Profiles in Enterprise: Inspiring Stories of Indian Business Leaders
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241 pages

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Profiles in Enterprise, an inspirational book on the life stories of twenty-three Indian business leaders is a candid account of men and women who have added value to their businesses or professions and most certainly to India as a nation. From the importance of hard work to perfect timing, and from sharing wealth to the grit and determination to never give in; these profiles share stories of entrepreneurs, ever ready to take risks and on a path to a never-ending success.

Enlightening, and full of fascinating anecdotes, these personal journeys are a must read for a growing breed of first-generation entrepreneurs.



Publié par
Date de parution 26 janvier 2015
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9789351940678
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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Peter Church OAM, B.Com (UNSW), LLB (Sydney), LLM (London) is a lawyer and corporate adviser by profession and has spent more than 30 years living and working in the South East Asian and Indian regions. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 1994 for his services to the promotion of business relations between Australia and the South East Asian region. He has written a number of other books on the Asian region, including Added Value – The Life Stories of Leading South East Asian Business People (Murmeli, 1999), A Short History of South East Asia (John Wiley, 2009) and Added Value – The Life Stories of Indian Business Leaders (Roli, 2010).

This digital edition published in 2015
First published in 2015 by The Lotus Collection An Imprint of Roli Books Pvt. Ltd M-75, Greater Kailash- II Market New Delhi 110 048 Phone: ++91 (011) 40682000 Email: Website:
Copyright © Peter Church, 2015
No part of this publication may be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in a retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic, mechanical, print reproduction, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of Roli Books. Any unauthorized distribution of this e-book may be considered a direct infringement of copyright and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.
eISBN: 978-93-5194-067-8
Cover Design: Rohina Thapar
All rights reserved. This e-book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated, without the publisher’s prior consent, in any form or cover other than that in which it is published.
For Ginny and for my evergrowing brood of grandchildren – Daisy, Polly, Harry, Fox, Lily, Charlie Rose, Chance and Harvey
Radhe Shyam Agarwal – Emami
Subroto Bagchi – Mindtree
Professor Bala V. Balachandran – Great Lakes Institute of Management
Shobhana Bhartia – HT Media
Ela Bhatt – Sewa
Ajay Bijli – PVR
Anand Burman – Dabur
Ramesh Chauhan – Bisleri
Adi Godrej – Godrej Group
Sanjiv Goenka – RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group
Bhavarlal H. Jain – Jain Irrigation Systems
B.K. Jhawar – Usha Martin
Naveen Jindal – Jindal Steel & Power
B.M. Khaitan – Williamson Magor
Sanjay Lalbhai – Arvind
Keshub Mahindra – Mahindra & Mahindra
Sunita Narain – Centre for Science & the Environment
Sanjay Nayak – Tejas Networks
Harshavardhan Neotia – Ambuja Neotia Group
Ajay Piramal – Piramal Group
Ronnie Screwvala – UTV / Disney India/Unilazer
Venu Srinivasan – TVS Motor Company
Arunachalam Vellayan – Murugappa Group

