Friday, August 1, 2014

Why I Failed: Lessons from Leaders by Shweta Punj

WHY I FAILED: Lessons from Leaders by Shweta Punj (2013), Random House India, p 184

We have grown with the story of Thomas Alva Edison on the learning from failures.  Few months back I came across a statement by former Indian President Abdul Kalam that it is more important to read failure stories than success stories as they teach you better insights into the reasons of failure and help avoid them in order to achieve greater heights. Kalam says FAIL means First Attempt In Learning.  Though I had read about many failure stories of great people through their autobiographies or other articles published in periodicals and other publications, however when I came across the title of this book WHY I FAILED, I just ordered the title and got it shelved in my collection.  Around a week back I picked it up from the shelf and started reading through.  I have no hesitation in saying that the book kept me on till I turned its last page.

The book narrates the journey and experiences of sixteen successful personalities from varied fields and focuses on their respective failures.  There are hardcore entrepreneurs in the real sense of the term whether they belong to fashion world or sports, movie making or pure business, they followed their passion, they have gone beyond rules and made their own rules, they are all first movers and have taken risk beyond and capitalized on the opportunity available in the market.

How Thermax was revived against odds by Anu Aga and how she recognized her weaknesses and overcame them is a well briefed story of her entire experience. The journey charted out and the road followed by Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (of Biocon), Dr Pratap C Reddy (of Apollo Hospitals) and Narayana Murthy (of Infosys) and the resistance and red-tape they faced during their effortful and challenging trail is an excellent account on the background of taking up initiative and holding on to that till it gets through. 

In the Indian corporate circles sacking of a CEO is something quite unheard of. The plight of Sunil Alagh after being shown the gate by Wadias of Brittania is quite known by the followers of Indian business stories. The contribution that Sunil made in developing Brittania as a prominent brand is not unknown to many and it is believed that it was during his tenure that Brittania gained the competitive advantage that it still capitalizes on.  Sunil’s dealing with this setback and coming out of it successfully is discussed in the book nicely.

The man behind the Lavasa township project Ajit Gulabchand’s (of Hindustan Construction Corporation) constant belief in the project and how his perseverance paid him in dealing with the bureaucratic and political pressures successfully has been narrated by Shweta very lucidly in the book.  He learnt that at times speed, overconfidence and preposterous actions may bring down even one of the most strong leaders and his decision so one has to be over cautious at times while taking strategic decisions.

The lady behind the success of Jindal’s SAW plant, Sminu Jindal has been able to control the affairs and followed some of her original practices overcoming her personal physical weakness. She has shown immense courage and perspiration in managing her plant and office successfully. The popularity of the brand called Fabindia is the result of hard work, personal belief and commitment of William Bissell who have dealt with many challenges and developed an unique company based on community entrepreneurship. The growth of the company in last ten years is the fruit of involvement of the communities at different locations in feeding Fabindia stores through their collective craft culture. I am sure this needs replication by other entrepreneurs in different other segments of the market and it shall certainly help build self-sustaining India and connect the market with the back-end suppliers and craftsmen. Fabindia stores are an excellent modern day version of khadi ashrams, which are spread across India. I am sure these stores shall be able to provide the texture of khadi with experience of Indian culture and craft and expand its reach to the modern day urban youth.

Goenkas of Kolkata have a rich history of entrepreneurship and enterprise when we look at the business history of India in last two hundred years.  They have been operating in different businesses and have provided job opportunities for sizeable population. The story of Sanjiv Goenka in taking up Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC) is well told in the book as in case of Sabyasachi Mukherjee in going against the decision of their respective patriarchs.  A strong resistance from the employees and workers initially did not deter Sanjiv from his belief that he can reconstruct CESC and make it a viable and profitable venture. His approach showed the strong spirit of ekla chalo, though later people involved in the process understood the conviction reposed by Sanjiv and his honest intention of rebuilding CESC and cooperated with him.  The fate of Shankar Sharma and his wife is well explained in the book and their admission of a mistake about their investment in media firm tehelka makes their story conciliate and convincing.

