Book Reviews
The Little Book of Valuation: Valuation Rules

A handy guide from the master of the complex business of valuing companies

Valuing businesses is tricky. For example, how do you value a hot initial public offering (IPO), boasting a great business opportunity and an IPO of a staid manufacturer of industrial products? You need a method that puts these businesses on a common footing. Valuation is a science but its practice is an art too. How...

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Indian Mujahideen: The terror inside

Shishir Gupta writes some hard facts about home-grown terrorists in “Indian Mujahideen”

Writing about home-grown jihad is a tough job. If one criticises militant Islam, one is termed a Hindu fundamentalist. If one doesn’t, it is deemed to be fishing for minority compliments. Adding to a confused secular ideal is the political class that hypes up, or glosses over, this serious...

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Nike, an athlete in its own right



In her book, Tracy Carbasho describes the vision behind the victory of the company that has motivated people to stay fit with its driving motto “Just Do It”


Many athletes and sportspersons enjoy wearing Nike shoes. Many of them will hang up their shoes one day, but the global sportswear and equipment manufacturer that has been making these shoes for 47 years already is still running strong.

Tracy Carbasho has captured the spirit of this world renowned company in her story, "Nike - The Vision behind the Victory", through the lives of the people at Nike and their work that has carried it so far.

The company, which was founded in January 1964 as 'Blue Ribbon Sports', officially became 'Nike' in May 1978, taking its name from the Greek goddess of victory.

It is a well-researched story that documents powerfully the vision and the victory of a company with deep roots and a strong brand image that has motivated people to stay fit with its driving motto "Just Do It".

Tracy describes the passion that the Nike staff and management have for sports, as well as their deep knowledge of the needs of athletes, as the driving factors in their day-to-day work.

"Big name endorsers and clever advertising campaigns (have) certainly helped the company rise to power, by making Nike a household name," Tracy writes. "However, the technology behind the shoes, going all the way back to the first prototypes, is the true reason why the company has stood the test of time and it is the real secret of Nike's longevity as a brand."

Consumers-athletes want shoes that will make them better, faster and stronger than their competitors, whether they are in a running race or just doing a daily workout.

The shoe features include the modular instep, advanced shape-correcting memory foam, engineered fins and reinforcements to the external heel counter and outsole.

The book also contains something for budding engineers to learn about aerographics, lunarlite foam, Nike swift, flywire and precool technology that the company uses in the manufacture of footwear and apparel.

Describing the contribution of sportsmen to the brand, the author says, Nike has built its brand on celebrity endorsements. "If you review print and television advertisements, where golfer Tiger Woods has endorsed non-Nike products, you can clearly see the undeniable Swoosh logo on his shirt and hat. Other sponsors embrace the idea that he wears the Nike apparel in their commercials, e.g. TAG, Accenture and Buick," Tracy writes.

Importantly, Nike has been supportive of sportspersons who stumble; for instance, Tiger Woods when he had his problems which were widely reported in the media.

The author has also covered a number of ethical and human issues-like gender bias, or the efforts towards improved labour practices and avoiding child labour, and an environment-friendly approach in manufacturing processes with elaborate recycling of materials.

Lastly, according to Tracy, "Nike has diversity and inclusion component built into its organisation structure. The purpose is not to just include more women, but also to ensure that the company's makeup of more than 30,000 employees includes people of diverse backgrounds and skill sets."

Gina Warren, vice-president, Nike, sums it up when she says, "It's what makes us smarter. It's what helps our business grow and helps us connect with customers."

Kelley Murray Skoloda, partner at Ketchum the marketing consultancy, writes in the foreword: "This book is a must read not just for sports fans and history buffs, but also for business leaders, as well as advertising and marketing executives, who most certainly can learn lessons from Nike's success and who will benefit from Nike examples. It is well written in a manner that makes you want to keep turning the pages."

("Nike - The Vision behind the Victory", by Tracy Carbasho, is published by Jaico Publishing House and is priced at Rs195.)

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