Gurus of wisdom in the business arena

D. Murali | Updated on March 19, 2011 Published on March 19, 2011


You may find the gurus of wisdom in the Himalayas, but they also exist in the hardcore business arena, impacting many lives and also putting an indelible mark on the company's history, discover Pritam Singh and Asha Bhandarker in In Search of Change Maestros ( www.sagepublications.com). The book celebrates seven ‘role models for leadership,' namely, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Meleveetil Damodaran, Sajjan Jindal, Kundapur Vaman Kamath, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Anil Manibhai Naik, and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.

In the authors' view, the key elements that characterise great leaders and change maestros are contextual sensitivity, compelling vision and purpose, winning streak, people connect and engagement, meaningful contribution with speed, creative destruction, culture architecture, and evolving self.

Value-based functioning

Devoting a chapter to each of the maestros, the authors delve deep into the leader's qualities. For instance, about Birla, they write that he has an immense range of leadership competencies, focusing simultaneously on all the pillars of competitive edge — cost, quality, people power, ethical governance, and innovation and speedy response to emerging opportunities.

“K. M. Birla has successfully created a world-class organisation. In his company there is a culture of freedom and empowerment and entrepreneurial innovation. The group strongly emphasises value-based functioning and also provides dignity to their people, thus enabling them to attract top of the line global talent.”

The transformation of Aditya Birla Group within a span of just twelve years to become a global Indian multinational is truly phenomenal and K. M. Birla, by his own right, has emerged as a great role model and powerful mentor of business leadership of India, the authors aver. “If his great grandfather G. D. Birla played a crucial role in liberating his country from alien rule, K. M. Birla has added his mite to making the free nation an economic super power.” It may be a striking contrast that the Ambani brothers do not earn a place in the book's index, though there are a couple of positive references to Dhirubhai Ambani.

‘Eighty years' in forty years

The chapter on A. M. Naik — ‘the passionately committed L&T-ite who continuously pushed the group to the next horizon' — extols him for creating economic freedom for senior employees through ESOPs.

“Ring-fencing L&T by creating an employee-owned organisation has been his greatest contribution to secure the future of L&T from all takeover threats, a problem which L&T faced in the past,” the authors note.

Inspiring read for corporate managers.

Published on March 19, 2011

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.