Watch the Podcast


Shri K Ramasamy is an entrepreneur, and long-time devotee of Sri Swami Satchidanada. Mr. Ramasamy is the President of Integral Yoga Institute in Coimbatore India, as well as the managing trustee of Satchidananda Jothi Nikethan International School in India.


Roots Industries India:


K. Ramasamy 0:03
Almost, you know, two months every year, Sam used to visit India and stay for roughly two months during the winter times. So I had the opportunity of traveling with him being with him, listen to his thoughts and thoughts on that I love you know, he's been talked about, you know, the purpose of human life is to serve others. So I asked somebody, somebody, I'm doing business, how can it be treated as service? I'm doing business to make money and to make money. So how can that be called as a service? So Sammy used to give me a lot of explanation. Business is also service, you have to look business as a service. So he was to explain to me that, for example, he used to question how many people are you employing now in your company? at that point of time? Maybe 1000? People that is 1000? planet people? So how do you take songs and find families? Then how many are your suppliers? Maybe about additional 1000 1000? family? Okay, well, how many of you know your distributors, dealers service people network for your product? How many will they be? I said, that may run into 10,000, something like that. So what you're doing here is serving so many people, more than, you know, more than 15,000 people roughly, are directly benefited by your you're doing business, then you are making a product. So your customers are buying the product. What are they buying, they're buying from purpose. So it has to serve the purpose. So for example, Honda, we were manufacturing exterior manufacturing on so the heart device or whenever they want safety, they blow the horn, it should work. That means it is serving them. So everything is isolated, okay, it is surveys, but you know, I'm still running the company to make money. How can I say that? You know, I'm doing surveys, I'm, I'm only doing what I know, get the money. Somebody said you want to think differently? You think like you know, whatever business you do you think as if you're doing as a service, not earning not making money. So this goes on for two, three years. It was struggling and I was really struggling with in my mind, how am I to think that this can be treated as a service. But every time when Tommy comes here, I would ask them explanation you need, then one day totally that you just from no one, stop thinking that you're doing business. Just think that you are doing only service, you forget about the income, you think you keep that income as a byproduct, it's allowed your direct cost priority service, the byproduct is only the income you think that way and start to practice and let me know when I come next year, how do you feel so, then I started thinking that way and started to think differently, you know, as I went into the mode, I realized a lot because our goal for money is change to salaries. So your outlook to business is completely different, you are not goal setting goals for financial goal, setting goals or service, how many people we can work, how many people more we can employ, how we can do more employment, how we can make more product, so that more people can buy, so that they will all get benefited like that, we think then next comes once you start to think that you know you are not doing business with this service, then you take care of your people first, because when they are good, then only they will be able to work. So I started to keep thinking all the people were working for us as family members. So in roots, our company we are treating everybody as family, not as an employee, employer. That concept changed completely the mindset of everybody.

Management is the down the line, everybody feels it is part of the family business. So that I would like to give one example. You know, during many crises, economic you know, crisis happened, you know, global financial crisis happened so many times. So every time it happens, many companies suffered a lot. But fortunately, we didn't suffer anything every time because everybody cooperated like a family. For example, you know, now the COVID-19 has brought the business to complete, halt, nothing, no sales, nothing. Our current government has made a lockdown, almost for 40 days, nothing for no sales, no income, how do we keep running, and next year we'll start there is no immediate business, it's going to take a long time to become business. So what other companies have done is they've retrenched people on their reduce the salary by 50% 40% 30%, and started to function, otherwise they cannot survive. So what we did, as a family, we want to keep everybody, so I said, Nobody is going to go out, everybody's going to work. But whatever the workload is available, suppose our workload is only 40%, do you work only 40% of the time, but 100% of the people will work and they will get what they work for. That is the shop floor level people, when it comes to the Mr. Like, you know, supervisors, managers, everybody, they have set a different goal, you know, the salaries, how we have fixed is, depending on the turnover of the company, for example, last year's average turnover was triggered x this year. Now, if we touch only 40%, their salary will be reduced automatically, by certain percentage, like that, if the sales goes up, the automatically the salary will go up. So we have not returned to the evil one person, and everybody sharing the burden of the company. And everybody's also sharing the benefit also. So this, we are able to do it because we think this as a service. So this is an example. But I it took me quite a long time to really understand it. Once I understood, I have absolutely no stress, you know, almost now 4000 people are working directly in our companies. They know in all our companies, here we are in Russia, in United States, in Malaysia, and a new client but all around. So absolutely no stress by now, because we don't keep money as a goal. When you keep money as a goal, you know, always tension that that goal is never satisfies anybody, you set a financial goal, and the next next door because more expenditure comes. So that's how, you know, I changed my philosophy because of this teaching. And that helped me a lot. And it is keeping an entire for our group, as are impacting one, we can go with any type of you know, whether it is economic, tobacco, or otherwise, no problem, we are able to follow like a wave. It's one example. So I think that's about short, I can tell you my experiences, you know, your way of doing business? Yeah,

