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Introduction of CHANAKYA

One of the greatest figures of wisdom and knowledge in the Indian history is Chanakya. He is estimated to have lived from 350 - 283 B.C. Chanakya is touted as the "Pioneer Economist of India". Chanakya was the adviser and Prime Minister of Emperor Chandragupta. Chanakya was a professor at the University of Takshila (located in present day Pakistan) and was an expert in commerce, warfare, economics, etc. His famous works include Chanakya Neeti, Arthashastra and Neetishastra. Chanakya is also known by the name of Kautilya and Vishnugupta as is mentioned in his text. His famous work called Arthashastra is a classic example of statecraft and politics and is read in Europe even today. It basically consists of the principles of politics and how the state works. An able ruler has to be a ruthless leader to make sure that the state works smoothly and efficiently. The legends associated with Chanakya are very interesting and provide a testimony of his greatness.


When Chanakya was born he had a full set of teeth, which is a sign that he would become a king or an emperor. But since he was born in a Brahmin family, it was considered inappropriate. Thus, his teeth were broken and it was predicted that he would make another person a king and rule through him. Even as a child, Chanakya had the qualities of a born leader. His level of knowledge was beyond children of his age. Chanakya was thrown out of the court of King Nanda as he was a blunt man and spoke his mind clearly. Chanakya swore he would take revenge. Chanakya comes across Chandragupta as a young child. Even at that age, he was a born leader and showed the qualities of an able Emperor. He was the guiding force behind Chandragupta and the vital person who made him an able Emperor. Chanakya adds poison in little amounts daily in Chandragupta's food in order to make him immune to poison, lest some enemy tries to poison him. However Chandragupta was unaware about this and once gave a little food to his wife who was in the ninth month of pregnancy. She didn't survive but Chanakya cut open her belly and took out the baby. This baby grew up to become an able emperor named Bindusara. He had a minister named Subandhu who did not like Chanakya. He told Bindusara that Chanakya had killed his mother. Without assessing facts, Bindusara confronted Chanakya. On knowing the whole story, he felt ashamed at his hasty actions and begged for forgiveness. He asked Subandhu to go and apologize and make Chanakya come back.


SANDHI Sandhi means to get into the contract for peaceful running of business and not to harm each other. An organization should not indulge into any controversy because it affects the image of the organization. While entering into the agreement, the party should not include any of the clause which is not acceptable by the other party.

VIGRAHAM Vigraham means WAR or COMPETITON, this strategy tells that there should be competition between the organizations but these competition should not be unethical i.e one should upgrade the quality of his business to give competition but should not counter attack directly on the other party. Eg: Rin v/s Tide. Pepsi v/s Sprite.

ASANAM ASANAM means waiting for proper time. A businessman should wait for the proper time to act upon the situations. Because doing right things at the wrong time is considered wrong. Taking the example of MC. DONALDS, it was failed to build goodwill because MC. DONALDS first started with non-veg foods which was not accepted by Indian people at that time.

SHARANAM SHARANAM means providing shelter. As shelter is one of the basic need of human so as an organization it should provide shelter to their employees to motivate them towards the work. Along with shelter, an organization should also provide additional benefis like allowances, perks, bonus etc.

YAANAM YAANAM means acquiring new territories. An organization should always think about acquiring new business or to expand the existing business. As expanding of business will provide high profit as well as security, if one branch is unable to make profit then other branch which is running in profit can balance the balance sheet of the business.

DWAIDHI BHAAVA DWAIDHI BHAAVA means dual policy. Resorting to peace with one and war with another is dual policy. According to this strategy one should make good relationship with one competitor and indulge into war with other competitor. Because if there will be any problem going to occur in the near future then he should have someone to help him for surviving in the market. Chanakya applied, practiced and succeeded in each of these strategies in dealing with Alexander, Nandas, Malayakethu and many other leaders. With the help of these strategies he assured victory.

Two books are attributed to Chanakya: Arthashastra and Nitishastra which is also known as Chanakya Niti.

The Arthashastra discusses monetary and fiscal poli cies, welfare, international relations, and war strategies in detail.

Nitishastra is a treatise on the ideal way of life, and shows Chanakya's in depth study of the Indian way of life.


