3rd Century Philosopher Thiruvalluvar’s Quotes On Business, Finance And Management For Entrepreneurs

Thiruvalluvar, thought to have lived sometime between 3rd century BC and 1st Century BC, was a celebrated Tamil poet and philosopher who wrote the most renowned and highly regarded Thirukkural, one of the ancient works in the Tamil language. While all other Sangam works vary in their degree of popularity, Thirukkural (revered maxims) proves to be the cream of Thamizh literature.

Thirukkural (133 chapters) is divided into three parts: Aram (Ethics/Virtue – 380 verses), Porul (Wealth – 700 verses) and Inbam (Love – 250 verses)

During 300 BCE to 7th Century, it was believed that Thiruvalluvar must have written the verses for kings and their proletariats. But, it can be used even today to train students or entrepreneurs. It was massively applicable centuries ago and it’s still worth a kings’ ransom. His indispensable teachings are simple aeonian.

Any topic, be it finance, accounting, managing finances, planning, leading, communication, leadership, ethics, or social responsibility, is well written in the form of verses and well explained in Thirukkural. Thiruvalluvar has written brilliant verses on ethics, virtue, and leadership. According to him, leaders must inspire those around them by action and setting examples.

Today, when we look up to the West to get inspired we tend to forget that our own rich literary classics have enormously rich guidance enough for mentoring business students or entrepreneurs. It’s deplorable that we fail to draw relevance from the ancient myriad riches and appropriate them to solve the problems of the present.
Here are few of my personal favorite quotes by Thiruvalluvar on business, finance, and management:

The stalks of water flowers are proportionate to the depth of water; so is people’s growth proportionate to their goals.

The spear that missed to kill an elephant is worth holding than the arrow that killed a rabbit.

A wise person does not undertake any business with the risk of losing the capital money in search of making a profit.

Even if the income is less it does not matter, if the expenditure does not exceed the income.

Is there any way to safeguard and acquire wealth? Yes, there is one sure way: namely, never to covet the wealth of another.

A good leader should have the knowledge of everything that happens under him, then only he can direct the subjects in the right directions.

After a careful discussion, boldly a decision should be made. Delay in executing that decision is totally harmful.

After ascertaining what work suits a man, assign him to a fitting task

The words used should be carefully selected so that no other words can effectively replace them

Brilliance is to express even profound thoughts in simple terms so as to make listeners understand and by focused listening, understand the subtleties of the speech delivered by others

Actions which could be delayed can be postponed, however, actions to be completed immediately must be carried out without any delay

If a man were to guard himself, let him restrain anger. Otherwise, anger gets the better of him.

It will result in failure if the leader does what he should not or does what he should not.

Trusting unworthy and doubting worthy – both will cause constant worries.

To guard and to deal with others’ goods as one’s own is considered as the mark of proper trade among merchants.

The quantity of a man’s wealth will not last long if his generous nature is not balanced with the size of his property.

Keywords: Business, Finance, Management, Entrepreneurs, Time Management, Communication Skills, Decision Making, Leadership, Startup

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