Authors: Nirmalya Kumar with Pradipta K. Mohapatra and Suj Chandrasekhar
Publisher: Harvard Business Press
ISBN: 978-1-4221-4762-7

 Click Here To Purchase India's Global Powerhouses: How They Are Taking on the World

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 author’s 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.

The meat of the book is centered on in-depth case studies, examining nine international Indian firms whose presence spans a cross section of industry sectors. Rather strict guidelines were followed when determining the top companies that are featured in the book and that criterion appears well reasoned. The result of these case studies is a common thread – Indian entrepreneurs are certain that this is their time and the world is their stage. They are convinced that they have advantageous that others are missing and in this historical setting they are quite ready and anxious to take their place as world economic powers.

The book concludes with hurdles that must be overcome as Indian companies increasing emerge on the world stage. These companies will naturally lose some of their inherent advantageous as they mature such as low cost production so there are natural progressions they must make to become and remain dominant players internationally. This not uncommon though. The Japanese and Koreans also made this transformation in the recent past. With 13 of today’s largest 500 global companies Indian owned, a transformation has already began to take place. The authors argue that it is only beginning. After reading India’s Global Powerhouses, I cannot help but agree!

 Click Here To Purchase India's Global Powerhouses: How They Are Taking on the World