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If business or entrepreneurship you wish to pursue or is a dream of yours, this would be your best pick before you make your call or even if already made the call.  In this landmark book, best-selling author, leadership coach and mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik shows how despite its coating of objectivity, modern management is rooted in Western beliefs and obsessed with accomplishing rigid objectives and increasing shareholder value.  By contrast, the Indian way of doing business as apparent in Indian mythology, but no longer seen in practice accommodates subjectivity and diversity, and offers an inclusive, more empathetic way of achieving success.  Great value is placed on darshan, that is, on how we see the world and our relationship with Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.

Business Sutra uses stories, symbols and rituals drawn from Hindu, Jain and Buddhist mythology to understand a wide variety of business situations that range from running a successful tea stall to nurturing talent in a large multinational corporation.  At the heart of the book is a compelling premise that is if we believe that wealth needs to be chased, the workplace becomes a battleground of investors, regulators, employers, employees, vendors, competitors and customers.  If we believe that wealth needs to be attracted, the workplace becomes a playground where everyone is happy.  Brilliantly argued, original and thoroughly accessible, Business Sutra presents a radical and nuanced approach to management, business and leadership in a diverse, fast-changing, and increasingly polarized world.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Devdutt Pattanaik has written over 25 books and 400 articles on Indian mythology for everyone from adults to children.  Since 2007, he has been explaining the relationship between mythology and management through his column in the Economic Times; the talk he gave at the TED India conference in 2009; and the show Business Sutra which ran successfully on CNBC-TV18 in 2010, besides numerous other lectures at Indian universities and management institutes.  Trained to be a doctor, he spent fifteen years in the healthcare in Apollo Health Street and pharmaceutical in Sanofi Aventis industries and worked briefly with Ernst & Young as a business adviser before he turned his passion into a vocation and joined the think tank of the Future Group as its Chief Belief Officer.

MY TAKE:  I think the author has captured the essence of his arguments and beliefs very well.  He builds credibility about himself, right upfront. Then drives home the point of why we need an alternate theory to the heavily HBR influenced business methods of the west.  He then goes on to explain in detail his theories.  All in all, a well articulated viewpoint.  I was particularly impressed by the way he uses visuals to drive home a specific point.  This aids better assimilation and retention of his viewpoint.  In clear language, using simple illustrations, Devdutt Pattanaik explains why the Indian approach to business, as to every other aspect of life, is so markedly different from the western approach.  The clues as to why this is so rooted in Indian mythology, which frames the mindset and attitudes of people.  A great teacher and scholar, Pattanaik has written a book which is sure to please students of management, particularly those who do business, or plan to with India.  Students of mythology and comparative culture would also enjoy this book.

 

BOOK DETAILS

AUTHOR:  Devdutt Pattanaik.

PUBLISHER:  Aleph Book Company.

LANGUAGE:  English.

NUMBER OF PAGES:  446 Pages.

PRICE:  Rs. 695.

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