Gold medalist Olympian, Abhinav Bindra’s reasoning of the loss in the subsequent olympics provides an excellent insight and psychological defense for the loss.  I have reasons to believe that there must be theories around this phenomenon defending that the efforts and rigor are determined by the force to prove.  Passion driven Sabyasachi Mukherjee who defied his father’s decision and went ahead with pursuing his career in fashion designing is an inspiring tale between traditional and modern choices of career and the believe in oneself to pursue one’s dream.  The journey of Madhur Bhandarkar and Subhash Ghai (both from movie world) traversing through disturbed past in problems of poverty in one case and of poor upbringing in another case reassures a belief that suppression both material as well as emotional drives one to prove a point and put forth all of the energies into that direction.  The story of these duo reminds of the past of many great people in different fields.

Many times in our lives we tend to take decisions based on our gut or based on hearsay or fall victim to herd behavior. Many times we get carried away with our previous achievements. Many times we do not plan things in right earnest and it all results in failures, though with some few exceptions.  At the time of the event, decision or action we do not realize the shortcomings and mistakes but at a longer span of time we tend to relate things and actions, we then compare and realize the mistakes that we have committed.  The realization of accepting the reason for failure is the first step to correct the future course of action. This book tends to help the reader to reason out the failures or mistakes and provides a boost through going through these stories that if one is determined one can learn from mistakes and act cautiously towards achieving higher goals. I remember a quote by Ratan Tata - Ups and downs of life are very important to keep us going, because a straight line even in an ECG means we are not alive.

The chapters are well planned and leave the reader with the nuggets on why they failed and an advice to avoid failure. Shweta Punj has written this book conspirito and her approach has been very candid. The basis of selection of these personalities is not mentioned anywhere however the common thread that I could find is that all of them have been first in marching out of the way and established themselves in their respective domain. I missed the presence of Kishore Biyani, Subhash Chandra, and Vikram Akola in this volume. But I can understand the limitations of the author and it is extremely difficult to have many or to come upto the expectations of every reader.  She has really toiled hard to document these stories and for that she deserves appreciation.  May be we can expect some similar stories in the times to come profiling other achievers. 

Failure and success are two sides of the same coin.  They move together.  This is where this book helps one understand the importance of failures in driving one towards success.The future of failure is success and the future of success is achievement.  I recommend this book to every individual who believes in failure and success as two different islands.  I am sure their belief shall get transformed as they turn the pages of this book.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

David & Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

DAVID & GOALIATH: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell (2013), Allen Lane - an imprint of Penguin (Great Britain), p 305

We have grown with mythological stories of people who won over their enemies even when they had much less visible strength.  The biblical text helps us understand this phenomenon through the winning spree of David over Goliath.  Gladwell takes that as a reference and weaves the threads of different colors and translate that through this book titled David & Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the art of battling Giants. The efforts are put to narrate stories of different contexts and coincidences, different time and textures, and different people and places yet being one in spirit of underdogs defeating giants. The defense of the argument is placed in such a way through the research findings of academicians and practitioners that one tends to draw convincing conclusion towards the author's view.  

