The Tenacity of Mr. Vittal


Great Lakes Management – We thank you!!! The sessions with Mr.Vittal, former Central Vigilance Commissioner, as part of a course on Ethics and Governance have been awesome. They have been thought provoking. During the course of 5 sessions  Mr. Vittal covered so much about life in business and politics. He shared his experiences and showcased how one can change one’s methods to adapt to times and yet stick to one’s values. One of the topics he discussed was the rampant corruption in government and business. To borrow his words – “the nexus of the Neta, babu, lala, jhola, and dada”. He raised concerns over corrupt people’s innovative abilities.

Mr. Vittal, Ex CVC addressing the gladiators

Mr. Vittal highlighted the various issues involved in staying true to one’s values. He used anecdotes to great effect and illustrated how the individual and society together create rules of engagement. Students posed queries on various ethical dilemmas they have encountered which elicited some very interesting viewpoints. The delightful part was that he encouraged all sort of questions – the dirtier, the better he said. Mr. Vittal’s ideas and learning drew inspiration from various sources including several scriptures of great importance such as the Bhagwad Gita. Often discounted as simply religious texts, he proved that these are sources of abundant knowledge for life and business alike.

During one of the discussions, he stated that Corruption Free Service should be made a part of our fundamental rights in a bid to tackle corruption. He threw light on how Indian civil servants have converted corruption into a low risk, high return industry. To a question on whether lobbying, if legalised, can help control corruption levels and moderate the politician-businessman nexus, he answered in the affirmative. The US Lobbying industry has flourished in the legalised format. We could take a leaf out of their book and create a similar system in India. This would help rid of a lot of black money in the market. Further, it will give a chance to the common man to voice his/her interests.  We could use a Pro bono publico system to achieve the same. A report by World Audit ranked India 64th in corruption in the world. Perhaps we need to LOBBY to legalize LOBBYING in India.

None of us wanted Mr. Vittal’s lectures to end but they had to! However, learning the importance of ethics in governance and business from a person of Mr. Vittal’s stature is indeed truly rewarding…

– Prannoy Kankaria

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2 Responses to The Tenacity of Mr. Vittal

  1. bhattathiri mulavana says:

    Excellent one.
    In this modern world the art of Management has become a part and
    parcel of everyday life, be it at home, in the office or factory and
    in Government. In all organizations, where a group of human beings
    assemble for a common purpose irrespective of caste, creed, and
    religion, management principles come into play through the management
    of resources, finance and planning, priorities, policies and practice.
    Management is a systematic way of carrying out activities in any field
    of human effort. Management need to focus more on leadership skills,
    e.g., establishing vision and goals, communicating the vision and
    goals, and guiding others to accomplish them. It also assert that
    leadership must be more facilitative, participative and empowering in
    how visions and goals are established and carried out. Some people
    assert that this really isn’t a change in the management functions,
    rather it’s re-emphasizing certain aspects of management.
    Management is creative problem solving. This creative problem solving
    is accomplished through four functions of management: planning,
    organizing, leading and controlling. The intended result is the use of
    an organization’s resources in a way that accomplishes its mission and
    objectives.
    Socio technical systems approach Technical systems such as production
    and office operation have great effect on social system such as
    personal This concept places importance on labor and lower-level
    office work and ignores other managerial knowledge. In this concept
    managing is treated as a mathematical processes. It is viewed as a
    purely logical process and is expressed in mathematical symbols and
    relationships. Managing is not a pure science and hence cannot be
    completely modeled.
    Just as human body is formed of different interdependent systems so is
    also an organization. A change in any one of these systems may affect
    all or some other systems to varying degrees. This ‘ripple effect’
    influences the effectiveness of the organization. To understand the
    interactions and the consequences between the various systems of the
    organization the managers should posses the ability to get a
    perspective view. Treating an organization as formed of different
    Systems is known as systems approach. Systems theory was first applied
    in the fields of science and engineering. It also has found wide
    acceptance in the practice of management. A system can be defined as
    essentially a set or assemblage of things interconnected or
    interdependent, so as to form a complex unity. Cars, computers,
    television and radio sets are some examples of systems. There are two
    major types of systems: closed and open. A closed system has definite
    boundaries; it operates relatively independently and is not affected
    by the environment outside the system. Stand by generator is an
    example of a closed system. With its different systems working
    together in perfect harmony the generator continues to supply power as
    long as it has sufficient fuel supply without much regard to the
    external environment. An open system as the name implies, is
    characterized by its interaction with the external environment.
    Clearly, an open-system model that includes interactions between the
    enterprise and its external environment must describe any business or
    other organization.

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