Gandhiji and his relevance today : Dr R K Pachauri, Chairperson of Nobel Prize winning IPCC

Dr. R K Pachauri sharing the Gandhian Values that are relevant today, and for ages to come

Dr. R K Pachauri sharing the Gandhian Values that are relevant today, and for ages to come

Padma vibhushan Dr, R. k . Pachauri, Chair of intergovernmental panel on climate change (ipcc) addressing the gathering at BIMTECH on the occassion of inauguration of the golden jubilee celebrations, shared a few inspiring thoughts from the journey of Mahatma Gandhi, as it was also OCT 2nd, Gandhiji’s birth Anniversary. Here I try to recall for my own self and also for those who are keen learners.

Dr. Pachauri, apart from being instrumental in IPCC getting the NOBEL peace prize for the work it has been doing under his leadership, has also been decorated by the governments of France, Japan, finland, mexico, belgium. He is the director of TERI (The Energy Research Institute of India, formerly TATA ENERGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE)

His speech revolved around the question “Can the MOTHER EARTH bear the brunt of materialistic world? For how long?”, especially in the context of business and the conscience business management graduates need to have in the dynamically changing world.

Tatas and Birlas, being at the forefront of industrialization of the country have been conscious about contributing to the nation and the environment. GD Birla’ left his vast empire to his son B K Birla, advising that he will use the wealth for the cause of humanity apart from growing the wealth in a fair manner. We can see their contributions, in terms of institutions they have created that are identities of our nation, INDIA.

Dr. Pachauri shared Gandhiji’s list to his grandson of ‘Seven sins that will destroy us’. We need to be very conscious of these in the emerging socio-political conditions.

– Wealth without work
– Pleasure without conscience
– Knowledge without character
– Commerce without morality
– Science without humanity
– Worship without sacrifice
– politics without principles

Gandhiji wrote this on a piece of paper to his grandson, on the very day, a few hours before his assassination.

It is time to rediscover Gandhiji. Gandhiji has to be with us 365 days a year. It is not about one single day…We need to leave behind a legacy for our children

SEVEN thoughts culled out from the principles that Gandhiji said and followed.. and its relevance..

1. Industry should regard themselves as trustees of the society

Jagdish Bhagavati said “It is pity that the leaders in the industry are earning only to do the vulgar display”

G d Birla is a great example of being a follower of Gandhiji. He was a visionary who has created such a value for the nation, and never displayed vulgarity of the wealth. CSR has to be within. It has to come from within each of those who are going to lead the industry in the future. We need to lose ourselves in those whom we have to serve, the society at large; nothing as satisfying as serving to the society.

Gandhiji is far more relevant today than at any other point in the past.

We need to go beyond the consumerist values prevalent today. We are acting like the locusts. We need to protect and preserve natural resources around us. We are binging unmitigated, without any constraints. Where will it take us?

We want to buy cars, more cars. In a society where substantial numbers are deprived, can we increase the disparity.

2. Model of development

India cannot prosper if rural India is left behind. Urbanization is inevitable. But at what rate? Are we destroying social values, culture and tradition. Are we able to adjust with the rapid urbanization.

The social fabric and cultural ethos is under enormous pressure. Neighbors do not know each other. Community involvement has to be promoted. Individual enterprise is important and is a corner stone of growth, but are we conscious of our social responsibility?

3. Value of maintaining natural resources

“Mr Gandhi would you want India reach the level of prosperity as great Britain” was a question put to Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhiji responded -“Great Briton needed Half of the planet. How many planets do we need?” We cannot have a plan B, as there is no planet B.

4. The pattern of economic developement, in a subtle way. GDP is seen as the measure of growth. There a few significant things that if overseen then we are in the wrong direction

Speed is irrelevant if you are going in the wrong direction- Gandhi

5. Wildlife is decreasing in the jungle, but increasing in the cities? The more we prosper, the greater is our propensity towards profligacy and irreverence towards the nature and systems

6. Gandhi always was concerned with the underprivileged. Apply the test of what is the underprivileged going to receive? We are worse than most of the African countries.

