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Indian Ethos in Management - Frequently Asked Questions

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These questions are only a selection from the FAQ. The answers are a compiled from replies given by Swami Someswarananda, Chairman, Vivekananda Centre for Indian Management and other IEM consultants over a period of time. Compiled by Chief, SAMANVAYA.

Many of the following questions have been repeatedly asked of us and the main reason for bringing out the FAQ document is to give the reader an understanding of the basic principles of IEM and its application. However for deeper understanding and specific application needs we recommend you request for further material or meet an IEM consultant.

1. Why "Indian" Ethos? Aren't ethics in Business universal?
True. Yet, each society has to draw its lessons on ethics from its own culture specific areas - its own psychological make-up. It cannot draw its ethical lessons from another society. Hence the body of knowledge which derives its solutions from the rich and huge Indian system of ethics are known as Indian Ethos in Management.

2. If IEM is good, Where is the proof?
We can answer this best by what a ex-CEO of a major cement plant told after attending one of our programmes," I have a particular view that for India, working with Indian workforce certain methods are more effective... I could never put it to words nor bold enough proclaim that this could be by itself a framework required for Indian method of Management", this is the problem which Vivekananda Centre for Indian Management (VCIM), Indore has been addressing for the past 6 years. As the apex body, it has been regularly publishing first hand information of successes of Indian methods of management apart from converting the learnings from the case studies to knowledge base for others.
In the last 15 years we have recorded and documented hundreds of case studies of management methods based on Indian wisdom. We also have research papers and network with research groups which work on the indigenous business, science and technology base in this land.
Contact SAMANVAYA for archive of case studies.

3. Is IEM some kind of Hindu concept of management?

Certainly not. Management is behavioral science and it has to be culture specific. IEM has as its basis the culture base of India, and as a country whose culture has its roots in religion - it does draw its lessons from the religions of the land - be it Hinduism, Buddhism, or any other.

4. IEM concept of recognising the potential is fine, but the ground reality is that people are unwilling to work. Don't you think you are being 'goody goody'?
The Mahabharatha talks of 4-types of dealing with people: Saam (treating equally), daan (rewarding), bhed (discrimination) and dand (punishment). One has to judiciously use one of these methods in dealing with people.
According to our scriptures people are oriented towards 3 character sets: Tamasik (the simpleton), Rajasik (the forceful/ambitious) and Satwik (the wise). This is how do we conduct these 4 types of transactions with the 3 character sets.
Method Tamasik Rajasik Satwik
Daan Reward Empower Recognize
Bhed Criticize Challenge Silence
Dand Control Warn Monitor

This is an example on how one can work with ones subordinates. There is nothing goody goody about it.

5. Man is a product of the society or environment. Unless the society is changed, how it is possible to change men? A person is guided by the situations. So, will moral education in the name of Indian Management help to change the situation?
Situation is responsible for physical reaction (in winter you feel cold, in summer hot) but it does not have any cause-effect relationship with mental reaction. In the same situation people react differently. Each individuals' reaction depends on his attitude or his world-view. So, situations do not disturb you. You create your mental reaction.

The question is unless the society changes, man cannot change. What do we mean by 'changing a society'? Changing the material things? Change the system? Who holds the system and runs it? It is the people. Changing society means changing people, their attitudes. Unless the people change, the society cannot change for good.

Indian Management does not preach morality. Today even a ten-year old knows what is right and what is wrong. The problem is how to implement good values in real life and yet become a great achiever. This is the crux of many a problems, and all Indian Management does is to show the path towards that. IEM teaches how good values pay better dividends, how honesty helps to grow in industry and business, how cooperation and not competition could be a better growth strategy.

6. Which are organisations that orient themselves to IEM?
The major business houses that at the top most level follow the Indian Ethos include:
The Excel Industries, Poona
Yash Paper Mills, Ayodhya
The Klockner - Windsor Group
The Vivek Group, Chennai
The Alacrity Foundations Pvt. Ltd., Chennai
Vijay Wires and Filaments, Mysore
The Menon Piston, Pune
The Nagarjuna Group, Hyderabad and many more.

Over the last 10 years most of the leading management schools including the IIMs have introduced IEM in their curriculum.
Some of the organisations which have taken interest in the IEM concepts include: Ranbaxy, Bangalore Stock Exchange, Tunghabadra Steels - Hospet, Crompton Greaves - Mumbai, ONGC - Ahmedabad, GNFC - Bharuch, etc.