spiritual quotient. If such steps are not taken the great benefit that business and trade can contribute to the development of the world will be stifled.
I enjoyed reading the articles and shall keep this collector’s edition like a valued book. The title on the cover page really conveys the message to all who are directly and indirectly involved with business and commercen – Be Good or Be Stupid!