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India – the land of opportunity & opportunity for cooperation

I have just returned from Mumbai after an inspiring week meeting with senior business leaders at a conference on "Success through Corporate Sustainability".

The conference, held on 2-3 Nov 2011, was organised by Tomorrow's Company and CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), and hosted by Tata, that most respected of Indian companies that is now also the largest industrial manufacturer in the UK.

Thanks especially to Tony Manwaring, Anant Nadkarni and Charles Tilley for inviting and involving me.

In contrast to the UK, Europe and the US, India is optimistic and there is a real buzz where their business people see a huge opportunity for growth. What is most noteworthy though amongst the business people I met is the importance they are putting on "the community". They understand that sustainable growth in India depends on them sorting out the problems of the community where they are active.

The second contrast with the West is that they feel it is totally natural to discuss spirituality in the context of business. With India’s increasingly well-educated executives, the English language, the openness of their society and their democracy they are going to become a real global power during the 21st century but probably with more serenity and humility than we would expect.

They have problems of course; the government is extremely bureaucratic, there is a plenty of corruption (especially around land issues), they have hundreds of millions of people below the poverty line, and their population will continue to grow throughout most of the 21st century, though at a reducing rate. But one gets a sense that the optimism and transparency of their business leaders will overcome these problems over time. I do hope so because I believe the Indian culture at its best has a lot to offer the world.

I was there to launch a publication “The Invisible Elephant and the Pyramid Treasure” which was sponsored by Tata, CIMA and Tomorrow’s Company and which describes LeaderShape’s “Development Journey to Transpersonal Leadership”. You can obtain a free copy of the publication at . The UK version will be launched at a TC / CIMA event in January 2012.

Posted by John Knights.

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