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The Indian Boss at Work

The Indian Boss at Work
Thinking Global Acting Indian

September 2020 | 344 pages | SAGE Response
Journey into the kaleidoscope of Indian business and explore the ‘context and forces’ and worldview of Indian leaders. Unravel secrets to building successful companies based on generational learnings, attitudes and capabilities.

Read through the narratives of top Indian bosses where they reflect on their ‘Indian-ness’ that helped them transform into global leaders. From Harsh Mariwala to Som Mittal to women leaders such as Naina Lal Kidwai and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, there are many distinguished names in this book that add to the Indian leadership fold.  

The book responds to oft asked questions such as: What are the winning traits of Indian bosses? What cultural influences have shaped their mindsets? What makes them adaptable in any business situation? What can the West learn from India on leadership?

Discover and leverage: 

• The pluralistic notion of Indianness

• Forces of desh (place) and kaal (time)

• The praxis of collectivism and hierarchy 

• Context sensitivity and co-holding paradoxes and dilemmas

• Multifacets of the Indian leader

• Insights from ancient inheritance and modern legacy

• Awareness of what impedes women leaders

• The opportunity for Indian youth
The wisdom of Indian-ness—‘the World is One’—belongs to all humans. It invites the corporate Rishi within us, to act with ecological balance, inclusion and harmony.   
Foreword by Krish Shankar
What Is Indian-ness?
How Time (Kaal) and Place (Desh) Influence (includes Spotlight - Harsh Mariwala)
Facets of the Indian Leader (includes Spotlight - Som Mittal)
Origins of the Indian Leader (includes Spotlight - Naina Kidwai)
Impact of Indian Family (includes Spotlight - Manu Saale)
Ancient Inheritance to Modern Day Legacy (includes Spotlight - Rajiv Memani)
The Indian Psychology of Leadership (includes Spotlight - Ashok Malhotra)
The Indian Boss (Karta) at Work (includes Spotlight - Ravi Uppal)
When Cultures Collide (includes Spotlight - Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw)
Women Power (Shakti) (includes Spotlight - Renana Jhabvala)
What the Future Holds for Young Leaders (includes Spotlight - Jawed Habib)

The Indian Boss is a must-read for global leaders of all types—in all industries, private and public sector and geographies! It provides an important reminder about contextual leadership—understanding in this case, the uniqueness of India as nation, its leaders and individuals as part of a ‘global leadership playbook’. It’s also a reminder of the opposite: the power of Indian leadership on a global stage.

Honourable Terry D. Kramer
Former US Ambassador; Former Vodafone Group Plc Executive; Faculty Director, UCLA Anderson School of Management

I highly recommend this book to build, enrich and refine one’s understanding of Indian leadership and recognize that which is uniquely Indian that will separate the winners from the rest in an increasingly VUCA world.

Amrit Thomas
Former CMO Diageo and Former Chairman, Royal Challengers Bangalore

An ancient culture awakens and is beginning to find its voice in today’s world. Steve provides a comprehensive insight of ‘Indian-ness’ and the psyche of the Indian leader. A must-read for all young people who wish to be future leaders.

Indu Shahani
President and Chair, ISDI | ISME | ISDI WPP

Steve reveals an indigenous Indian orientation that is in contrast to conventional notions of leadership. Its principles are universal, relevant and timely to the issues we face today. He goes beyond gender, bringing insight to what it means to be a self-leader. This book is a bridge to the two worlds of the East and the West and argues that the twain must meet.

Leena Nair
Unilever CHRO, LinkedIn Top Voice 2018–2019

An exceptional narrative, one of its kind, that deals with the Indian cultural context influencing leadership. Steve delves deep into the recesses of Indian-ness, combining research insights and his own experience to reveal the Indian leaders’ distinctiveness. This book is a must-read for students, practitioners and those who truly wish to leverage on Indian leadership. Insightful and reflective, it invites the reader to explore within deeply.

Y. V. Lakshminarayan Pandit
Former Managing Director, SHL, India

This book is on a very relevant topic: Who we are impacts how we are as leaders and professionals. Indian-ness is inherent to who we are and understanding how that impacts us can make us more self-aware and effective. Steve has bought his vast experience and considerable research to bear on this subject and every aspiring Indian leader must read this book.

Chandramouli Venkatesan
Author of Catalyst and Get Better at Getting Better

Brilliantly argued, the book captures the essence of ‘Indian-ness’ and uses it as a lens to analyse the complex Indian leadership ethos. Lucidly written to engage with the reader, Steve draws over his Indian and global experiences in the corporate world, significant insights from Indian leaders and deeply mined research data. The book is a fount of wisdom. A recommended and very refreshing read for every aspiring leader who strives to excel.

R. R. Nair
CEO Coach

Steve and I were colleagues while the brand Hutch was being given a body and a soul. Going through the chapters reminded me of our free-flowing conversations, during smoke breaks, near the rear gate. While the context of the 10-minute chats was linked to the business, the content travelled across space, time and beliefs. One line in the book, ‘What is the right thing to do, depends on circumstances. There is no absolute yardstick,’ summarized it all for me.

Harit Nagpal
MD & CEO at Tata Sky Ltd

Steve and I go back years starting from Unilever, later Diageo. His book reminds me of the innumerable conversations we have had on business and life. Steve is an enthralling communicator, gifted to see beyond the obvious. A valuable and timely piece of work, for both Indian readers and those fascinated with India.

Pankaj Gupta
Vice President, APAC Supply Chain at L'Oréal

This book is an honest, insightful and nuanced look at the Indian leader drawing on deep understanding of India’s cultural DNA, but also the author’s multifaceted experience in local and international companies. Steve sets out a vision for Indian leaders that should inspire us all.

Gurnek Bains
Ex-founder and CEO of YSC; past coach to Steve; author of Cultural DNA

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ISBN: 9789353884680
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