Avi 8:06
I hear Swamiji speak about service so often, right, like the core of the teaching. And, and, you know, he says again, and again, that this is the purpose of our lives to serve. He gives even the example of why am I eating? Why am I eating this food, you know, and that's to dedicate the food that we're eating, to serve other people eating this food so that I can function and I can then feel healthy and serve other people. For me at first, when I heard that, and maybe similar to the business that like everything I'm doing for the business is for service, it feels unrealistic to dedicate my whole life as an act of service to other people. But is it unrealistic is an unrealistic?

K. Ramasamy 8:57
No, it is not unrealistic as long as you understand it, once you really understand the philosophy behind it, and start to practice it, you will feel that you know, the food what we are eating is also for others purpose. So, that is it takes some time, but you know, once we start to practice, then we will really understand the importance of that and once you know the whole world and things like that, you can imagine how this will the world will be that is going to make a total difference, how you think you know, you think yourself and others. So, service is the motive. And another thing when you start to think about others as a service, you get a lot of you know empathy, you understand others feelings, other difficulties. So, in the company for example, when I see a person in a phase I can understand whether he is okay or is there any problem then I used to ask immediately what is the problem? Do you have any problem at all? Let me that, then you will say, okay, you have some problem at home or children at school at work. So you start to concern about others, then you rarely get enough joy, that once you experience it, it is never ending, it's a process, a never ending process is a total joy in what we really realized by following that principle.

Avi 10:24
So is it is it a choice to think, you know, a certain way, because, okay, here's this person that maybe has a problem, right, and I can sit down and speak to this person. And that interaction, we can, we can, we can see it two different ways, I can see it as I have to do this right now. And it's draining my energy serving this person listening to them being there, for them, it's draining my energy, or we can see it as an opportunity to serve and to create meaning for our lives. So is that the choice that that we make throughout the day? How do we want to see it and how much of a difference does that make, whether or not we choose one or the

K. Ramasamy 11:07
other, that will make all the difference, you know, if you think that, you know, you are draining your energy by talking to others problems, then drain our energy, and also, we will lose everything. But the other contrary, if you think that, you know, by talking to him, and we are able to help other him to come out of his problem, then our energy level goes up dramatically, I am the other person, when we see the other person benefit, get benefit out of that, then you get real joy of doing it. So that's how we keep doing it, then you know, we will not be able to keep quiet, whenever we see somebody, there is a problem, we will certainly working get into that. And that way we can alleviate, you know, many people's problems. So that's the kind of thinking and we'll get into our mind gradually, then it will change the whole personality of the person, how he looks at everything, and everybody, not only human being anything, Animal, anything, you know, you look at the whole thing, any life, that way, it gives total peace and you feel really happy. It's it's difficult to first to, you know, understand and practice, once we start to practice and experience it, then you know, there is no stopping it goes on, it's very interesting.

Avi 12:32
So is that is the practice, also extremely important to be kind of gentle with ourselves, as we're trying to shift our thinking like, it's not going to happen just in one day, that all of a sudden, now I'm going to be able to view life like this, I have to remember again and again and I have to practice again again, is that the case?

K. Ramasamy 12:54
See one to enjoy, you will have a difficulty in understanding that once we understand, then it is like a switch, you will change your thinking, then they will start moving in that direction. But step by step only will grow but the change or be instantaneous. Once you got it, then it makes sense. But it takes a long time to experience step by step. But then there is no going back. But that changeover will happen in one incident or something I am not able to explain. But you know, it happened some certain moment. Once that happens, then finished, then it'll stay on that one. As I said, once we experience it, then we start to improve our activities in this direction.

