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In a world fraught with greed, temptation, confusion, discontent and inertia amongst the leaders, there is very little hope for an ethical entrepreneur. The reality is that the very foundation of ethics in business that is the regulations, rules and the regulators are mostly hollow. I say this especially because of my observations of the highly regulated and extremely significant telecom sector, which not only covers the telephone lines but extends to all forms of technology and communication including the internet, cloud networks, software applications etc.

I have heard, witnessed and felt the grief of many entrepreneurs. Reviewed the regulations repeatedly to find solutions to the conundrum they are in, only to reach the conclusion that the regulations are a problem in themselves. They have been written in cryptic language with most often than not, very limited means to find out what they truly mean. An appointment with the rule maker would mean that you will meet many different officers, with many different views. A request for a written clarification which would involve formation of an opinion will be either ignored or denied.

The problem

Most of the regulators are aware of the technological advancements, but in my view they lack the pace and don’t seem prepared or motivated enough to carry the weight of bringing about the much needed change in order to support the era of technological advancement.

I often hear that the problem with technology in India is that the regulations are far behind the technological advancements, but after a recent incident where I saw the courage in a bunch of young entrepreneurs dwindle because of the dark cloud of regulations over them, I realized that the real problem lies not in the regulations, but in the regulators. The regulators hold within them the power to change, but despite being aware of the problems in their sector, they have conceded to the unwritten rule of not giving anything in writing.  In the existing system there is no room for  reformers, the shakers, the change – makers and the heroes.

The consequence

In a sector where there is a lot of grey and very little black or white, an invisible line between right or wrong, differential treatment towards different stakeholders and many brilliant minds, the only ones that I suspect will survive are the ones who will cross the line to the other side. The unethical side.

This one is a dedication to the people who inspired me to write this piece. You are all heroes. Keep your freedom.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12QZDSaBfps         

Tagged in: business Ethics
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