Wisdom for Start-ups from Grown-ups
Discovering Corporate Ayurveda
What makes some companies survive the test of time while others short-lived?
Corporations do not exist in isolation; they are always part of something else, something bigger-an ecosystem. Inspired by the secrets of Shinise-Japanese companies dating back to the samurai era-Gopalakrishnan and Narayanan take a deep dive into the art of growing and sustaining a business. Over the last forty-eight years of close association with Unilever and Tata, Gopalakrishnan has gathered experiences and insights about what makes companies tick. On the other hand, Narayanan, after having worked with Coca Cola, Nestle, and then two start-ups of his own, now occupies the keen insights of angel investing and mentoring.
This book is the culmination of their collaborative effort to bring the best of grown-ups to start-ups, presented in the form of all-important lessons.
R. Gopalakrishnan has been a corporate leader for almost fifty years-the first phase of his career with Unilever was for thirty-one years, while the second was for seventeen years as director of Tata Sons. Gopal spends the third and current phase of his career by writing, advising, speaking and teaching. He is a member of selected boards of companies and an adviser for others. He is the bestselling author of several books including The Case of the Bonsai Manager, When the Penny Drops, What the CEO Really Wants from You, A Biography of Innovations and Crash: Lessons from the Rise and Exit of CEOs. Gopal is actively engaged in both instructional and inspirational speaking. He serves as a distinguished professor of IIT Kharagpur and as executive-in-residence at the S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai.
R. Narayanan began his career in well-established companies-Coca Cola and Nestle-followed by considerable experience in the advertising business. Thereafter, the entrepreneurship bug bit him. Since the 1980s, Naru has been deeply involved with start-ups. He founded and ran a company to make and market Big Fun, a chewing gum product. His next venture was to create a machine/business system to dispense dosa, just like a hamburger, an offering that he branded as Dosa King. After sequentially exiting the two start-ups where he learnt many lessons, he became a passionate participant in angel investing and mentoring.