The 2019 shortlist comprises of an eclectic range of stories of entrepreneurship and their protagonists – Indigo Airlines, Murdoch’s Star TV, Shanghvi’s Sun Pharma, The Tatas over the last 200 years, Ratan Tata versus Cyrus Mistry and Titan – the 30-year-old consumer brand.
Girish Kuber is the editor of Loksatta and columnist in the Indian Express. He is a celebrated Marathi writer and has authored 6 books in Marathi.
The Tatas is a translation of the Marathi book Tatayan by Girish Kuber. While there are many books written on the Tatas, this book is an excellent effort to capture 200 years of entrepreneurship and evolution of the Tatas starting from the 19 th century and ending with the story of Cyrus Mistry making way for a non-family Chairman as the organization looks ahead to its next phase of growth. It is a tribute to a line of visionaries that hold a special place in the heart of every Indian. The book succinctly chronicles how each generation of Tata leaders successfully navigated the conglomerate; contributing with their own ideas and vision while at the same time preserving the culture and values of the Tatas, and investing in nation building. The Tatas provides a peek into what it takes to build an institution that can last for generations.
A business journalist by profession, Deepali Gupta is the former Sr. Assistant Editor at the Economic Times who covered Indian economy, businesses and M&A landscape. She has also worked with the Wall Street Journal and the Dow Jones Newswire.
Deepali Gupta’s first book - Tata vs Mistry is a well-researched look at a boardroom battle that drew a lot of media attention but also highlighted the importance of succession planning and the transfer of power from one generation to the other in a large institution like the Tata group. The book is unbiased, fast paced and has an engaging style of writing that feels like a Novel or a courtroom drama highlighting conversations, key decisions and evidence from either side of the debate presenting a balanced view.
A senior business journalist, a political commentator and an author, Shelley Vishwajeet has worked with various media platforms such asBusiness India, The Observer of Business & Politics, Star Television Network, Aviation World, and the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi. He is currently a Doctoral Research Fellow with TERI School of Advanced Studies.India is now the 3 rd largest aviation market in the world. In the last 20 years, the domestic Indian aviation has witnessed 6 prominent airlines entering the market and the demise of 3 major airlines – Air Deccan, Kingfisher and Jet Airways. Indigo Airlines stands out as a spectacular story of entrepreneurship given this backdrop growing from a new entrant to the dominant brand within 10 years. The Indigo Story captures the evolution of the Indian aviation industry from the formative years of how Indigo found its wings to become a successful, profitable airline. The book is engaging, captures key success factors for Indigo in a turbulent market and is backed by research and financial analysis.
A media specialist and a celebrated writer, Vanita Kohli Khandekar- a Cambridge University fellow has been tracking Indian media and entertainment business for over 15 years. Currently she is a columnist and writer for Business Standard and Content Asia. Her previous book The Indian Media Business (Sage), has sold 14,000 copies.
The Making of Star is a detailed, well researched account of Rupert Murdoch’s high conviction adventure in India as well as the tale of the Indian media industry. In many ways, it also chronicles the story of a billion people who, post-1991 economic reforms, were poised to become the one of the world’s biggest consumers. Vanita is an insider to the media industry and the book captures Star network’s tumultuous nineties to its early success with the ‘K-factor’ string of successes - Kaun Banega Crorepati, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii; the evolution from a regional media entertainment company into a sports and digital powerhouse that could be one of the biggest growth drivers for Disney.
A business journalist by profession, Soma Das has worked for over a decade with publications like the Economic Times and the Financial Express. Before entering journalism, she worked as a lecturer in Delhi University. She has authored a bestselling work of fiction, and finally owing to her specialization in pharmaceuticals has successfully chronicled the story of India’s largest pharma company.
The Reluctant Billionaire is a story of, the very private but ambitious, Dilip Shangavi. The book draws on years of research on Sun Pharma and Dilip Shanghvi involving many hours of primary interviews. This book is an assimilation of over 150 interviews of employees, former employees, relatives and friends that through scores of stories seamlessly weaved captures the struggles, hard work, heartbreaks, sacrifices, and successes in building a billion-dollar enterprise.
A business journalist by profession, Vinay Kamath is an associate editor with The Hindu Business Line. He has earlier worked with TV18, Financial Express, Business World, Times of India and Economic Times.A graduate in economics and journalism, Vinay was also a member of the first batch of the Chevening Young Journalists’ Fellowship Programme at the University of Westminster, London.
The Titan is a well-researched account of the brand’s remarkable journey since it was launched 30 years ago. The book captures Titan’s core strategy of identifying segments in India’s unorganized consumer markets and highlights how Titan has been able to create valuable businesses with the same repeatable thesis many times over the last few decades. Vinay Kamath has woven a highly engaging narrative, interspersed with interesting anecdotes and balanced views. The book focuses on some of the major events, key protagonists and situations that created one of the most successful consumer brands in India.