In the behavioral sciences there are numerous works to the effect that disadvantaged individuals have inherent strength of facing the challenges as posed to them as compared to the ones who are advantaged.  The drive of proving better and asserting their positions are the learning that disadvantaged or suppressed individuals go through in their formidable years of life.  This has been narrated by Gladwell in this title.  He has tried defending the victory of David over Goliath through different stories of people who have excelled in their career and shown the world that their weakness is their strength.  
The book starts with the story of Vivek Ranadive, an Indian born, American educated engineer and entrepreneur, who is passionate about Basketball and NBA.  He coached his young daughter and her friends to play in National Junior Basketball tournament representing Redwood City. The strategy drawn, demonstrated and implemented in defending themselves and competing against established teams make it important and Gladwell traces the whole story to prove a point that Goliath is not quite the giant he thinks he is.
The belief that powerful always wins tends to develop an arrogant attitude which makes an individual or team Goliath and there are Davids who are well aware of their physical (visible) weakness, yet they are convinced that it is not just the physical strength that is required to win but a well crafted strategy to attack at the given moment and given target which is more important and this could make them winner or if not winner at least shall help Goliath understand that size and arrogance does not matter. 
I get reminded of the book by JimCollins – How the Mighty Fall where through organizational examples Jim successfully convinces that it is the sense of arrogance in the Mighty Firms which make them fall in the long run.  Goliath corporations have experienced that fall and David corporations have succeeded through their effective strategies and their efficient implementation in sustaining their growth.
I quite liked the section where Gladwell explains different researches on American schools and colleges on the issues concerning choice of subjects, choice of school/colleges, general perception of students/parents towards them, performance of top/bottom students, physical facilities in schools and their fees, and their effect on students’ achievement ultimately. It is a real puzzle and it becomes extremely difficult to draw conclusion by just having an apparent look. 
As a classroom teacher the size of the class has always been one of the issues that we have been discussing over coffee or in formal meetings. The size or number of students in the class has a correlation with their performance and it depends on various conditions and level that what could be the ideal size of a class.  It is almost impossible to generalize their number at all levels or in all conditions or for all types of students.  However size does matter.  Gladwell explains through various researches on American schools, colleges and universities and draws that there is inverted U relationship with number of students and their performance. 
Selection of colleges has always been a challenge for parent and children when they come out of school.  Top students of schools aspire to join best colleges for the want of their better career.  But since in the top colleges all the students are top students, many of them tend to develop an inferiority complex (as coined by psychologist Alfred Adler) and it gets reflected in the performance of students.  This is quite evident across geographies just as the perception that better students opt for STEM (Science, Technology & Maths) courses in their college.  Through few examples and researches Gladwell helps us understand this and help us develop a better perspective on the reality. Top students, who chose lesser known colleges but concentrate on their subjects of preference, tend to achieve better grades in their exams as compared to their counterparts who have taken admission in better known colleges.  Arguably, this explains Big-Fish-Little-Pond Effect (as introduced by Herbert W Marsh).
I learnt about Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT as invented by Shane Frederick) for the first time while I was reading Kahneman’sThinking Fast and Slow, and while I used it with some students myself, I found it really worth saying that it is one of shortest intelligence test that we have today.  Gladwell argues using this test as a reference for the theory of desirable difficulty as through fading off the print color (experimented by Alter and Oppenheimer) of the same question of CRT which improved the performance of the students. He further relates it to dyslexic people.
We have seen many prominent personalities like Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Graham Bell, Henry Ford, Agatha Christie, Richard Branson, and many more, who were dyslexic. Being dyslexic did not deter them to achieve greater heights. Rather as Gladwell argues their desirable difficulty level was high which drove them to concentrate and focus on the difficulty and that is what made them winner at last. It could well be defended this way.  However practically it is hard to believe that just to increase the level of desirable difficulty any parent would ever wish to have dyslexic children.
He narrates the journey of dyslexic David Boies from his difficult childhood to his entry into law school and then of becoming one of the most prominent lawyers of United States.  Similarly journey of Gary Cohn from unassuming treatment by teachers in school to a job selling aluminum siding and window frames to becoming president of Goldman Sachs is also very interesting. 
‘Dyslexia – in the best of cases – forces you to develop skills that might otherwise have lain dormant. It also forces you to do things that you might otherwise never have considered… learning how to deal with the possibility of failure is really good preparation for career in the business world.’
The journey of Emil Jay Freireich has been narrated brilliantly and in very exhaustive manner by Gladwell.  At times the account given in the text looks like a fiction.  Freireich’s personality helps us understand many more things than what Gladwell intended and expressed.  However this is an exceptional story and any kind of generalization shall destroy the defense that this book is eyeing for.  The story woven through the picture as appeared in the New York Times taken on 3rd May 1963, by Bill Hudson in Birmingham, Alabama, where Martin Luther King Jr.’s activists had taken on the city’s racist public safety commissioner Eugene Bull Connor, is excellent and narrates the contemporary politics and power and how the approach and behavior of Wyatt Walker transformed the local behavior.   
We have all different ways to dealing with the losses, some resolve to take revenge, some put efforts to reason it out and tread through their actions (e.g., Reynolds known for Three Strikes Law) and some consider it to be the call of the nature and accept it and move on with life (e.g., Wilma Derksen’s family).  It is extremely difficult to pass a judgment as to who/what is right and who/what is wrong. The loss of a child for some parents is such a loss that throughout life they can’t forget it and for some life moves on easily.  It is part of their personality.  This point has been expressed in few chapters on the limits of power.
Dyslexia, single-parent childhood, individuals with low visible strength, school dropouts, etc are not desirable traits even when they might have proven as defendable strength through this text. The defense through citing research findings makes this book rich, however it suffers from problem of ‘selective perception’ to defend one’s argument as no scientific selection procedure has been followed in choosing the research papers and literature that is cited to prove a point or otherwise. Even the earlier work of Gladwell– Outliers, suffered from the same problem of generalizations. 
The lessons learnt from David and Goliath could be seen from the perspective of organizations as well and that is where I feel this work suggests some kind of direction.  We have seen arrogant and failing business organizations, we have seen big/giant yet humble organizations. Historical facts, events and personalities are so well contextualized that it provides a valuable documentation for the benefit of reader who might not have had interest in contemporary history.  He needs to be acknowledged for this contribution of him. Overall though Malcolm Gladwell succeeds in keeping the reader close to the book till last, yet towards the end it goes beyond context and finds last few paragraphs to establish connectivity. No doubt he is a great storyteller but at times it seems he gets carried away with a feeling that he is writing non-fiction and his kind of generalizations may not be welcomed by all of his fans and readers alike.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Positive Psychology by Alan Carr

POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY - The Science of Happiness and Human Strengths by Alan Carr (2004), Routledge - Taylor & Francis Group (London & New York) p 388

My interest in happiness and well being drove me to understand the constituents of positive psychology (PP) in deep.  I met C R Snyder in 2004 and we discussed about his Hope Theory and Pathways. When I read his text on PP (coauthored with Shane Lopez and published by Sage), I got little more interested in PP and that introduced me to Alan Carr and his work and that is how I landed up reading this rich, simple, systematic and superb text.  For a student of psychology PP is an interesting area which has evolved in the times of work stress, work life balance, organizational pressures and competition and related developing issues which have assumed more importance in the wake of globalisation and focus on mobility. 

Though Snyder's text was an exhaustive and illustrative one, Carr's work is relatively brief concentrating on the development of concept of different constituents of PP. The development of psychology from a science of managing disability to clinical solutions has added a new vista as to deal with human strengths and concentrate on individual happiness and well being.  This is the basic premise of PP.  The book is divided in 9 chapters - Happiness, Flow, Hope and Optimism, Emotional Intelligence, Giftedness, creativity & wisdom, Positive traits and motives, Positive self, Positive relationships, and Positive change.  These are the constituents or basic elements of PP and Alan has elaborated each one of them brilliantly supported with relevant research citations and related literature. Research tools and instruments are discussed with their application and derived findings to strengthen the defense and develop a stronger concept.  

Researchers and authors like Edward Diener, David Watson, Martin Saligman, Charles Synder, Christopher Peterson, Michael Argyle, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Daniel Kahneman, David Myers, etc have contributed extensively in the development of different aspects of PP and their measurement.  Their contributions have been cited wherever appropriate. 

Each chapter begins with learning objectives and ends with implications, controversies, summary, questions, further reading, measures for use and glossary. The writing of the text is very simple and easy to understand. Though this text was written around ten years before, it provides strong foundation for this emerging field of knowledge in the area of psychology.  Alan's contribution to the cause of expanding PP shall go a long way in its development and academic sustainability. For a beginner and entry level psychology student this shall immensely help.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins

HOW THE MIGHTY FALL and why some companies never give in (2009) by Jim Collins, Random House Business Books, UK, p 232

My interest in the study of organisations, its people, systems, strategies and practices has induced an interest in the writings of Jim Collins, who has written extensively on different aspects of organisations, their journey, survival and the causes what makes them great as well as what makes them fail.  In that series after having gone through Built to Last and Good to Great I picked up this title in order to understand the reasons why do organizations fail.

Jim Collins remarkably develops an argument for the causes of failures of big organizations through the writings, data, interviews profiling performances on different parameters.  The organizations like Bank of America, Zenith, A&P, HP, Motorola, Rubbermaid, Scott paper, Fannie Mae, Merck, Xerox, Circuit City, IBM etc. have been studied and the change led through their leadership and its impact on organizational performance has been narrated through many examples and on the basis of this certain conclusions are drawn as to the common elements in their strategies, policies, practices which resulted in their momentary or long-term failure. 