1) "Learn from the mistakes of others... you can't live long enough to make them all yourselves!!" One of the most important sutra which is relevant in todays time after the Satyam episode. All the senior management must have this sutra on their desktops. Business must be conducted in a ethical manner though the motive is profits. Maximization of profit must not be at the cost of cheating people and unethical trade practices. 2)"A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first." Most of us would have experienced this in relation to our government services. You try to be transparent and open to the government officials. If you have broken the rules, but the policeman favors the person who has violated the traffic rules and offers him a bribe. In the worldly life, survival is

of great importance. Every individual must be able to apply these rules for his livelihood and survival.

3)"Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous." A wise person will never get angry on himself and others, he will only show anger just like a mother does to her child. Similarly, in business if your competitors are ahead of you and a threat to your market share then ensure that your marketing strategy is competitive enough to entice the customer and give the competition a tough fight. 4)"The biggest guru-mantra is: Never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you." I am sure the patent, trademark theory in business originated from this sutra. That is the reason that many corporates today patent their inventions and protect their trademarks, logos and any developments in research. In business terms any new technological innovation can be monetised and if it has to saved from the competitor then it has to be patented. 5)"There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth This relationship is so true in todays context where a media company supports a particular political party. Or a political party is too friendly with a media channel. Its a relationship of TRPs and reaches to a better voter base. The bitter truth is very evident by the media coverage. We are made fools by our very own people and media. Similar example is of freebies that are being offered by the retailers to clear of their inventory. But human beings keep on accumulating loads of stuff which is not necessary for them.

6)" Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions - Why am I doing it, what the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead." Such a beautiful anecdote given by Chanakya on planning before proceeding with any kind of project. Create the objective and scope of the project clearly before proceeding for execution. More often projects are started with huge investments without a clear idea of their feasibility and success rate. 7)"As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it." We all have fear in some form or the other. Fear of speaking in public, fear of heights etc. Slowly and steadily we need to work on our way to fearlessness individually and professionally also. Some companies also do not come out in open fearing that they may lose business or their manpower would be captured. However, this fear has to be removed by empowering people within the company and creating a good professional reputation for the business. 8)"The world's biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman." In India currently our population is 50 % youth and this is the best time to get the youth to vote and get good leadership in the country. Todays youth has a global outlook and is willing to take lot of responsibility for the country. Many of them run their own service projects and NGOs dealing with specific social and rural issues. Woman empowerment has also helped women seek better careers

and professions which was just a dream in the past. Women are born leaders.

9)"Once you start a working on something, don't be afraid of failure and don't abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest." -Chanakya If you look this sutra in the Indian concept it could be said as KARMA KARO PHAL KI CHINTA MAT KARO if one works hard or sincerely and if the result comes even negative then also one will be happy because atleast he tried and learnt something which will help him in future. 10)"The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all direction." - Chanakya This sutra is applicable to all the people who devote themselves in the strive of the poor and the needy and empower people in all ways. In our current times Mata Amritanandamayi, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Baba Ramdev etc are doing good social service and empowering the globe helping in peace efforts, betterment of health, stress management. If any organization does CSR for good cause, it will help them to create good image in the minds of the people. 11) "A man is great by deeds, not by birth." Chanakya The other day I had got a forward asking me to remember the last 10 Nobel Prize winners. With great difficulty I could manage 2 names. But when i was asked to name the people who put a smile on my face, who could help me in troubled times, I could easily list 5 names. Every person has immense potential and it just needs to blossom. It is not necessary that all big brands and big organization are good, but sometimes small organizations are also memorable because of their good deed towards their share holders, competitors, customers, etc.

12) "Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere. Education beats the beauty and the youth." -Chanakya The need of the hour in India is the education of the rural youth, children and women. We will pave our way for success if we empower the rural public. They are more action oriented and need direction. Only Youth can empower youth and You, so let each one of us take responsibilities in whatever way possible. An organization should take an initiative to teach the youth of rural area, as an activity of their CSR.


Swamya, Amatya, Janapada, Durga, Kosha, Danda, Mitra-Shatru 1. SWAMI (The Leader): He is the captain. He is the man who leads the organisation. In todays corporate world we call him the director / CEO etc. Without him we will lose direction. Qualities of SWAMI (The Leader) under (6.1.3): Intelligence and spirit Given to seeing elders Truthful in speech Not breaking promise Grateful Desirous of training Easily approachable

2. AMATYA The minister (The manager): The man who runs the show.The second person in-charge of an organisation. He is also the person whom you can depend upon in your absence. He is the man who is always in action. Qualities of AMATYA (The Minister /Manager):

Desire to learn Retention Through understanding Intentness on truth Able to lead an army Sweet in speech (Bridge between management and staff / labour) JANAPADA - The country (Your market):


