Report of Book Launch
The book ‘Business of Freedom – An Initiative for School of Indian Management’ was dedicated to the society at a simple but emotional function held at Keshavrao Ghaisas Auditorium of Dahanukar College, Vile Parle East, Mumbai on Saturday 19th April 2008.
The book is written by Shri Sandeep Singh, former Vice President (Sales & Marketing) at Sahara News and published by him in association with Vishwa Adhyayan Kendra, Mumbai.
Shri K. Narasimhan, MD Committ Technologies a close friend and class fellow of Shri Sandeep Singh conducted the proceedings of the evening very efficiently.
The programme commenced with offering bouquets to the guests on stage followed by lighting of the lamp and vedic prayer by Shri Ramesh Subramaniam of Seva International..
Dr Satish Modh, Dy. General Manager Air India and President of Vishwa Adhyayan Kendra welcomed the guests. He felt that when 99% of all the management books available today are wholly based on western thought and philosophy BoF was a much needed book from Indian examples and history. He recalled the several lectures of Shri Sandeep Singh that he had arranged on the book and informed the audience that he was thrilled by the instant enthusiasm the subject kindled in young students.
Shri Ratan Sharda, Senior IT Consultant and General Secretary of Vishwa Adhyayan Kendra informed that he had a very pleasant experience in editing the book. He mentioned that despite his busy schedule he accepted to edit the book due to the inspirational character of Shri Sandeep Singh who had resigned his lucrative job to work for a noble cause and author the book.
In his emotionally charged speech Shri Sandeep Singh thanked everyone who played a minute role though, in helping to publish his dream book. He said that the collection of Rs 100/- from known and unknown individuals was an unforgettable and unimaginable experience. He said he realized that the new generation had little or no knowledge about our freedom fighters. The ignorance is more so when it comes to their managerial qualities. Therefore he decided to compare the thoughts of freedom fighters with the thoughts of management gurus. “My intention is not to say that one copied the idea from the other, but to explore the 'science' and the 'art' of management. Science will remain universal, but art has to be contextual “he added.
“I am also not suggesting that there is nothing to learn from the West. All I am saying is that there is lot to learn from our freedom fighters and thought leaders of the 19th and the 20th centuries, leave aside our scriptures “he emphasized.
“After going through the works from the year 1800 to 1950 (management as a concept also started along with industrial development during the same time), I concluded that India, to a great extent, missed out on the Industrial Revolution because most of the available talent in India put all its energy into the Independence movement, sacrificing all else in the process “he remarked.
He added “In short, the talent of that period opted for the 'business of freedom' rather than for the 'business of profit “.
Explaining the choice of word business in the context of freedom struggle he explained “The word 'business' has recently acquired a negative connotation. This was not always the case. In ancient India doing business came with social responsibility. It is only now that modern business has started exploring Corporate Social Responsibility”.
He however stressed that there was no profit motive behind the book; the idea was to share a thought. He expressed the hope that within one year he would like to take the message of the book to 1, 00,000 people. He specially thanked Vishwa Adhyayan Kendra for joining him in publishing the book.
Speaking on the occasion after launching the book, Shri Deepak Ghaisas, Vice-Chairman and Director, i-Flex Solutions said that he was thrilled to know that a book could be sold before being written and 800 people could commit to buy 3000 copies. He congratulated Shri Sandeep Singh for taking a very difficult, rare and bold decision of resigning his job to write a book for the benefit of the society and not for personal profit.
“From ancient times Bharat has contributed immensely to many fields but since documentation and copyright were not done, as a principle, nothing is known to the world about these wonderful achievements” he said. Shri Deepak Ghaisas felt that many more books giving the Indian perspective of management were necessary and thanked Shri Sandeep Singh for his worthy initiative.
Shri Ghaisas explained that contribution and commitment though appearing to be similar are distinctly different. Commitment is more powerful than contribution. He felt that Shri Sandeep Singh has not just contributed but rendered his commitment to society.
Shri Deepak Ghaisas confessed that he was very greatly impressed by the Chapter 10 on Gandhi in the book. He said it surprised him to realize that Mahatma Gandhi was extremely good in marketing his ideas than many others of his time.
Shri Deepak Ghaisas expressed the hope that by the hard work of the likes of Shri Sandeep Singh we will see an Indian System being followed the world over as we had seen the American System and Japanese System in the past. He felt we need to do it before China.
The programme concluded after a soulful rendering of vande mataram by Shri Satyaprakash Misra and Shri Narasimhan delivering the vote of thanks.