IN THIS SUMMARY
Ambani, Bajaj, Birla, Goenka, Khaitan, the Shahs, and Tata, eight of India’s most powerful men, are a study in contrasts. Their businesses are distinct and varied. Some are highly educated, others are barely educated at all. Some inherited their empires, others are self-made. Some reached the top in their 30s, others did not even get started until their 50s. Some dominate a particular business, others control several industries. Yet what they do, what they think, and how they react impacts the entire economy. Between them, they control sales of roughly Rs 550 billion through more than 500 companies and directly employ at least 650,000 people. Business Maharajas is about these business personalities. Instead of concentrating on strategy and strategic decisions, Piramal focuses on the personal experiences, aims, and visions of these important industrialists to expose how they think, how they conduct their businesses, and how they arrive at complex investment decisions involving billions of rupees. Ambani was the first Indian industrialist to appreciate ordinary investors and their needs. His philosophy that management has a responsibility toward its shareholders to ensure the capital appreciation of their shares has changed the entire mindset of corporate India and its way of doing business. Between 1977 and 1995, Ambani mobilized Rs 64.23 billion from the public (the company went public with 58,000 investors, today there are more than 3.7 million), making Reliance India’s most popular enterprise in the process. Because this richly detailed work provides a definitive analysis of Indian business as it is practiced by some of the country’s most powerful and influential business leaders, it stands as an important and indispensable source of information on the men and the industries that are likely to stand at the forefront of India’s push to become an industrial superpower in the 21st century.