I have not given a count on the number of cases which we have prepared so far, during the first three terms of the ISB schedule. Some of the cases are inspiring…some others are average and a few of them are even boring to some extent with their high quantitative content. But, the last case of “Entrepreneurship”…Harvard Business School case on “The Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, India: In service for Sight”, has made me think really hard.
Normally, the entrepreneurship cases are filled with a high emphasis on Venture Capitalists, angel investors, politics and government, high technology stuff and last but not the least the passion to make profits. But here is this case where the entrepreneur mixes passion with spirituality, success with the desire to serve humanity and an appeal with a mission.
Dr. V as he is addressed in the case, is none other than Dr. Venkataswamy, who started the Aravind eye hospital after retiring from the Government services. He revolutionized the way cataract is treated in the country, and got back light into the lives of many.
Here is something, directly from the words of Dr. V (as presented in the case)
“What I learnt from Mahatma and Swami Aurobindo was that all of us through dedication in our professional lives can serve humanity and God. Achieving a sense of spirituality or higher consciousness is a slow and gradual process. It is wrong to think that unless you are a mendicant or a martyr you cannot be a spiritual person. When I go to the meditation room at the hospital every morning, I ask God that I be a better tool, a receptacle for the divine force. We can all serve humanity in our normal professional lives by being more generous and less selfish in what we do. You don’t have to be a “religious” person to serve God. You serve God by serving humanity”
What makes me really admire Dr. V, is his ability to transform his motto of life into success with such immaculate perfection. Such cases does question the real objective of life..the real objective beyond the passion to make profits...beyond the desire to grasp power....beyond the board rooms...and beyond the tangible measures of success.