A huge misunderstanding revolves around the personality of Kautilya, better known as Chanakya. People generally believe that he was a shrewd and cunning person. That’s just a myth.
While training his students in the management of a kingdom, he emphasised on sound philosophy in order to become a good leader. Ethics and morals were of top priority for him. In the very first chapter of Arthashastra, called “The Topic of Training” he provides the importance of spiritual foundations.
Therefore, he says in the Arthashastra, “Philosophy is ever thought of as the lamp of all sciences, as the means of all actions (and) as the support of all laws (and duties).” (1.8.12)
The root of any business lies in its core value system, its philosophy. This was also pointed out by the father of modern management Peter Drucker. He said, “Profits are by-products of business, not its very goal.” In the above verse, Kautilya brings out finer points of ethics in business.