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The Tata Group: From Torchbearers to Trailblazers Hardcover – 17 Dec 2018

4.8 out of 5 stars 29 ratings

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PART OF: Memorable non-fiction books of 2018 PART OF: Memorable non-fiction books of 2018
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Frequently bought together

  • The Tata Group: From Torchbearers to Trailblazers
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  • The Tata Saga: Timeless Stories From India's Largest Business Group
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  • The Wit & Wisdom of Ratan Tata: (Quotes)
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Review

What a terrific book! The Tata businesses articulated a stakeholder philosophy more than 100 years before it was "(re)discovered" by the West. This book is a great example of why we need more business history that is global. And it serves as an icon for how we can learn about businesses that can work all over the world (R. Edward Freeman, professor, University of Virginia, USA)

A commendable, riveting account of impeccable integrity, grit, passion and perseverance that defines the Tata Group-an iconic brand synonymous with visionary leadership and ethical, inspirational business practices. That torch lit almost two centuries ago continues to blaze a trail worthy of accolade and emulation! (Venu Srinivasan, chairman and managing director, TVS Motor Company and Sundaram-Clayton; director, Tata Sons board)

The story of the House of Tata inspires us by showing that service and success can go hand-in-hand, especially amidst turbulence and change. Shashank does this story much justice (Tarun Khanna, professor, Harvard Business School; author, Trust: Creating the Foundation for Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries)

Tata is a microcosm of India-gyroscopically balanced, colloidally stable, complex, large, highly diverse, yet unified by a soft glue. This book suggests the secret formulation of that glue, which has helped Tata remain India's no. 1 corporate for over eighty years, ever since corporate rankings have been measured in India. I found it a great read! (R. Gopalakrishnan, former director, Tata Sons; vice chairman, Hindustan Unilever; author, A Biography of Innovations: From Birth to Maturity)

This book highlights the Tata principles of business and their success strategies by analysing the potential and performance of business in India over the last 150 years. From colonial rule to Independence, from Licence Raj to the dawn of globalization, the Tata saga has been deeply interwoven with the destiny of a resurgent nation. Shashank narrates this great story with passion and a deep sense of purpose. If there was one book to be read on the Tata Group, this would be worth the time (Dipak C. Jain, president (European), China Europe International Business School, Shanghai; former dean, INSEAD (France) and Kellogg School of Management (USA))

Shashank Shah narrates the Tata story with great passion. You will find in this book a broad sweep of Tata history and a wealth of interesting anecdotes, which beautifully illustrate the character of the Tata Group. The author has revisited many crossroads and brings to vivid life many defining moments, which will inspire you and also make you reflect. You will thoroughly enjoy the interesting stories, the engaging narration and the invaluable lessons that this book holds for all of us (Harish Bhat, brand custodian, Tata Sons; author, Tata Log and The Curious Marketer)

This book provides a fascinating overview of the story of India's most admired group as a torchbearer of industrial capitalism for 150 years. Through a simple narrative, exciting stories and insightful analysis, Shashank decodes the Tata way of business that has enabled them to emerge as a trailblazer on the global platform. A definitive book on the subject, and a must-read for all who wish to build successful businesses with a social conscience (Debashis Chatterjee, professor and director, IIM Kozhikode; author, Invincible Arjuna)

As India's biggest business group since records began in 1939, the Tata Group has an incredibly rich history of growth and successes, of mysteries and failures spread over 150 years. Shashank's paring and peeling of the Tata Group into seven sections with a clear relationship between the parts is remarkable. I am sure his readers and students will appreciate the crispness of the omnibus that is The Tata Group: From Torchbearers to Trailblazers (Gita Piramal, business historian; author, Business Maharajas)

Tata is not just India's largest conglomerate, but one of the world's most important businesses. In The Tata Group: From Torchbearers to Trailblazers, Shashank has written the definitive history of the enterprise that spearheaded India's new era of globalization, while also providing a colourful account of how it will play a critical role in the country's economic future (James Crabtree, associate professor, National University of Singapore; former Mumbai bureau chief, Financial Times; author, The Billionaire Raj)

A well-written narrative of the Tata way of business (Ratan N. Tata, Chairman, Tata Trusts)

About the Author

SHASHANK SHAH is a thought leader in the fields of stakeholder-centric business strategy, corporate responsibility and sustainability. He has been a visiting scholar at Harvard Business School; a fellow and project director at Harvard University's South Asia Institute; a visiting scholar at Copenhagen Business School; a postdoctoral fellow at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning; the editor-in-chief of the Harvard University Postdoctoral Editors Association; and consulting editor with the Business India Group. His book Win-Win Corporations was published by Penguin Random House India in 2016.


From the Publisher

To unravel the Tata principles of business, their success strategies and contribution to nation building is to understand the struggle and potential, adventure and achievements of business in India over two centuries. From colonial rule to independence; and from License Raj to the dawn of a new millennium of globalisation – the Tata Saga has been nonpareil – deeply interwoven with the destiny of a resurgent nation. It encompasses the stupendous role of visionaries such as Jamsetji and Dorabji Tata, and doyens such as JRD and Ratan Tata in building iconic institutions – commercial, social and educational, that have played a role extraordinaire in the making of a self-reliant India. A deep-dive into the Tata universe brings forth hitherto lesser-known facts and insights that have sublimely influenced the world of business. Did you know that:

  • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was a union leader at Tata Steel and Mahatma Gandhi worked towards industrial harmony at Tatas that has lasted 90 years?
  • Foremost group companies like TCS, Tata Steel, Tata Motors, and Titan were advised to close-down their businesses at some time of their existence?
  • Post-liberalisation, Tatas created greater shareholder wealth than even Berkshire Hathaway and leading multinationals like Siemens, Mitsubishi and GE?

It also brings you face-to-face with business decisions and outcomes that are most intriguing:

  • Why wasn’t Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) listed during the IT-boom?
  • How did Tata Motors turnaround Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) when Ford Motor Company failed to do so?
  • Why did employees of Taj Hotel Mumbai shield their guests from terrorists’ bullets?
  • How did three successive central governments stall Tatas’ entry into the aviation sector?
  • Why wasn’t the Corus Steel acquisition successful?
  • How did Chief Minister Narendra Modi help Tatas in their journey from Singur to Sanand?
  • Why did JRD Tata conclude that Sardar Patel would have been a better Prime Minister than Jawaharlal Nehru after four decades of India’s independence?

This definitive book tells you such riveting tales and insider accounts of adventure and achievement, conflict and compassion, perseverance and performance across leading group companies including TCS, Tata Steel, Taj Hotels, Tata Motors, Titan, Tata Chemicals, Voltas, Tata Global Beverages, JLR, Tetley, Daewoo and a score more. With over a decade of rigorous research, personal interviews with nearly 100 CXOs and senior leaders across dozens of Tata companies, and pan-India visits to manufacturing plants archives and Tata offices, this book decodes the Tata Story from 1868 to 2018. With a foreword from Ratan Tata, this book is an exceptional blend of a business biography, a leadership handbook and a management classic. If there was one book you had to read about the Tata Group, this would be it.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Portfolio (17 December 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670090670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670090679
  • Package Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.6 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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