Published in Corporate Dossier, ET, March 25, 2011

In the 12th century, a great revolution took place in India. A poet called Jayadeva wrote a song called Gita Govinda in Sanskrit, expressing ideas and sentiments that were until then whispered in folk songs. He referred to a lady called Radha, whose love for Krishna was deep and passionate. Together they danced and made music in joyous abandon in the gardens of Madhuvan on the banks of the Yamuna under the autumn moon. Eventually, however, we are informed by the scriptures that Krishna leaves Madhuvan in pursuit of his destiny. Radha stays back, like a flower that was once loved by the bee.

While the magical love of Radha and Krishna, especially as expressed in the Gita Govinda, fired the imagination of people, Radha images were restricted to temples of the Gangetic plains. In Krishna’s major temples, be it Nathdvara in Gujarat, Pandharpur in Maharashtra, Udupi in Karnataka, Guruvayur in Kerala or Puri in Orissa, there is no image of Radha, despite continuous reference to their dance, Rasa Lila. She is but a slip of memory, potent in the worship of Krishna.

Often in small companies emerge great talent. They help the small companies grow but they are destined for greater things. These talented individuals yearn to move on but feel guilty about leaving the company that gave them an early opportunity to prove their mettle. It is in these moments, that the bosses of such talented individuals have to think of Radha and understand the importance of letting go, for the benefit of the talent. Krishna has to leave Madhuvan to fulfill his destiny in the cities of Mathura, Dwaraka, Indraprastha and Hastinapur, but Radha has to stay behind in the village of cowherds and milkmaids. The separation is full of affection not bitterness. One has to keep the larger picture in mind, and the talent of the talented one. In wisdom, one has to not hold on, but let go.

It was clear to Mr. Rodrigues that the young boy, Praful, who he hired straight out of college, was brilliant. Mr. Rodrigues had a small printing establishment and business had been good so he needed a client-servicing executive, someone to run between the client and the studio and the press with the printouts and corrections and ensure everything gets done. Mr. Rodrigues supervised the operations in the studio and the press. In no time, Praful managed to charm the customers and get more business. He just had the uncanny ability to satisfy the customers’ needs. He could even predict what they wanted. In four years, Mr. Rodrigues knew that his business depended on Praful but Praful did not depend on him. He could get a job anywhere for twice the salary. In fact, competitors had already approached him. When Praful came to Mr. Rodrigues with his resignation letter, Mr. Rodrigues was not upset. This was an eventuality that he had come to accept. He blessed Praful with great success and let him go without any strings attached.

Today Praful is a very senior Marketing Manager in the corporate world. He got his break into the big league because of his experience at Mr. Rodrigues’ press. He cannot forget those early days. He is eternally grateful for Mr. Rodrigues’ maturity and support. He can never forget the Madhuvan of his career.