Xavier School of Management XLRI conducted 31st JRD Tata Oration on Business Ethics on November 23, 2023 at Tata Auditorium, XLRI Jamshedpur Campus. This year the oration was delivered by Mr. Arun Maira – Consultant, Author & Thought Leader; Former Member, Planning Commission of India; Former Chairman, Boston Consulting Group, India on the topic “Transforming Capitalism To Make The World Better For Everyone.”
Mr. TV Narendran, Chairman, XLRI | Mr. Arun Maira – Consultant, Author & Thought Leader; Former Member, Planning Commission of India; Former Chairman, Boston Consulting Group, India | Fr. S George S.J., Director, XLRI | Prof. Sanjay Patro, Dean (Academics), XLRI and Fr. Kuruvilla Pandikattu, S.J., Chairperson of JRD Tata Centre for Business Ethics lit the lamp and kick started the event.
Fr. Kuruvilla Pandikattu, S.J., Chairperson of JRD Tata Centre for Business Ethics said, “JRD Tata was known throughout his life for one message – ‘ask not just what is legal but go beyond and ask if it’s the right thing to do.’ Established in 1991, JRD Tata Foundation is to mark its long-standing commitment to business ethics in India. XLRI is the only B-School in India that has a dedicated center named after the industrialist JRD Tata.”
He also talked about a few on-going activities of JRD Tata Centre for Business Ethics. “XLRI regular course in managerial ethics is offered to all students which includes 11 different sections. A Cross dialogue with Michigan State University on Managing Diversity & Inclusion in India & United States was organized on October 19, 2023 for the PGDM (GM) students. A company newsletter on Ethics in Business World for Tata Steel was written and published. Last year our PGDM (GM) students participated in the Ethics & Sustainability Online Competition organized by Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, out of which 1 team won. Research & Publications in the field of Applied & Business Ethics is rigorously pursued and we have published 3 such books. All India Essay & All India Poster Competitions was successfully conducted with around 160 entries from Pan India. A 2 day International Conference on Enabling Business & Social Responsibility for our Globalised World in partnership with 4 foreign Un universities is planned for 2-4 February 2024 and we have already received tremendous response with more than 900 registrations for article writing, case studies and other activities”, he said.
Mr. Arun Maira delivered the oration on Business Ethics. He said, “In the early days, the view was that large companies only make simple things and were making profits but they weren’t building the nations which is what my generation wanted to do. Mahatma Gandhi had said that when he was fighting for India’s political freedom, Jamshedji was fighting for economic freedom. I too joined Tata to build up our nation.”
He quoted JRD Tata explaining the criteria he used to resolve leadership dilemmas at his level. “JRD Tata said that whenever he had to take a tough decision, he asked himself what will be good for Tatas and what will be good for India and if there was a conflict between the two, he would take the decision that was good for India. He said those decisions somehow always turned out to be good for Tatas in the long run. And even if it does not turn out good for Tatas, does it really matter?” This leadership trait of JRD Tata is well known, he said.
Mr. Arun Maira discussed the ethical responsibility of management by giving reference to the Bhagvad Gita wherein Krishna gave Arjuna the answer – You only have rights to the work and not to the fruits thereof. You must do your work to the best of your ability but the fruits of your success must not be yours alone to enjoy. They belong to everyone in the world that has created you.
He concluded saying, “Society must be recoupled with the economy. The laws governing corporations must be changed to redefine their purposes to improve the conditions of the society and the environment while they produce profits only then will the incentives of the Board & Corporate Executives and their compensation too will become aligned with the good of society. Indeed, time has come for Humanity to ask Capital Enterprises the opposite question: when will they become more socialist? The process of capitalism must change from the process of creative destruction and greedy competition to a process of co-creation of the public good driven by compassion and cooperation and by ethical values rather than financial valuations. Be more concerned about others than yourself.”