BCAJ February 2022

Five learnings from Chanakya for employers

Shivanand Pandit - Chartered Accountant-Intermediate

Just like kingdoms, several businesses are formed, and many pull the plug with time. Though, some business entities create history. They survive for all time and engrave a distinctive identity for themselves. The top secret behind their accomplishment is great employers or leaders. Great employers strike the accurate equilibrium between business insight, character, and performance. Arthashastra, authored by Chanakya who was also recognized as Kautilya or Vishnugupta suggested excellent lessons for aspiring employers. Those lessons are appropriate even today for employers running their business empires. They are also strong guidelines for transmuting normal businessmen into monarchs. A few of those lessons are enumerated below:


Put your people first

According to Chanakya, common men create the King, and therefore, the very subsistence of a King depends upon the contentment and welfare of common men. Likewise, employers of today should put their people such as employees, financiers, and other stakeholders at the vanguard when framing business decisions because the progress of the business depends upon them. Ideal employers’ priority should be their aristocrats and assistants.

Employers should know that every person counts in an entity and give suitable importance to him or her. Very often, employers get hooked by their ownership and status so much that they begin neglecting their people. Employers should put their people’s requirements before themselves to become efficacious businessmen. Thus, they can make their business kingdom successful. ‘In the happiness of his subjects lies the King’s happiness, in their welfare his welfare” says Chanakya.


Be Accessible

Generally, a King is always fenced by his ministers and nobles. But if he is not reachable to his citizens and does not care to attend to his grievances, he jeopardizes not only his kingdom but also himself. Similarly, employers at the top of the ladder are frequently not reachable to the people at the base. Many corporate businessmen do not listen to their people and the modern corporate world often complains about this scenario. Employers should listen to all their stakeholders and not only to those higher up or identical in position. They should know that normally the superior feedbacks origin from the least anticipated zones.

Employees are always in direct connection with the customers and know their needs and likings. By maintaining interaction open with forefront employees employers get great ideas to move forward faster than competitors in the industry or market. What places separately distinguish employers from the balance is that they keep communication networks open-both horizontally and vertically. Best employers appreciate the significance of good interaction and take time to respond to peoples’ inquiries. Employers should understand that it is important to link the gap between them and their people through healthier interaction and occasionally direct contact.


Hold people responsible

Although modern B-schools teach the carrot and stick approach now, Chanakya has suggested the approach long back. He believed that remunerating those who are functioning perfectly encourages them to contribute their best efforts and energy. In addition, employers should hold their people responsible for their work both good and bad.

Employers should embolden and reward good performers. This will stimulate them to operate superbly and others can also learn from them. Besides, employers should place the underperformers on the spot. Importantly, employers should not overburden great performers. Occasionally, great doers are given extra accountability, whereas underperformers get by doing just the lowest.


Decide effectively

According to Chanakya a good King, to enlarge his empire should discharge his duties in the right way and at the right time. In the same way, employers should do the right things at the right time. They should not delay their decisions because it can derail organizational development. In any case, time and tide wait for none, and time once lost can never be acquired back. Therefore employers have to understand the value of time.

Employers to be successful should know the importance of time management and how critical it is for the progress of an entity. If problems are not resolved in time, they often mount into bigger glitches that are difficult or cannot be cracked. So the effective decision-making process is a very important skill all employers should possess. They should reconfigure the operational procedures if the same problem occurs frequently. Quick and efficient decision-making is the symbol of an ideal employer.


Don’t be afraid of failures

Chanakya says that a strong King does not get scared of failures and does not forsake them. Fear is a violent foe and it stands between us and our goals. Many people fail to achieve their targets because they just fail to carry on. Fearlessness, determination, and endurance are the chief qualities of any employer. This aids in designing superior targets and energizes the willpower to attain them by implementing a well-laid-out strategy.

Employers to be prosperous should not worry about failures and should have the words ‘Lage Raho’ as the screensaver of their minds after framing decisions. They should paint confidently a life that has the tints of their choice. They can create masterpieces with dedicated regular practice. They should know that hard work might or might not pay them, but the gratification of working hard is the finest feeling to experience. This awareness makes them valued employers. Employers who face the virus of fear should not lose confidence and must give their best. They should go the ‘que sera sera’ (what will be, will be) way to conquer fear and show it to the exit door.

As a final point, in today’s corporate world, we frequently see employers wish to work with loyal people. However, employers have to agree that everybody loyal to them does not have talent, and everybody who opposes them is not talentless. We see competition or rivalry in groups in the business world and when one group wins, the other group is forced to quit or normally suspended from the entity. If employers value Chanakya over and above his tactics to overthrow the enemy and accept his capability not to tolerate grudges and use talent from every group, they could fabricate a wonderful entity. Employers who follow the lessons enumerated above, definitely they will be highly successful.


Published on:2022-08-06

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