In an interactive session organized by Ladies Study Group in Kolkata, Shri Subhash Chandra answered questions about the state of education, the media and its future, his journey and his autobiography, and why it is important to identify one’s talent.
In the question and answer session, when asked if luck is more important or effort? Subhash Ji said, “I believe that what efforts we make now and what we have done till date makes us the person that we are today. And, what we do from now on and in the future, will make us the person that we will be in the future. Many times things are happening with us, good or bad and we do not know the reason, ultimately they say that it is your karma, may be your previous life that is giving you the result now or it is punishing now. My belief is that our karma are supreme, we don’t know it and so we associate it with luck. Our karma must have been good and hence we are born as humans. But if we do not do good deeds, eventually we will have to bear the consequences of it.”
“The other facet of this, that we accept much more, is kismet or destiny, which you will only believe in if you have trust in the belief that it exists,” he added.
He also spoke about the power of belief. He cited the example of why the union strikes in West Bengal in the seventies did not take place in any of the factories owned by the Birla group. He explained why the owners always build a temple in the factory grounds and told the workers that ‘while their salary is given for the effort and work at the factory, for anything else there is the temple’.
Using this Subhash ji elaborated on what the power of belief can do, and how having the confidence that things will get better, indirectly helps one to solve the seemingly unsolvable problems in life.
Speaking about his success mantra he said, “It is a truth that we all know but often don’t recognise i.e. the importance of living in the present. ‘Bhootkaal vyakul kare, ya bhavishya bharmaaye, vartmaan mein jo jiye to jeena aa jaaye’.”
Subhash Ji was asked what motivated him to start the Subhash Chandra Show. He recalled the conversation he had with his father a few years ago. He said that it is tradition to give ten percent of one’s profit to charity, which like him many follow. “My father asked me, but what about the knowledge and experience that you have collected over the past 5o years? That is the intention behind the show. To share with others what I have learned in all these years of my career,” he added. Speaking about his views on the future of television, he said, “I don’t call it future of television. ‘What is the future of the content’ is a better way to understand it. Content creation will continue to change. We as a content creation company, we look at six lenses depending on the different consumer groups. It will continue. It will continue to evolve. But the power of watching the content has gone to the user. You watch the content you like, on the device you like and at the time you like. It is no more a broadcasting model.”
When asked about the differences between being a manager and being an entrepreneur and how does one cross over to the latter, he said, “A manager can also be an entrepreneur, I call them entra-preneur. There are many managers that are enterprising. The difference is that a real entrepreneur is taking risks with his own money, his own assets with his own money, and with his own future. A manager or an entra-preneur is using the resources of the organization and yet is taking risk and becoming an entrepreneur. A pure manager will only be executing whatever the boss is saying. They will not go beyond that.”
Touching about what philanthropy means to him, Subhash Ji said, “There are many people here who know the joy of giving but there are also many in the world who know only taking and are deprived of this pleasure. The idea of philanthropy is different for different people. Some would like to donate at dharmic places, some to social causes like education or health etc. Whichever act of giving gives you joy can be your idea of philanthropy. You can’t direct a giver about how he or she can give and in what way he or she can give.”
Speaking about his foundation and the work it does, he added, “At the Subhash Chandra Foundation our philosophy is to build the capacity of the society on how to face the challenges of this world. For example, when we give a scholarship to someone we tell them that when they get educated and begin earning they will pay the good deed further by extending help to three more deserving students. And so on. We should together do something to build capacity of the people rather than giving money and making them dependent.”
Talking about the future and the vision for 2025, Subhash Ji said that things are changing at a very fast pace. Acknowledging that futurists predict many things for the future and development of technology will play a big role in it Subhash Ji said that, “Our youth, our education system is completely ignorant about it. Our businesses are ignorant about it. And that is worrying.” He also touched upon how the power of a computer in the next ten years will reach the level of human dexterity and in 30 years it will have even more computing power than human beings and said that how you look at this depends on your perspective. “If you are spiritual person, then you may think we are nearing the end, while if you are materialistic then you will be happy because everything and all comforts will be available in abundance.”
On the subject of the responsibility of media, Subhash Ji said, “The media today is not responsible. There are many reasons. When we carried out a survey, we learned that many people thought that the media is bought but they also thought that the media is their only hope.” He explained that today, people running power centres are afraid of the media and at the same time they also make use of the media and vice versa.
Answering a question about his autobiography and why did he title it as ‘the wrong man at the right time’, he said, “That’s what people said. When I came into the media business, people who were already there did not want to accept. They wondered what is this new guy doing here? Similarly, in many places I have felt a lack of acceptability. And very often, every business I did was for the first time.”
On being asked about the inspiration behind introducing ZEE TV in various regional languages, Subhash Ji said, “What we learned from Essel World’s first year is that, yes, people wanted entertainment and they wanted it close to home. So, we brought closer to home entertainment on their televisions. Once we were successful it was a natural course. Now we are also available in eleven foreign languages.”
When asked if opportunities exist or do you create opportunities, Subhash Ji answered, “Opportunity always exists, you cannot create it. If you have seen any business, it always solves a problem for the consumer. Once you solve that problem only then the business becomes successful.”
Talking about what advice he has for business families today he said that the present and coming generations should know the effort their parents and earlier generations have taken because of which they are able to enjoy the things in life as they are. “They should also feel that it becomes their duty to also give back to the society.”
“It is a businessman’s religion to earn money and be successful but it is also important to do this ethically and not earn money in a bad way,” he added. “What is also important today, is if we can become friends with our children. That’s the biggest thing. Communication is important.”
When asked about the relation between attitude and success he said, “Your attitude alone defines your success.”
Talking about talent he said, “Recognise your child’s talent. Observe it, whatever they feel like doing again and again is where their talent lies. Among every thousand children born, two or three of these are prodigy children. But not only parents fail to understand their child’s talent, teachers and our education system also doesn’t recognise it. This leads the child to become a problem instead of a prodigy for the society. He or she behaves very differently, and we take t very differently. We fail to realize that they have something very special in them.” He urged people to recognize one’s own the potential identify the unique talent that they have.
The interactive session saw audiences in large numbers. The Ladies Study Group in Kolkata has, for over five decades, been working for the empowerment of women, aspiring women achievers especially women entrepreneurs.