Gandhiji spoke about holistic living –

– Keep focus on the benefit of the poor
– keep responsibility of the society in mind

7. India must emerge a pattern of sustainable development. We need to set an example. Each one of us has the responsibility. We are now a population of 9bn from 2bn in the beginning of 20th century. what do we pass on to the next generations..



1. Corporates and individuals know there is no planet B. we are losing cultural ethos. How do we work to facilitate?

A. We need to ask ourselves what is the impact on ecosystem and poorest of the poor.

We clean our home and empty on the streets, philosophically speaking! We need to inbuilt conscience in our every day life..

2. We as B-School graduates are heading to MNC companies. We are looking at only profits. Your advise?

A. Kindly exercise your conscience. These need to dictate terms. Organizations are not incensitive. Can we individually or in groups influence. Companies are sensitive. Subject of triple bottom line. The reputation that you will gain due to sustainability practices is immense. We will be thru immense public scrutiny. You can be leaders to make the shifts in the direction

3. Mahatma Gandhi suggested many about environment. Which of these is the best to followed?

A. Mahatma Gandhi had a very comprehensive view of development. It is holistic. We need to express much greater solidarity with the poorest of the poor. It is a causality. Welfare programs are poorly administered. NREGA is poorly implemented – noble cause, poor outcome. We can use the resources judiciously. We cannot afford to have this level of poverty. It has to be very high on the agenda.

4. Each time I hear a person like you and about trusteeship, I wonder -‘ Is trying to create wealth a crime? Is poverty a byproduct of wealth creation? How to create trusteeship. How do we define this trusteeship

A. Wealth need not be created along with elimination of poverty. Poverty is being patronized. Politicians have done it for obvious reasons. If we had created skills and capabilities to pull population out of poverty, we would have been much better off. We need greater focus now.

What is the education that our children in the rural India is getting. Can we use resources effectively.

Jimmy Carter commented, “when I was governor of Georgia, very small number were in jail; today the number is seven times, largest per capit in the world”.

Four countries are responsible for the capital punishment – Iran, Russia, China and the US

Scandinavian countries are rich yet welfare rich too

5. CSR – based on your experience, kindly share

The TERI program, ‘Lighting a billion lives’, initiated. Reach 400mn who do not have access to electricity. Low cost, light weight LED lanterns, to train villagers. Women charge and rent to the villages… Corporates are supporting it. No direct benefit to them.. Covered 2000 villages. It will snowball.

We have no idea what it makes to a household by providing such a simple solution..children, women, family healthier with less fumes, more time to study and do other household work…

6. Land use and forestry are major contributors. Urbanization contributes to degradation. How can we be inclusive.

Delhi has areas that are green. We need pattern of urbanization that promotes natural beauty and greenery. There is a large area in this country that can be consciously worked upon. Nainital, where I was born is in a sad state – degradation

We can have green cities. Safdarjug airport can be converted to green spaces. We get stuck between departments. I hope we soon do it.

7. We saw you with a Lantern in hand with Al Gore in the Chicago summit… Could you share your thoughts on Role of government

A. I have a vision. Programs that can feed power into the national grid. How do we go about convincing the nation

Solar roof programmes. Delhi can really contribute with vast amount roof space. Solar water heater, can. Not do it consciously. We can save several hundred megawatts of power. We need leadership, that acts.

[Sreeni: One of my friends from Germany shared about the solar farms on the roof tops that pump into the national grid. Imagine with 340 days of bright sun across the country, how many Terrawatts of energy that we can generate..]

8. Climate change. A lot of hue and cry…

Is it really a reality. It is natural for the earth to have the changes. Is it natural? Climate of the earth changes gets due to natural and human factors. A large change is very likely because of human induced changes. With our behavioral patterns we are changing the planet. Right now we are overwhelming the changes, which may bring about natural overwhelming. Small islands, coastal area, rain fed agriculture and … Are getting impacted. Let us be conscious of our every act.



