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“Strong ethics is good business” said Mr Bhaskar Bhat on 30th JRD Tata Oration at XLRI Jamshedpur

19th November, 2022

Xavier School of Management XLRI conducted 30th JRD Tata Oration on Business Ethics on November 19, 2022 at Tata Auditorium, XLRI Jamshedpur Campus. This year the oration was delivered by Mr. Bhaskar Bhat, Chairman, Tata SIS Airlines & Director at Tata Sons Ltd.

Mr. TV Narendran, Chairman, XLRI | Mr. Bhaskar Bhat, Chairman, Tata SIA Airlines & Director at Tata Sons Ltd. | Fr. S George SJ, Director, XLRI | Prof. Sanjay Patro, Dean (Academics), XLRI and Fr. Kuruvilla Pandikattu, S.J., Chairperson of JRD Tata Centre for Business Ethics lighted the lamp and kick started the event.

Chairman, XLRI addressed students saying, “XLRI has always emphasized on adopting ethics, students need to follow business ethics in organizations. Core course on business ethics students are taught to be future business leaders. And it is important for students to understand and value the importance of ethics. I welcome you all to the 30th JRD Tata Oration of Business Ethics.”

Fr. Kuruvilla Pandikattu, S.J., Chairperson of JRD Tata Centre for Business Ethics said, “JRD Tata was known throughout his life for one message - ‘ask not just what is legal but go beyond and ask if it’s the right thing to do.’ Established in 1991, JRD Tata Foundation is to mark its long-standing commitment to business ethics in India. XLRI is the only B-School in India that has a dedicated center named after the industrialist JRD Tata.“

He also talked about a few on-going activities of JRD Tata Centre for Business Ethics. “Students are taught business ethics in every academic year. The regular workshops on ethics are conducted in collaboration with Tata Steel. We are organizing an essay, debate and poster competition. Future research and publications in business ethics are being done. ICP and MDP programs in the area of ethics are soon going to take place. International ethics conclave is being planned for the coming academic year of XLRI”, he said.

Mr. Bhaskar Bhat delivered the oration on Business Ethics. He changed the subject from Ethics to Integrity. He said, “Integrity and Ethics is a single word for me, not two words.”

“Top most valuable Indian ethical brands 2022 includes Tata, Infosys, LIC, Reliance, Airtel, SBI, HDFC Bank, Wipro, Mahindra, HCL - according to a research done by a Tata Employee. 935,000 talented and motivated employees work for Tata Groups in more than 100 countries across the 6 continents and for the 7th year in running, Tata Steel has been recognised as the world’s most ethical company”, he said.

“You cannot separate individual ethics from corporate ethics” - he stated this by sharing an example of Tata NYK Shipping about how they stopped 3 days of their commercial shipping time to rescue 6 seamen.”

“Talking the talk and walking the talk both are important tasks for a leader at all levels. He shared an example from Tata Nano about how they cut their profits and ensured to deliver at the promised cost. Mr. Ratan Tata made a statement, a promise is a promise and that is walking the talk. You can’t just dream, talk and then not walk the talk”, he said.

“Adversity reveals true character. He shared an example of the Tata Finance crisis. It is about paying back every investor who had invested in Tata Finance. In this journey such errors occur but it’s what you do how corporation acts is what is important. Nobody remembers it anymore because of the way the group dealt with it.”

He also talked about Individual ethics. “There are several challenges for all of us. We tend to think that personal life, social life and work life are three different circles but when it comes to values, ethics and integrity in real life you cannot separate them. Ethical behaviour and integrity just comes together as a confluence in real life”, he said.

“Integrity and ethics is purposeful and strategic because it feeds into the greatest advert in the world of business”, he concluded.

Prof. Sanjay Patro, Dean Academics, XLRI proposed the vote of thanks and concluded the event.

About XLRI JRD Tata Foundation for Business Ethics:

XLRI- Xavier School of Management, in association with a few select Tata Group Companies, established in 1991 the XLRI – JRD Tata Foundation in Business Ethics, to mark their long-standing commitment and contribution to business ethics in India. The Foundation seeks to address itself by publicly affirming the urgent need for ethics in business and the need to bring about a conducive culture in which it can thrive. The activities that are envisaged by this Foundation are an annual ‘JRD Tata Oration on Business Ethics,’ recognition and presentation of the ‘JRD Tata Award for Business Ethics’ to an eminent person who has distinguished oneself in business ethics, and the setting up of the JRD Tata Chair in Business Ethics at XLRI for the advancement of research in this field. XLRI is the first B-school in the country to introduce a core course on “Managerial Ethics” for both its HRM and BM programs. Each year, XLRI confers a medal to the best student in Managerial Ethics at the institute’s annual convocation.