The Power of Good
Having written two books on Godrej and a third
(Final Victory) devoted entirely to Naval Pirojsha Godrej, I continue to have the uneasy feeling of not having been able to fully answer one particular question that is often asked: How come a man who acquired such wizardry with machines and achieved so much in a single lifetime, how come such a man didn’t receive the public recognition and adulation that were his due? This issue’s cover story, An Unsigned Masterpiece, further explores the probable answer.
It wasn’t that Naval shunned the limelight. Nothing as negative as that. The limelight didn’t matter, it was of no consequence to him. He believed in doing rather than just basking. Just as he tended to look askance at Public Relations, which was just then making a dramatic corporate entry: He believed that quality products are the best public relations.
F.K. Khapoliwalla - Mumbai
Dhruv Sharma - New Delhi
D.K. Sharma - Kolkata
Vinod Kumar - Chennai
The cover story looks in fair detail at the industrialist. But to find an answer to the question, one has perhaps to look for the man behind the industrialist, who was the industrialist. Naval achieved what he did because of his qualities of head and heart, the latter surprisingly even more than the former. A man restless in himself, demanding more of himself than most men — yet a man fully completed (fulfilled?) as to his opinions and attitudes, his sensibilities. Take son Jamshyd’s word for it: “The most important thing that comes through was his concern for others. He had this great love for doing things for others, even to the extent of being put to personal inconvenience.” Or daughter Smita’s: “He encouraged us to think and work things out for ourselves, take on decisions … We were brought up with openness in everything.”
Naval was basically a family man, a good husband with a wonderful helpmate in wife Soonu. He had an immense love for children and an amazing capacity, not given to all men, to become a child himself in their company, see the world through their eyes so as to be totally at one with them — companion, confidant and playmate rather than a superior being with authority acquired by birth.
Deeply involved in his day-to-day duties, he was also an evolved human being, seemingly aware that a man’s ego is but a puppet of countless powers, forces and influences in universal Nature. He was a great man, humble with simple tastes, who was also a good man. That’s it — his goodness it was that made him great.
E.J. Kalwachia, Executive Director, to whom this magazine owes its existence, airs his views on A Vibrant Work Culture in an interview. In the same vein, Marc Fourcade talks about his desire to bring about A Smile On Every Face in Godrej workers.
What have Banks to do with Women’s Empowerment? A lot. Grameen Bank provided the initial inspiration for banks throughout the world to make their contribution to the cause, giving women A New Life. In tragic contrast Farmers In Suicide Pact dramatises the neglect of rural India that, according to Mahatma Gandhi, could well be the source of our greatest wealth.
The well-known house of Bajaj describes in A Tradition of Trust, the great strides it has made in Family Planning, considered by many to be India’s greatest, most urgent need. Thomas Bata, whose Company acquired the reputation of being shoemaker to the world, exemplifies Shoemaker As National Hero. The Unknown Manchersha Godrej, Pirojsha’s elder brother, figures as a shining light in the treasury of Godrej archives.
Finally, as Reminder to all of us, the noted space scientist Dr. Abdul Kalam calls upon us to share his Three Visions for our country.