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Business Maharajas – Gita Piramal – Google Books

If you lose, come back to us. It found an unexpected target. Singh’s action was probably influenced by a series of articles published in a national daily. Other businessmen’s issues might flop, but not his. The Marwari and his syndicate badly misjudged their victim.

You have to sell your guta to the government. The moment they unloaded Reliance’s shares on March 18, Ambani brokers stepped into action, collared every share in sight anO pushed the price to Rs before the day was out.

However, the real reason was that Kamalnayan Bajaj sided with the opponents of Indira when Congress split in One could be forgiven for thinking there’s a sense of atis faction at Maker Chamber IV, Nariman Point, one of ;ombay’s most famous addresses and the headquarters of the at ion third largest private sector company.

It was a one-bedroom house. I’m as puzzled today as the day I started out fifteen years ago. Parekh, who as head of ICICI sanctioned Reliance’s first institutional loan, “Dhirubhai always spoke of international standards and sizes. Having once been a blue-collar worker himself, his attitude towards his workers was genuinely paternalistic, not a management strategy. It was the Rs crore polyester fibre plant. Ambani, like Aditya Birla, knew that delays in project implementation could tip profits into losses.

At the Mulji Jetha market, polyester was thet called chamak. As a yarn trader, Ambani used to kick his heels outside the custom-designed offices of the big serfs, waiting for the opportunity to make a sale.


The companies’ share capitals were small, no more than pounds apiece, and only three had borrowed money to pay for their purchases. Meanwhile, at Patalganga, a sleepy village seventy-one kilometres from Bombay which takes its name from the river on whose banks it is located, the polyester yarn plant was almost ready to go on stream and bills were pouring in.

The young couple decided to settle in Bombay. Umyal, a one-time left-wing journalist friend of Dhirubhai whom he invited to run his two publications, the Sunday Observer and the Business and Political Observer, Ambani would spend hours educating the guardians of the Licence Raj.

A legion of critics accuse Ambani of leapfrogging the queue in obtaining licences, of getting faster-than-normal gpprovals for his public issues and capital goods imports, and of getting policies formulated favouring Reliance or disadvantaging its rivals or both.


No,” he was fond of declaring. In the first breakthrough, investigative journalists discovered that the eleven companies had been registered in the Isle of Man, an international tax haven, between November and July and were owned by several Shahs, some related; others not.

Birla studied at Boston’s prestigious MIT and Tata graduated from the equally famous Cornell, but the matriculate Ambani rolled up his sleeves and got a job at seventeen, Vijay Shah dropped out of the London School of Economics when his father died, and Khaitan completed his undergraduate studies in an undistinguished morning college.

This was not se, the first time Ambani would have to fight for his reputation, and it would not be the last.

Business Maharajas (Penguin business)

Often referred to as the Manchesters of India, Bombay and Ahmedabad have grown rich on cotton textiles. Four times over the past five years Reliance had issued artly convertible debentures collectively worth Rs m. You could call them stubborn, even bullheaded, and once an idea has germinated in their mind, they won’t give it up easily. A khadi-wearing idealist and dyed-in-wool socialist, Dandavate was then a lowly MP of a party which had little prospect of ever being in power.


If you dabble in everything then you make a mess of things. The life of this tea maharaja provides an insight into a shadowy world far removed from glossily printed profit and loss statements, the Calcutta Stock Exchange and high profile tea auctions. Birla never made a product that required large-scale promotion and stayed away from consumer products which were risky.

That is not the point. I am not a director in other companies.

Dhirubhai was on a roll. According to Ambani, convincing the government meant adopting a flexible approach. Ambani knew he could build a great plant but pitched against him were the heavyweights of Indian industry: Cumulatively, they spread the message— play with Reliance and you play with fire.

My commitment is to produce at the cheapest price and the best quality. The issue for the worsted mill was quickly followed by one in for modernizing its textile millto finance PFY manufacture and a record Rs m one in at the time of the attack by the infamous bear syndicate which had forced the closure of the BSE and made Ambani a national figure.

He was merely a hawker who used to wait outside our cabins. From to Marchits sales have increased from Rs 1. One such illustrative case is described by the author, which must be mentioned. After printing and other processing, tt fabric-generally unbranded-is sold to the wholesale trad, which has financed the whole operation. This strategy would become the essence of Birla’s corporate philosophy.

Smiling at my discomfort, he floored me. The rich bears discounted the promoter of the company they were targeting. Simultaneously we took steps to evolve our own distribution system as we found that the existing marketing channels were inadequate and unsatisfactory.