The research culminates into providing five stages of decline as Stage 1 - Hubris Born of Success, Stage 2 - Undisciplined Pursuit of More, Stage 3 - Denial of Risk and Peril, Stage 4 - Grasping for Salvation, and Stage 5 - Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death.  We grew up studying different life cycles of products and organisations. This life cycle warns the organizations at different level of its long term effect, if they do not change or adapt to new practices at organizational level. These stages are elaborated in different chapters through the organizational behaviour and practices, big companies reflected on.    

The lessons learnt could be related to individuals as well, since it is the individuals who develop systems, structures and strategies in an organizational set up. It is the individuals who form, develop and nurture organizations through developing an orgnaizational value system and compelling cultures which the successors follow. The basic fabric of an organization is woven through the value systems of individuals which is reflected through the policies and procedures followed in organizations. It is in this context this book makes a strong case for bringing out causes which warn organizations so that the learning could be used to never fall trap to those circumstances.

After becoming a giant corporation, its leaders tend to develop a sense of arrogance (stage 1), that it can do anything (stage 2), since it has brand, power, presence and performance to back it up. Initially it does provide some warning signals but the arrogance avoids such signals and develops a kind of belief that it is momentary (stage 3) and it can recover the fall in the long run. Non responsiveness of the leadership to the initial signals of fall, further deteriorates the performance (stage 4) and it enters into a situation where it can never improve (stage 5).  Bad decisions made with good intentions are still bad decisions (p 148). This journey of mighty corporations make them irrelevant and forces them to die their own death.  

The book is divided in 8 chapters of which 5 chapters are devoted to each stage. The last chapter is entitled Well-Founded Hope, which provides the ways how organisations can avoid and respond back through positive attitude and never-say-die approach. The role of leadership is said to be very crucial at this stage and great leaders are always on toes for change. Jim provides a defense for his recovery mechanism through the practices at Xerox, Nucor, IBM, Texas Instruments, Pitney Bowes, Nordstrom, Disney, Boeing, HP, Merck. What do these companies have in common? Every one took at least one tremendous fall at some point in its history and recovered. Sometimes the tumble came early, when they were small and vulnerable, and sometimes the tumble came when they were large, established enterprises. (p 116) The example of Churchill's return is also well cited.  People make organizations and their systems. Their value system, their capability to take risk, their enterprising behaviour, their leading ability, their determination towards fixing and achieving audacious goals affects organisational decision making and practices.  
If we discovered that organizational decline is a function first and foremost of forces out of our control - and if we discovered that those who fall will inevitably keep falling to their doom - we could rightly indulge in despair.  But that is not our conclusion from the analysis, not if you catch decline in Stages 1, 2, or 3. And in some cases, you might even be able to reverse course once in Stage 4, as long as you still have enough resources to get out of the cycle of grasping and rebuild one step at a time. 
If you have not yet fallen, beware the temptation to proclaim a crisis when none exists. ... The right people will drive improvement, whether standing on a burning platform or not, and they never take well to manipulation. (p 117)
Towards the end there are 7 appendices detailing the selection criteria for different companies, their decline and recovery mechanisms.  What caught my eye was Appendix 5 - "What Makes for the 'Right People' in Key Seats?" This is quite apt and fits into organizational set up for putting right people for right job. According to him right people fit with core values of the company, they are passionate about the company and its work, they fulfill their commitments, they don't need to be tightly managed, for them responsibilities are more important than just job, and they display 'window and mirror' maturity.  This work is compared with Level 5 leadership as explained in Good to Great in Appendix 7, looking at different stages of decline and leadership role.

I personally loved two last paras of the book:
Never give in.  Be willing to change tactics, but never give up your core purpose.  Be willing to kill failed business ideas, even to shutter big operations you've been in for a long time, but never give up on the idea of building a great company.  Be willing to evolve into an entirely different portfolio of activities, even to the point of zero overlap with what you do today, but never give up on the principles that define your culture.  Be wiling to embrace the inevitability of creative destruction, but never give up on the discipline to create your own future.  Be willing to embrace loss, to endure pain, to temporarily lose freedoms, but never give up faith in the ability to prevail.  Be willing to form alliances with formal adversaries, to accept necessary compromise, but never - ever - give up on your core value.
The path out of darkness begins with those exasperatingly persistent individuals who are constitutionally incapable of capitulation.  It's one thing to suffer a staggering defeat - as will likely happen to every enduring business and social enterprise at some point in its history - and entirely another to give up on the values and aspirations that make the protracted struggle worthwhile. Failure is not so much a physical state as a state of mind; success is falling down, and getting up one more time, without end.  (p 123)
This is a must read for those who are interested in the study of leadership, organisations and their transformations and I am sure apart from just learning different stages of decline, one would also learn lessons for self-development.

