An important piece of the global jigsaw

It has been quite a few years India has become a prominent economy and force to reckon with, globally. In the last few decades, every global organization has tried to get e piece of the rapidly growing economic pie in the country, after it opened up the economy. Even though the market offers several books on engaging India as a new and growing market, Conquering the Chaos: Win in India, Win Everywhere provides a practical aspect from India’s perspective.

An important piece of the global jigsaw

Author Ravi Venkatesan amasses his extensive experience as the CEO of two companies to provide distinct lessons that could apply to almost any company in India.

Venkatesan’s experience enables him to share the lessons he learnt when working with Cummins and Microsoft, and this comes together with this understanding of multinational companies in the subcontinent to author a book that provides myriad lessons for the reader.

The book begins by providing the framework to understanding the Indian market, and the need to analyse and effectively understand the Indian consumer with the bottom up approach, and creating products and services suited to this consumer rather than selling what is popular in the west.

Venkatesan discusses many other essential concepts which ones does not get to read often.

The author also talks about the he need to integrate India as important piece of the global corporate strategy. Many companies which have been successful elsewhere have failed in India, since they had not understood the significance of this aspect clearly. In this respect, he devotes special chapters to the role of the Country Manager, whose position should be of a true leader with multi-dimensional capabilities; Leadership and Human Resources Management. All these chapters, like the rest of the book adopt the India-specific approach.

What’s more intriguing is that the author also shares specific and realistic advice on how to deal with problems that are peculiar to India – namely corruption and bureaucracy, and how to circumvent these problems.

Venkatesan does a great job of explaining how and why the leaders of the country should be focussing on developing the people, especially with technical skills like engineering, supply chain, closing and managing large deals.

This book primarily focuses on cracking the code of the Indian market. Companies tend to stick to the familiar business models, assumptions about consumer and market behaviour and try to tweak around a little bit to cater to the pointed needs of the Indian environment and often fail. This book looks upon creating a leadership force that is likely to work.

The underlying tone of the book, and the argument that the author makes with a great deal of conviction is that perhaps that India serves both – a testing ground and a gateway for further expansion. With a large section of its populations being in the consumerism zone, India is a destination for business in itself, but its size and diversity can lead the companies to use India as a stepping stone to the rest of the developing countries as well.

The book is well researched and convincing. The varied examples and instances used by the author make the book readable and entertaining. It provides a great read, since it identifies the major challenges in building a business in India. Venkatesan charts out a path for professionals and businessmen in India to develop the country as an innovation hub. The book will be exceptionally useful for students who are looking at innovative solutions to problems, not just in management colleges but other professional colleges as well. It will help open students’ minds to different ways of thinking and approaching problems and their solutions from various aspects.

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