Thursday, April 24, 2008




A competitive world has two possibilities for you. You can lose. Or, if you want to win, you can change.

- Lester C Thurow

In the globalized world, big and small coexist, but the smaller one always lives in the fear of being gobbled up by the big. But can the mighty ones take their survival for granted?

The intensity of competition has increased so much that no matter who we are, all of us are under constant threat. For every success, there are ‘n’ numbers of aspirants who constantly work to displace the leaders.

Most people treat competition as a threat. We tend to forget that sometimes the threat posed by competition is a necessity to bring us out of our complacency and to hone up our survival instincts. Until the eighties, Bajaj Auto had only one brand in the two-wheeler segment: Chetak. However in the last decade, it has introduced more than six original designs and brands in the motorcycle segment alone, and has again started doing exceedingly well, so much so that, now it is one of the strongest contenders for the top place in the Indian two wheeler industry. Hero Honda is the world’s largest producer of motorcycles and TVS group is renowned world over for quality products and services. India’s two wheeler industry has come of age and is competing with even the best in the world. Nobody is complaining.

However, someone has rightly said, “Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people.”

Darwin’s theory of “survival of the fittest” suggests that man is basically selfish. He wants everything for himself first, and will go to any extreme to fulfill his selfish interests. As resources like food, land, career opportunities are limited, human beings inevitably see other human beings as threats and enemies. The results are war, hatred and jealousy.

We live in a competitive world. It doesn’t mean that for us to succeed, others need to fail. It is also wrong to treat life always as a Zero-sum* game.

EVERY MORNING in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.

It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or

it will be killed.

Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up.

it knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle,

or it will starve.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle-

When the sun comes up, you’d better be running.

- inspirational sign on an office wall

* In a zero-sum game, win for one necessarily means loss for another and the sum of all wins and losses is zero. When two people gamble with each other, it has to be a zero-sum game.

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