Marwari Business Sayings and Their Interpretations

Marwari business sayings have key business insights, that blend traditional wisdom with business logic for today’s entrepreneurs.

marwari business saying

The Marwari community, originating from Rajasthan in India, has been synonymous with entrepreneurial success and business acumen for centuries. Known for their ability to thrive in challenging environments, Marwaris have a rich history of contributing to India’s commercial landscape. Their journey from traders in the bygone era to leading some of India’s most successful business houses today is not just a testament to their resilience but also to the wisdom passed down through generations. This wisdom, encapsulated in their business sayings, continues to guide not only the Marwari community but also offers invaluable lessons for the modern entrepreneur.

Historically, Marwaris ventured out from Rajasthan to various parts of India in search of better business opportunities. Their ability to adapt, combined with a keen sense of business, allowed them to establish trade networks that spanned the subcontinent. They were pioneers in creating organized methods of lending, trade practices, and community-based networks that supported each other in business endeavors. This sense of community and mutual support has been a cornerstone of their success.

Marwari family businesses have become synonymous with success, resilience, and the ability to innovate across generations. Prominent examples include the

  • Birla Group, founded by Ghanshyam Das Birla, which has diversified interests from textiles to telecommunications;
  • RPG Group, founded by Ram Prasad Goenka a conglomerate with a presence in sectors like technology, energy, and tire manufacturing; and the Goenka Group, which has made significant contributions to the sectors of FMCG, textiles, and real estate.

These business houses not only highlight the success of Marwari entrepreneurial spirit but also their ability to adapt and thrive in the modern economy.

Marwaris have organized themselves in different parts of India through community networks and associations that provide support in business, social, and cultural aspects. These networks serve as a platform for mentorship, investment opportunities, and fostering business collaborations within the community. This organizational structure has been pivotal in their expansion across India and even globally, maintaining strong community ties that facilitate business growth and continuity.

The Marwari community offer profound lessons for today’s entrepreneurs. Jo dikhe, so bikhe (What is seen, is sold) emphasizes the importance of marketing and visibility. Aadhi chhod puri ko dhawe, aadhi mili na puri pave (Leaving the half, chasing the full, neither retains the half nor achieves the full) warns against greed and the importance of valuing what one has.

These sayings, rich in wisdom and act as practical guides that underscore the importance of ethics, resourcefulness, and community in business success. They remind us that in the fast-paced world of business, timeless principles of integrity, perseverance, and mutual support remain the foundation of sustainable success.

Here are some popular business sayings among the Marwaris, along with their translations, underlying thoughts, and the lessons they offer to entrepreneurs and MBA students:

Jo dikhe, so bikhe (What is seen, is sold)

This saying emphasizes the importance of presentation and visibility in business. It suggests that products or services that are made visible to potential customers are more likely to be sold.

The importance of marketing and presenting their offerings effectively. Visibility, whether through physical display or digital presence, is crucial for sales. For example one of the best practices is retail is to make your store display loaded with merchandise. It’s no use to keep them in your store, where it can’t be seen.

Nav guna nau rupaye, das guna ek taka

Its translates to nine qualities for nine rupees, ten qualities for one taka (a smaller unit of currency). This saying highlights the exponential value of perfection or excellence. It means that adding just a little extra quality or value to your product or service can significantly increase its worth or appeal.

This encourages entrepreneurs to strive for excellence and to go the extra mile in their offerings. It teaches that quality can significantly differentiate a product or service in a competitive market.

Kanchan kaya vikraye, vikraye na kaya kan

Which means sell gold by the body (weight), but do not sell the body for gold. This saying warns against sacrificing one’s ethics or integrity for financial gain. It suggests that while it is important to make profitable deals, one should not compromise their values or principles in the pursuit of wealth.

It teaches the importance of ethical practices and integrity in business. Long-term success is built on trust and respect, which are earned through ethical conduct.

Kaudi ka karz, kaudi ko chukaana padega

A debt of a shell must be paid back with a shell. This saying underscores the importance of honoring financial obligations, no matter how small. It emphasizes that every debt, regardless of its size, should be repaid.

Entrepreneurs can learn the value of financial integrity and the importance of fulfilling all monetary commitments. This practice not only builds trust with creditors but also establishes a reputation of reliability and ethical conduct in business dealings.

Aadhi chhod puri ko dhawe, aadhi mili na puri pave

Leaving the half, chasing the full, neither retains the half nor achieves the full. It warns us against the greed of wanting more without appreciating what one already has. It teaches that in the pursuit of greater gains, one risks losing what is already secured.

It teaches the importance of contentment and strategic risk management. Entrepreneurs should be cautious in their pursuit of expansion or higher profits, ensuring they do not jeopardize the existing stable aspects of their business for uncertain gains.

Savaj nu ghar savaj jane

Only a lion knows the home of another lion. This saying suggests that only those who are of a similar caliber or in similar positions can truly understand each other’s situations, challenges, and strengths.

