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Who Blunders and How

Who Blunders and How
The Dumb Side of the Corporate World

First Edition

September 2019 | 312 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd

Many big companies—famous brands, once loved and revered—often disappear into oblivion mainly due to their own follies. Look at the once invincible Kodak or the seemingly unfailing Premier Padmini cars. In the unforgiving world of modern business they failed to adapt, only to perish. Many businesses fail to address this basic truth.

Every business is tested for endurance and accomplishment but only a few extract strength and wisdom from their trying experiences. Even the infallible Nokia, BlackBerry, Woolworths and Lehman Brothers buckled. Companies such as Bethlehem Steel, Atari, Xerox, NCR, Mafatlal and Kingfisher Airlines once considered as the great ones to emulate, all failed to live up to their repute. 

Instances of business blunders and bloopers are many. They could include compromising quality to cut costs, lack of professionalism in management, botched up mergers and acquisitions, customers being taken for granted, bad leadership, family squabbles, corporate fraud, unmanageable debts and numerous others.

This book will help you understand many famous, frequent and common mistakes committed by businesses over time. The lessons learnt should enable you to run your businesses with lesser hiccups and maximize stakeholder return. 

Quality Quivers and Quandary
Family Business Fallacy
Disputes Spell Doom
M&A Is a Mugs Game
Public Relations Faux Pas
When the Boss Bungles
Corporate Governance Ills
Skidding on Innovation
The Debt Trap
Mortal Mistakes
Mangled Business Models

‘Hidden in wraps behind a lot many corporations which otherwise appear successful are unacceptable stories of poor governance, poor management, failing Boards and oodles of unacceptable management practices. The entire journey of value creation seems to be travelling on a road full of potholes for values! This is a well-investigated book of such corporate tales. Read on, and get a first-hand feel of corporate thrills from the eyes of Robin, the corporate James Bond!’ 

Adil Malia,
CEO, The FiRM; Former President HR, Essar Group; Former Director, Coca-Cola

‘Robin’s well-researched book provides insights into how many of the issues facing corporates today are a result of leaders having made wrong choices. The impact of their decisions can often be devastating and far reaching both for them individually and more importantly for their organization. Robin has analysed some of these instances, drawn conclusions from them and attempted to provide alternatives on how such situations could be addressed in future. It is a “must-read” for all leaders who want to make a difference.’

Sunil Mathur,
MD, Siemens Ltd, India; Deputy Chairman, CII Western Region 2019–2020; President, Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industries

‘The book on “corporate blunders” is very timely and useful, especially for the small and medium enterprises, who are always trying to make the best during difficult times. Learning from numerous easily worded examples in the book, it should go a long way to help the business community to run their businesses better, especially the new entrepreneurs. I suggest every entrepreneur to read this book and grow.’ 

Chandrakant Salunkhe,
President, SME Chamber of India

‘It is a fascinating and well-researched presentation, covering all major business predicaments right from minor follies, quality compromises, disputes and conflicts, poor governance and unbefitting capital structure, that may eventually culminate into business failures. This brilliant work makes compelling reading for business professionals to design a guiding framework in their corporate philosophies and culture, to avoid walking over the ubiquitous fault lines.’ 

Dr (Ms) Renu Shome,
Director, The Council of EU Chambers of Commerce in India

‘This book is a bold and transparent narrative on the disastrous consequences of compromising on ethics and quality in trying to make a business more profitable. It is an absolute must-read for every CXO/promoter/entrepreneur—who wants their businesses to stay relevant in a rapidly changing environment. The lessons learnt from blunders by industry leaders should resonate very strongly with leadership teams focused on creating and growing a sustainable business respected by customers and regulators.’

Santanu Syam,
Director and Chief Operating Officer, Angel Broking Ltd

‘There are several books that extol business successes, but very few on business failures. This book teaches the reader that businesses are indeed not failure-proof, but there are certain mistakes that can be cautiously avoided to put your brand on the track to success. In this well-researched book, the author explains logically how the lack of relevant innovation, consumer transparency, good governance and professionalism, among others, may cause companies to fail. Blunders such as brand fatigue, mismanagement of finances, lack of good leadership, and not keeping pace with new technology are explored in detail with innumerable case studies and examples. This title is a must-read for budding as well as seasoned entrepreneurs and working professionals to understand what not to do when running a business, in turn helping their brand reach greater heights.’

B. Thiagarajan,
MD, Blue Star Limited; Former Chairman, CII Maharashtra State Council

‘Robin has done it again. Like his previous books, this one is also interesting, informative and easy to read, and can be appreciated by a wide spectrum of people. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have. Happy reading.’ 

Firdose Vandrevala,
Chairman, The FiRM; Former Chairman, Motorola, CII Western and Eastern Regions; President, AIMA

‘This book is a sensor that will help corporates to sense early on if they are on their way towards a fall. It is a potential fall detector. The book will be a great addition to corporate and management school libraries.’ 

Pramod Panda,
Sr Programme Director, Centre for Advanced Financial Research and Learning (CAFRAL); Member, Board of Studies, SVKM’s Mithibai College, Mumbai

‘The book is very cognizant of how critical decisions, inflexible traditionalism and momentous mismanagements have resulted in big industry blunders and lost billions. I liked Mr Banerjee’s unique insight into all the realistic cases discussed in this book. I strongly recommend it to all entrepreneurs.’

Satish Wagh,
Chairman and MD, Supriya Lifescience Ltd; Chairman, CHEMEXCIL

‘Thanks to Robin for this unique book! While success stories inspire us to “do more”, we draw our caution from stories of failures to “do it right”. Too much noise around “Thunders of Success”, while “Blunders of Failures” remained hidden so far!’ 

Vikesh Wallia,
Regional Director, Western Region, Institute of Directors; Former Board Member, Times Group

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ISBN: 9789353285791