Of names and good company

Had a meeting today where I discussed a structure with a potential client. We got talking and they asked me about the name of my consultancy – 10 Leaves. Why 10? Why Leaves?

They also came to know the name of my son, and liked the fact that it is a unique name, with a deep meaning behind it.

And so they wanted me to help them with the name of their new venture. Or should I say – adventure?

William Shakespeare once said – a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet…But the good bard wouldn’t have relished being called Will.I.am I imagine. Now would calling a rose a cabbage have evoked the same feelings…So what’s in a name?

An identity, pride in one’s roots, memories of a place that thrived and then was looted, a label of culture that is representative of the people living there, a non-distortion of actuality that comes from people being able to pronounce it in their native language rather than accommodate an anglicized version of it.

Yes, there is a lot in a name Rohit, and being called ‘Roti’ in school was not appreciated :)) Lok Kalyan Marg is more representative of the road that houses the most important residence of the representative of the people of India, than Race Course Road, that sounds more like a gamble in itself.

नाम्यते अभिधीयते अर्थोऽनेन इति नाम – that whose meaning encompasses the characteristics of a person, is a name.

So one should choose carefully.

But what about a company?

Now there are two ways to look at it. The name of a company should be representative of what the company does, what it stands for…it’s identity. But then there is Apple, that surely doesn’t sell fruit, has a half-bitten apple to rub it in, and yet is the most valuable company in the world.

The name 10 Leaves has nothing to do with consultancy, yet we are pretty good at what we do, and are well known for what we do.

And so a good company is made of good people, with good intentions, a good work environment and of course, good service. A great name does give you that initial recognition, but without the rest of the ingredients…nothing much can happen.

You can have a great name like Blockbuster and still go under. Or you can have an unrelated name like Apple and still be worth a couple of trillion dollars. It is what is inside that matters.

A person however, is different.

 In our culture, a name is not arbitrarily assigned. In fact, it is only decided upon after the baby is born. Parents and elders take 11-14 days to observe the characteristics of the baby, it’s tendencies and gunas (sattva, rajas and tamas) and then after careful consideration, the names are assigned. 

I said names. Because, one name cannot define everything about a person. The greater the personality, the more names they have. This is why we have the Vishnu Sahasranama – even one thousand names are not enough to define the universal consciousness. 

For us mortals, 4-5 names are usually assigned.

Anyways, the meeting went well, and I hope so does the company. For now, I have to pack and can’t wait to get back!