Yes, this may be a pipe dream, but worth contemplating anyway..

Posted: August 18, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

This thought was born when there was a discussion in another group I belong to, around the thousands of crores of rupees spent on creating the new Mukesh Ambani residence, and whether it made sense at all.

imagesMy point in that debate was that, the money being spent, came into circulation, and enabled many others – from architects to interior decorators to engineers to contractors to labourers – to earn a living, or a little more than that. And in that way, it was a good thing that the money got spent!

And which is what led me to this blog post.

Successful and driven people like Mukesh Ambani will continue to make more and more money! They already have a humungous capital base, and due to the drive they have, due to the kind of businesses that they are in, they will keep growing that capital base, year after year. That is a given.

How they make the money, whether they break the laws to do so, etc. are not the subject matter of this post. So I will not get into that debate here.

Consider the simple fact that they sit on a massive capital base and which will keep growing.

The money that they have is certainly enough for a few generations of their family, to live extremely handsomely, and without needing to work at all. And that has been the general mindset of Indian business people. Which is why we see extremely large amassing of wealth, but nearly abysmal ‘giving back’.

Beyond a point, let’s say, beyond Rs. 500 cr or say, Rs. 1,000 cr, if someone has more wealth, does it even make a difference? In real usage point of view, will it make a difference if one has Rs. 1,001 cr or Rs. 10,000 cr?? Typically, no serious difference as far as lifestyle is concerned.

Then the amassing of more wealth is only for purpose of leaving it behind for your progeny.

But what does it do to the future generations? Leaving aside a few exceptions of rich families, most times, the subsequent generations have degenerated! No serious motivation to work, lots and lots of wealth to go around, and what that creates more often than not, are wasted individuals.

So all that money left behind, to give comfort to your future generations, only to create lazy, unmotivated spoilt kids?? Is that what they wish for their future generations?

When very rich people SPEND their money or USE it in any interesting way that it comes out in circulation, I am happy! Like I said, they WILL earn, and keep earning. Rather than stay in their lockers and bank balances in India or outside India, if that money comes out in circulation, it is helping many others to make a worthwhile living.

Coming back to the conversation of Mukesh Ambani’s home, the cost of building it was said to be around Rs. 4,700 crores. That is the equivalent of 100 years of revenue of a mid-sized company employing a few hundred people! If that kind of employment and wealth distribution / circulation can happen via a single project, what’s wrong with that? If this had not happened, chances are that the money could have just been lying around in some bank locker! Who would it have helped then??

(I have a *different* objection to that house he has built – it is an eyesore – but that is a different point, anyway)

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates (R) and MuBeyond that spend on the house, if one was to contemplate for the Mukesh Ambani situation, what if at some point finally, the Bill Gates’ kind of viewpoint appeals to him? And he leaves enough but not obscenely high amount of capital for his future generations?! And which leaves him with a LOT of capital to do other things with. The kind of challenge that Bill Gates is working with. So what would he do with all that money? What COULD be do with it?

Well, if anyone can do tremendous benefit to society, with so much wealth, it is Mukesh Ambani. Not just because he has wealth – many others do too – but he has the ability to manage projects of massive size, efficiently, where capital deployment can create significant impact! the-ultimate-leaders-manoj-modi

In Mukesh Ambani and his right hand man, Manoj Modi, we have a combo who can execute massive projects better than anyone else. Give them the challenges of the country – water and sanitation, girls’ education, modernising agriculture, disease eradication etc. etc., and they are totally capable to taking these on, at a country wide level, and making these happen! What a tremendous boon it would be for the country if they were to at some stage, leave the reins of the RIL business to some capable individual (will never be as good as they are, but that’s fine – see Bill Gates’ reference again!), and decide to deploy their wealth and time to doing good? And it would be a win-win-win all over..

– after a wonderful lifetime spent achieving fame and glory as successful businessmen, they can contribute back to society, and before they leave this world, they would have left a much larger imprint than having created a massive business enterprise,

– they would leave only adequate amount of capital for their future generations, which will ensure comfort, but may leave that much room to inspire the next-gen to continue to work hard, and not waste their lives,

– they would take on some of India’s massive challenges, which look almost not-solvable today, and actually create solutions, which their personal skills and abilities, along with their wealth, are capable of creating.

What more can you ask for in life?

Well, as I said, it is a dream, but it is worthwhile contemplation. Maybe the energy waves of my thoughts will reach them, and someday, this becomes a reality..?!

P.S. The reference to next generation of very rich people being spoilt or not motivated enough, is a generic one. In particular, I have no idea about Mukesh Ambani’s children and this is certainly not a personal reference to them!

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