Excerpts from the book ‘Work Ethics’ by PM Narendra Modiji.
Just imagine that, in villages cobblers would make shoes, and thus his customers’ needs for footwear satisfied. Similarly, the blacksmith of the village made knives, sickles, scissors, etc. Thus, he was also running a small – scale household business according to people’s needs. And the village economy worked very well like this. There were many professions in villages. The villages were harmonious. But today, this system has broken down. The multinational companies have invaded the markets. Big companies make fancy shoes and an ordinary cobbler or a blacksmith cannot survive in the competition with such big companies. The new economic structure needs to restore these cobblers and blacksmiths. But again, we have failed to create such a structure. Our entrepreneurship was not only for individual prosperity but it had incorporated social responsibilities as well. Therefore, it is the demand of the time to create new things. It is about time we expanded skills of entrepreneurship. Let us create new milestones that bring happiness to the entire humankind. There should be an arrangement that brings about a change in a common man’s life. If we can’t manage to do so, no matter how many tall towers we build, we will only feel loneliness within as we have not contributed to the welfare of humankind. The happiness that social service in any form brings cannot be compared with any materialistic achievement. Let me illustrate this through an example. You wear a new, expensive branded shirt and see yourself fifty times in the mirror, roam around everywhere showing off your new shirt. But you will not be satisfied until your own people see and praise your shirt. This is because you wish that your own family and friends should notice your progress. This is human nature. Real satisfaction cannot be gained in the absence of society, and social network turns into a very useful skill in business. We want to introduce a system that contributes optimally to social welfare. It is my firm belief that such a system will bring great satisfaction to everyone.
Let us have a look at the journey of development in Gujarat. There are many opportunities and possibilities here. We have intelligence, courage, and diligence. Let us take advantage of all of it. Most businessmen expand their business for their own selfish reasons: “My business is going well, let me buy another shop. I will divide the business between both my sons. This kind of mental set-up does not really make any difference to society. Of course, it did matter 20-25 years ago, but this thinking is not enough. We have to accept the challenges of globalization. The textile mills in Ahmedabad were not pointless. The industrialists worked hard to set them up. They had everything, and the mill-owners were also philanthropists. There is discrimination between the mill owner, the employer and the workers, the employees. There was a feeling of family. The mill workers have played a significant role in the development of Ahmedabad. There are very few cities in India that are developed by mill workers, and Ahmedabad is of them.
However, all that prosperity has now vanished. The reason behind this is that we have ceased to respond to change. If we do not change with the changing times, and keep on living stubbornly depending on prosperity, that would bring an end to our progress. As a result, we will have nothing left to do but regret our past mistakes. Therefore, I want to convey this to all entrepreneurs that if we delay accepting challenges, we will lose. In that case, how can we use our practice of hard work while we are focusing on the global market? It is about time we thought over it. There was a time when people were not ready to spend money on research. Usually, people as well as governments would scorn at the Research and Development departments and were not ready to spend money for research. personally believe that in coming times, well – equipped laboratories in the factories would be as impressive as our businesses themselves. That would be the real wealth of own field. The research done in these laboratories would impress the world. There should be a common laboratory where researches for entrepreneurs are done because in the coming era the main contribution for the entrepreneurship will be information, knowledge, research and recreation. We would get definitive results only if there are incentives for research. Therefore, it is essential to give it priority.