Shashank Shah has outdone himself in this crisply written book on the Tata Group. And, writing a crisp narrative over 300 pages is no mean task. Starting with the introduction - a history lesson indeed! - to the current day state of the Group, this account of the largest business house in India is interesting and educative for everyone - whether in business or a lay person. The enormous effort in research, synthesis and presentation is evident in every chapter of the book.
The undercurrent throughout of course is the value-based, culturally elegant, patriotic nature of the Founders and their successors that in turn is reflected in the companies they ran (and currently run). That profit is not the only motive of a business; that it is one's duty to also bring the poor and the vulnerable out of their misery, not through dole or charity (alone), but by providing opportunities through education, for example; by treating workers well; by building institutions that will contribute to nation building - these are the highlights of the legacy of the Tata's that lives on. Shashank brings out these mammoth contributions of the Tata's to the forefront through examples too numerous to list here.
As a resident of "Old Bangalore", I was pleased to read small nuggets such as the "Tata Silk Farm" (right in my backyard, and still referred to as such, even though there are no silk farms there anymore). And of course, the "Tata Institute" as IISc is fondly referred to.
All in all, beyond just being an enjoyable read, this book gives us a glimpse of what is possible in this country of our's, if only men and women of high moral standards, ethics, values and vision lead the way forward by establishing institutions and businesses that follow, uphold and propagate such high standards through generations.