Monday, April 25, 2005

Sciontology - II

If your dad owned a major Indian company, would you still travel by DTC bus to college? Well, Ranbaxy heirs Malvinder and Shivinder Singh did just that. Even when U special buses were stoned during the Mandal Commission protests, daddy didn't offer 'take the BMW instead.'

This, and more, was revealed in an interesting conversation with Shobha De on "Power Trip" aired on Sahara One - a channel I would normally not be caught dead watching.

The difference between a 'coat-tailer', as described in my previous post and inheritors who've taken the family legacy forward can be summed up in a single word: 'values'.

Those who had it too easy in life, and too comfortable, are doomed to remain dabblers. Those who were brought up to realise the value of money - despite having so much of it - are programmed to succeed.

'Modesty Blaze'
Take the example of Kumarmanglam Birla. I have, personally, experienced how lightly he wears his family name on his shoulders.

In college, I represented Sophia on the quiz circuit. One fine day, an organisation called 'Sangeet Kala Kendra' held an inter-collegiate quiz. After the elimination round I got a call from a 'Kumar' saying 'your team has qualified'. We stood second at quiz, losing by a narrow margin to St Xaviers :(

Much later, I figured Kumar - who had also been busy behind-the-scenes during the finals at Sophia Bhabha hall - was in fact Kumarmanglam. He could easily have come there as a chief guest and exerted himself only to distribute prizes ( Sangeet Kala Kendra being a Birla cultural trust) . Instead, he and his wife Neerja chose to be anonymously and actively involved.

The difference between Kumarmangalam and the son or daughter of a Johnny-come-lately is humility. When you've already arrived you don't have to throw your weight around. Or attract undue attention to yourself. You let your work speak for itself.

On the other hand, there's Yash of 'Yash and Avanti Birla' fame....

Takes all kinds - and hair colours - to make up the coat-tailer universe!

20 comments:

  1. Glad, should i say, that, i got disconnected while i was posting my comment on the first part of this article and only to realise how others have mentioned Prem ji and stuff. How could u forget Rajeev Bajaj who got his company back vrooooming on bikes and Sulajja Firodia Motwani who changed it all from just CHAL MERI LUNA...

    Values, this was what i had mentioned in my post. Glad that you wrote the second part and now the scales are even.

    On second thoughts, why just call children as COAT TAILOR's aren't spouses the same? Designer to socialites... nothing better but its just the name game..

    ReplyDelete
  2. All right!! Well, seriously, I would respect a kid who carries forward his parent hard work, rather than one who spends tons of money to figure out his calling and place in the world..
    perfect contrast of Kumar and Yash.. thanks for this post

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rashmi,

    I had done a post on what you term 'sciontology' on Jivha's blog; is a new caste system emerging?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Rashmi,

    You are dead right about Kumarmanagalam. I recently met him at Crosswords, Kemps corner. I was browsing though the book rows until I happened to catch a glance of a gentlemen, quietly making across. I suspected him to be Kumarmangalam, but was unsure as this gentlemen was all alone. No frills No accompaniment !! I looked around if I could get a glimpse of a lady called Neerja, his wife ( who is more visible in the press etc), just to be sure. Not finding her anyway near, I walked across to him and asked if he indeed was the "mighty" Birla. He replied indeed he was Kumarmangalam Birla. I has half prepared to mutter sorry and walk away, if he didn't turn out to be Kumarmangalam. Now facing him, I forgot to say anything. I recovered and told him, we( the JBIMS Team) had won the runners up position at the recent Business-Today Acumen Quiz finals at Delhi. This event was sponsored by his group. I was amazed that he recalled signing the certificates of the events, a fortnight ago (though, Mr Birla was not at the prize distribution). He then asked me about my studies, family and future plans. After 5 minutes, he said he had to leave and wished me luck. I could not believe that the Head honcho of such a big enterprise could talk with such warmth to a total stanger who "accidently" bumps into him. That does show the moral upbringing, integrity and class of the man. Hats off Sir !!!

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