How The Parsi Community Has Helped India Progress – Strategy With RS
Today is Parsi New Year. I am reminded of a legend which should act as inspiration for all of us.
The Parsi community arrived in India, to flee the persecution they faced in Iran.
Upon arriving on the western coast of India, they met the king to request him to grant them shelter.
The king listened patiently to their request but informed them, with courtesy, that the kingdom was already populated to the brim leaving no space to accommodate them.
On hearing this, a priest among the delegation, requested the king for a glass of milk. The king ordered his wish to be fulfilled.
When a glass filled to the brim with milk arrived, the priest took out a small packet containing sugar from his robe.
He opened the packet carefully and poured the sugar into the milk and quietly stirred it. The sugar dissolved in the milk, without spilling a drop!
Now, the priest looked up with reverence towards the king and with deepest of respect & regard addressed him, ‘Your Highness, we will dissolve into your kingdom the way sugar has dissolved into milk – we will remain invisible but make your kingdom sweeter.’
The king was impressed and granted permission to the Parsi community to take residence in his kingdom.
The Parsi community, ever since, have indeed dissolved into the India and remained invisible but have made it so much sweeter.
Since then, every subsequent generation of Parsis continue to honour the promise made by their forefathers – not just in parts but wholly and completely!
Lessons for us:
1. It is not the size that matters but what we do with the size that matters.
2. Living and doing business the ethical and moral way, pays in the long run. Take the Tatas – they believe in doing business in an ethical and moral way. Result – it was the #1 business house at the dawn of Independence & continues to be the #1 business house even today!
About the Author:
In this series, Rajesh Srivastava, Business Strategist and Visiting Faculty at IIM Indore gives you a regular dose of strategy case studies to help you think and keep you one step ahead as a professional as compared to your peers. Rajesh is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Kanpur and has over 2 decades of experience in the FMCG industry. All previous Strategy with RS posts can be found here.