‘The Big Leap’ By Sharmila Kantha | Book Review – How Indian Companies Leveraged Reforms for Success

The Big Leap – How Indian Companies Leveraged Reforms For Success is a book by Sharmila Kantha that presents you with the untold story of how the stunning economic liberalization of 1991 changed the face of Indian Industries. As the walls of protection for Indian industry had tumbled similar to how the Berlin wall was knocked down, it shares the saga of how companies had to restructure dramatically to keep pace with competition. The new era demand total re-engineering of the way Indian companies worked and did business. As you flip through the first few pages of the book, you are introduced to the CII or Confederation of Indian Industry and how it worked with Indian Government to bring about a positive sea of change for the industries.

The Big Leap which was published with CII backing, presents the exciting stories of ten diverse companies that transformed into large global conglomerates from small businesses to provide a gripping account of how Indian companies leveraged the changes, the reforms to compete with the best of the best on a global scale. These companies include – Godrej Group – The Border Dwellers, the ICICI Bank who re-invented banking, ITC Limited, Jubilant Bhartia Group who jumped from Life Sciences to Lifestyles, Marutiz Suzuki India Limited who are known to have put India on wheels, Nivo Controls – the power of the small, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, SAIL, Sona Group and last but not the least – Tata Steel, the perennial pioneer.


Left to Right : Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry; Mr Jayant Davar, Chairman, CII Northern Region; Mr N K Singh, Member of Parliament, Government of India; Ms Sharmila Kantha, Author, The Big Leap and Consultant, Confederation of Indian Industry; Mr Ashok Bhattacharya, Editor, Business Standard; Mr Adi Godrej, Chairman, Godrej Industries Limited; Mr Krishan Chopra, Chief Editor and Publisher, HarperCollins Publishers India

The Indian industry had become unproductive and dull by being used to the heavily regulated economic environment since Independence. After 1991, entrepreneurs in India had to almost adapt to these reforms almost overnight. They had to un-learn and re-learn their strategies and compete with the newly introduced globalization in a market of dynamic churn. In more than twenty years since then, a lot of unprecedented policy initiatives were taken to strengthen the operating environment for the Indian Industry. The Big Leap is a story of how painful and challenging the process of restructuring our organizations must be, all the while seizing new sectors of opportunity and doing so at the world economic stage with undaunted confidence.

The Big Leap is the story of India’s plunge into the brave, new India. Read it know the untold version of their stories. Sharmila Kantha has been able to start every chapter with how the leading businessmen behind this companies are. How they behave and slowly takes us on a journey of how each of them spearheaded the change in different parts of their organization. Read it to know the story of changing India and why we see what we see today in all the spheres of lifestyle in India and Indians.

Overall Rating: 3/5

About the author:
Sharmila Kantha is the author of two books on Indian business, Building India with Partnership: The Story of CII 1895-2005 and India Unlimited: A Corporate Journey. She has also published fiction and children’s picture books. A former bank executive, she is economic consultant to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

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