Jan. - Feb. 2002   
  Vol. 2 No.1   
Message from J. N. Godrej
 
Know Your Founders Oddities, Eccentricities, Etc. Interviews Of Enduring Interest Archival Interest Corporate Commentary Corporate Concerns Back to Main Page

 

GIFTED MEN AND WOMEN

I sometimes wonder--would Godrej have occupied the position it does today, would it even have survived, if Pirojsha hadn’t been there to consolidate the many gains of his elder brother Ardeshir’s inventive but rather wayward genius. Pirojsha always gave full credit to his brother--“What we are today is all because of him” was his constant refrain. Nevertheless, this issue’s cover story, Pirojsha, The Great Consolidator, shows how it was he, more than Ardeshir, who exemplified the new spirit in modern industrial outlook by realising the value of money, if properly used, for national growth and development.

 

Editorial Consultants
E.J Kalwachia
P.D.Lam
K.A.Palia
A.C.Patankar

Correspondents
Jyoti Sarkhot-Mumbai
F.K.Khapolliwala-Mumbai
Dhruv Sharma-Kolkatta
D.K.Sharma-Kolkatta
Vinod Kumar-Chennai

Distributors
N.D.Bacha
S.R.Marolia

Contributing Editor
P.D.Muncherji

Editorial Assistant
Rashna Ardesher

Editor
B.K.Karanjia

Listing Pirojsha’s many achievements, the story concludes that his greatest achievement was that by providing the direction and communicating the vision which bound people together, he created the conditions that enabled Godrej to survive him, go on to celebrate its centenary year and even dare to look a hundred years into the future.

But to return to Ardeshir. Among his many gifts was that of extraordinary foresight. Like Mahatma Gandhi, who was a close friend and whom he greatly admired, he saw the urgent need for rural development if the country was to grow to its full stature. He bought a sizeable tract of land near Nasik (Industrialist As Farmer) and worked out in meticulous detail how an experimental farm built on it could become self-sufficient, besides providing employment to able-bodied young men of his community who couldn’t find employment in the cities. Alas, it remained just an experiment.

 

The Focus of Finance:

Value Creation is an interview with Dr. K. A. Palia, Executive Director, who holds the Company’s purse, if not the purse-strings. Holding a key position in Godrej and one of its busiest Directors, what colleagues and others find most endearing is his easy accessibility, being never “busy in a meeting.” He has a lot of interesting things to say about the financial direction of the Company in the interview.

Enlightenment For Empowerment presents the stirring story of how women in a humble Nepali village, using an innovative workback approach, learned to manage money, run businesses and engage in collective social action. Give them an opportunity and women prove again and again to be as competent as men. The timing too is right, this being the Year of Women’s Empowerment.

 

Care Knows No Confines is an account of the veteran Larsen & Toubro’s attempts to promote Family Planning and worker welfare in general. An Inconvenient Man offers a rare insight, through a real-life experience of the noted industrialist S.L. Kirloskar, on why PSUs in India have failed so dismally in the so-called socialistic pattern of society. Of equal interest in this section is a delightful little cameo Shakespeare and Now, which imagines the Bard of Avon trying to sell a play called Hamlet in the dramatically changed circumstances of today. Tastes too have changed along with the times.

Finally, The Ceiling’s No Limit is about how the new Principal of Udayachal High School, Mrs. Evangeline Ranjan, intends to confront the challenges facing her and what changes she proposes to make.


Mr. B.K.Karanjia      

 

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