Businesses thriving in harsh environment have an ideal higher than personal profit. There is a common thread that drives them forward for years. This common thread is represented in the core values established by the founding fathers. Businesses that integrate people with the broader goal of sustainability by this common cord are those that live. There is a pioneer of these value driven business practices in the history of corporate India, the TATA group. Understanding the journey of Tata group in the perspective of HR practices can help us examine the role of people or employees in the success of an organization. For this let us understand the core values of the founding father of this business community.
Jamsetji started the business when India was entering the final phase of colonization. Having met with obstruction and harassment in pre-independence India he adopted a new ideal for his business ‘Community capitalism’. According to eminent Japanese scholar Haruo Funabashi ‘Jamsetji had a more holistic perspective, however. His focus was not the trees but the forest—that is, not the individual stakeholders but the community in the largest sense’. All his efforts whether building a world class hotel or sprawling townships, had been aimed at the greater good of community and nation. Community capitalism is a ‘people first’ approach to business. Jamsetji was the stalwart of HR innovations. In a time when workers were treated as ‘Cogs in wheel’, he voluntarily considered their functional limitations. He provided them with benefits like eight hour working day, free medical aid and maternity benefits long before the government mandated these provisions. By aligning his business aspirations with nation building he engaged in greater community development. All this contributed towards creating a motivated workforce.
The ideals of Jamsetji were carried forward by subsequent Tata leaders. Each leader synergized these...
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