My father and I had faced a lot of breaches of trust in business from people with no principles and subsequently learned lessons. But the most painful experience which hurt me in life was from one of my old friends. Once I was on a visit to India. Since I had missed the company of old friends for a long time, I began to call them one by one. All seemed happy and cheerful except one. When I asked him the reason behind it, he gloomily replied that he had isolated himself from mingling in the society owing a lot of loans to be repaid, and the lenders were humiliating and harassing him. I decided to bring him back to normalcy and transferred a considerable amount to his bank account. He thanked me for the timely help and promised to return the money.
Later that weekend, when I attended a get together with my friends, I related this friend’s pathetic condition to the others. Everybody immediately asked me whether I had given any money to him. I nodded affirmatively. They all began to laugh and scolded me for being a fool and told me how that person cheated all of them with the same s. I was the newest victim of his emotional drama. They told me that our friend had become a habitual liar and defaulter. It shocked me.
When I told my father about this, he grimly advised, “Always keep your promises. In business, the word or verbal guarantee bears utmost importance. Let me tell you an old story. When India was under the rule of the British East India Company, there was a reputed trader named Krishna Chandra Pal-Chaudhari running a business from Calcutta. He would operate his trade through ships from the river Hooghly. At that time, pirates would raid and loot ships frequently. One day Krishna Chandra’s ship also met with the same unlucky fate. Krishna Chandra candidly confessed to the pirates that it was empty and was returning. Upon which the leader of pirates demanded some extortion money. But Krishna Chandra didn’t even have that much money in his pocket at that time. So he promised to pay the amount if the pirates could collect it from his firm, and they agreed. When other traders heard about the incident, they advised Krishna Chandra to inform the police and get them arrested. Krishna Chandra declined the suggestion and told them that it was a businessman’s word and he would abide by it. He paid the pirates the amount he had promised. Krishna Chandra earned great fame and fortune and remained a respected person for his lifetime.
The person who doesn’t keep his promises can never stand up in his life or business. On the other hand, the one who honestly keeps promises is always favoured, respected and supported by society. Let us keep our promises.
Dr Dhananjay (Jay) Datar is the chairman and managing director of Al Adil Trading
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