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Reimagining India: Unlocking the Potential of Asia's Next Superpower Hardcover – November 19, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[A] clear, illuminating study for all readers, business and academic.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“[Reimagining India] gives global business leaders, once silent on the subject, a chance to voice their opinions about India.” (Harvard Business Review)

“[T]he book is quite rich in analysis and benefits from the multiple perspectives and information … [Reimagining India] should appeal to both the specialist and the generalist readers alike.” (New York Journal of Books (online))

“In a book this dense and rich, there's enough to read, and in nice bite-sized packets, too.” (Business-Standard)

“Impressive.” (Financial Times)

About the Author

CLAY CHANDLER is Asia editor for McKinsey's global publishing division. He is former Asia editor of Fortune magazine and has covered global economics for leading publications including the Washington Post, where he served as Washington, DC-based chief economic correspondent and Hong Kong-based Asian economic correspondent, and The Wall Street Journal, where he was Tokyo correspondent. Clay is a graduate of Harvard University, and was co-editor of the McKinsey-led volume Reimagining Japan: The Quest for a Future That Works (Shogakukan, 2011).

ADIL ZAINULBHAI is chairman of McKinsey India. Over the course of his thirty-four-year career at McKinsey he has served clients around the world and in a wide range of industries—among them public companies, government-owned companies, entrepreneurs, and startups. He also has advised governments on social and development issues. A Mumbai native, he returned to his hometown in 2004 as McKinsey's managing director for India. Adil holds an engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

McKINSEY & COMPANY is a global management consulting firm, deeply committed to helping institutions in the private, public, and social sectors achieve lasting success. With over 100 offices in more than 60 countries, the firm is a trusted advisor to 90 of the world’s top 100 companies.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (November 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476735301
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476735306
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In 1991 economic reforms were introduced in India and since then many books have been written, that tried to capture the dynamics of a changing nation. Among these I have read and reviewed three books, namely:

•The Elephant and the Dragon by Robyn Meredith
•Imagining India: The Idea of a Renewed Nation by Nandan Nilekani
•India Calling by Anand Giridharadas

And now comes 'Reimagining India'. Without any hesitation, I can say that this has been the most enjoyable to read. In concept it is very well tailored for the new age reader. There are 6 chapters with small and brief essays (no more than 2-3 pages), written on different topics by different writers. The diversity of essays that are not related to each other, give the reader the flexibility to read them in any random order, to suit his/her mood and inclination. Hence reading this book gives the reader instant gratification in small bites.

A glance at the table of contents reveals the topics and the names of the writers. They are all 'movers and shakers' in their respective niches. Many among them are not even writers, but what makes the book enjoyable to read is their knowledge and passion for the subject, a thorough understanding of the nuts and bolts of the industry and a super-polished insider's perspective.

My favorite chapter was on business and technology. Nitin Nohria (Dean of HBS) says, "If the 20th century was an American century, the 21st century will be the Global century - an era in which businesses and executives from many countries and regions shape the growth of the world economy.
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Format: Kindle Edition
A must read if you want to shape your thinking on India, its potential and challenges.

It is not a usual one author's view book, but 60 odd different views which make this book almost an intellectual debate and idea generation platform.

Great contributions, some essays just can't be missed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While quite a few of the high fliers have contributed essays on the subject, I find that a very few have come up with some innovative and out of the run suggestions. The majority of the contributors harp on the need for the Government to do this or that. I would have thought that the kind of governance we have in India, these resourceful personalities would have come out with something out of the box and not lament the weaknesses of the government .
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I read this book during a two-week trip to Mumbai and Delhi. As an Indian-American, I've visited India (mostly Calcutta) to see family my entire life and could always only muster up an arms-length view of the real political and economic issues the nation has always grappled with. During this last trip, I feel I learned more about the political, historic, and economic climate of India and the challenges and opportunities it faces.

It was almost like the ultimate guidebook for a business traveler. It brought context to the numerous conversations I had around the contentious election taking place in Delhi while I was there, it gave me a background on the way business works as I sat in meetins in Mumbai, and it pushed me to think about what Bollywood truly signifies or how Indian cuisine still hasn't taken it's place next to Japanese and French on the world stage.

Strong, strong recommendation.
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I really loved the type of people Mckenzie chose to write the essays. Each and everyone of them it's greatly written and crafted. I read the whole book in a couple of days. I simply could not stop. I'm currently doing my exchange MBA in IIM L and living here has taught me a lot about the country. Great book. 100% recommended.
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This is a series of shorter well-written essays about
the potential of India to transform and uplift its peoples
and be a force for production and equalizing people's opportunities
in their nation and on the international stage.

The various highly professional and knowledgeable authors
excited me with their creative ideas and the potential that
they assessed. But, in each case, the enthusiasm was
depleted because of the repeated lack of promise of strong,
central, ethical leadership. The ideas are not so new and
complex. Why have they not done these things long since?

Given the history of the country since independence, the
extraordinary corruption, the shortsightedness, the venality
of the educated and leadership, all I could think of was
"you can't get there from here." I found it impossible to
imagine how the opportunities could be galvanized. Such a waste.

But the articles are very interesting to read in their diversity
and thoughtfulness. If I were a poor person of India reading
these, my thoughts would lead to despair.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I began reading this book, I was expecting to read some of the strategic visions and thoughts leaders and experts had for India, a thought experiment on where we were, where we are and, based on these observations, what should be done to take India to the next level in the global stage, while empowering its people and advancing their socioeconomic state.

This book satisfied most of that expectation. The first two chapters, "Reimagining" and "Politics & Policy" have very interesting commentary on India as a nation and how its democracy compares to other nations around the world, the advantages it holds when compared to other political models, notably China, and how its political model is evolving from a centralized to a decentralized one with the passage of time. But for a couple of essays, these two chapters are arguably the best in the book.

Unfortunately, I found quite a few essays after the first two chapters to be self serving and at times irrelevant to the broader theme of the book. There were some essays which discussed the past and the present as a list of events while a few others discussed what they (and the organization they represent) have accomplished in India in the past, without offering a vision of (or "Reimagining") the future as they see it or a proposed plan/theory to achieve it, making them somewhat tedious and pointless to read.

McKinsey's objective to not influence or censor any essay, while noble, offers the narrative a chance to veer off-course in many places within the book. And it does. Maybe some editorial oversight to keep the subject and content of the essays aligned with the broader goal of the book would have made this book more interesting and relevant.

Overall, a good collection of essays but there is quite a bit of room for improvement to make the narrative taut and engaging. I wanted to rate it 3.5 stars but Amazon doesn't have half stars so going with 4 instead of 3.
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