(This weekly column will explore the relevance and application of Principles and Strategies discussed in the 3rd Century BC treatise, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, in Today’s Corporate World)
Go rural, is the theme of every big corporation today. While FMCG companies eagerly wait the post-monsoon rural demand to boost their sales, bank, which now sell myriad financial products, are gradually realizing the potential of rural areas. Several corporations are re-orienting their growth strategies – ITC’s e-choupal and Hindustan Lever’s Project Shakti for example – to bring villages to the centre of their planning.
Kautilya operated from this principle to manage his treasury.
“Wealth and power comes from the countryside, which is the source of all activities” (7.14.19)
Going rural has two benefits. First, country side is the place where raw material is available in plenty. Minerals, food crops, labour all find their sources in the countryside. Second, it is also a ready market for volume business. India even today lives in Villages. Be it the soft drinks, the mobile phones or the insurance industry all have already made their way to penetrate deeply into the rural sector.
In the second book of Arthashastra, chapter 8, verse 3, Kautilya points out various elements which contribute to the increase in the treasury,
1. Increase in commerce and trade
Commercial activities recycle the wealth of a nation. It helps the wealth to flow from one sector to the other, from one geographical area to another. Trading helps in wealth being circulated from one nation to another. Exports and Imports are the life line of any economically developing nation
2. Arresting crime such as theft and robbery
Monitoring and controlling theft is essential. A system of checks and counter checks are necessary to protect the loss in treasury. Theft can happen internally in an organization or due to external elements.
3. Reduction in establishment
Controlling expenses can be done by reducing the size of an organization. This is done by keeping the minimum required employees as well as liabilities. Outsourcing is one of the best concepts in controlling overheads of a company.
4. Plenty of crops
India even today is an agricultural-based economy. A lot depends on the monsoon rains. Investment in Research and Development in this sector to increase crop yields, better warehousing of agricultural produce, and food processing could add significantly to the growth of the economy.
5. Plenty of marketable goods
Sales and Marketing should be supplied with enough products. Availability of stocks at the right time, sales order processing, logistics and distribution have to in place to ensure the achievement of any Sales target.
6. Freedom from calamities
A lot of unseen and unknown factors affect the economy of a nation, organization, and also individuals. The board of directors should consider all these aspects, under the ‘Risk Management Plan’ of an organization. Insurance, savings, right investment plans are steps to ensure freedom from Calamities.
(The author is the director of ATMA DARSHAN, a company that provides spiritual services, including management consultancy and tours. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)