top of page

Mahatma Gandhi as a CEO! An intriguing perspective!

GIRI BALASUBRAMANIAM| Quizmaster and CEO of Greycaps Giri Balasubramaniam is a noted Quizmaster and CEO of Greycaps. Affectionately known as Pickbrain, he has presented over 2000 shows across nine countries of the world and has authored several GK books. He is a popular speaker, educator and a youth mentor. An alumnus of the prestigious Harvard Business School, he is the driving force behind several educational and knowledge initiatives of Greycaps. He is also a TEDx speaker.


We are a nation which sees many carry gods, goddesses and godmen in their wallets. The one person though, who is found in every wallet across this nation is Mahatma Gandhi. As we see the Mahatma every day and remember him even more in October, it made me ponder over what it would be like if he were the CEO of a modern corporation. The thought led me to pen the values his corporation would have stood for.


Gandhi had once said ‘Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth’. His corporation would have stood for trust, fair play and would have strived to be a company which is very transparent to both its employees and customers. It is a value that many corporations across the world struggle to uphold. It is an intangible asset that would enhance the value of any corporation that upholds it truly, in practice.


Gandhi as a CEO would have laid great emphasis on quality. He always looked at details and perfection. He also believed strongly in the way you do things, which reflects on the importance of process rather than results. Where the means are as important as the end, the process yields the result and the quality of the result.


As the head of the corporation, Gandhi would have focussed a lot on this aspect. He advocated that we must ‘learn as if we were to live forever’. His employees would be a part of regular training programs and he would have fostered a learning environment. His corporation would logically have been an innovative company driven by R&D, which would always look to do things differently and keep a focus on the future.


Debate and Dialogue based decision making would have been the order of the day. He often wanted ‘honest disagreements’ and saw it as a ‘good sign of progress’. It would have been a company that certainly would have been driven by team decisions, where everyone would have a fair share of voice. It would have been a corporation where the products and services would have spoken more than its people or management.


‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world’. This would have been his permanent message to his colleagues. Change at his enterprise would have unfailingly been something the company would haves clearly adopted and not merely advocated.


While Gandhi was astute with his economics and the need for any enterprise to be profitable, he would have got his company to clearly think through what they want to do with those profits. It would quite naturally seem like an organisation which would have made serving the larger good of society and touching the lives of people with what they do, a mandate.

If we look at these six pillars that a Gandhi would have possibly focussed on, had he been a CEO, it turns out, these are quite simple, yet valuable pillars that all of us wish a corporation to have.

Maybe, Gandhi would have been too valuable to just serve as the CEO of one enterprise. He probably would have then been one of the best management gurus of our time!

This article was originally published in magazine in the month of October, 2018.


bottom of page