BOOK REVIEWS


Every automobile—small or large, historic or modern—has its own personality and place in the motoring universe. India’s automotive history is replete with the finest examples that straddle generations and genres. Gautam Sen, the ‘automobile man’ who spearheaded motoring journalism in India,...

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Harsh Desai 24 November 2020
Arun Shourie’s  Preparing for Death is both a meditation on death as also a handbook on dying.  It is theoretical as well as practical.  Being an exceptional storyteller, Arun Shourie has deftly woven together a book telling stories from old Hindu and Buddhist scriptures as well as...

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Arunima Haldar 08 September 2020
How do family businesses create a legacy?    One-third of the 1,000 largest companies in the world are family businesses.   Some 70% of the BSE listed Indian companies are family controlled and account for two-thirds of India’s gross domestic product (GDP).   However,...

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Prof Narayan Das of Harvard Business School had this to say about the book “…while focused on the world of start-ups, this book provides executives in all contexts an in-depth look into the complexities underlying the rapidly changing world of marketing and business in which we live....

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Yogesh Sapkale Yogesh Sapkale 11 February 2020
Much to the surprise of friends and family, in 1991, Brijendra K Syngal resigned a plush tax-free job with Inmarsat in London to head Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL), an old-style, stodgy public sector company.   Over the next seven years, Mr Syngal transformed VSNL into a nimble...

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Shrirang V Samant 13 January 2020
Book Review: In Service of the Republic The Art and Science of Economic Policy   Authors: Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah   This book could well have been titled ‘In the Service of the Public’ since it helps the lay reader understand what has gone wrong with the economic policy...

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Murali Neelakantan Murali Neelakantan 31 May 2019
Millions of lives all over the world have been saved by the innovation of Indian generic pharma companies. With a majority of pills consumed around the globe being manufactured in India, global healthcare depends on Indian pharma manufacturers for its very existence. As a result, India is...

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R Balakrishnan R Balakrishnan 18 January 2019
Bad Blood is a story that has been be told, thanks to the courage, persistence and methods of John Carreyrou, a twice Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist of The Wall Street Journal.    It took him over three years of intense follow-up, standing up to the pressures from law firms,...

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R Balakrishnan R Balakrishnan 09 January 2019
Corruption is everywhere. ‘It a global phenomenon’—the words of former prime minister Indira Gandhi. It could be by corrupting someone to part with an asset below fair price, or to be able to grab an asset in preference to someone else, or to snag some contract to make money. There are two...

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On 9 May 2017, James Comey, director of the powerful US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was addressing his colleagues at Los Angeles bureau. He explained that FBI had rewritten its mission statement in 2015 to make it shorter and to better express the importance of its responsibility....

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Sucheta Dalal Sucheta Dalal 26 April 2018
It has been raining memoirs by governors of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the past year or two. Three immediate predecessors of RBI governor Urjit Patel have published books in quick succession, each skirting the big elephant in the room—the gigantic bad debts of public sector banks...

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Debashis Basu Debashis Basu 12 April 2018
This is not a new book. It was published way back in 2004 by the fund rating company Morningstar. It has just been reissued jointly by Macmillan and Wiley as an Indian edition, given the huge popularity it enjoys. It is a classic which appeals to those interested in understanding ‘moats’ that...

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Debashis Basu Debashis Basu 29 March 2018
As everyone by now knows, Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a Lebanese–American essayist, scholar, statistician, former trader and risk analyst whose books Fooled by Randomness, Black Swan, Anti-fragile have dealt with problems of randomness, probability and uncertainty. The Sunday Times has rated...

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Debashis Basu Debashis Basu 15 March 2018
Let me start with a confession. I have read only parts of this book and I don’t think I am likely to go back and read it—at least the 400-odd pages of principles. That is unfortunate because the cornerstone of all consistently high achievers is fundamental principles of thought and action...

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Debashis Basu Debashis Basu 01 March 2018
How many books can you churn out of a simple two-factor quantitative filter, of 34-year vintage, called the ‘Coffee Can Portfolio’ (CCP)? Two years ago, Saurabh Mukerjea, CEO of institutional equities, Ambit Capital, came out with Unusual Billionaires, a 445-page tome that was essentially the...

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Debashis Basu Debashis Basu 15 February 2018
Most books on successful investors are either by big traders or investors who run large money management accounts or focus on their successes. Peter Lynch ran one of the largest funds when he retired from Fidelity. Warren Buffett has grown super rich by investing the float from an insurance...

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Debashis Basu Debashis Basu 01 February 2018
Charles Darwin and Leo Tolstoy were ordinary students; they showed no spark of creativity or genius. Ben Hogan, one of the greatest golfers of all time, was an uncoordinated and graceless child. Photographer Cindy Sherman, on every list of top artists of the 20th century, failed her first...

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Debashis Basu Debashis Basu 06 January 2018
The market for self-help and productivity improvement books is evergreen; there is always a new technique, a new theory and a new ‘workbook’, to help you achieve more. Last fortnight, I reviewed Deep Work that explained the path to higher productivity especially for those who are doing...

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Debashis Basu Debashis Basu 21 December 2017
In late-2007, JK Rowling was trying to complete The Deathly Hallows, the last book in her Harry Potter series, as hundreds of millions of her young fans waited all over the world. But Rowling was not able to concentrate easily in her home office in Edinburgh (Scotland). “As I was finishing...

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Harsh Desai 07 December 2017
Once, when Indian test batsman VVS Laxman was asked about one of his great innings, he remarked “Oh it was nothing much. I just went out to the field and expressed myself.” Rajdeep Sardesai may well say that about this book. A self-confessed failed cricketer who could not rise beyond club...

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