Devdutt Pattanaik: When you are content, you take great business decisions

Devdutt Pattanaik, mythologist and writer, spoke about being content for businesses, from a mythological perspective at BMPA’s Print Summit 2024, held at Tata Theatre, NCPA, on 18 January.

18 Jan 2024 | By Abhay Avadhani

Business is not a war, it just satisfiers consumer needs by providing goods and services

Devdutt Pattanaik started off his speech by making a clear distinction between mythology and history. He said, “History is based on evidence, while mythology is lore which deals with the emotion of a person. It is not history. It gives meaning to the way of life.”

Mythology comes from the Greek word “mythologia,” which is a combination of “mythos” meaning “story” or “myth” and “logia” meaning “study”. Hence, he said that mythology is the analytical study of stories.

He talked about the art of listening to people’s truth, “since everybody’s truth is different.” He believes that in order to form a productive ecosystem, exchange of information and knowledge, and that happens when businessmen “listen” to everything.

He emphasised the fact that business is not a war, and the competition is not the battlefield. “The business language includes phrases such as, “market penetration and crushing the competition and dominating the market, and many more. These are similar to the catchphrases deployed by army men such as; targets, goals, tasklist, and more.”

Pattanaik stated that business is all about providing goods and services, and generating revenues while serving customer purposes. He compared this to a model of give and take in mythology. He said, “A devotee prays and performs rituals, and gets blessings from the god in return, according to mythology. The business model is similar wherein, an investee is the god, the investor is the devotee who invests (prays), and gets ROI (blessings).”

Later he talked about the idea of being content in any business. As he pointed out that business satisfies the hunger / needs, one has to be content in order to create opportunities for others. “Everyone has hunger, the objective of every business is to just satisfy that hunger," Pattanaik concluded.