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|Monday, April 23, 2001, updated at 07:49(GMT+8)|
Profile: Gyayang, GM in Lama's CassockTibetan lamas used to live on donations. It was this way until 1987, when the Tibet Gangjian Co., Ltd. was founded by Zhaxi Lhumbo Monastery in Shigaze, the second largest city in the Tibet Autonomous Region.
But for Gyayang, his life had remained unchanged until 1996, when the Tibetan Buddhist monk was appointed general manager of the company which was then on the brink of bankruptcy.
Wearing his purple cassock, prayer beads and handmade boots, Gyayang has been working hard to turn the money-losing company into a profitable firm.
Chaos was the legacy left behind by Gyayang's predecessor. The new general manager found that he had to deal with a big company owning factories manufacturing carpets, furniture and paintings, as well as restaurants, passenger-transport services and shops.
The 65 year-old lama, who spent most of his life in the lamasery, has never been taught about business management. He have neither heard of Japan's Matsushita-Style management nor the legendary success of Bill Gates in the United States.
But Gyayang has his own methods to reign his staff, all clad in cassock like him, in a way that could only be seen in a lamasery.
In addition to streamlining the overloaded structure and signing contracts with all the staff, Gyayang adopted a unique system to appraise the heads of different departments -- a method he learned from "Sutra-Discussing Contest" among Tibetan Buddhists.
In the contests, Tibetan lamas practice forensics to show their wisdom and knowledge on the Buddhist Sutra. They get different ranks according to their performance.
Under Gyayang's management, those who have well accomplished their jobs take the seats of honor, while those who have failed have to take the back seats. The worst one has no right to take a seat, and instead he has to sit on the floor by crossing his legs.
"It works," said a proud Gyayang. "Remember? All the 400-plus staff are lamas who care about their honor."
Gangjian's profits have climbed up ever since Gyayang came. Last year, the company netted 610,000 yuan and spent over 500,000 yuan to improve the daily life of the lamas of the Zhaxi Lhumbo Monastery.
The lamasery-backed company is charitable. Last year, the city was attacked by catastrophic floods, the company donated 30,000 yuan and large quantities of goods to those affected.
Others are following suit. So far, over 1,700 local lamaseries across the autonomous region have been operating their own businesses.
The company has brought Gyayang fame but not wealth. While some of his staff could make more than 2,000 yuan a month, the general manager still has his monthly salary, over 1,000 yuan, paid by the city's religious affairs administration.
"The 1,000 yuan salary is enough for me" said Gyayang, a lone man who does nothing but read sutra in the spare time.
Everyday, Gyayang comes and goes between the company and Buddhist Sutra.
He arrives at the general manager's office at 9:30 a.m., beginning his work by pouring himself a cup of tea, and returns to his monastery home at 7 p.m., to watch the routine news program of the China Central Television (CCTV) on time.
"This is my only hobby," he said.
After that, it is time for the lama-entrepreneur to read Buddhist Sutra and do religious services.
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