Have you ever ranted about the business minds of the ‘Marwaris?’ Sometimes in sheer jealousy but more out of curiosity?
They are a species who are not born to be ‘The businessman’. Who is? How would a new born child know the ‘B’ of business?
No, the genes do not transfer the business qualities to and fro.
It is rather about developing it.
Now that makes you curious as to how are these qualities are so impeccably developed in each one of them?
So here is what goes into the ‘Making of a Marwari into a businessman.
I am not proud that I’m a Marwari. Here’s why;
When I was 10 years old, I went to my Father’s elder brother (Tauji in Hindi and Bade Papa in Marwari) and asked him for money to get a haircut. He handed me 10 rupees for it. When I told him the barber charges 15, he said he knew that very well and he wanted me to get it done in 10. Or if I wasn’t capable of it, I can let him know and he’ll give me the additional capital of Rupees Five. I was 10 but this still seemed like a challenge I couldn’t accept defeat to. So I took the 10 rupees and marched off to the saloon. It was Sunday ofcourse and the place was crowded. I waited outside observing and realised I had to strategize better. So I came back home and got back to studying. 3 days later when it was Wednesday, I came home from School and freshened up and left to the barber. As I had suspected, he was sitting idle, reading a newspaper without a customer in sight. So walked in I and demanded the fees for his service. When he said 15, I offered 10. He refused and I pretended to walk off but (like I had “strategized”) he called me back in.
When my Bade Papa came back home from office that evening, I was flaunting my trimmed hair and asked ofcourse. When I told him what I did, he couldn’t help smile with pride and took out his wallet and handed me a 5 rupees note. And said, this is your money, you have earned it. I still have that note.
Now who puts a 10 year old through all of that? Apparently, my entire family did.
By the time I turned 18, I had 10,000 rupees “earned”.
What did I grow up to be?
No, not a miser certainly. I’m an adventure junkie, a hobbyist photographer, an avid motorcyclist, amidst other things. Most of these hobbies would not favour a miser.
So what did I grow up to be? A very calculative and smart human being. I started valuing money at a very young age.
While my friends gambled about at gamezones and Amoebas, I stayed away because the act of winning money never seemed pleasing to me moreso because I had only learnt to earn it.
While they’d look up the new features of the yet to be launched Microsoft’s Windows 2007, I’d study the business model of Microsoft and its marketing strategies.
When they’d all discuss their dream jobs, I’d look up promoters of those companies and their history.
Everybody thought about money. I thought about it too. But from the other side of the table. The one that gave money. The employer’s side.
And this stands true for all my other friends from the same Marwari community. We all thought alike because we were all brought up alike; valuing money.
- And money management was one of the key lessons that we got in our childhood.
- We were taught the importance of hardwork. That no man ever made anything out of himself who did not work hard.My Father, when he was 13 would wake up at 3.30am in the morning to walk 5 miles selling Methi Laddoos in the Vaav Village located near Surat City, Gujarat.
He moved to Bangalore and started a textile business of his own. I was born a few years later, by which time his hardwork gave me the privilege to study in the best school in the Country. Did I really need anyone else as my hero to look upto for inspiration to work hard?
- And then we were taught the virtue of ethics. To not touch the money that doesn’t belong to you.I found a Rs1000/- note on the road one day while leaving School. Fresh and crisp like it had just fallen out of the printing machine. And who knows, it just might have. I came home with it, showed it to my mom and guess what happened next? She took me to the nearest gaushala (Something like an old age home for cows. We Maadus’ love cows. They are the most sensitive animals there are. More on this some other time, but.) and asked me to buy the cows all the hay the 1000 rupees note could buy.
Alot of people think our community is one miser community.
We are not. But we dont debate it. We dont really have the time for it. While arguing with someone, who himself couldn’t do anything in life, will earn us no good, it would as a matter of fact rob us of our time. And boy, our time is precious.
I am not proud that I am a Marwari. How can I be “proud” of it? It was a genetic accident. You can only be proud of something you earn. Nationality, religion, they’re all a natural selection. Which is why I am privileged that I was born a Marwari.
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Source Writer : Prakash Solanki