Inclusion Of Ancient Indian Management Techniques In Management Courses

Dr. Alka Jain, Director, Taxila Business SchoolUnder the guidance of Dr. Alka Jain, Taxila Business School is performing at the peak.

Management is an art as well as a skill which can be inbuilt in someone or it can be acquired also through classroom or on the job learning methods. Managers are born also and they can be made also. Chanakya was such a creator of a skilled manager- Vikramaditya. Ancient Indian history is dotted with such stories of efficient, skilled and effective managers or creators of managers. If Chanakaya created Vikramaditya, Krishna created managers like Yudhishthira and Arjuna. Krishna and Shakuni were two great strategists of their era, who were working on strategies and tactics to defeat the other. Rama was a leader who gave up his own self for his people, such a high level of political and human resource management! Then there were transactional and trans-formational leaders like Mahavira and Gautama in Jain and Buddhist community respectively in the ancient India. Self-management and ethics were the key management techniques of the ancient Indians. Above names are just a few, there are endless numbers of cases available on management techniques used effectively by our brilliant managers of the past. One good thing with India is that all these cases are pre-served in our religious histories and are available with us even today, they have travelled through an efficient knowledge management system to us as per the `gurushishya' tradition. We should learn from these cases and make them a part of our daily management practices.

In the modern education system, theories and models developed by western scholars are being taught in the management programs- whether BBA, MBA or PGDM. There too business ethics have been recently added to the course curriculum of the management programs. And very recently a few universities and colleges have started teaching `management in Geeta' or `Management in Mahabharata'. Taxila Business School of Jaipur is one such school. To familiarize the readers with the kind of management techniques available in the above said literature, I am listing a few techniques: Time management, self-management, conflict management, strategic management, human resource management, financial management and so on. When we say ancient era- it starts some-where around three to five thousand years back from today.
There is one more thing to bring to the notice of readers that when we talk about ancient Indian management systems, it is not only Mahabharata and Bhagawad Gita. These two are excellent management guides, no doubt about it, but India's glorious management history is not limited to these two books only. 'Thirukkural' is another beautiful piece of Tamil literature which has been paid attention to by modern management scholars, but unfortunately, many religious philosophies like Jainism, Buddhism, Charwakism etc. have been ignored. These philosophies were originated in India and a few have their existence in terms of their followers even today. Jainism is such a philosophy which started 3000 years ago and is still well-preserved with the Jain followers. The author herself has worked on this philosophy and has found almost all the management fundamentals in the Jain religious books- be it Sthanang Sutra, Awashyak Sutra or any other, out of the treasure of hundreds of ancient books. A few concepts explored by the author are being listed here for the readers:

We, the academicians are supposed to compile the Indian management concepts from the history- right from Vedas, Mahabharata, Geeta, Mahavira, Buddha to Chanakya and Gandh

• Strategic Approach to Goal Achievement in Sthanang Sutra
• Sustainability Business Model in Awashyak Sutra
• Human resource approach in Uttaradhyayana Sutra and McGregor's approach
• Values based business management system
• SWOT analysis comparable with Humphrey's SWOT matrix
• Recruitment models discovered in Tirukkural
• Communication skills in Nandi Sutra
• Knowledge management system of Jain Community
• Business ethics in ancient Jain literature etc.

These are just a few topics from one particular philosophy but Indian philosophies have many more such treasures which need to be explored.

Now what is the need of today? We, the academicians are supposed to compile the Indian management concepts from the history-right from Vedas, Mahabharata, Geeta, Mahavira, Buddha to Chanakya and Gandhi. A few are being taught in the colleges but not covering all these management riches we have- but just an iota from the sea is being given to the students. So, this article is a call to the decision makers of course curriculum of management programs to include ancient Indian management systems of India which were working on sustainability of the planet rather than encouraging consumerism etc. which bring frustration at all levels of the society.

Ancient Indian Management systems were designed keeping the sustainability of the planet and then business values were developed and delivered to the masses by the religious preachers and became a part of our life style. Even today, India has an insignificant ecological foot-print on the planet- Thanks to our value-based management system driven life style. The amount of waste, western advanced countries produce, developing countries like India can feed a huge percentage of her population from that waste. The objection is not on their luxurious lifestyle, but those countries which cannot afford their luxurious life-style, cannot succeed economically and socially by following their management techniques. We, as Indians have a unique living style and social system which needs the support of her own economic and business management system to develop an efficient society and economy. But we are following the management techniques of the western countries which are richer than us in resources. This irony will take the country downward. Hence, we should bring changes to the management courses and produce such managers who are skilled to work in our economy as per our needs. Another side effect of this blind race can be brain drain also, which can be discussed later in due course of time.