On November 21, 2015, over 400 industrialists, SME entrepreneurs, investors and corporate leaders converged at the International Convention Centre of the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai for a conference on “Conscious Leadership” organized by the Artha Forum, (a community dedicated to providing healthy work-life balance and holistic world view to entrepreneurs, business and thought leaders) in partnership with the BSE, TiE Mumbai & the Indo American Chamber of Commerce. Radhanath Swami was invited to give the Keynote Speech. Eminent figures from corporate India, government officials and industry regulators shared the dias including Mr. Ronnie Screwvala, Founder – UTV & Swades Foundation, Mr. N. N. Kumar, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Mr. Ashishkumar Chauhan, MD & CEO – BSE, Mr. Sunil Shaghai, MD & Head of Banking – HSBC India, Dr. N. D. Desai, Chairman – Apar Group & Mr. Hrishikesh Mafatlal, Chairman – Arvind Mafatlal Group.
Mr. Ashishkumar Chauhan spoke of how businesses need to be not only ‘compliant legally’, but ethically and legally right as well. Guests shared their joyful responses of his analysis of the internal push-pull dynamics of a typical player in the market riding the wave of an ocean of opportunities. Mr. Chauhan exclaimed that, of the over 200 conferences that are conducted in this conventional hall, this one was the one with a difference.
Sharing his experiences in business, Mr. Ronnie Screwvala emphasized on concept of giving back to society and how he introduced this culture in early days of his organization. Mr. Screwvala explained how he evolved from making movies to adopting villages and making a difference is in the lives of millions.
Radhanath Swami shared the message that it is imperative in business to earn with integrity and spend with compassion. He said that as a child raised in United States he saw so much wealth and luxury. “But all these technologies, power and road systems, seemed so shallow to so many people in my generation. Because greed can never satisfy the heart.”
He further explained that poverty in society is simply an extension of the inner poverty of the human heart. “When there is a poverty of compassion, poverty in society manifest, and when there is wealth within the hearts our leaders, there is prosperity emotionally, physically and spiritually,” he said.
Radhanath Swami cited the example of Yankees baseball Manager Joe Torre. Under his leadership, the Yankees were the most successful team ever winning many titles. But none of this fame and honor were particularly meaningful to him. Due to his difficult childhood and the abuses from his alcoholic father, he would go out and hit the ball hard to take his stress out. But after he retired he started working with ghetto schools to help children from abusive homes. Radhanath Swami quoted Mr. Torre as saying, “When I see those children who went through what I went through – lost confused and alone, and then I see them smile and I see that they feel loved, that is meaningful. Not the money, not the awards.”
Radhanath Swami concluded his talk with the message that if we understand that our wealth, our beauty and our influence belongs to the Lord, and we are just care takers, we will naturally use it in a principle of seva (service). “It’s the leadership the world needs.”