Endnotes to each chapter provides a brief description of the subject’s business or organization.
I n any project such as this, the first and most important contribution is obviously made by the interviewees themselves and, as we all know, their extremely important secretaries and assistants, without whom there would be no book. I found all the subjects to be easy to interview and generous with their time.
It would also be remiss of me not to acknowledge and thank for the assistance given to me by many other people who helped me shortlist those to be interviewed. Amongst these were my colleagues Shiban Bakshi, John Bond and Suresh Iyer.
As you would no doubt understand interviewing the fascinating people covered in this book is the easy part. The more arduous task is converting what they told me into the chapters of this book. In this regard I would like to particularly thank my brother-in-law, Antony Nash who helped me with the initial drafts.
I would also like to thank Lena Law, my assistant at Stephenson Harwood who had no idea when we started working together that this project was underway, and no doubt might have thought twice about agreeing to work with me had she known!
Finally, I would like to thank Pramod, Kapil and Priya Kapoor and Neelam Narula of Roli Books for taking on the challenge and publishing, not just this book but also my previous book on life stories of Indian business leaders. I am thankful for their expert advice and assistance along the way.
The life stories in this book are the result of my interviews with the subjects over a three-year period, so they might not be completely up to date as at the date of publication in December 2014. These are their stories and each of them approved the text for his or her chapter. If any mistakes remain, then the responsibility rests with me.
T his is my second book featuring the life stories of Indian business leaders. 1 I knew that in a country of over one billion citizens, I had barely scratched the surface with my first book and, as I found each of the subjects’ stories fascinating, I was interested and encouraged by others to write a follow up.
As with the first volume, this is not a book about wealth but certainly many of those interviewed are wealthy. It is more about the lives of leading Indian businessmen and women who have added value to their businesses or professions and, in many cases, to India as a nation. The book also focuses on their thoughts on success and its ingredients.
Through my involvement with the countries of Asia over the last 40 years, first as a student, then as a lawyer and corporate adviser, I have met and observed a number of the ‘movers and shakers’ in the region. Usually, when I read about them in the press or hear others talk of them, what is reported is how much money they have, what huge deals they have cracked, or the wonderful lives they lead. There seems little interest in their life stories which, for me, are far more interesting than speculating about how many dollars they have in their bank accounts. How did they do it? Was it luck? Was it just hard work? Or are there a number of factors or threads which could guide others to success?
In 1999 I wrote a book 2 on the life stories of some 65 leading South-East Asian businessmen and women from the ten countries making up the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). The book answered many of these questions, and, the most important ingredient to success so far as I could ascertain was timing. There seems to be a time to get into businesses, a time to grow businesses, and a time to get out of businesses. For a number of older people interviewed, the right time came in the years following the Second World War and as their nations gained independence.
Not surprisingly there are many similarities but, as you will read, the history and culture of India is different in many respects from the countries of South-East Asia. Certainly India, like all the countries of South-East Asia, with the exception of Thailand, was colonized by a Western power but India created some amazing twists and turns for many of those interviewed for this book.
What looms largest in the stories of many of these men and women is the long dark shadow cast by the ‘licence raj’ when one almost needed a licence to breathe. Even large industrialists suffered. How individual men and women prospered in that period is almost beyond belief. For those who did, I think the personal characteristic that shines through most is their grit and determination to never give in.
And again, as in South-East Asia, timing shines through as a key ingredient in the success of many of those covered in this book. They were in the right place at the right time when the ‘licence raj’ drew its last breath. But, of course, their success is far more complicated than this.
Apart from external factors like timing, what then are the characteristics one expects to find in successful entrepreneurs? Many psychologists have spent their careers trying to identify these. The precise definition of exactly what the word ‘entrepreneur’ means seems to be the subject of some debate and the definition I most enjoy is the one of Peter Kilby in his classic essay ‘Hunting the Heffalump’. 3 He likened the search for an entrepreneur to be like hunting the Heffalump, a character from A.A. Milne’s ‘Winnie the Pooh’ that, in Kilby’s words ‘ a rather large and very important animal. He has been hunted by many individuals using various ingenious trapping devices, but no one so far has succeeded in capturing him. All who claim to have caught sight of him report that he is enormous, but they disagree on his particulars.’ 4
Fortunately, many psychologists such as Reg Jennings, Charles Cox, and Cary L. Cooper 5 do agree on several key ‘particulars. As you read the life stories in this book, I suggest you bear in mind the characteristics they identified from their research. Although their study was of Western entrepreneurs, I think you will be surprised to see how many of the following apply to the Indian subjects in this book: Assertiveness – the grit and determination I mentioned above, not surprisingly, tops the list and I think is exhibited by every person in this book; The Learning Curve – the ability to learn from setbacks or failures; Ambition – being highly proactive and responsive to challenge; Achievement Orientation – the need and belief to succeed; ‘The Internal Gyroscope’ – a clear and positive view of where they are going; An Integrated Value System – clear values with one of the most important being dependability. Wealth and power rank lower in importance for most entrepreneurs than people and relationships; Effective management of risk – most take much bigger, and sometimes all or nothing, risks earlier in their careers which become more calculated later in their careers; Goals: ‘Do-able’ lists versus ‘wish-lists’ – most entrepreneurs seem to focus on realistic goals rather than absolute fantasy; High dedication – in terms of effort and time put in – every person in this book exhibits this characteristic; Intrinsic Motivation – most love what they do and have high energy levels in pursuing their chosen field; Well-organized Lifestyle – most have the unshakea

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