Building an Institution : B-schools to search within – A session with Prof Rishikesha T Krishnan

Rishikesha T Krishnan, Chairperson Corporate strategy & Policy Area, IIM Bangalore

Rishikesha T Krishnan, Chairperson Corporate strategy & Policy Area, IIM Bangalore

Rishikesha T Krishnan, in the last two decades, has been very active in the spaces of strategy and innovation, and championed on how they can be made integral to the systems to enhance the competitiveness of organizations on one end to nation building on the other. He is a member on the boards of various government, quasi-government bodies as well as editorial boards of prestigious publications. His silent work has found space in the public domain in the form of research papers and books. His last work From Jugaad to Systematic Innovation: The Challenge for India caught the imagination of policy makers, intellectuals and students of innovation alike. He has been showered with many awards – Dewang Mehta Award for Best Teacher, Jamuna Raghavan chair in Entrepreneurship at IIMB, IFCI award for best thesis at IIMA etc. His complete profile can be perused at Prof. Rishikesha T Krishnan

Prof. H Chaturvedi inviting and introducing Rishikesha T Krishnan, Prof A Sahay, Prof P N Mishra, Prof Rishikesha

Prof. H Chaturvedi inviting and introducing Rishikesha T Krishnan, Prof A Sahay, Prof P N Mishra, Prof Rishikesha

I thank Prof. H Chaturvedi, Director BIMTECH, for inviting me to be part of the invigorating session by Rishikesha at the campus. I was thrilled to be there listening to a thinking individual and was also nostalgic about meeting a professor from my alma mater, IIM Bangalore. Rishi moved into IIMB the very year I graduated (1996), hence missed being in the same learning spaces. I have had a few interactions with Rishi in the last few years at our Alumni get-togethers or over the phone, but this was the first time I was in a session of his. I was more delighted because the session was about institution building and building of self that go hand-in-hand, which is of great interest to me personally. I invest a lot of my time in these spaces.

The session was chaired by Prof P N Mishra, Director and Dean, Institute of Management studies, Devi Ahilya University, Indore and anchored by Prof Arunaditya Sahay, Dean (Research), BIMTECH.

The session with Rishi is in first person as I documented while the session was underway. I sought his permission to blog this. Here it is.

We as a nation are known internationally in the strategy and innovations space because of the two stalwarts, Late Prof C K Prahlad and Prof Sumatra Goshal, whose contributions have impacted organizations and nations.

Revisiting the B-School Curriculum and program Design

As part of understanding the shifts being made and envisaged in the B-school curriculum, I was a member of team that visited a few campuses in the US, like Kellogg, Stanford. MIT, Cornell, Wharton and Yale

Key lessons from US business schools

  • MBA has become more of business analytics than administration
  • Does not foster professional dimensions, especially ethics and governance
  • Promotes most of theoretical framework, we need to move towards applied discipline

US schools response

  • Dire need to link theory and practice
  • Can we think of labs for experiential learning
    • sustainability lab, ecological outcome; work with start-ups
    • work with consulting companies to anchor the. Courses exposing to real problems
    • people come with different background and levels of understanding and analytical thinking; build on people prior experiences
  • Integrated approaches to managerial problem-solving
    • can we look from stake holder’s perspective – customer, investor, partners etc
    • Eg: Yale looks at raw cases and is not packaged in most of the cases; internal portals eg. All related articles regarding an issue and keeps updating (eg Maruti unrest, can I compile are reports and articles historically to the current situation)
  • Focus area on leadership
    • Kellogg : values and crisis decision making
    • Sloan : intensive Leadership workshops
    • Stanford : capstone leadership course
  • More attention on career planning
    • most have no access to unbiased view of careers, industry and companies
    • passport seminars
    • active immersion : going through the whole course
    • Mintzberg’s matrIx ..will to manage vs zest for business  (I will update this with the matrix soon)
Prof Rishikesha in his flow

Prof Rishikesha in his flow

What are the priorities for the Indian business schools?

