A colleague who is himself a book lover and perhaps know I treasure them too, gifted me Bangalore Tiger by Steve Hamm. It is a book that covers tech giant Wipro, its origin, its growth, the people who made Wipro what Wipro currently is. Coming from the same industry, I felt greatly enthused to read this book. More so because the author Steve Hamm is a no minnow, but a columnist of Businessweek and likes.
Books on corporations are a tradition in the west, with every corporation worth its name has either seen a CEOs biography, or an external author such as recent published superb work Cold Steel by Bouquet & Ousey, or David Wise on Google.
Wipro is a great company. Not just because it is a path breaking commercial success (USD 4.3 BN for 07-08 fiscal), but because it has produced leaders such as Subroto Bagchi and others who are stalwarts of Indian IT industry even after they left Wipro. And of course, don’t forget Premji.
My primary complaint against this book is that it seems to have developed not by some detailed study, but from the PR material Wipro might have made available.Nothing wrong with using PR material. But seemingly relying on that alone? The entire description is dull and text heavy fashion. The descriptive nature of text makes you fall asleep as soon as you hold the book in your hand. Even after you read the book completely, you ask yourself about anything new that might have appeared in the book. Nyet, no. It also does not focus on elements of strategy well enough, rather spending space on the operational excellence. And loads of that. Perils of a journalist as an author.
Frankly, coming from IT industry myself, I had better expectations from this book. Frankly, I would love to read more books written on Indian success stories. And why IT alone, I’d love to see world class books on world class companies from India - my wish list includes Ranbaxy, the Tatas, the Ambanis, Satyam, the TVS group, Dr Reddy’s, Apollo Hospitals. Till then I could wait.
And warning, don’t try reading Bangalore Tiger at airports waiting for a flight- Soporific is the word.
Posted in Business Books |