The ‘Thirukural’ or simply ‘Kural’ is an infinite and ever-flowing fountain of knowledge. It belongs to Tamil literature treasure in India and is considered as one of the greatest literary works in Tamil literature. Thiruvalluvar, also called ‘Valluvar’, is the author of the 2000-year old Thirukkural that preaches moral values with couplets each having 7 words or 140 characters – making him the ‘world’s first Tweeter!’ Spread over 133 chapters, the Kural comprises 1300 couplets which are broadly classified into three distinct categories: Virtue, Wealth and Pleasure. The first chapter deals with individual’s character or management of self, the second about management of affairs of the state and the last chapter talks about the relationship between Man and Woman.This post attempts to establish the relevance of the wisdom of Thirukkural in modern management and entrepreneurial practices.

1. Chapter 68, Couplet 5: Transliteration (of Tamil couplet):

Porulkaruvi Kaalam Vinaiyitanotu Aindhum
Iruldheera Ennich Cheyal

Explanation of this verse:
“Area/Place, Money in hand, Resources, Proper timing and sufficient exercise [on mission of the organization and product (features) or implementation process]-Wise men always evaluate these five factors before they go about initiating a task/job systematically.”

2.A Chapter 49, Couplet 4: Transliteration:

Gnaalam Karudhinung Kaikootung Kaalam
Karudhi Itaththaar Seyin

Explanation of this verse:
“Whoever picks a suitable place and sound strategy surely vanquishes all the rivals. And after deciding the goals, whoever makes effort at a suitable place in the right direction, he/she will surely win all his/her rivals.”

3. Chapter 76, Couplet 9: Transliteration:

Seyka Porulaich Cherunar Serukkarukkum
Eqkadhanir Kooriya Thil

Explanation of this verse:
“An entrepreneur must accumulate wealth; it will destroy the arrogance of (his) foes and, there is no weapon sharper than this.”

4. Chapter 68, Couplet 3: Transliteration:

Ollumvaa Yellaam Vinainandre Ollaakkaal
Sellumvaai Nokkich Cheyal

Explanation of this verse:
“When the environment around is conducive, then stick to the direct route to your goal. In case of adverse conditions, follow the route where the least hurdles bother you.”

5. Chapter 49, Couplet 5: Transliteration:

Kaalam Karudhi Iruppar Kalangaadhu
Gnaalam Karudhu Pavar

Explanation of this verse:
“Winners (successful entrepreneurs)keep looking for the right opportunity and avail it when it comes along their way. They are not deterred by the problems in the way.”

6. Chapter 49, Couplet 9:  Transliteration:

Aruvinai Yenpa Ulavo Karuviyaan
Kaalam Arindhu Seyin

7. Chapter 49, Couplet 5: Transliteration:

Eydhar Kariyadhu Iyaindhakkaal Annilaiye
Seydhar Kariya Seyal

Explanation of Couplet 3 & 9 of Chapter 49:

“The one who utilizes all resources and opportunities at hand is an efficient entrepreneur and nothing is impossible to achieve for him.”

These Kurals are readily compatible with the contemporary techniques of entrepreneurial decision making for startups. We are able to not only present a more accountable and ethical management system but also steer towards the direction of restoring world economy through modern management with the age old wisdom of Thirukkural. Thus, this way we can fill the gap in the existing paradigm of management theory and actual practice.

References:

  1. thirukkural.com
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tirukkural