  • Building business acumen
    • can we build more insights from traditional businessman’s acumen – cash, profits, assets, growth, people etc
    • Using simulation tools actively in our curriculum
    • What does it mean to be a professional
      • people are watching our behavior patterns – authoritative etc, how do we take care
      • Learning by doing (eg.)
        • businessmen teaching, real life issues, evaluation
        • managers supportive of innovation and change – can we give more opportunities to explore
        • Collaborative skills- need to really help future managers to work on this,
        • Sustainability – A key to future course world-wide
        • How to keep all Stakeholders perspective

Institutional building – Curriculum building is taken care of if we do institutional building

  • Matrix on – relevance and practice Vs research, conceptual rigor
  • IIMA must have been a pioneer in India, but what next – the recent cover story in a magazine talks about IIM going back to B-school?!
  • ISB, Hyderabad, started just a decade ago has walked into the IVY leagues of the world. Why?
    • People with strong wherewithal backing it
    • clear vision
    • strong international partners
    • now capable young resident faculty
    • Scaleed to recruit 570 students
    • New campus in Mohali now
    • resources,
    • flexibility,
    • determination to make it
    • Matrix – theory of business V (I will update this with the model soon)

IIMB Trajectory : There has been a significant shift even at IIMB in the last 7 years

  • Focusing on research capabilities
  • Enhanced support of internal research projects
    • use of internal resources to push faculty to excel
      • incentivizing for high quality research output; when you incentivize other things why not research
      • inviting more and more people to visit Campus and take seminars
      • First Research and publications report has come out – target the most reputed  Financial Express 45 journal’s list
  • LEARNING FROM THE STRATEGY AREA EXPERIENCE – we have been consciously working at it even more assiduously
    • can we recharge the faculty to take initiatives in the right direction
      • vibrant doctoral program in management
      • largest number of doctoral programs (15 at any time); 9 of 13 alumni are faculty at other IIMs
      • Emphasis on that get invited for – Awards, seminars and proceedings
      • faculty research and student research programmes have to be synergistic and synced
      • students work published in SMA
      • One of our senior most professor, Prof Ramachandran, teaches his courses with his own cases
      • We do Outreach programmes – Strategic Management teachers programmes – foundation course for faculty from other institutions
      • Shared committed to excellence at the dept level
        – strategic plan for the department has been created

Each one of us can be invaluable to an institution, if we are clear on what we are here for. Have we got our plan right? So questions to ask for, is –

    • Have got strategic goals for self
    • what am I bringing here
    • how much am I driven internally

As an institution we need to ask a few questions

  • Can we create supportive environment
  • You cannot buy innovations. How do I promote constituents to take the initiative
  • Money can play a role to some extent. In fact, we should take money off the table. Yes, raise the compensation base to a comfort level
  • Can we create research platforms
  • Encourage and recognize excellence in all that we do
  • Could be a good practice – CAN I TAKE OATH THAT I WILL EXCELL IN WHATEVER I DO

I wind up by showing A MODEL OF ENGAGED SCHOLARSHIP – source Prof. Ramachandran (I will update this with the model soon)

Q & A

1. What do you think of Qualitative research and relevance in our country? How do people perceive it?

A. Internationally, they shy away. But there has been many a development of late. Now QR is being made rigorous – understand and incorporate


A lot must be happening, considering the popularity it has gained. (quite a few people shared)

  • perception handling : influence and impacts – Look at the Arab spring, Occupy movement, the recent incidents in India
  • information warfare : being used extensively; very potent way of creating panic
  • education : A lot being done.

3. INDUSTRY’s understanding of research and how to apply

Yes, we need to work on educating them and making them partners in many ways


ISB is a success story; Though they had a lot going for them, I am sure every institution if determined can make it happen.

Prof P N Mishra’s Concluding address :

  • Research : relevance and context are very important
  • Look at Japan and Korea Vs the US and UK : The oriental philosophies of building nation is very different from occidental. Each one has succeeded in own ways, at the same time failed the world in many
  •  A real good teacher is one who endeavors to create students better than oneself..
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