Dirty Business

There is a significant philosophical difference between making money and doing business. Only a few would understand it in a whole lot of perspectives and become successful in their endeavours.

I was reading a book on how the TATA empire rose to become a gigantic group it is today. TATAs are the most reputed and respected industry house in India, for their role in building modern India with their vast sectors of industries. But very few know that TATAs started to build this magnificent empire by trading opium and cotton.

When TATAs started their business, opium usage changed from medicinal purpose into addictive drugs, and it was still legal. It was during opium trade wars in China and its necessity to the British in opium ban, TATAs seized the opportunity to supply opium to China by striking a deal with the British, albeit in a legal way.

Similarly, it was in the 1860s, during the American Civil War, TATAs captured the cotton business from America to supply cotton to British factories. Many decades later, India’s Swadeshi movement against the British rule, which inspired Indians to ditch British goods and take up Swadeshi ones, also helped the cotton mills of TATAs to see huge profits.

These two businesses sowed the seeds for the TATA empire. I feel that the success of these businesses was born out of the sufferings of men at a distant place in this world. I couldn’t argue if it was moral or ethical whether TATAs foundation was laid upon the sufferings of thousands of men, but that was a very critical thinking and strategic decisions taken by TATAs.

Just seize the opportunity at any cost, for it never comes again.

In today’s competitive world, it was sad to read about the demise of VG Siddhartha, the founder of Café Coffee day last week. His business style involved terrible strategies in the form of multiple mishandling of loans. But is taking disproportionate loans to run a business a good idea? There are several unknown truths in his life, but as of today, the rise and fall of his fame serve an excellent case study for modern entrepreneurs who are dreaming big. It is highly confusing to investigate whether today’s young entrepreneurs are aiming to earn money or to establish a business.

Another opportunity was created by the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, which opened for external investments and businesses hereafter. After this news broke, there were many discussions among my peers that apple prices would come down, tourism growth would explode in Kashmir, and more interestingly, about the possibility of buying a retirement home before the exponential hike in the real estate prices. A distressed state no one dared to venture into until yesterday has become the talk of the town in business circles. The concern was more about the potential opportunities they want to seize rather than the welfare of J&K citizens and national security.

There are hotels which serve bananas for Rs.442 and also the generous ones which serve complimentary bananas at the end of the meal.
There are hotels which serve bananas for Rs.442 and also the generous ones which serve complimentary bananas at the end of the meal. Image by RyanMcGuire

Being an employee living on monthly paychecks, I confess that I am not yet clear in my understanding of the difference between making money and doing business. Both of them are complementary to each other, but we need to identify where to draw the line of priority between them. The more I think about it, and many cases like above I come across, there have been different perspectives I needed to ponder upon without any satisfactory answers.

Another new correlation I found in this quest for truth is the significance of investment. We build wealth with the help of EMIs and loans and consider them as an investment. We fail to live in the present moment by sacrificing the time instead, and everything valuable in possession to build a fortune that we are not going to experience in any way, and few sometimes succumbing to peer pressure by stupid decisions.

For every penny we spend, we are not enjoying its value, but living in a false dream that we would enjoy it in the future. It is like the foolish and highly misleading dubious advise given by our uncles and aunties while I was in school.

If you study hard now and get good marks in 10th std, you can enjoy for the rest of your life.

These people should be thrown in jail. This kind of motivation, manipulation and radicalization to study hard in the name of a bright future is more dangerous than the radicalization of terrorists in the name of religion.

It isn’t an evil plan to save or invest; after all, everything we do is to safeguard our future and to lead a comfortable life. Doing business is one of the livelihood options many of us venture. In the process of doing so, we are striving to accumulate more money, rather than creating or gaining value for what we do and for what we spend.

The greedy and selfish attitude of the current generation is the byproduct of the way our ancestors conducted business, and it is deteriorating every day.


Images by Steve Buissinne and Tumisu from Pixabay.

One thought on “Dirty Business

  1. Having read this I believed it was rather enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

    Like

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