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BW Businessworld

Thus Spake The Monk

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A young entrepreneur-in-waiting travels to Nepal in search of multicultural décor for his new business. In a chance encounter, he meets a monk at the birthplace of Buddha, who shares his gyan on the corporate world and organisational behaviour. The entrepreneur comes back to form a firm called Nirvana. This is the backdrop of Pujan Roka's Karmic Inc. (Jaico), which talks about making a creative, competitive and purpose-driven organisation, and yet being meaningful.

Roka presents a reasonably enchanting tale around Nirvana, and uses it to demonstrate how spiritual tenets and wisdom from the East can be woven into the corporate fabric. Roka has earlier written Bhagavad Gita On Effective Leadership and, hence, is on familiar terrain. You have to accept that some of the eastern philosophical thoughts appear to be pearls of management wisdom in the manner in which they get presented in the Nirvana saga.

One of the standout points in the book is the concept of service. Roka gives it a new dimension, and extends it to leadership, and harps on the need of a great leader to be a servant first then a leader.

The book, however, also has some too-idealistic scenarios. We, as practicing managers, have not yet reached that level of spirituality to ‘surrender' to this rimless blending of practices of the East with the management styles of today's corporations. Perhaps, this is the cynicism Roka wants us to shed through this book.

Giraj M. Sharma heads BehindTheMoon, a brand consulting firm

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 23-11-2009)

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