India Inc India Inc: Monday, 31 January 2011 16:04

Five on Five - Pratik Dattani

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Manoj Ladwa speaks to Pratik Dattani on the business of religion...

Five On Five-Pratik Dattani 1. Is an organisation like City Hindus Network (CHN) really necessary?

Hindus make a contribution to the country far in excess of their numbers. The CHN seeks to facilitate this and bring the Hindu professional community together through networking, education and encouraging charity. We’ve seen rich dividends with government consultation, community issues and mentoring, and overseen flourishing Hindu networks at several large corporates in London.

2. Some would argue that religion should not be promoted in the workplace.  How do you respond?

One of Britain’s biggest strengths is our commitment to diversity. Understanding and appreciating each others’ religion makes the workplace more vibrant and inclusive, and also productive. Greater understanding of others’ beliefs builds bridges and directly helps cultivate business and client relationships. We’ve seen direct evidence of this through newly established Hindu networks at large City firms we support.

3. Do you see CHN being a bridge between the UK and India?

Absolutely. Indian businesses often look Westward for management and leadership. But India has a formidable way of doing business the West can also learn from, derived broadly from the Hindu ideas of dharma (righteousness), artha (wealth), kama (desire) and moksha (salvation). We promote such discussions through our talks and mentoring scheme.

4. What are the main issues affecting Indians working in the City?

Traditional ‘old-boy’ type networks are starting to recognise the ability of Indians but we still have some way to go for adequate representation at the senior-most levels. We also need to be better coordinated within our communities to take advantage of the potentially huge agglomeration benefits of thousands of bright and innovative Indians in the City.

5. Is there an Indian business figure who deserves international respect - if so, who and why?

Ratan Tata for sure. He is a giant of Indian industry and has, above others, maintained an image of being transparent, honest and humble. A lot of the Tata Group is actually owned by charitable trusts that finance good causes – it shows a great social conscience and he is an inspirational figure.

Pratik Dattani is Chair of the City Hindus Network, a Hindu professionals network. He is an Economic Consultant at FTI Consulting and is involved in several charitable causes in his free time. Before FTI, he was at Deloitte, where he helped found the Hindu Network. Pratik graduated from Warwick and Munich and maintains an economics blog at pratiksrandomwalk.blogspot.com

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