I write to you from Bangkok having just spoken at the World Hindu Economic Forum. Although I spoke without a script, this is what I said (from memory!):
Jai Shree Krishna. I am the richest man in the world. I am the richest man in the world and it is right I should be here to speak to you about wealth creation. I am the richest man in the world, because I was born a Hindu.
It is estimated that since the beginning of human history there have been some 80 billion humans who have lived and died. And more of them have been followers of the Hindu faith than of any other. Think of it. More Hindus have walked this earth than those of any other faith. Of course we Hindus believe all 80 billion were Hindus, whether they realised it or not.
Yet everywhere we are under attack. Our economic strength, which once used to hold up the world on our shoulders now dwindles. The trajectory if not altered would see us an extinct species. But I am not here to manufacture some fear in you, mine is a message of hope.
Economically, we are on the battlefield of Kurukshetra on which in the Gita Lord Krishna told Arjun to do battle against insurmountable odds. He mights have said ‘What better way to die than this, against insurmountable odds, for the ashes of our fathers, and the temples of our gods.’
For the world is Kurukshetra and we are all economic warriors now. Each of us is Arjun now. Fighting for our existence. Ask any businessman and they will tell you – it is a war every day.
For me there are three things you all businessmen and women must do. First, own the intellectual property. Patent it, copyright it, trademark it and then licence it. Otherwise you will forever be merely making a good income for yourself but true wealth for someone else. It is no coincidence that the richest countries in the world are also the ones that produce the most patents. Rethink how you do business to be a business producing and protecting patents.
Second, build for Western Government contracts through online government procurement bids. The UK government and taxpayer wants desperately to have the best value and quality for money. Any provider in the world is eligible. The UK Government spends more in a year then the entire GDP of India. The EU is the largest trading zone in the world. Whilst you scurry around thinking power and wealth has moved East, you overlook the bigger Western prize.
Finally, all Empires need headquarters to be located there. Given Europe is the world’s largest market – larger than the US – you need a HQ there, then as a European, and may I recommend British, company – go global and build your Empire.
So then after centuries of decline from might to ‘might have been’, it is for us gathered here, alive at this time in human existence to build, to rebuild the Hindu nation. It falls to us to prove our bloodline. That we are the sons of Ram, the daughters of Sita and the children of Lakshmi.
We have to prove we are economic warriors, that our ancestors, the billions who have gone before, never weep for us. For we are left now as the sole living defenders of the faith – the faith more have followed in human history more than any other.
It falls to us then to once again bend the arc of history to our will and to our destiny and build the Hindu nation.
Alpesh B Patel