Corporate world’s search for supremacy over competitors and players of other industries can be summed in one phrase–the search for ‘power’. All CEOs refer to this struggle for power as a warfare strategy. No wonder the book The Art of War by Sun Tzu is often quoted by heads like Nandan Nilekani of Infosys during many of his interviews.
Kautilya’s Arthashastra is India’s contribution on the subject of warfare strategy. Out of 15 books in Arthashastra, six books are dedicated to the art of warfare. A deep study of these chapters will give us an insight into the factors that contribute to the making of a powerful organisation.
Kautilya, in the Arthashastra gives us various factors that make up true power.
The power of knowledge. The corporate world is today led by knowledge workers. It’s an intangible asset of any organisation. Management gurus across the globe are talking about the knowledge revolution that is happening in this century. The greatest commodity of the future is going to be ‘knowledge’. No wonder the richest man in the world Bill Gates, is part of the IT industry which is nothing but knowledge oriented. Even the highest paid executives are evaluated on the basis of the knowledge they have over the years of working experience.
Men are assets of an organisation. They are of two types–internal and external. Internal manpower compromises employees of the organisation, the board of directors and the shareholders. External manpower includes the customers and suppliers. It is because of them that we exist. We have to focus on satisfying our customers. As Peter Drucker, the father of management points out: “The aim of marketing is to know and understand our customers so well that the product or service fits them and sells itself.”