Avi 13:48
Is there anything we can do to make make there be a better chance for those moments? to happen? Right, like does it just to those moments? They just happen whether or not you know, whether or not we're open or opening up in a way does that allow for those moments of importance to happen? Do you understand the question

Unknown Speaker 14:15
I'm asking? Oh,

K. Ramasamy 14:16
maybe a little bit. I will I got a little bit Anyway, I'll try. See what I meant moment is you know, you contemplate you think you know how you serve others, you know, you keep on thinking. But once you are rewarded clarity that you know, yes, the serving is good to change my perspective. I think once that comes into our mind, then the change happens. Well then you look at things everything everybody in that direction, everything whatever you look at it, you look at it as what can I do? How can I improve others life? What can I do for him or her whatever it is, then we'll keep improving that Then it automatically becomes automatic. Whenever you see somebody, you will look into that. So that is how, you know I have developed. So it's a matter of development, but the changeover takes to have an instant in his idea, right, my thought, if the right thought comes, then no going back.

Avi 15:26
Now for business, you know, listening to you describe how your business serves so many other people, the employees and the products, and all of that, that creating a successful business, it seems like it's a very clear avenue of service, a very clear way to serve. But for some reason, it seems that many people see business being successful at business, being the opposite of kind of being a yogi and serving others.

K. Ramasamy 16:06
Why is that the case, because, you know, they are not aware, you know, you go to any business goal, or any college, you know, education system is set like that. So all materialistic way of teaching. So the goals are set only materials, the goal, so everybody from the childhood, their goal is set in that direction. So it's going to take a long time to change that, because we need some, like psalmody, some teachers to really give us the perspective. Otherwise, it's not that easy, because from the childhood, you know, people are exposed to that kind of exposure, you go to business school, they talk only about targets, roles, achievements, and pressure, every time pressure out, they have their mobile phone 24 hours on, and you know, there is no peace of mind, you know, people who are working in companies, they don't have peace of mind, they're working working without really, you know, having time to think, you know, that is because of the goal set like that. But it's not easy to change. The person though, you know, the promoter has to have such access to teachings are the teachers who can give such input, because by itself to happen, maybe one can read a biography of gurus like somebody and others, and one has to start to practice and develop. So this takes a long time. Absolutely. So this is I know, we are, we are fortunate to have some of these to teach us and guide us. So that's why we are able to do it. Otherwise, I wouldn't have done it, I would have set the goals like anybody else and gone, though. But of course, my goal was always not for money. Even my earlier days, my goal was whatever I do, it has to be the best. That was my goal. Quality was my goal, performance was my goal performance of the product, what I do has to be the best, that was the goal. That was also very interesting, no doubt about it, but still, like keep that goal that's important for the business grow, whatever we do, has to be the best. Otherwise, we don't have you know, opportunity. So that goal is required to grow business, but this side service goal, if you go together tandem quality performance on this, so if then the business will be totally different. When you talk about quality,

Avi 18:40
or something being the best, yeah. Is it? Does that mean better than someone else? Or does it just mean the best that I'm capable of?

K. Ramasamy 18:53
Yeah. Though, you know, the two ways you know, products are always benchmarked, you know, you know, when compared to what is available, we are to be better than that. But when we invent something new, then it is different, we are to come out with the best, that's our own benchmark, but when it comes to product marketing products, we have to be better than what is available. For example, you know, when I started, you know, my business, my goal, this was you know, I want to make haunts, that when I was in my eighth grade school full time, that was my goal, I want to make haunts and during my school days, I was thinking that the heart has to be like wash is a German product was that was considered to be the best product in the world. So, my father, you know, whenever he buys a car, in Indian car, he would fix German, German when I asked him why you are fixing German one to an Indian regular, why not an Indian. He said that, you know, unfortunately Indian or All right last thing, there is no time to go to the electrician frequently to fix it. So he has to fix German. So in my pay grade, you know, I was uh, maybe I forgot about 1314 years old, I set my goal I should mark a horn like Bosch. With that goal only when they started the manufacturing upon. Then I tested that horn and made a benchmark under medic more stringent, keeping Indian usage in mind set a very high gold standards and started to work on it, it took me 12 years to develop the font to reach that level 97 days started 1982 lay completed to my satisfied for 12 years, I did so many other things, you know, I worked, I took agency for tractors, I serviced automobiles, I did other products to earn, but still this was going on. Once I'm satisfied that the quality is as per my expectation, I launched the product in 1982. Within five years, we became the largest to electrical manufacturers in India, overtaking all competition from Germany, from UK, from Japan, from India, all. So this is what is the quality, you know, goals. So that is how I started. And so it's an example. So, product, when it comes to product, you want to be the best, that should be our goal.

