By M.M. Goel : The sad news of India’s Tata struggling to find a successor in media few days back is very painful and shocking to me personally as an Indian academic of strong convictions.
The miserable failure of the five member search committee for selecting a successor of Mr. Rattan N. Tata ( 75 years) as Chairman TATA Group- a flagship company of 71 billion dollar producing salt to steel with 3,50000 employees.First of all, I place on record a word of appreciation to Mr. Rattan Tata for his contributions to the company in terms of its growth of revenue to 40 times of 1991 level. Some credit goes to the new economic policy of liberalization, privatization and globalization by the Government of India also.
It is pertinent to observe that 141 year old business house has its own credentials stronger than any individual who so ever he may be. Before 1991, it was at the top of the companies. After 2012, it will still be at the top of the world as a transnational company with its wings covering the entire globe.
The so called search committee could not find a perfect substitute, a close substitute of Mr. Tata. Let me state that there can be no perfect or close substitute of any individual anywhere on this earth except the film industry of Hollywood or Bollywood where we find heroes and heroines of that kind in acting.
We should make sincere efforts for the replacement of Mr. Tata by anyone who possess the integrity and value systems with potential for the prosperity of the company as told to Wall Street Journal by Mr. Tata himself in November 2010. Just as we recruit manpower with skills for the job, knowledge, capacity and other qualifications to be tailored for the position in question. India has produced many talents who have been proving their worth around the world in various positions and capacities in different organizations. India is very rich in this respect. There is a strong case for advertising the position and asking for the applications from candidates with prescribed qualifications with age limit (around 55 years) for the position to apply within a month.
The screening of the candidates can be done either on the basis of matching their horoscope with that of the Tata group or with a well defined criteria being adopted by various agencies in recruitment process such as Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) whose credibility is well established to select the cream of the country for most lucrative and responsible positions with no compromise with merit in any case. I am sure; the genuine search for a suitable candidate is within reach of tata group to find its new chairman. As a researcher in economics of human resource development, I have been forcefully making a case for manpower planning for matching demand and supply of skilled personnel, training of manpower for reducing mismatch between the abilities and the jobs on offer and above all mechanism by pairing people with jobs through information network of world wide web (WWW) which is the need of the day to utilize the human capital of India in an effective manner.
In lighter vein, I could have been the most suitable candidate had I been the son or son in law of Mr. Rattan Tata even with present credentials of pure academics in economics with experience of educational management (not administration). I believe in the motto ‘Not Me But You’ which is capable of giving new meaning to rationality in economics for producers and consumers of all kinds with selflessness in place of selfishness of maximizing one’s own utility. The social utility curve can be shifted upward with selflessness attitude of altruism better than the selfish individuals and profit oriented companies who take care of themselves.
To lay the foundations of a new and just social order, altruism- the principle of living and acting for the interest of others need to be understood, analyzed, interpreted and adopted in totality by Indian corporate sector. This is essential to reduce the FEAR (False evidences Appearing Real) of the so called global financial crisis as well as facing competition (both healthy as well as unhealthy) with MNCs and other companies. Let Indian Corporate World learn from Mr. Bill Gates of Microsoft who promotes ‘ Creative Capitalism’ as a new avatar of ‘ Trusteeship’ of Mahatma Gandhi for improving, adopting and promoting corporate social responsibility(CSR). There is a strong case for, at least, ten percent of the profits on CSR on ethical considerations flowing from our epics which can certainly be exempted from income tax.
Infect, I want to develop Sanskar (Values & Business Ethics) Management Model for evaluating performance of Indian companies like Tata.
* The writer is First ICCR Chair Professor of Indian Economy in Korea at Graduate School of International & Area Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul