February 4, 2020

Shabari’s love and devotion

Amit Trivedi
Owner, Karmayog Knowledge Academy

Shabari’s love and devotion

Lord Ram and his brother Lakshman went to the forest to fulfill their father’s last wish. During that period, Sita was abducted by Ravan and the two brothers went in search for her. As they were going Southwards, they came across the place where Shabari was residing. Shabari was a devotee of Lord Ram.

Since the Lord had come to her hut, she offered him some berries. However, she wanted to ensure that the berries she offered to Lord Ram were sweet in taste and hence she tasted each berry before offering it to the Lord, essentially making him eat her half eaten berries. Lakshman was very agitated due to this act of Shabari. However, Lord Ram could see that what Shabari did was out of her love and devotion towards her Lord. She wanted to ensure that she offered the best berries.

An adviser can take a big lesson from this story of Shabari.

As they say, “Customer is God.” In that case, what are you offering your God? Are you offering the sweetest berries to your God? The meaning of sweetness must be clarified here. “Sweet berries” in this context do not mean products that the customer would like to buy, but what is suitable to one. Are you checking the suitability of the product to each customer?

Are you offering the customer what you can consume? There are some advisers, who recommend only those investment products to their customers that they themselves have invested in – only what they themselves have tasted.

By the way, there would always be some customers like Lakshman, who would cringe at your approach: “Why are you not giving me something new? Why do you suggest the same old products or the same old SIP in mutual funds? Give me something new”. Well, if you are an adviser, who will decide which products (or services or solutions) to suggest to your customers – you or the customer? There would always be some like Lakshman, but then there would always be some customers like Ram, who would understand your intent.

The big difference between the story of Shabari and an adviser is that the latter can (and must) communicate with the customer about the reasons behind one’s recommendations. Shabari probably did not do so. Such communication would not only reinforce what Ram knew, but also be able to help Lakshaman understand.

A last word on the same story: it is possible that you may have institutional clients, whose needs may be very different from yours and hence you may have to recommend products and solutions that you may not consume yourself. That is perfectly fine, so long as you have ensured suitability of your recommendations to your customers’ situation.

4 Thoughts to “Shabari’s love and devotion”

  1. pradip dey says:

    Nice articulation ….very usefull can be used

  2. Srinivasan says:

    Agree with the author; that it would make sense for an adviser to offer those products which he has invested in & in which he is convinced. But it goes without saying that the risk appetite of the client would also be factored.

  3. Sarbani Roy says:

    Exceptional write up…new way to think as an IFA.

  4. Sarbani Roy says:

    Exceptionally well defined

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