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India's Global Powerhouses: How They Are Taking on the World Hardcover – March 3, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Marketing professor Kumar (of the London Business School) asserts that India, along with other economic hotspots like China and Dubai, "will be unrecognizable in a decade," having "helped remake the global and political economic landscape." With coauthors Mohapatra (a player in India's private sector) and Chandrasekhar (of D.C. think-tank Strategic Insights), he assembles in-depth case studies of India's multinational operators, covering the country's pre- and post-independence history, and how an overwhelming government bureaucracy became a business-friendly regime. A look at India's Tata Group, founded 1868, reveals its extraordinary evolution into a powerful modern business through select acquisitions in hotels, steel, tea and automobiles (like its 2008 acquisition of Jaguar and Land Rover). Another captivating account tracks Essel Propack's small laminated tube company, which found global success as a supplier for Proctor & Gamble (illustrating the Hindu proverb, "Help thy brother's boat across and, Lo! Thine own has reached the shore"). Challenges for Indian multinationals like Infosys and turbine manufacturer Suzlon include skyrocketing executive compensation and rental costs, a lack of globally-minded managers and a cultural difficulty with teamwork. As Kumar and company demonstrate, the future of business in India is worth understanding, and their detailed volume makes an excellent primer.


In this invaluable contribution to the study of India's rising economic might, Professor Kumar brings us up close to the people, organizations, and ideas reshaping global commerce. India's Global Powerhouses is an essential read for all leaders in business, public policy, and education. --Muhtar Kent, President and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company<br /><br />Kumar has comprehensively captured the ascendance of global Indian corporations. Each case study highlights the unique vision and approach of one company on its path to the level of global competition. As a whole, this book is a must-read for all global managers who seek to understand and make the most of the emerging international powerhouse of India. --Nandan Nilekani, Cochairman, Infosys Technologies Limited<br /><br />Nirmalya Kumar has captured the energy and the ambition driving those Indian companies that have become global powerhouses. When India opened to the world in 1991, few imagined that her companies would go global. This book documents their remarkable success. --P. Chidambaram, Minister for Home Affairs, India

As Kumar and company demonstrate, the future of business in India is worth understanding, and their detailed volume makes an excellent primer. --Publisher's Weekly

"But the significance of the coffee-house conversation, and many like it, is better understood after reading Nirmalya Kumar s more slender volume, India s Global Powerhouses"

"A particular value of the book lies in its concise case studies..."

"...highly readable book..." --Financial Times

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; First Edition edition (March 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422147622
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422147627
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,506,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Loyd Eskildson HALL OF FAME on December 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
'India's Global Powerhouses' focuses on the emergence of Indian companies that have gone global and are transforming the world - thanks to its scale and cost advantages, combined with very high debt-equity ratios. Another advantage is their high degree of family control - allowing fast action and freedom from actions being closely tied to stock prices.

About 60% of India's 200 largest firms have global aspirations. In 2006 Indian outward investment outstripped foreign investment into India. Major players include Moser Baer (world's second-largest producer of DVDs), Tata Steel (world's fifth largest steel producer), Hindalco (world's largest aluminum rolling company), Mahindra & Mahindra (one of the world's top three tractor manufacturers), Reliance Industries Limited (world's largest producer of polyester fiber and yarn), Tata Tea (owns brands like Tetley), Tata Motors (Jaguar and Land Rover), Oberoi Group (four of the world's ten highest rated hotels, per Conde Nast readers), Vedanta (world's lowest-cost zinc producer). Others include Larsen & Toubro (building ten coal gasification plants in China), and Bharti Airtel (among world top ten wireless companies, averages 50% margins - despite average revenues/enrollee only one-fifth that in Europe).

Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, and Wipro Technologies collect annual revenues around $12 billion, with average operating margins of 20% - twice that at IBM. (IBM's operating margins are higher than the average for the six largest U.S. technology firms, including EDS and Accenture. Meanwhile, Accenture India has 50,000 employees - more than Accenture U.S., and IBM has 50,000 Indian employees as well.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Buying this book is a waste of your money and reading it is a waste of time!

There are no insights as to how Indian companies are buying global firms. The author starts with providing the typical cliches about how India is growing. Well we all know that!! Followed by list of acquisitions by Indian companies. I already know Tata bought Tetley and Jaguar.

I was hoping to read insights about how and why Tata made this acquisition. What are the benefits of it. How steps should Indian companies take in their path towards becoming global players. Sadly such insights are totally lacking in the book.

The case studies about the companies are interesting but again miss the insights and just provide data. The author goes into the history of each company.

If Amazon permits downloading Kindle samples outside the US, I could have avoided buying this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Kumar, Mohapatra, and Chandrasekhar's, India's Global Powerhouses, is an important and sweeping in-depth examination of how Indian companies have leaped onto the world's economic stage. The authors unfettered access to top Indian company officials and unique position of keenly understanding the intricacies and advantages of the Indian culture, gives the reader a much better understanding of how and why Indian companies have emerged from virtually nowhere to important players on the international scene.

The book starts with a chapter of statistics that, honestly, is a bit overwhelming. The data points are impressive and the reader is left with a clear recognition that the Indian economic miracle is much more than off-shore call centers. As the authors point out repeatedly, India benefits from many inherent advantages:

The concentration and somewhat incestuous integration between companies.
The importance of powerful families with controlling interest in major firms.
The low cost of production.
The fact that Indians are fluent in English.
That India is now viewed as a producer of quality products and not a threat as many might view China.

All of these key points are expounded upon as the book progresses.

The only disappointment is that there wasn't more discussion about the effects - both positive and negative regarding the major recession that the world is currently undergoing and its effect on Indian entrepreneur's ability to continue to expand internationally. In all fairness, the book was likely in its final stages of editing and publication as the full magnitude of the crisis hit in 2008, so it is more an unfortunate set of timing rather than the author's omission.
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