Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A very Indian approach to management- Business Sutra

Every time I read a book, I try to find, what is different in it, and what the author must have thought before penning it down. As a Management student, business obviously excites me. We have been taught the principles of Management, which precisely are the ones derived from the practices and experiences of the western nation. Seldom do we see someone coming out with an Indian Approach to Management. There might be a Kishore Biyani who comes out with a “It happened in India” but that is not very frequent. In this book, the Chief Belief Officer of the Future Group, and a veteran of over twenty five books and 400 articles on Indian Mythology comes up with something which was so long not thought of. Business Sutra by Devdutt Pattanaik is a masterpiece on business as it brings together the two most powerful things of our country – mythology and business (of course after cricket and Bollywood). Very rarely you come across a book on business which is so beautifully written that you remain in awe long after you have finished reading it. We might have had ‘As is belief, so is behavior, so is business. This is business sutra, a very Indian approach to management.’ We have always believed that the very base of our society has been made up on the various beliefs and myths from the Vedas and the other religious scriptures. However, to imagine the base of business being set on this is something one would have never imagined. Although I have heard tremendous things about his previous works, but this is his first book that I have gone through one, and trust me now I am going to go through all his previous works as well. True to its name the book begins with giving us a primer on comparison between the deep-seated beliefs of Indian (Jain, Buddhist and Hindu) and Western mythology that are derived from Greek and Biblical roots, and the two complimenting Chinese belief systems. You lean why the western managers have a high regard for order, while we in India are not worried with all the chaos around us. In Business Sutra Devdutt Pattanaik takes you on a mythological journey using symbols, stories and rituals to relate to how we look at doing business and how it is different from what western beliefs teach us. In fact the use of images and symbols to depict things and make business sense out of it was impeccable. He depicted things in a way I had never seen before, which compelled me to finish the book in one sitting. He questions the way of management we follow. In fact it is one of the basic premises of this book. Our approach of management is completely derived from the western approach to business, whereas the culture here, in India is quite complex and diverse than the west. How is it supposed to work effectively here? No doubt, the western approach is delivering numbers and goals but how do we justify it as the most optimal way of doing business in India or actually the many India’s that we have within our geographical boundaries?

About the Author
Devdutt Pattanaik has written over twenty five books and 400 articles on Indian mythology for everyone from adults to children. Since 2007 he has been explaining the relationship between mythology and management through his column in the Economic Times; the talk he gave at the TED India conference in 2009; and the show Business Sutra which ran successfully on CNBC-TV18 in 2012, besides numerous other lectures at Indian Universities and management institutes. 
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Saru Singhal said...

I just read this book's review on another blog. She is a fan of the author and was all praises but when a new reader likes an author it becomes something hard to resist. I'll read the book. BTW, I enjoyed reading 'It happened in India' gives you an insight on one of the most successful groups of our country and how it went with the basics.

Anonymous said...

i should thank u for the outline !! I have been longing to know a jist of Business Sutra !! :)

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