Avi 21:32
The quality, the focus on quality, is there a more general way to live, where I'm My life is an act of quality, the way that I'm living the way that I do everything, the way that I tie my shoes or hang something up on the hanger, whatever it is, do you do have that perspective or is it just certain things that I'm focused on that are quality and maybe I can't do quality for everything,

K. Ramasamy 22:02
quality wins, you know, everything quality cannot be specific only to product quality means whatever we think it has to be of quality, you know, whatever we do has to be quality, whether it is product or as you said keeping the shoes on the rack or whatever it has to be ordered. So that is very important, the mind has to be trained, to be quality conscious in whatever we do. And think quality, you have to think quality. So that generally lacked. So everything has to be quantity conscious we have to be then things will happen. It cannot be only specific to product or nothing else. Because it's not possible.

Avi 22:46
When you when you develop something new like that, reflecting back, you know, where was where was the satisfaction? Was it when you when you created that finished product? And you said okay, I've achieved my goal? Or was it the whole process? All those years that you spent right 10 years more than 10 years developing something? Is it the process? Is it the end? Or is it both

K. Ramasamy 23:14
or this is only the beginning, I can tell you first step, you know, the product achievement is the first step, okay, it gives us a really good satisfaction that we have achieved that goal, the quality, that's the first step then next comes you know we are to be we are to be in the field and see that our customers appreciate our product. So once we release the product with the why and then they keep on buying our brown light that means they are liking it. So this is a never ending goal, you know, it goes on and on. Okay, I never thought that I should be exporting a or I should become the largest manufacturer. That was not my idea. I want to make the best quality product. That was my idea. But the quality hasn't led to the quantity also, we become the largest manufacturer and we started exporting the supply to many international companies like you know, Toyota, Volkswagen, mercedes benz, BMW in United States Harley Davidson motorcycle 100 we supply so Navistar tracks back on tracks What are running in us? So like the dyno is expanding, but the goal is the foundation is quality wise, so then it's never ending it goes on.

Avi 24:37
Do you think that maybe there's a lot of people who focus on the money and the dollar amount, because it's really it's easy to equate high numbers with success. So for example, you know, I see in my bank account numbers rising So then I feel like I am more and more successful, as opposed to if I look at service that my point is service and service is the measure of the success of my life, that's harder to see, you know, how did this conversation where I helped someone that was in need, or gave some food or whatever it was I did, you can't put that into numbers numbers are really clean, right? But service itself is not so clean. So is this maybe a reason why many people are just very focused on numbers only because it's, it's so easy, in a way?

K. Ramasamy 25:39
I don't think it is because they think it is easy, they set the finance goal because they know one day that they work only towards that goal, that's the main fundamental reason, and those are working for that role, you know, you'll never be satisfied, you know, you set a goal, you reach them, you're not ready for your go to the next level next level. So, the ever ending goal, you know, so, because of that, they lose track of their life, personal life, their everything, because they are focusing only towards that. So they lose health, they lose everything, but they gain money after getting money than they are to spend more money to get themselves you know, improve their health and happiness in the family, their health, their happiness will not be there, because his focus is completely elsewhere. So, lot of problems and stress, because stress is health is affected people around him his health is affected. So that is what is the real impact of financial goals. But if you keep that service as a goal, whatever you learn, okay, a certain percentage, this goes to service and you get injured, you start enjoying it, you start enjoying it, then you are these are mine comes and infection comes, the old family becomes healthy and happy. So this is two different directions. But the direction setting has to be done by you know, somebody who guides or one has to read some books and understand and think in that direction. Once they experimented, if they try as an experiment, then they will realize that it is possible to change, and it's going to make a big difference in their lives. experimentally, they can try, okay, From today onwards, I am going to look business in a different way, I'm not going to look only in the money part, I'm seeing how best I can serve my customers. Also, my people might know, people who are working for me, let them start thinking in that direction, then within maximum six months, they can assure you that their thinking will completely change, their mind will become very calm and quite unsatisfied. And people around them would be more happy.

