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Management .Undamentals in Kautilya’s )HJD=ID=IJH= – VII

Management .Undamentals in Kautilya’s )HJD=ID=IJH= – VII

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Published by: E-gurukul on Jan 02, 2010
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05/11/2014

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Management .undamentalsin Kautilyas
 )HJD=ID=IJH=
 VII
RADHAKRISHNAN PILLAI
Basic Principles ofManagement
Like adversity, prosperityhas its own quota of problems.We may be surprised at this, butany successful person willvouch for the fact that prosper-ity brings its own problems. Wegenerally think that not beingsuccessful is the problem andonce we are at the top, every-thing will be easy. Anairconditioned office, excellentcars, a large number of peopleworking under you – well thisis the dream of a corporate per-son. But success also brings agreater measure of responsibili-ties. One of the best ways of continuing to be successful is tokeep accepting higher andhigher responsibilities.How does one face theproblems that success bringsalong with it? To put it insimple words, Back to the roots,back to basics.’ Every now andthen, it is important to takestock of oneself. One has toremember where one startedfrom, and where one is heading.Otherwise, it will be the sameold story of starting to reach aparticular place and landing upsomewhere else.Looking back gives us thestrength to move forward. Itgives us an opportunity to look at our struggling days, thedreams that we wanted toachieve, the hurdles that wecrossed, among others. It alsogives us a chance to look at the‘simple’ yet basic principles of dealing with any problem.
The author may be contacted by email atradhakrishnan@atmadarshan.com
 
So, in this issue we will onceagain take a look at the basicsof what we started to explore the Management ‘
Fundamen-tals’
of Kautilya in his
 Arthashas-tra
.
Definition and the BasicElements of Management
Management is largely amindset’. Once we develop thismindset, we need not worryabout whether we have doneour formal education in man-agement or not. However, acontinuous empowerment isalways necessary. What are thebasics of Management? Whatare those principles that, onceunderstood, make the wholecomplex world of Managementbecome simple?Kautilya, in his very firstbook of the
 Arthashastra
, statesclearly the foundations andbasic elements of the Manage-ment world in just one simpleverse.
“The means of starting under-takings, the excellence of men andmaterial, (suitable) apportionmentof place and time, provision againstfailure (and) accomplishment ofwork – this is deliberation in its fiveaspects.” (1.15.42)
Therefore the basics of Man-agement can be summed up inits five simple aspects thus:
1.The Means of StartingUndertakings (Assignments/ Projects)
In order to manage, firstly,some project or assignment isneeded. In the case of anemployee, certain assignmentsare given. For example, theaccount statements have to beready by a particular date, thesales team has to achieve a par-ticular sales target, etc. Assign-ments are usually given by theseniors to the juniors. It is aprocess of delegation to com-plete a particular task.Projects are basically startedby the top management.Companies and organisationswork on projects. Either onetakes up projects (which havebeen outsourced from otherorganisations) or starts one’sown projects. Many companieswork on multiple projects at anygiven point of time, but thereare some which work on asingle project for a long periodof time.Assignments usually takeless time to complete comparedto projects.The leader needs to start orundertake projects in order toassign jobs. This gives theorganisation something to do,something to contribute. With-
 
out projects or assignments eventhe best talent is useless.
2.The Excellence of Men andMaterials
The second aspect of man-agement is productivity. When-ever any work is started, itrequires two basic elements –the men (the people who do thework), and the materials that areused by these men. The materi-als may include money, machin-ery and various other tools toprocess a particular task.An efficient manager will beresponsible for bringing outproductivity from both men andmaterials. Productivity alsoincludes efficiency.One has to bring out the bestfrom the people. Having hiredthem and trained them, theyhave to be useful to the organi-sation. By setting targets,encouraging them and con-stantly guiding them, theexcellence of men will beachieved.How does one bring out thebest from materials andmachines? This is where plan-ning comes into the picture. Onemay buy good machines withthe latest technology. But whatdoes one do if there is no work?It is the responsibility of themanager to keep bringing inmore and more work. For thishe has to keep an eye on thecurrent trends in the marketscenario, and also observecontinually, the various changesthat are bound to take placethere.However, one cannot justkeep running a machine dayand night. Maintenance work needs to be considered too.
3.Deciding the Suitable Placeand Time
This is the single mostimportant factor for strategy inmanagement. There are variousfactors that affect a businessenvironment. The global andpolitical scenario, the variousinitiatives taken by the competi-tors, all have to be consideredbefore planning your move.The right timing is the keyto success in any undertaking.For example, we can note thatcompanies wait till the budgeteach year before declaring thenew prices of various products/ services. Quite often, a companywaits to watch the acceptanceof the competitor’s product inthe market before launching itsown.The other factor is the rightplace to attack. In the field of management, this is technicallycalled ‘positioning’. Your

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