Book Giveaway #022: Corporate Chanakya

Today’s Book: Corporate Chanakya – Successful Management the Chanakya Way by Radhakrishnan Pillai

More than 2000 years ago, probably the first treatise in Sanskrit language was written on governance, politics & economics. The credit has been given to a scholar at Takshashila, in modern terms, a “coach” to the first Mauryan emperor Chandragupta Maurya. He was identified as Chanakya aka Kautilya aka Vishnugupta.

The treatise was called “Arthashastra” and considered lost untill 1905 when a copy written on palm leaves, was presented by a Tamil Brahmin to a Library. Since then many scripts came up (including Malyalam and Devanagri) and many translations were done.

A 100 years later, Radhakrishnan Pillai, Strategy Consultant, took upon himself to make Chanakya useful for corporates:

The range of governance strategies in the original Arthashastra is quite comprehensive and detailed – for example, code of conduct for the King, hiring of ministers (we could map to getting co-founders in startup era), Training, Disaster Management, Counter-intelligence (could map to competitor tracking), Military and many more. Here is an excerpt from one of the translations in English:

The Life of a Saintly King: … he shall restrain the organs of sense; acquire wisdom by keeping company with the aged; see through his spies; establish safety and security by being ever active; maintain his subjects in the observance of their respective duties by exercising authority; keep up his personal discipline by receiving lessons in the sciences; and endear himself to the people by bringing them in contact with wealth and doing good to them.

Radhakrishnan Pillai maps the sutras to various functions and dimensions of a business with many contemporary stories. For example, Chanakya is quoted as:

If there is equal advancement in peace or way, he should resort to peace (7.2.1)

This is a great tip to for conflict management at workplace. Choose your battles to win the war and make the business successful!

This book could be extremely useful to you if you perceive your workplace or industry as a great war zone like a Mahabharata.

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