July 6, 2008


There was a time when Germany was holding most of the patents in the chemical industry. Most of the leading chemical industries were based out of Germany. But there was an empire some where else, which wanted the technology – very badly. This empire was built by manufacturing armaments – Guns, Gunpowder and a lot more. But civilization, they say keeps changing. The armaments industry was no more as profitable as it was before. The empire needed to diversify soon.


There was a new recruit in one of the chemical industries in Germany. He was clearly not the average German worker you would find. In fact his German language was highly broken and irregular. But he was able to impress the supervisor. His efficiency and speed impressed many. He was so good that he was promoted twice in the first six months. And six months was the time which he needed to understand a particular chemical process. The process for which scientists had toiled day and night. The process and the patent the company possessed, that enabled the company to refuse re-sale rights to the Empire.


In a totally unrelated incident after 150 years, there was an interview in the TV. They interviewed a lot of people in the malls, theatres, parks etc. The question was – “Would you like to become the CEO of a big company and why?”


Some of the answers are given below:


“Yeah. Why not? I would like to have a lavish lifestyle wear costly watches and suites, drive BMW…….”


“Definitely. I could travel in business class. Maybe own my own personal jet……”


“Why not? Work hard, play hard, party big time……”


“The power. That’s what I like about the CEO position. I have total control over the resources and I can take decisions and implement them as and when I wish. I would have the money, people and the influence. That’s power…..”


“Well I have 25 years of Government service behind me. Trust me, this is the best job in the world. Are bhaiyya, CEO ke job mein bahut tension hota hai. Look at me, I am happy, my son Is employed with the Government too and we are totally settled in life…”


“Well frankly, it’s a challenge. A small decision you make could have a huge impact on the people working down the line. If I could make an informed decision and if I have the experience, why not?…..”


Let us get back once again to the chemical era, 150 years ago.


The empire was called Du Pont. It is still called so. The worker who did the entry level jobs in the German Chemical industry for quite some time to obtain the chemical process was none other than the CEO of one of the Du Pont companies in the United States, back then. Of course, they later got the resale rights but this time it was at their price.



Destination Infinity


PS: This is almost a true story (Except the interview part). A bit generalized because I don’t remember the exact names involved.

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