It highlights the importance of networking and building relationships with peers. Engaging with others who share similar challenges and ambitions can provide valuable insights, support, and opportunities for collaboration.

Har kaam kaaj me vighna padave, vyapar vina aur nahi

Every task may face obstacles, except in trade, there is none. This saying humorously suggests that while every endeavor might face hurdles, trade and business somehow always find a way to continue or thrive, implying the resilience and adaptability required in business.

It teaches resilience and the need for adaptability in business. Entrepreneurs should be prepared to face and overcome challenges, adapting their strategies as necessary to ensure the continuity and growth of their business.

Gehoon khet mein aur pani kuan mein

Wheat is in the field, and water is in the well. This saying highlights the importance of resources being in different places and the effort needed to bring them together for productive use. It reflects on the intrinsic nature of business to consolidate resources from various places for creating value.

It teaches the importance of resource management and the coordination needed to bring various components together in a business. Entrepreneurs should focus on efficient logistics, supply chain management, and the integration of different functions within their business.

Bina vyapar kuch nahi, vyapar bina sab sun

Without business, there is nothing; everything is empty without trade. It emphasizes the central role of commerce and trade in society and individual prosperity. It suggests that business activities are fundamental to economic development and personal success.

Entrepreneurs are reminded of the significance of their endeavors not just for personal gain but also for the broader economic impact. This saying encourages persistence in business pursuits and underscores the importance of contributing to society through commerce.

Dhanda hai par ganda hai ye (It’s business, but it’s dirty)

This saying is a commentary on the ethical dilemmas that can arise in business. It warns that not all business practices are clean or ethical, even if they may be profitable.

This highlights the importance of ethics in business. Entrepreneurs should strive to maintain high ethical standards in their operations, recognizing that long-term success is built on trust, integrity, and respect for others.

Jo vyapar ko roke, so vyapar ko khove (He who restricts his business, loses it.)

This saying warns against the dangers of becoming complacent or not seeking growth opportunities. It suggests that businesses need to continuously evolve and expand; otherwise, they risk decline or failure.

Entrepreneurs should always be on the lookout for new opportunities to grow their business. Stagnation can lead to obsolescence, so it’s important to innovate, adapt, and expand.

Bazaar ki rajneeti, ghar ki baat nahi

Market politics is not household talk. This proverb emphasizes the difference between professional (business) and personal (home) life, suggesting that the complexities and strategies involved in business should not influence or disrupt family life.

Entrepreneurs are reminded of the importance of work-life balance. While business might require tough decision-making and strategic maneuvering, it’s crucial to keep professional stress separate from personal life to maintain harmony.

Every field's soil is different_marwari business saying

Har khet ki mithi alag hoti hai

Every field’s soil is different. This saying highlights the uniqueness of each business context, suggesting that what works for one may not work for another due to different conditions or environments.

It teaches the importance of context in business. Entrepreneurs should conduct thorough research and understand the specific needs and conditions of their market before implementing strategies or practices.

Khali hath sirf moo dekhne nahi jaate

One does not go to see a face with empty hands. It stresses the importance of not approaching a business or personal relationship empty-handed, implying the value of offering something, whether it be a token of respect, a gift, or a proposition of mutual benefit.

The lesson for entrepreneurs here is about the value of reciprocity and building relationships. Whether dealing with customers, partners, or investors, offering value upfront can pave the way for fruitful and lasting relationships.

Pehle darwaza, phir vyapar (First the door, then the business)

This implies that before starting a business, one should ensure they have an entry point or opportunity. It stresses the importance of groundwork and access to the right networks or markets.

Entrepreneurs are advised to focus on building access and entry points into their desired markets or networks before fully launching their ventures. Establishing the right connections and pathways is crucial for business success.

Aap bhale to jag bhalo (If you are good, the world is good.)

This saying suggests that one’s perception of the world reflects their own nature. It emphasizes the importance of integrity, positivity, and goodness in oneself, which in turn affects one’s business and personal relationships.

Entrepreneurs can learn the value of maintaining a positive outlook and ethical conduct in all dealings. A good character not only builds a reputable personal brand but also attracts similar positivity from others.

Vyapar mein namak jitna vyavhar, meetha utna hi achha

In business, as much behavior as salt, sweeter it is. This proverb highlights the importance of adding a personal touch or kindness in business interactions, much like how a little salt can enhance the taste of food. It suggests that a bit of personal warmth can greatly improve business relationships.

This teaches the importance of empathy, politeness, and personal engagement in business. Entrepreneurs should not overlook the power of good manners and a personal touch in building strong, lasting business relationships.

Rupyo nach nachave

Money makes one dance. It reflects on the powerful influence of money and how it can drive people’s actions and decisions, sometimes even against their values or better judgment.

