Sunday, September 2, 2007


Peter Drucker has described a business enterprise in a very interesting manner – a business enterprise is a social organ that provides goods, services, and jobs to society, and makes a profit. One of the most important bellwethers of a business is the venture capitalists and private equity investors. When PE investors or angel investors pick up a business to invest in; their decisions are not guided by mere financial figures and projections. As Mr. Moritz of Sequoia Capital says: “we look for founders and management teams who are enthusiastic and passionate about a product or service that is addressing a very large market”. ‘So the trick is to look for a combination of markets, managements, and products’ he reiterates. Mr. Moritz adds that ‘Often one has to imagine an emerging market while taking the investment decision’. Mr. Moritz is the one who has funded Apple, Cisco, Google, and You Tube. So we observe it is not just financial figures that guide decision making. And as Peter Drucker’s definition would suggest, the social aspect of a business too is very important. After all, business is about people, it is people who do business with people. Relationships are fulcrums of businesses – both internal relationships and relationships with external entities and individuals.

Among various emotions, that guide business activities, FEAR AND GREED are very common. The fear of losing one’s status in the market guides companies to desperate marketing measures. The greed arising due to some freak or solitary success drives companies to take very adventurous decisions often causing damage. However, one emotion that often guides companies to unimagined heights is PASSION.

Here are some examples of passion-at-work:

a) The launch of The Himalaya Drug Company, Bangalore took place in the Himalayan forests when the founder Mr. Manal took to commercializing folk medicine. In fact, it was his passion to explore the traditional heritage of Indian medicine that aided him in launching the world’s first antihypertensive – SERPINA. It was not mere economic reasons that drove the maverick in him to look for commercializing herbal remedies. It was a passion for herbal pharmacy that launched The Himalaya Drug Co.
b) John Mack’s passion for pharma marketing is at display when we see his enormous enthusiastic involvement in activities beyond VirSci to the Pharma marketing forums. There is no strict commercial logic for his avid involvement in blogging and forums – it is more of his passion for pharma marketing that is at work here. Perhaps, there are spinoff economic benefits for him but that is a result of his passion.
c) When Jamshedji Tata took upon himself to invest in power, steel, and indigenous scientific talent, it was pure passion for his country’s industrial development that was at work. Otherwise why was the necessity for him to take pains and build a caring industrial empire? It was passion based on certain clear values.
d) Dhirubhai Ambani was the real change agent of the Indian business firmament who carved a great busines empire that created the booming share bourses of India.
e) When Ramanbhai Patel shed his role as a teacher of Pharmacy to don a pioneer Pharma industrialist’s role it was again passion at work.
f) FRLHT is a contra organization that is hard at work in Bangalore for reviving folk medicines – people sacrificing to work out strategies to fit the ancient therapies in a modern context – this is pure passion play.
g) The Swami Vivekananda Yoga Kendra (a deemed university) is led by a chemical engineer who has sacrificed a lucrative career in America, and picked up Yoga development as his passion.
h) Google, Apple- ipod, and Microsoft (in its early stage) were passionate about their work and the net result is that they are global leaders in respective fields.
i) Just log on to , and , and you will see PURE PASSION at work. The quality of output reflects their zeal, enthusiasm, and passion.

In the modern Pharma context we see lots of activity and a high hunger for sales – but what are the business drivers – LOVE, PASSION, GREED, OR FEAR?

Unless there is a revivalism in the global Pharma industry for passion as a driver business sentiment, as we see at in workplaces such as Google, it will be inevitable that passionate people from Google Health and other ventures start taking the front seat in driving the future of healthcare while other core healthcare companies will be quiet followers.

What drives work at workplaces?

Workplaces and professional work are driven by four emotions – LOVE, PASSION, FEAR and GREED. Love is what drives Sri Sri Ravishankar, Mata Amritanandamayi, Satya Sai Baba and their like in their worldly activities. Passion is what drives, Mr. Narayan murthy of Infosys and Mr. Azim Premji of Wipro. Fear and greed also drive people to work. The business results of people working with passion are always superior and create benchmarks.

What is passion?

Passion is an intense emotion that drives human activities.
Is PASSION the fifth P of marketing?

Marketing is an ever growing field and there have been a number of thoughts on expanding the list of 4 Ps. The other Ps suggested include people, physical evidence, process, packaging, publicity among other Ps. Here is an interesting thesis to include PASSION - as the fifth P of marketing. This blogger has the bright idea that passion is indeed the fifth P of marketing - please click here: And it seems to be right, ask Sequoia Capital and Mr. Moritz!
This is my 44th blogpost - and the picture is that of Mr. Moritz. I am sure you have enjoyed this blogpost. Please do read all other blogposts including by clicking on OLDER POSTS. Please enjoy. Thanks.

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