Uncategorized, wisdom

What do we owe our children ?

On April fools day in 2006, posted an article real estate bubble ? a curse. The most visible victims of this curse are none other than the Raju’s of Satyam, headquartered in Hyderabad. I am exposed to Hyderabadis, because my mother hails from there and must say their love for land, property, etc. defies all logic. Competence of families and individuals, is not bench marked by what they can produce or achieve, but the property they own. Still remember when my cousin was  to be married, casually enquired what does he do ?, “he has lot of property” was the quick reply, nothing else mattered.

Ramalinga Raju for what it is, built a fantastic franchise, which was the 4th largest software company in India with 53,000 employees. He had a golden goose, which was laying a golden egg every year, equivalent to 1000+ crores in cash. But this was not enough to catch up with the Jones of Hyderabad, the GMRs, GVKs etc whose land banks were appreciating 100% + per year, constantly confronting social perception, you are nothing, if  not in real estate. Forgetting the story of the golden goose,  he got his son B Teja Raju to start a infrastructure company and started diverting (or siphoning) funds from a public limited company to grow the new company. The father liked real estate but the son was even more crazy about it. This is what Indian families don’t understand, delinking family relationships with business or politics. To promote the family, they deprive both company and country. Raju, could well have given the best education to his son and asked him to prove himself in life, but this does not come naturally to Indians.

We owe a good environment, education, guidance and advice to our children as they course correct in life. The wise will not keep accumulating wealth and assets to underwrite their children’s life. Ramalinga Raju could have had a plan to disengage with Satyam and focused on better things in life. But he got caught in this vicious spiral, to out perform his city neighbours or even caste rivals, forgetting a good adage ” if you compare you will perish”

Kabir, in the 15th century used to preach that if your children are good, don’t waste your time saving money and assets for them. If they are useless even more reason not to do so. But who is listening anyway.

2 thoughts on “What do we owe our children ?”

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