The lesson for entrepreneurs here is to be aware of the influence of financial incentives and to strive for balance, ensuring that their decisions are guided by ethics and long-term vision rather than short-term financial gains.

Learn from the market marwari business saying

Bazaar se sikho (Learn from the market)

This saying emphasizes the importance of being attuned to the market’s needs, trends, and feedback. It suggests that the market itself is a valuable source of learning and adaptation for businesses.

Entrepreneurs are encouraged to be responsive to the market. This means actively seeking feedback, understanding consumer behavior, and adapting products or services accordingly. Real-world engagement with the market is crucial for business success.

Sachai aur mehnat ka mol nahi

Truthfulness and hard work are invaluable. This underscores the intrinsic value of honesty and diligence in business. It suggests that these virtues are foundational to long-term success and cannot be quantified.

The lesson here is about the irreplaceable value of integrity and perseverance in entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs should build their ventures on the bedrock of honesty and hard work, ensuring sustainability and reputation in the long run.

Neki kar, vyapar mein dhar

Do good, apply it in business. This saying emphasizes the importance of incorporating ethical practices and goodwill in business dealings. It suggests that doing good and being fair should not be limited to personal life but extended into one’s business practices.

One can learn the significance of building their ventures on the foundation of ethical practices and social responsibility. This approach not only fosters trust and loyalty among customers and partners but also contributes to a sustainable business model.

Har kaam ka aapna samay hota hai

Every task has its own time. This proverb highlights the importance of timing in business. It suggests that success in entrepreneurship often depends on recognizing and acting at the right moment, whether it’s launching a product, entering a market, or making strategic decisions.

The lesson here is about the value of patience and timing in business. Entrepreneurs should be mindful of market conditions and trends, waiting for the optimal moment to act while preparing diligently in the background.

Bin paisa sab soon (Without money, everything is empty.)

This saying speaks to the essential role of capital and financial management in business. It suggests that having the financial resources is crucial for sustaining operations, growth, and overcoming challenges.

The lesson for entrepreneurs is the importance of sound financial planning and management. Securing adequate funding, managing cash flow efficiently, and investing wisely are fundamental for the health and growth of a business.

Achhai ki dukan, jahan na ho koi bhaav-taav

A shop of goodness, where there is no haggling. It suggests that if a business built on integrity and fairness, there’s no need for negotiation over values or ethics. It implies that when a business is known for its ethical practices and fairness, customers are more likely to trust and not question its intentions.

Entrepreneurs are encouraged to build their businesses on the principles of fairness and integrity. Establishing a reputation for ethical practices can lead to customer loyalty and respect, reducing the need for defensive negotiations and fostering a positive business environment.

Kathni aur karni mein ek rakho

Keep your words and actions the same. This saying emphasizes the importance of consistency and integrity between what one promises and what one delivers. It highlights the value of trustworthiness and reliability in business dealings.

Entrepreneurs can learn the importance of aligning their commitments with their actions. Building a reputation for reliability and following through on promises can significantly enhance business relationships and customer trust.

Udyamita ek yatra hai, manzil nahi (Entrepreneurship is a journey, not a destination)

This saying reflects on the continuous and evolving nature of entrepreneurship. It suggests that building a business is an ongoing process that involves learning, growing, and adapting over time, rather than reaching a final endpoint.

Entrepreneurs should embrace the process of building and growing a business, prepared for a long-term commitment to innovation, learning, and adaptation. Success is found in the journey itself, with its challenges and achievements.

Swaarth se bada parmarth (Service is greater than self-interest.)

This proverb highlights the importance of contributing to the greater good and serving others beyond just pursuing personal gains. It underscores the ethical dimension of business, where success also includes making a positive impact on society and community.

Entrepreneurs can learn the value of incorporating social responsibility into their business models. Businesses that aim to serve and contribute to their communities tend to build stronger, more meaningful connections with customers and stakeholders.

Neki kar, dukan pe daal (Do good and put it in your shop.)

This saying suggests that acts of goodwill and ethical practices should be integral to one’s business operations. It implies that doing good is not only morally right but also beneficial for business.

This teaches entrepreneurs that ethical practices and goodwill should be core to their business strategy. Such practices can differentiate a business in competitive markets and build long-term loyalty and trust among customers.

Vishwas vyapar ka mool hai (Trust is the foundation of trade)

It emphasizes the critical role of trust in any business transaction. It suggests that for commerce to flourish, there must be mutual trust between buyers, sellers, and all parties involved in a business.

The lesson here is the importance of building and maintaining trust in business relationships. Entrepreneurs should focus on transparency, honesty, and delivering on promises as key strategies for establishing trust with customers, partners, and employees.

These Marwari sayings encapsulate a philosophy that combines practical business strategies with a strong ethical foundation. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to build their ventures on the principles of integrity, trust, continuous learning, and a commitment to serving the broader community, reflecting a balanced approach to achieving success in business and making a positive impact.

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