A corrupt nation cannot be rich: CK Prahalad | business | Hindustan Times
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A corrupt nation cannot be rich: CK Prahalad

The professor of strategy at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, quoted data to show that there is a heavy co-relation between corruption and a low position in the human development index and, finally, the wealth created in a nation, reports Suman Layak.

business Updated: May 08, 2008 22:58 IST
Suman Layak

It was an unusual meeting for the Confederation of Indian Industry – where all invitees had arrived 20 minutes in advance and the meeting could start 10 minutes before it was scheduled to begin. Indian industry was meeting thought leader CK Prahalad and, according to president KV Kamath, the video-conference connecting eight cities had halls overflowing as more people had come in than the CII had invited in the first place.

Prahalad presented his vision for India 15 years from now. Something he had done last year when the CII had asked him to address the celebration of India at 60 in New York. And at the end of Friday’s address and during the open session Prahalad stressed that India must fight corruption if it wanted to get where it wants to.

The professor of strategy at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, quoted data to show that there is a heavy co-relation between corruption and a low position in the human development index and, finally, the wealth created in a nation.

“Corrupt nations do not develop their human resources. Without that you cannot create wealth or become a rich nation,” he said.

Prahalad even sounded out a warning note. “If you do not take the entire nation along in growth, the country will grow only in some areas but other areas will remain poor. And then you will have to face a volcano,” he said.

“There are 170 districts in this country now where there is no rule of law. You can find them between Nepal and Telangana. It is the result of bad governance and nothing else,” he said.

Parliamentarian and chief executive officer of Jindal Steel and Power Naveen Jindal said in India one was often brought up in a way to accept corruption. “Often when we get our job done as a company and the person who does it for us refuses to accept any favours we feel guilty and wonder why he is not taking anything,” he said.

Prahalad said India seemed to have gone into a collective paralysis over corruption and spreading information and education was the only way to fight it.