Avi 27:59
Is that something we can teach to children? I know you're involved in Yes, yeah. That we have children? What What is the purpose to my life? You know, how do I incorporate yoga and business and that sort of

K. Ramasamy 28:13
cutting, you know, in our school, for example. And again, it took us five years to teach our teachers this philosophy. But teachers you know, they think, you know, only originally they come to teach, because they're taking it as a profession as make money. That's how they have come to this business, this profession, but you know, here to change their concepts on this philosophy or teach, explain, tell them that you know, teaching is not a profession, it is a service, greatest service is teaching. So don't count money at all money will be a is a byproduct, you concentrate on children's well being this took us five years, after five years, you know, then gradually started changing. Now, our teachers are completely dedicated, they spend all the time in the school and for the betterment of the children. So, the children are happy when the children go out there thinking differently. So, this has to be brought first to the teachers and to parents we should have that teacher should have that then we can teach the children. Another thing simply we cannot teach them you know, nobody learns by teaching from the teacher just by teaching you how to practice they have to see what you are doing. Your by practicing by they watch children watch and learn better. So first to teach them real to first learn ourselves. Practice also, children should watch us how we do and how we enjoy automatically will get changed simply by books. It cannot be taught. There is no there is no way of telling them do like this. This it will Work, this is my experience, before you explain before you tell others, first you learn you do yourself, you experience yourself, then why not share it with others, then you know, it will be more effective preaching, you know is not really going to help, we are going to show you how to practice. And that has to be only demonstrated, that's how we can bring up, it's a lengthy process.

Avi 30:27
So, again, going back to service is not a service in itself to kind of do the inner work, not not to just have the talking points, I can say this and that is what you should do, I need to become that person. myself. And by becoming it, you know, I serve the child, because as you said, they see the example.

K. Ramasamy 30:49
Yeah, that's where yoga and meditation comes in. That's what is teaching the yoga and meditation, you are to go inward and then you know, you need to meditate, you are to have yoga. So, for you know, healthy mind and body, you need yoga and meditation very much. So, then only the body first that is important, then only our mind will think in that direction. Otherwise, you know, very frustrated mind, I will not think in that direction. So we are first conditioned ourselves, body and mind, that's very yogic may come. So that is very important. For example, you know, my father asked me to follow your from when I was in maybe sixth grade onwards, I have to do Suriname's car service every day with him, along with him, even though I do I spend one levels a day. So this is very important, good thing you asked this question other is not possible. First, you have to condition yourself your body and mind, then only the thinking will happen otherwise, that thinking will not happen. So you will need to condition that yoga and meditation will certainly help on diet. Again, yoga and meditation. Along with that perfect diet, your vegetarian diet is Southwick diet is very important, then only our thinking process will align with that. If we don't align, if you don't have that kind of food, then it's impossible to control our mind. So food is very important. yoga, meditation and diet, your vegetarian diet is very important. For that condition, holistic condition, then only it is possible. It's a holistic way, not one, it's not possible, just like that, somebody to start thinking in that direction. It's a long process.

Avi 32:49
I wanted to ask about Swamiji and you know, your experience with him and also just just in India, the culture of the of the guru. And I know you've traveled a lot too, can you kind of just share a little bit about him and then also just generally, maybe the relationship with a guru and how the Indian culture sees this versus maybe the rest of the world or other places in the world.

K. Ramasamy 33:21
how people see guru, nowadays and best also I see that you know, people look at guru as guru before before, in 1960s. And all when somebody came to us at that time, many people had no idea about guru invest in us. So they know they didn't know how to be with guru how to behave with guru, but now I don't need to teach anything because you know, yoga Will I see everywhere I see how they behave, we know how they treat guru as guru. So, I think that there is no big difference. In India, the guru, you know, is like God, you know, you know as per our, you know, our culture, Martha with our Guru data, that is first mom, mother, father, then guru, then only God. So the Guru is more important than God for us, because guru only is coming in the form of human form and gazers. So, Guru is more important than God, he shows us guides us. So that is why Guru has the highest importance. And the highest respect model there is respect. Because our culture traditionally was like that. And my experience with song The I can say a few. You know, first of all, whatever guru says, that we accept without any question, you know, you don't need to analyze what he says is right or wrong. Here. That's how we are brought up, you accept passively. So also Father, you know, when he says do it, we do it, but not nowadays, you know, it's different. You asked why but those days nothing, no question are you follow that said, So, when it comes to guru you follow clearly because they have the wisdom and experience and knowledge. So they know what is right. You follow it up following you will get the result. I can maybe give one example, you know what, with a Swamiji

