Friday, January 13, 2006

Shubh Labh

Shubh Labh is an inscription one sees in many business places (or at entrances to traditional business places) in India. It is written in Devanagri script on either side of a swastika (I will upload a picture sometime) with red turmeric. Literally translated it means, auspicious profit and is generally denoted by a Swastika (Right pointed, not left).

I am not sure where this term started from (do let me know in case you are aware) and I am also not sure how this term escaped the attention of them socialists (how can profit be auspicious, after all we are socialists) during our heady days of socialism.

The Marwaris (and many others) have something called a chopdi pooja which is basically a day on which the ledgers and records (these days computers too) are worshipped. When something is worshipped, the underlying meaning is that it is good, ethical. Which is why, for many businessmen, being fair in business is a big thing. The connection with spirituality and worship is a way of "corporate governance", though the meaning of it has been largely diluted today and shubh labh is now more about labh than about shubh.

In its truest sense Shubh labh perhaps epitomises capitalism more than anything else.

4 comments:

Sanity Starved said...

I was in Gujarat and I can tell you I never thought there was anything Shubh the way you think of it. I always thought, they meant money when they said God :)

On the earlier post, yes, you could brand it. Read the Indian Express article but banking is very different where, like you said, even ICICI is thinking of using banias in villages. Penetration levels in banking are really good with plenty of cooperatives in villages as well.

But, apart from maybe the top dozen of them, the education levels in B-schools really deteriorate further down the order. Besides, if I am not mistaken, the total number of seats in the top four IIMs is about a thousand. Never mind the student demand, even the industry needs a lot more than that.

Wharton alone has over 1700 MBA students, not to mention the US has plenty of good MBA programs, population is just a third and its harder still to find graduates, let alone graduates heading for B-schools.

I am not sure if it is a constraint on resources here, but the Ministry might be right for once since we do need a lot of investment in education, like other areas of infrastructure, and I don't see anyone other than the IIMs equipped to foster more good management institutions.

Anthony said...

@ Pidus, Like I said in my IIM posts, even a 1000 is more than a handful, never mind the demand.

And that observation about subhlabh very intersting indeed

Swarna said...

I recently tried to find the true meaning of Shubh Laabh.
Found a simple explanation in Shubh & Laabh

ajit said...

there is a simpler explanation. shubh & labh are the sons of lord ganesha and their names are written to invoke the blessings of the lord for an auspicious beginning.
watch gyan guru !