Nehru once told Tata that he hated the word profit.
“Jawaharlal, I am talking about the need of the public sector making a profit,” Tata shot back.
“Never talk to me about the word profit; it is a dirty word,” Nehru retorted.
Tata, unsure of the prime minister’s socialist bent of mind, turned down his invitation to join a delegation to the United Nations on the ground that there was so much to do inside the country. Giving the same argument, he declined Nehru’s invitation to head Indian Rare Earths, one of the first public sector units floated after Independence. In turn, Tata’s Air India, Air India International and insurance outfit were nationalized by the government.
- http://www.business-standard.com/article/beyond-business/-profit-is-a-dirty-word-110081400017_1.html (Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's discussion with JRD Tata)
This was the seed of socialism that had crippled the country since Independence. It took almost 44 years for the country to come out of Nehru-growth model (famously called Hindu-growth rate), but still the roots of misguided socialism are very strong.
There is a need to accept business as a good karma. Doing a business takes a lot of guts, risk taking abilities and hard work. It is a completely different ballgame when you know that your decision can alter lives of not only yours, but of families and dependents of those who work for you. Intellectuals and politicians should stop selling idea of a welfare state. It is not going to lift the standards of people, and will eventually empty state reserves.
It is good to dream of becoming an Ambani or a Premji or a Tata or a Bansal. This creates a good competition in market and creates an ambitious society. Greater respect is needed for people who generate employment, be it a tea-stall owner, a wedding planner, a 20-year old startup enthusiast, or a CEO of MNC.
For one Mallya or Jindal, there are thousands (if not lakhs) businessmen generating employment, revenues, foreign reserves and careers of millions of citizens. From manufacturing to aviation, from steel to clothes, from IT to healthcare, progress being made is largely because of the presence of small, medium or large industries in these sectors.
There are many mid-to-senior level people, with great experience and qualifications, stuck in their comfort-zones, hesitant to venture something new. This is where right kind of education and culture is needed. We generate employees, not employers through our system. The change is happening, and hopefully the next generation won't have such hesitations.
Meanwhile a salute to all the budding entrepreneurs. You are doing a great job.