for example, you know, when we bought the land for the school, you know, Swamiji gave directions, you know, ideas, you know how the land should be he has given the description of the land. So, I saw located and then found the land when somebody comes, he went around and said, No, no, no, this is not good. That's not good. It was going on for three years, four years. Finally, I was sure that this land will be perfect. So, after four years on top of the game, I took him to the lab, he walked around everywhere, and then said, Okay, this is the land we buy. So I said, Okay, Sunday, I will finalize, if you please, go back home, I will go to the land and finalize it. Sangin on arrival. I'm coming. I said, Okay, we all went to the land Warner's house. And I sang a song I introduced somebody to the gentleman I said, to come to, you know, he saw your land. I can't wait to Korea come to discuss about it. So I saw his I just sent some guys that. And we started the conversation. I said, we are planning to have a school. So I want to buy the land and we want to buy the land. That's all I said. Some Tea touched my you know, time. He said, you know, we, you know, prompted me? Oh, no, let us go back. We don't need to pursue. I was a little surprised what he What is he telling I do understand. Then I turned again and he said, you know, let's go. Then I told the gentleman that you know, I heard listen a little bit. I said okay, we'll come back, we'll think and come back. I walked off. Then I walked out I asked how many songs you know, it took us five years. Look at the land. Now use a little go. White Sand design, you know, see the vibration from that gentleman is not good. We should not buy land from such a person. It's not good for us. I was really surprised. You know why that vibration makes a difference, right? Oh, you're paying money and getting it. Right. But anyway, he said he walked out. Okay, then I said Zandi, please go home. I have one more land to see I will see and come back. So I went and went round and saw the land. That land was also perfect. I then I went to the one of the land and met him. I want to see how he is. So and then when I went there, and he's very gentleman, I could see a nice gentleman. I told him you know, we I bought the solder land tomorrow I'm going to show somogy to be like simply would like to buy it. Is it No problem. I'm very happy to give land to for such noble cause and for normal person. I said, Okay, I'll come back tomorrow. I went next day morning went went around the farm completely. And Sanjay. Yes, it's good. So we went back, I said I will go and finally No, no, no, he goes on, he said again. So we went to the owners lab place. And then I sat and said, okay, Sonia introduced me and said, We are come. So please tell us, give us the rate, what what rate you want to sell? You know what that gentleman said? You brought such a noble person and you are asking me to give a price? No, I will not give whatever you want to give you give it you're using it for a good purpose. You pay what you think, right? You know, this is what happened. So this is one of the experiences, you know, so you blindly follow a guru, you don't ask anything. It happens. I have hundreds of examples of SAP happening like this.

Avi 39:33
Wow. Thank you for sharing. Do you do you feel grateful for having so many of those experiences the store?

K. Ramasamy 39:41
I absolutely do. I really enjoy that when they think back. You know how it is possible. It's only possible because of your blind faith, blind faith that said, Follow what is is finished and I I enjoy that. And I'm experiencing even now, Swami Ji is here with us all the time is guiding us whenever there is problem, you know, I leave it to him, he solves it. I get the solution easily. So that's okay.

Avi 40:19
I love it. It it to me It brings a feeling of lightness. Right. I don't have to make every decision that if there's a higher forces at work

K. Ramasamy 40:27
as Yes, yes, then you know, you don't have the radio in order to carry your only tool in the hands of God. And john, he does it when you worry about the result. So whatever you do, you don't worry about the result. You keep doing it, then your peace of mind is good, and the result is mostly good. Even if it is not good. It is far good. That's what I found out. Don't worry about the result,

Avi 40:55
though. Thanks for listening. If you've enjoyed this content, think others might as well. Please feel free to share and subscribe.

More Podcasts