Your area of operation. You basically dominate this territory and would like to keep your monopoly in this segment. Qualities of JANAPADA -The country (Your market): Strong position in center and frontiers Capable of sustaining in time of distress (Globalisation) Easy to protect Providing excellent means of livelihood (cash flow) Capable of bearing taxes and fines

4. DURGA Fortified city (The head office): Your control tower. This is from where your central administrative work is done. Qualities of DURGA Fortified city (The head office): Charming (peaceful)

Beneficial to men (employees and self) Staff devoted to work Men loyal and Honest


KOSHA The treasury:

It is the backbone of any business. A strong and well managed treasury is the heart or any organisation.

Qualities of KOSHA The treasury: Acquired lawfully by ancestors and oneself (expand) One that can withstand calamity (Insurance) One Even when there is no income for long time

6. DANDA The army (Your team): The army consists of your team members. Those who are ready to fight for you. Your salesmen, your accountant, your driver all of them add to you team. Qualities of DANDA The army (your team): Obedient Not disappointed during marches Able to put up with troubles Has fought many battles (experience) Skilled in war and weapons No separate interest (no side commissions)


MITRA - The ally (friend / consultant):

He is the one whom you can depend upon for all your problems. A friend in need is a friend in deed.

SHATRU The enemy: He brings out the best in you The sleeping giant will awaken (Kumbhakarna) Taste of fish is better which swims harder Challenges makes you strong Swimming coach - Push in water to learn swimming


Throughout history, wars have left an indelible mark on human psyche. Serious debates have been held on the morality of and the strategic necessity for war. And yet, like every dark cloud that has a silver lining, wars too at times leave a society wiser. India is no stranger to wars. And there are many lessons to be learnt from each of those battles -- management lessons, to be precise. Here we present the third in a series of articles on management lessons drawn from Indian history. This one picks out management gems from the role of the redoubtable Chanakya in the rise of the Mauyra empire. Rise of the Maurya empire: Role of Chanakya (circa 320 BC) Chanakya was also known as Kautilya and Vishnugupta. He wrote Arthashastra, the ancient Indian political thesis. There are several stories on Chanakya. One of them goes like this: Alexander's invasion of western India, circa 326 BC, led to political turmoil that provoked Chanakya, a renowned teacher of Takshila, to sew up a coalition to take on the Greek forces.He tried to convince many kings, but none agreed to his plans. Finally, he came to Patliputra, the capital of Magadha, ruled by the powerful Nanda dynasty. He went to their palace and found ten golden thrones. Nine were for the Nanda princes and their father, and the tenth was for the most learned person. Chanakya quietly occupied it. When the princes came back, they asked him to vacate the seat, but Chanakya didn't and demanded a debate to prove his supremacy. The Nandas rejected the debate demand and did not give him any position.Lesson: Even though Chanakya was reputed and famous in Takshila, it does not mean he would be famous in Patliputra too. So his asking for the debate is justified to prove his worth. Similarly, a high performer' in one team or company needs to prove his worth in a new environment to gain the same tag.

Chanakya was prepared to face it. But he could try a different approach for the desired result. In the corporate world, referral plays a major role in hiring key senior employees. If any of the key ministers of the Nandas had referred or introduced him, he might have got the position.

Image: Alexander the Great Chanakya did not vacate the golden seat, and the Nanda princes physically pulled him down. During this process, a lock of his hair got ruffled up. At this moment, Chanakya took a vow to redo the hair only after defeating the Nandas. They were about to punish him with the death sentence, but one of the ministers prevailed upon the princes to forgive him. Chanakya went out of Magadha and met Chandragupta, who was waiting for him.There are many stories on how Chanakya first met Chandragupta, but one thing was clear: Chanakya could sense the inherent qualities in Chandragupta and trained him as he wanted to build an empire by making him the king who could protect India from the Greek invasion.

Lesson: Fearlessness, perseverance and patience are the

key attributes of any leader. This helps in setting lofty goals and fuels the determination to achieve them by executing against the well-laid-out plan. Another great quality exhibited by the leader is in spotting talents and grooming them to take bigger challenges.

