Business Sutra-A very Indian Approach to Management- Book Review

So, if you have made up your mind to read this book, then, here’s my take on the content:

  • I have read the author’s columns in the Economic Times; some of them… These columns are meant to explain the various facets of Management through examples from mythology and, I have always liked the case study(ies) presented at the end of the story(ies). My opinion remains in-tact after reading this book; it has a good collection of such case studies.
  • The author has made an attempt to correlate between the various aspects of management and mythological incidents. While the situations (business cases) presented in the book seem genuine from a business perspective, the relation to the Indian way (story from folklore) lacks clarity
  • The Vice Versa holds good as well: The stories are nice and interesting, but, when you try to draw parallels with the real life business situations, they do not sound convincing. It seems like a deliberate attempt made to make it sound similar.
  • In my opinion, the conclusion or the point intended to be conveyed should be direct; something like the ones in our moral stories: The story should lead to the conclusion. Here, it is not so.
  • Maybe, the author should have presented the case study first and then, while explaining the correct approach to tackle it, he could have introduced the story from the Indian folklore .  I would have enjoyed such a presentation better!!! However, given the author’s love for mythology, it is no surprise that he has chosen to present the story first, but it does not drive home a point as convincingly as it should. If I were to read this book out of my love for mythology, the expectations would have been different. But, as a reader reading this book from a “management lesson” perspective, the content fails to make an impact
  • What do I want to read in a book which talks about Management? Management. The focus should have been on tackling situations with an Indian approach, but, it shifts to other aspects, which interrupt the flow while reading and leave the reader confused at times…
    • Take for example a story which is meant to convey the point that “Regeneration ensures sustainable wealth”. The narration starts with Lord Krishna’s Gokul which is full of cows; moves on to explain how cows feed on grass (grass can be regenerated) and produce milk which is sustainable.( Good so far?) Then there is a mention of how the above episode can be taken as a literal example of vegetarianism (agreed, but why here?) and how people are advised to donate cows. The narration then talks about Vishnu temples, his vehicle-Garuda which holds a serpent (serpent can regenerate itself). The end notes that Vishnu is associated with Cow and the Eagle, both of are known to consume renewable food.

    • The Case study which follows this narration talks about a Paresh bai who notices his son bargaining and winning the bargain. The father then advises his son to be careful in bargaining and says that “growth at the cost of the vendors’ loss is harmful for sustainability”

    • If you look at the above example, you’ll probably notice why the structure lacks coherence. While the case study makes a point, the story of the cows and eagles doesn’t really give the reader a clarity of thoughts.

      What is the author trying to convey? Is the story convincing enough? From a business perspective, well, hardly! If I have to apply it in the real sense, I’m not really convinced to do so…

  • The illustrations in this book are quite creative. In the theoretical parts, these illustrations aid in understanding the gist without having to read through the explanations completely.

In a Crux:

This book has a good collection of case studies and stories, but, the correlation between the two is not convincing. I have been a voracious reader of the Indian mythology and even with the basic understanding of the mythological characters, I could not connect to the lessons. However, some stories have a direct relation to the case studies presented, and as a lover of Indian folklore, you can enjoy them.

But, you need to have the patience to look for such stories or develop the knack of spotting them, by their first lines.


This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!


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