They also Serve India

In 2005, when I was in USA, I found the bookshop displaying many books related to China. I went through many. Anand bought few too. The books on India were rare. However, Thomas Friedman’s bestseller ‘The World is Flat’ came on shelves in those days, that marketed India excellently. In 2008, I find many books on India in the bookshops. I have written about some earlier.

I have been reading two books these days. I started with Tarun Khanna’s ‘Billions of Entrepreneurs– How China and India are reshaping their futures- and yours’. And then I moved to ‘The new Age of Innovation– driving co-created value through global networks’ jointly written by CK Prahalad and MS Krishnan, that is more about a new management concept of co-creation for innovation. While going through the books of these categories, I would have always loved to read them as e-books, however with some more features integrated in present technology of e-books. My e-book reader must have a provision to customize the book in such a manner that I could change or rather update the data provided in the book on real time as well as it must have provision to integrate my views wherever I wish to do that. I don’t know if any such gadget is commercially available on date.

Khanna and Prahalad both have used quite a good number of case examples from Indian industries and mentioned of many Indian managers. So the books go a long way to sell and promote India and Indian industries globally. Both the authors have earned a lot of reputation, frequently travel abroad and keep on speaking on different forums of the world. I see in them Deming and Zuran of yesteryears who were traveling to Japan and bringing a new revolution there through their quality management lectures. The case histories of Indian enterprises, entrepreneurs, and managers would make India known better and in right light.

Prahalad talks extensively about the innovative approaches of ICICI, ITC’s e- Choupal, TCS, Infosys, Wipro, and Satyam that are becoming new MNCs. ‘Satyam is experimenting in leveraging resources from Indian villages to improve its efficiency of its recruitment process. With manpower cost of less than a dollar a day, Satyam is also experimenting with doing some traditional accounting business processes in the villages.’ One can imagine the cost benefit leverage it can provide with competition. Prahalad has mentioned in this new book about even innovative business model of startups such as TutorVista in the business of providing customized tutoring and Nirvana, an emerging BPO company in Bangalore. Tutor Vista currently has over 10,000 paying students, and is expanding its tutor base of over 5,000 tutors to countries outside India, including the United States. Nirvana serves global financial services clients in customer support and other backoffice processes.The company through its unique applications of analytics and process discipline constantly is improving its understanding of customers and deliver value through global resource leverage.’ Meritrack is another startup in India ‘that has developed methods for providing a testing service for the quantittive and reasoning skills of people.’ It got a mention in Prahalad’s book.

Prahalad also refers to the simple gadgets of $30 cell phones that Madras Cement provides to all delivery truck drivers to improve efficiency and delivery. “To date, the simple, innovative solution has led to recurring annual savings of more than $4 million.” Prahald talks about the organisational revolution and various process inovations at Madras Cements that resulted in a recurring $8.5 million increase in annual profits- an increase of 21% in 2001.

Taruun Khanna has many success stories of Indian corporates and institutions in his book. In each of the chapters, he has dealt with Chinese enterprises with Indian ones, such as Infosys with TCL in ‘Unshackling Indigenous Enterprise’ or Microsoft with Metro Cash and Carry in ‘Views from the World’s Corner Offices’. While writing on DLF story, Khanna emphaises, “Here (Gurgaon), a private-sector entrepreneur has achieved-albiet much more slowly-what the state achieved in Shanghai.” He writes equally lucidly about the wonderful work of SEWA and Dr. Devi Shetty and his “Wal-Martization’ of healthcare. The book mentions many Indian enterprises and the entrepreneurs.

Bookshops are today flooded with many books on the rising India. They tell the stories of the indian enterprises small and big for the readers in all English speaking countries of the world and help in brand building for India.

CK Prahalad and MS Krishnana are professors in Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. Tarun Khanna teaches in Harvard Business School. Prahlad, Krishnan, Khanna and other writers are serving and selling Incredible India to the world. Many a times I wonder why do I not come across the such books by any such professors from India’s so famed IIMs. Are they all introvert and don’t wish to write about Rising India? Are they not sure if India is on its way of becoming the superpower one day very soon?Are they banned by the rules of the institutes that are government aided from writing books that help in creating the image of the instituions and the country?

I wish some one writes some authoritative book on ‘Manufacturing India’.

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