Image: Chandragupta Maurya Empire Chanakya's first step was to sneak in a spy to keep a watch on the Nandas' inner circle. He knew one Jeevasiddhi, who was intelligent and could do the job. Chanakya told Jeevasidhi about some of the secrets of the palace learnt from Chandragupta who had heard about these from his father.They sent Jeevasiddhi to the palace. Jeevasiddhi convinced the Nandas that he possessed supernatural powers by narrating the secrets hidden in the palace. The Nandas started leaning on him and consulting him before making any major decision. Slowly, he became a part of their coterie. Lesson: A background check is required for most hires, but a detailed one is a must for senior positions to ensure right

fit. At a very senior level, where information regarding

tender, bid, intellectual property and other trade secrets is involved, company must take steps to protect it. Many companies ask people to sign the non-disclosure agreement and, at times, activate special clauses restraining them from joining rival or competing companies for a few years. Image: Nanda Dynasty Empire Meanwhile, Chandragupta started helping the people of Magadha. His popularity started soaring. This acted as a threat to Nandas. The Nandas had an intelligent minister in Amatya Rakshasa. He advised the Nandas to kill Chandragupta. Jeevasidhi learnt of the plan and helped Chandragupta escape.Chanakya encouraged Chandragupta to take over the Magadha throne. Chandragupta networked with people and built the Mauryan army. Most of them were people disillusioned and unhappy with the Nanda rule. Chanakya and Chandragupta Maurya announced a battle plan and ensured that the Nanda army could be diverted to reach a distant battlefield to fight the Mauryan army. In the meantime, a civil war erupted in Magadha. Chanakya manoeuvered popular support for Chandragupta and the Nandas were uprooted without any fight. Lesson: A peaceful handover to the new management is desirable as it saves the company from infighting that could weaken it. It would be faster and fruitful to scale new heights from a stable company rather than a wrecked one. It

helped Maurya kings to reach new heights faster not only due to their great leadership skills, but also due to peaceful transition.

Image: Chandragupta Maurya It was a monumental task to build an efficient government for Chandragupta Maurya. Chanakya convinced Rakshasa to continue to be the minister of Chandragupta by sharing his grand vision of fighting against the invasion.Chandragupta was able to leverage Rakshasa's excellent skills in administering the kingdom. Chanakya assumed the position of an elder statesman. Lesson: One needs to perform and show results to be considered as a key resource. Key people are always in demand, but more so during organisation's transformation.People are the main asset. Their knowledge and expertise can provide a big leap to any activity. They should be retained. Managers should not be biased in working with high performers' even if they used to work with their adversaries in the past, provided the person maintains loyalty and confidentiality.Top performers are attracted by lofty visions/goals and are willing to face difficult challenges.

Image: A Magadha dynasty period sculpture while serving Chandragupta Maurya, Chanakya started adding small amounts of poison in his food so that he could get immune to it and would survive any attempts at poisoning.One day, his queen, Durdha, shared the food with the Emperor while she was pregnant. She died and Chanakya extricated the baby from the womb. A drop (bindu in Sanskrit) of poison had got into the foetus, and hence Chanakya named him Bindusara. Bindusara would go on to become a great king, and his son, Ashoka, would emerge as one of the greatest emperors. Chanakya had a political adversary called Subandhu, who was in the court of Bindusara. He kept looking for opportunity to defame Chanakya in the eyes on Bindusara. On finding the right occasion, he mentioned to the king that Chankaya had killed his mother. However, the bigger question that remains is: why did the Maurya kings keep Subandhu when his envy towards Chanakya was well known? Lesson: In a healthy organisation, diversified and divergent views can exist. One needs to have people with great skills who can deliver better results by having a good team work and right division of work. Peer pressure helps in extracting

best from the people, but it should be managed well to avoid destructive peer relationship. If team work is becoming difficult, the leader should clearly identify roles based on strengths and in such a way that there is minimal overlap to avoid conflict. Team with high performers helps in better results and also cushions attrition.

Image: Teh Sanchi Stupa I which was built by Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, son of Bindusara Bindusara became angry with Chankaya. On knowing this, Chanakya walked out of the city, donated all his wealth and sat on a fast. When Bindusara learnt the truth, he felt ashamed and asked Subandhu to apologise to Chanakya.Subandhu hatched a plan to meet him and asked him to forgive him. But secretly, he set Chanakya's abode on fire. Chanakya was killed in the fire. Lesson: The important lesson here is a long-standing ally and staunch supporter of the Maurya empire was mistrusted by the king without understanding the complete picture. A vital resource like Chanakya was lost due to this lack of trust.Managers should demonstrate maturity by having an honest one-on-one with the employee and listening to the other side of the story with an open mind before taking any

drastic step. It takes time to build the trust, but it takes a moment to destroy it.