CEO Lord Krishna in MNC Boardroom
Imagine the Supreme Lord Krishna chairing a board meeting of a modern multi-national corporation (MNC)! And why not? After all, he held a more pivotal position as management consultant of an army of estimated three million Kaurava warriors fighting over eight million Pandavas on the Kurukshetra battlefield for 18 days. Despite the odds in terms of manpower and bravery, he won!
Now think of the sheer logistics: these eight million soldiers have to be outfitted with uniforms, fed, housed, armed with weapons, treated when injured and their supplies recorded. Moreover, the chariots, horses, elephants and artillery have to be battle ready. Compare this exercise to any management operations of a global MNC with mass production, staff, information technology and support systems; the MNC will fall short. No wonder modern management courses and intuitions developed from army training academies.
So if Lord Krishna takes over an MNC today, how would he manage it? This innovative idea has been carried out in a new book, Lord Krishna in the Boardroom: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Management by B. S. Tirtha Maharaj (published by Konark). When I discussed this idea with the author who is the founder of a Hare Krishna sect, he was intrigued and challenged me to work it out as a former business editor. Collating the information was stimulating and writing and editing was challenging.
He researched on the estimated numbers of warriors, cavalry and elephants deployed in this mega-battle and, most importantly, Lord Krishna’s insights presented in the context of a 21st century modern corporation deploying mass production, human resources, accounting, marketing, purchasing, media and staff relations, and management including financial planning and corporate strategy.
Market forces like unfair competition, corruption and low-quality products passed as standard products were also tackled. External shocks like the global financial crisis of 2008 were also faced and policies formed to counter them.
Drawing lessons from the Bhagavad Gita, the author a former marketing executive of a major company who turned to spirituality, traces modern management principles to ancient scripture with lessons for business operations and personal life.
A Krishna conscious CEO will neither produce shoddy goods nor sell them; never pay bribes, nor destroy natural resources for short-term gains, prepare false accounts or engages in unethical practices for survival. Focusing on the long-term, he will guide the company to steady profits with immense goodwill of the staff and the customers.
He was the ultimate management challenge. Managing over 8.2 million soldiers on Kurukshetra battlefield was a humungous task. As a management consultant, the Supreme Lord Krishna led the smaller Pandavas army of 3.2m to victory against the 5 m strong Kaurava army. The Supreme Lord Sri Krishna led from the front on all issues and took decisions on the colossal scale of operations.
Mass production, research and development, warehousing and accounting, marketing and distribution were all carried out efficiently. Five thousand years on, these strategies and decisions are still valid as demonstrated in this book in light of modern management and corporate environment based on Information Technology after the crash of 2008. The ancient, indeed eternal, principles apply today for corporate and personal life devoid of stress and tensions.
What would happen if the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna were present in the boardroom today? Intriguing indeed! And he is the only flute playing, singing, dancing, and gallivanting with young girls (gopis), fun loving and positive god.
* * *
“If someone goes to dance on the grounds where
Krishna once danced with his gopis
he can hear the echoes of the Maha-raas even today.
If someone can play a flute near the hills that in the past echoed with
the music of Krishna’s flute, he can hear those hills still echoing it, everlastingly.
In my view, the Raas symbolizes the overflowing, outpouring
of the primeval energy as it is divided between man and woman.
And if we accept this definition, the Raas is as relevant today
as it was in the times of Krishna.
Then it is everlastingly relevant.”
Kul Bhushan worked as a newspaper Editor in Nairobi for over three decades
and now lives in New Delhi