October 27, 2013

The Elephant Catchers - Subroto Bagchi - Book Review

The Elephant Catchers: Key Lessons for Breakthrough Growth by Subroto Bagchi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hunting a Rabbit is easy, but catching an Elephant is difficult. It requires expertise planning. This is the theme of the book. Subroto Bagchi, one of the cofounders of Mindtree has used this phrase as an analogy to the growth of a firm. There are lot of startups. Many of them fail immediately. But among the startups that cross the initial struggle, a few survive the phase of Scaling. Based on his experience of scaling up Mindtree, Subroto Bagchi has outlined all the strategies that would be required by startups that succeed.

The book is full of analogies and examples. The author takes four chapters to explain what 'Scale' is and how people often misinterpret scale. He wonderfully depicts how 'Elephant Catchers' function and how how they are important for any organization. He has divided the book into five parts apart from a separate part on introduction. The five parts deal with Scaling the Business, Intellect, Reputation, People and Scaling against Adversity.

In the first part, the author writes widely on how emotions work, how it is important to identify proper salesmen and the dangers of Joint Ventures and Mergers & Acquisitions. He then says how important Equity is and how many people make the mistake of selling Equity for unnecessary spendings. He shares an event where a Newspaper approached him to give Equity and in return they would promote the company and also avoid publishing negative news (It pulled down my already poor views on Media. It looks like we have to take into account the relationship of Media with the company before accepting).

After that, Subroto Bagchi writes on how to deal with Consultants in order to get good results. He also writes about the importance of dealing with Media, where one careless sentence in an hour interview can be made as the headline. He also writes a bit about CSR and the way companies exploit society and give donations back and say they are for the society. He says firms should inculcate CSR in the way they function.

In the next part about people, the author writes about Hiring and firing people. He says often times firms forget about the culture of the firm their new executive is from. He says most times firing is not done on time and it creates problems. He also says the founder cannot be behind everything. Trusting the respective people is important and they are specialists in their zone. He also compares the Hindu mythology of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva as to how each role should be taken by specialist and not by the same person.

In the end he looks back into 9/11 events and says how Mindtree survived the phase. He writes, 'When Extraordinary events overtake us. It is time to do the ordinary things extraordinarily well'

The book was very short and crisp. With all the examples and analogies, the contents register in the minds of a reader easily. It is a must read book for any person who wish to become an Enreprenur or a person who has started a small firm.

Buy this book from Amazon - The Elephant Catchers: Key Lessons for Breakthrough Growth

Happy Reading!

1 comment:

Thanks for visiting and spending time with my blog! Hope you had a nice time in my blog!

Please let your comments here. Your comments add fuel to my writings.