And for a Friday in Mumbai as Azim Premji passes the Baton at Bengaluru….. some thoughts….. some musings…..
Premji is just phenomenal. Having known him for over three decades (he is a Honorary Patron for my Social Enterprise – SEEGOS) I cannot stop admiring his unflinching adherence to the highest standards of Personal and Corporate Ethics. Inheriting a 43 crores Vegetable Oils Company and converting it to a $25 billion Global Behemoth and most importantly, doing so with a commitment to Mahatma Gandhi’s dictum that we all must remain “Trustees” of our wealth for society, not its owners. Imagine retaining only 7% of his share of company wealth for his family and giving away the rest in philanthropy by creating the 5th largest endowment across the world. As my friend Dilip vouches, he walks the talk, austere lifestyle, lives frugally, equally severe and miserly business style. Legend says he checks even money spent on Toilet paper, saving every rupee to enhance social work and philanthropy.
Premji has shown how the Honest Wealth creators can build the Nation. Years of Socialist thinking and brainwashing by self serving Politicians has conditioned the average Indian mind that being Rich is sinful. This narrative must change. Its changing. Working hard, being entrepreneurial, paying all Taxes and becoming Rich, these Indians must be honoured and celebrated. Let us all hope and pray for more Premjis to rise in India.
Can we have social recognition for all Indians like those paying Income tax honestly for the last three decades. Can we have a separate check-in at Airports for Tax payers above 5 crores or paying Income tax for Thirty years. Let’s celebrate the Honest Rich, the Ethical way, the Proud way, the SEEGOS way.