Gandhi: The Eternal Management Guru
Author: Pratik P SURANA
Publisher: Notion Press, Inc.; 1 edition
Date of Publication: 2017
Price: 149.00 Rs
The science and art of management has developed to a great extent in recent times. The Industrial Revolution gave impetus to the process of management and standardised the subject to near perfection. Management, system, planning and organization are core principles of success in any venture of any magnitude. Business is a sector where entrepreneurs invest huge capital amounts, their skills and knowledge for the purpose of generating wealth. Businessmen cannot afford to be lax and lethargic; naturally, management of business on sound principles became a pre-requisite for assured success in business. A business unit also generates employment. When business is mis-managed, the livelihood of employees is at stake, the future of all involved is at stake, the economy of the nation is at stake and the dreams of the entrepreneur are at stake.
Business management gained such a status on this background that it eventually developed into a specialized branch of study. It offered plenty of scope for research and continues to do so. Management principles can be applied to everything in life. Starting from the domestic chores of a housewife to big multi-national companies, some degree of management is practised by all. Those who excel at it, gain success in Introduction
proportion and those who do not practice it can even fail. Between total success and total failure there are varying degrees of success/failure depending on the management principles implemented in that area. A household has to be managed; an event has to be managed. Management is essential in a project, an organization, an institute, a business, a state, a nation and in the world. Hence, management principles operate from micro to macro units. It was only after industrial development that management gained importance. Does this mean that there was no management prior to that? On the contrary, there was management, system and discipline in the oldest of civilizations that existed on earth. The world could never have made the current progress had there been no management in ancient times. In fact, management was all the more crucial in the initial stages of human progress because the foundation of the current development was laid in those times. Why is management so important in the initial stages rather than later? Let us understand this with the help of an example. Imagine a new business venture. Every new venture faces some teething problems. It is easy to say that management is necessary from the first day. Yet, some incubation period is required during which the main focus is on setting up a system. Everything is in a state of chaos and confusion. Things need to be streamlined. The way the baby is fed and nurtured in the incubation period decides its health status at a later stage. Hence, no work can really begin until the teething problems are solved. If our ancestors invented the wheel and the zero so long ago, things must have been well under control and perfectly managed for any kind of research and innovation to take place. Development was much easier after the initial foundation of the wheel and the zero. It is the beginning level that is very crucial. Management is essential at every stage of development, early or late. The political scenario in our nation is the best example of what may happen if a management system collapses at any time in the history of an enterprise. One gets the feeling that there must be some high power somewhere that manages the heavenly bodies in the universe that have sustained so consistently, so systematically for ages. There is system and discipline in nature, in the flora and fauna found on earth, in the cycles of seasons and rain, in the creation of tides and ebbs, in the occurrence of days and nights. Perhaps, it was from the observance of nature and the universe that ancient souls learned their lessons in management. Great leaders, visionaries and saints mastered the techniques of management. One such great leader was Mahatma Gandhi. If we closely examine the management principles standardized today as scientific, we will notice that they are more or less like old wine in new bottles. Leaders like Gandhi had not only identified them but had practised them, implemented them and incorporated them in their personalities. They are reflected in every area frequented by the Mahatma – politics, religion, law and social service. His personal life was well-managed, his work was wellmanaged, his relationships were managed and his political activities too. The best management system was evident in the Sabarmati Ashram which he established at Ahmedabad. Is it an exaggeration to call him a management guru?
In the successive chapters we shall identify those aspects of his personality that reflect his managerial skills and talents. We shall delve into those incidents and events in his life that depict him as a great leader and manager.