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Issue of June 2006 

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Tales from the IT department

Here’s a book which guides existing and aspiring CEOs on how to successfully handle difficult situations in an organisation.

This book is divided into two parts with 14 chapters. The first part of the book with seven stories is based on seven CEOs and the strategies that they used to tackle various situations that the business world threw at them and their organisation.

Thus, you will find CEOs such as Amrita Patel of National Dairy Development Board, Jamshed Irani of Tata Steel, and Mallika Srinivasan of Tractors and Farm Equipment detailing the issues they faced such as market competition and technical upgradation.

Each chapter is a case study in itself, bringing forth a unique quality of each CEO. The book also lists some basic characteristics that a successful CEO must possess. When profiling the CEOs the author not only highlights their successes but also mentions the mistakes that they made and the lessons they learned from it. This brings out the point that successful CEOs are not born but are carved out from their commitment towards their organisation.

The book details the various methods of CEOs, including the balanced scorecard used by Irani of Tata Steel and the 80/20 principle favoured by Kamath of ICICI Bank

The book also details the various methods used by these CEOs such as the balanced scorecard used by Irani, the 80/20 principle favoured by Vaman Kamath of ICICI Bank, and the Total Quality Management applied by Venu Srinivasan of TCS to achieve the desired results for themselves and their organisation.

Since the book is in an interview format, it gives the reader a first-hand feeling of the CEOs original version of the experience. Views from different authors on the same theory, examples of similar situations which other organisations faced, and quotes from famous authors keep the reader interested.

Title :
Exemplary CEOs : Insights On Organisational Transformation
Author : Shrinivas Pandit
Publisher : Tata McGraw-Hill
Price : Rs 450

The second part of the book has seven themes and models based on which the author explains how leadership roles have changed in the pre- and post-liberalisation era. He also discusses how the post-liberalisation attitude of people towards work has changed, and what effects this has had on the working environment. The book gives an insight into how factors like adversity—which the book defines as the father of mindset changes—impacts individuals, organisations and society as a whole.

The book describes changes in the Indian scenario, and the factors which have transformed the policies of liberalisation. It also gives insights into how CEOs like Patel and Srinivasan coped in these changing scenarios.

The author also looks at the work ethic in different nations, such as perfectionism in Japan and the culture of hard work in China. Based on these parameters, the book tries to analyse where India is, where we have to go, and in which direction. For example, it mentions the Tender Loving Care principle that has been adopted by Dr Prathap of Apollo Hospitals.

The different models discussed in the second part are creating value and wealth, adversity—the driver of mindset change, upasana for self-renewal and its reflections on the whole person, building up creativity, and diary writing.

The most interesting part of the book is at the end, when the author tries to evaluate himself on the basis of the various models.

Sneha Khanna

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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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