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The Old Order Changeth

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The Old Order Changeth

Marwari industrialists of the past are remembered and revered for their iron will, dedication and tenacity in building business empires that are seen as the foundations of Marwari enterprise. Sadly, not only has there been a dilution of these old values, but there also is a perceived disenchantment for them among today’s Marwaris. Is this trend likely to have an adverse effect on the future of Marwari enterprise?

MARWAR finds out how Marwaris feels about this trend from eminent members of the community.

1
Stuti Jalan Surekha

Managing Director, Crosshairs Communication

I don’t think this view holds true for the majority of Marwaris. The new generation is not only gifted with the quintessential Marwari entrepreneurial insight, but also has evolved in terms of business acumen, thanks to the growing interest in pursuing higher education and embracing advanced technology. They also have been applying their learnings to traditional business practices and making a name for themselves. When I started my PR firm, I was just 23. I built it with will, dedication and tenacity. I had to shift base, moved from Mumbai to Delhi after marriage, and in due course faced umpteen challenges. But I didn’t let disappointments dampen my spirit and gradually turned opportunities into victories with sheer perseverance and hard work. Today, many Marwari women are taking steps to come out of their husbands’ shadows and making a meaningful contribution to society. Men are also introducing their women to the business. This positive trend is definitely gaining momentum.


 2

Mitesh Lodha

Founder, Mitesh Lodha Label

Marwaris are known for having been gutsy traders, money lenders and businessmen with good interests. Marwaris are culturally rooted and very family oriented people. For them, the organisations that they build are like extended families, and they take pride in running them professionally. They have built companies which are culturally strong and ethically sound. They have always relied on their instincts and family values to make their organisations work. In our times, we have businessmen like Kishore Biyani, who is known for expansion of retail and the Bansals of Flipkart who have made modern-day trade work. Also there are the Lodha Builders, who have changed the way the real estate sector had been working. So it’s basically the core values of culture and relationships that have kept Marwari trade and business working.


3

Reeshab Agarwal

Managing Director, Stellar Furnishings

Marwaris hail from a place known as Marwar, which was a princely state in south-west Rajasthan, famed for its harsh climatic conditions. This is perhaps why Marwaris are so iron-willed. For years and years Marwaris have been known for their business and entrepreneurial skills and they have carried this tag with them with strong will and courage. But as the days go by, culture is taking its own shape. With the introduction of various technologies, entrepreurship is taking a quantum leap. People are not only becoming technologically sharp but also are promoting new ideas in their businesses. They are giving the best of education to their kids which was not so before. They also are educating themselves and implementing new ideas from the outside world in their businesses. No, the current trends are not likely to have an adverse effect, as our family culture and the home atmosphere remains the same. We have entrepreneurship in our blood and even if days change, the Marwari business empire will remain the same. And it will continue to add new standards.


4

Anita Agarwal

Partner, Sachin Enterprise, Minu Sarees

Marwaris have been known for their high values, iron will, dedication and tenacity in building business empires. These values undoubtedly have undergone many modifications, depending on their suitability and convenience for various people. In modern times, when modernisation, westernisation, industrialisation and urbanisation have impacted lives, these values seem to have been lost. For ages, Marwaris have been considered different, in terms of the value they have attached to time, relationships, work, etc. A lot of this is clearly beginning to change. We may be adept at managing time and following processes, but, at the same time, our old values have been diluted. Moreover, globalisation has led to contamination and erosion of the Marwari work culture. Considering the effects of globalisation, it can be regarded as a double-edged sword. To some extent it has been good, as it has brought opportunity for growth and development. On the other hand, it has significantly affected Marwaris’ culture, beliefs and practices. However, these effects again mainly depend on perceptions and ideas of different people.


5

Swati Jalan

Founder & CEO, Communications 2.0

Known for their business acumen, adaptability and successes, Marwari businessmen and their methods of business are a great source of inspiration for both modern and traditional businesses. Historically, Marwaris migrated from Rajasthan and spread across India and now the world. And Marwari industrialists are remembered for their perseverance, commitment and courage till today. Today’s Marwaris are seen to dilute these old values, and Marwari youth seem to have been bamboozled by Western values which seem unsuitable for our society. The young generation, however, gives more importance to these values, as they allow freedom, flexibility, self-promotion, newness and self-confidence. Old-age qualities like support, guidance and cooperation are diminishing at a fast pace now. Given its complex sociocultural environment and economic superiority, Marwari society needs to skilfully navigate through these unique challenges. But in challenges lie opportunities such as focused government policies, quickly rising investor interest and raw entrepreneurial energy that are waiting to be unleashed, and this has led Marwaris to take these challenges head-on. The sun is indeed rising here!

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