On 12th May 2020 PM Modiji gave a clarion call to make Bharat Atmanirbhar, self-reliant.

All of us are familiar with the obvious opportunities or lack of it available in the physical infrastructure space to be acted upon to make us self-reliant. I believe there’s a selfimprovement angle which needs to be paired along with the physical infrastructure to make ourselves truly atmanirbhar.

In this article, I would like to delve on this psychological angle which is equally, if not more important, to lead us on the path of self-reliance, and more pertinently it is something which we all can implement without an iota of financial capital. Some of the low hanging fruits in this direction are:

Focus – In Mahabharat, when Guru Dronacharya asked all his students what do they see when asked to aim at the eye of a clay bird, it was only Arjun who answered that he saw nothing but the eye of the target. No wonder he is still remembered as the greatest marksman. A marathon runner can easily run a 100 mtr sprint, but they don’t.

Focus results in optimized use of one’s resources. It enhances the efficiency of one’s activity. It forces us to get into the microscopic details of the activity which helps in improving the product or the process. It brings in the benefit of economies of scale. It helps produce an ecosystem where everybody is constructively employed in an activity in which they excel. Quality, thus will be a natural extension of this strategic attribute.

The temptations to diversify and invest in other apparently high yielding opportunities is the mirage which mesmerizes an entrepreneur to venture into non-core businesses. And like most temptations, this urge should be controlled. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

No Jugaad – Jugaad or a hack is a temporary resolution for a problem. No permanent structure can be developed on a temporary or weak foundation. Instead of rushing through and feeling proud about having figured out a jugaad or a setting, we should invest time and resources to deeply understand the problem and engineer an elegant and permanent solution for it.

We should not get carried away by equating jugaad with value engineering. Value engineering means recalibrating a product to improve its cost without compromising the functional attributes of a product. A jugaad is an impermanent compromise in either the process, design, or manufacturing of the product which may or may not affect the original application of the product. There are no shortcuts to success.

Commitment – Business transactions are fraught with uncertainties and risk. When these transactions involve different geographies, culture, and language these risks only get amplified. One easy way to assuage this risk to honor one’s commitment.

This crucial attribute inspires trust, confidence, and a feeling of peacefulness in the counterparty’s mind.

Commitment doesn’t necessarily mean that we agree to whatever the counterparty demands, but to also have the audacity backed by reason, to say NO when the situation demands. To say what we mean and to mean what we say will open a thousand doors for us.

Patience – These efforts won’t start yielding the results overnight. Confidence and trust in one’s capabilities would be the fodder to keep one persistently persevere towards the long term goal to be the best in whatever we aspire to achieve. Patience is therefore another pertinent attribute required for an enterprise to be successful and self-reliant in this pursuit of being global. It takes time for the seed to grow into a healthy tree and to start bearing the fruits. Rome was not build in a day

Any self-improvement exercise is a challenging task because it requires tremendous will power. There’s an enormous internal resistance, coupled with temptations to continue with the status quo. But when one is truly passionate, without any external carrot or stick, the journey starts. It is a challenging route but for sure rewarding.

To be a great investment destination, we have to completely internalize the belief that we are truly the place that investors can’t afford to miss. Our thoughts, actions, and habits should all be world class. We should set the benchmarks for others to follow.