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This article explores the relevance and application of Principles and Strategies of Chanakya as discussed in his 3rd Century BC treatise, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, in Today’s Corporate World.

There is a time for everything and everything has its time. Chankaya makes us understand this golden age old rule using a metaphor,

“The time of catching (elephants) is in summer” (2.31.12)

This rule has to be understood by all those having business. Many businesses are seasonal and are, hence, dependent on various factors, eg tourism peaks in vacation and insurance and tax consultancy have more business during the months when returns are filed.

As we mature in our understanding of business, we get a better understanding of such cycles. Then the game becomes very easy to play. But how do we identify ‘right timing’ in business? Here are some tips:

1. PLAY THE GAME

When you do commence a business, it is very hard initially to get a grip of all possible situations. Even if you are still to understand the rules of the game fully, please hit the ground running and play the game with full spirit. You will mature with every fall and fury.

Your mindset will change. You will get an insight into the way the industry works and will, eventually, end up much better than what you started off as.

2. LEARN FROM SENIORS

Every industry has got businessmen who have played the game more than you have, and who know the cycles much better than you do. Seek shelter with them. Listen to their advices.

Try to have a god father, a mentor or a Guru who will not only guide you, but also allow you to make some mistakes - Having a Guru means you are virtually safe in your experimenting. He will never allow you to be a failure. Trust him. Your aim should be to become like him. As a senior corporate giant stated, “The best time of my life is when I sat at the feet of great masters and observed how they ran their businesses.”

3. TIME EVERY MOVE

After the initial learning stages, you are prepared for the big war. In war and in life, timing is the most critical element. After this, no mistakes are allowed since you are now responsible not only for yourself but also for the whole organisation.

Strategise, prioritise, plan and time every move - be it for the marketing or for launching a new product. As a leader, you have to be involved in the process – planning, executing and monitoring moves at every stage.

Business is all about preparing ourselves for the right time and opportunity. But remember: when the right time comes knocking at the door, we should not be sleeping inside. 

Contributed by  - Radhakrishnan Pillai


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