[published in Invertis Journal of Management, Vol 5, No 1 & 2, 2013; pp. 87-88]

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

ARTHASHASTRA by Thomas R Trautmann

ARTHASHASTRA: The Science of Wealth by Thomas R Trautmann (2012) Allen Lane - an imprint of Penguin Books, p 180

Adam Smith is considered the father of Economics, more particularly modern Economics.  People across geographies have grown with this belief that it was he who through his academic treaty called An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations in 1776 (the year when Declaration of Independence was adopted)  introduced the world with the importance and management of resources of a nation. He was a professor of morality at the University of Scotland and he argued and caught the academic attention through this work, much after his first book The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) which was received by its readers as a remarkable contribution for the study on selfishness, conduct, and duties of humans. He systematically elaborated the resources of a state and its proper management for the welfare of citizens. This modern treaty paved way to the policy makers and people interested in the management of resources.

However Kautilya's Arthashastra which was written some 2400 years back still remains first work on bringing out resources for nation/kingdoms. Though it has never been taught to us but lot of times a reference is made to this great work written sometime around 320 BC, while Chanakya was advising Chandragupta for better governance of state. Having been exposed to Adam Smith's economics, I always had this desire of reading Kautilya's Arthashastra and in this process came across this initiative of Gurcharan Das in tracing the history of Indian business.

This book entitled 'Arthashastra - the science of wealth' by Thomas R Trautman, Professor emeritus of history and anthropology at University of Michigan, is a concise commentary on Kautilya's Arthashastra. Different versions and narrations have been studied by the author and he conveys the essence of that voluminous work through this brief, yet focused account of economics through chapters on Kingdoms, Goods, Workplaces and Markets. In the modern day context, when we do not have Kingdoms, they could be studied, related and compared with the functions of a state, government and administrators.

Though last 2500 years have witnessed remarkable transformation in technology, transportation, communication, education, trade practices and control etc, yet one can observe much of the same behaviour, much of the same market operations and trading treaties. Business strategies of modern times are all crafted with the same mindset as they would have been crafted centuries before though nature of goods and services have changed drastically. This is where study of history becomes important which at times leads us to reiterate a point that come what may, human instincts remain same, they carry with similar value systems as good and bad are still same. Workplace behaviour is more or less same though the ambiance and approach has changed.
The Arthashastra gives us a king-centred perspective on wealth and power.  In it we see a concern for provisioning the royal household and army, and of alleviating famine in the kingdom, through the building and stocking of storehouses of different kinds. Its way of evaluating goods puts the emphasis upon treasure for warfare, foreign relations and for making visible the king's pre-eminence through the display of luxury... farming, farming village, market policies trying to sustain ideals of fair price and containing extreme fluctuations of price... It has two kinds of courts that provide for the peaceful settlement of disputes over transactions and the 'removal of thorns' from the kingdom. (p 140)
The foreword of the book is authored by Gurcharan Das which creates a platform for the book and introduces the theme of the book. I enjoyed this book thoroughly in a series of books published by the London School of Economics tracing back the Story of Indian Business and having gone through the other title 'The East India Company - the world's most powerful corporation' by Tirthankar Roy. As a student of modern day economics and human/organizational behaviour, I could find a close link between Kautilya's Arthashastra and Adam Smith's thinking (on human behaviour, organizations and economics). Indian academia has suffered a lot due to poor documentation and numerous invading interests which have somehow spoiled the age old academic treasures.  In this light this volume is a gift to the students of economic history and for this the whole initiative of this kind deserve applause.

I suggest this book for all of those who are interested in the study of history of political economy in India, and the history of business and economics of this part of the globe.