15 Books on Business and Entrepreneurship

Reading a business book surely helps you in acquiring new knowledge, developing innovative thinking skills and also ensures that you get a unique perspective that you can utilize at your workplace.
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1. I Do What I Do by Raghuram G. Rajan

Rajan’s commentary and speeches in I Do What I Do convey what it was like to be at the helm of the central bank in those turbulent but exciting times. Whether on dosanomics or on debt relief, Rajan explains economic concepts in a readily accessible way. Equally, he addresses key issues that are not in any banking manual but essential to growth: the need for tolerance and respect to assure India’s economic progress, for instance, or the connection between political freedom and prosperity. I Do What I Do offers a front-row view into the thinking of one of the world’s most respected economists, one whose commitment to India’s progress shines through in the essays and speeches here. It also brings home what every RBI Governor discovers for himself when he sits down at his desk on the 18th floor: the rupee stops here.

2. Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella

Microsoft’s CEO tells the inside story of the company’s continuing transformation, tracing his own personal journey from a childhood in India to leading some of the most significant technological changes in the digital era. As told by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, ‘Hit Refresh’ is the story of corporate change and reinvention as well as the story of Nadella’s personal journey, one that is taking place today inside a storied technology company, and one that is coming in all of our lives as intelligent machines become more ambient and more ubiquitous. It’s about how people, organisations and societies can and must hit refresh – transform – in their persistent quest for new energy, new ideas, relevance and renewal. At the core, it’s about us humans and our unique qualities, like empathy, which will become ever more valuable in a world where the torrent of technology will disrupt like never before.

3. Overdraft by Urjit Patel

Sometime in 2015, news of unsustainable bad debts (non-performing assets or NPAs) in the Indian banking sector started to first trickle out, and then became a flood. In the forefront were some of India’s largest government banks, and a series of tycoons who were running their empires on unpaid debts. The banks’ problems landed on the table of Urjit Patel when he became Governor of Reserve Bank of India in September 2016. Based on thirty years of macroeconomic experience, he worked out the ‘9R’ strategy which would save our savings, rescue our banks and protect them from unscrupulous racketeers. In this book, he explains the problem and how it blew up; and how he would have resolved it if he had not been prevented.

4. Leader by Devdutt Pattanaik

Drawing from sources as diverse as the Mahabharata and the Bible, the Vikram-Betal stories, the Iliad and the Odyssey, Islamic tenets, the tales of rishis and kings, and fables from around the world, Devdutt Pattanaik, India’s leading mythologist, provides a fascinating account of what leadership entails. How to choose the right leader, effectively communicate with a boss, maintain the right balance between discipline and leniency? In these and other workplace situations, Pattanaik shows what leaders of today can learn about the art of leadership from stories written thousands of years ago, things no management course can teach.

5. Let's Talk Money by Monika Halan

India’s most trusted name in personal finance, Monika Halan offers you a feet-on-the-ground system to build financial security. Not a get-rich-quick guide, this book provides you a smarter way to live your dream life, rather than stay worried about the ‘right’ investment or ‘perfect’ insurance. Unlike many personal finance books, Let’s Talk Money is written specifically for you, keeping the Indian context in mind.

6. Romancing the Balance Sheet by Anil Lamba

There is no such thing as a non-finance person. It is an error to think that finance management is limited to the Finance Department alone. In fact, it is happening right through the organization–for every action you take impacts the bottom line of your company. Read this book to understand what Profit really means and how Inventory and Sales impact it. Learn to read Balance Sheets and deploy Funds intelligently. Make the most efficient use of your Working Capital and discover the simple secrets of Marginal Costing, Leverage and Funds Flow. Written in a simple conversational style, Romancing the Balance Sheet will teach you all the intelligent ways of Good Financial Management.

7. Business Etiquette by Shital Kakkar Mehra

The first interview. Handling a difficult boss. The power of words. Networking. Small talk. Dressing for a cocktail dinner. Holding chopsticks. Drinking wine. Twitter etiquette. Sexual harassment in office. Remembering names. Receiving compliments. Women travelling alone. Thank you notes. The opportunities created by a fast-globalizing world have led to executives’ jet-setting across the globe wining and dining, negotiating, and networking for business. Indian executives, who are brand ambassadors of both their company and their country, too are making a mark on the global stage, and increasingly find themselves in a number of situations where their people skills can make all the difference. Business Etiquette shows us the art of creating a positive impression through the ABC of good manners: Appearance, Behaviour, and Communication. Shital Kakkar Mehra, one of India’s best-known corporate etiquette trainers, teaches us how to create our own brand, dine with grace, mingle with ease and conduct business keeping in mind racial, gender, and cultural diversities.

8. Easy Money by Vivek Kaul

The financial crisis of 2008 brought the world to a standstill. Banks and financial firms all over the world had to be rescued by governments – in effect, bailed out by the taxpayer. But have things changed post 2008? Are financial firms and banks operating more responsibly? Are they taking fewer risks than they did in the past? What will happen as and when the next financial crisis hits us? Vivek Kaul answers these and many more questions on how the global financial system is operating in the post-financial-crisis era in the third book in the Easy Money series.

9. The Third Pillar by Raghuram G. Rajan

The ‘third pillar’ is the community we live in. Economists all too often understand their field as the relationship between markets and the state, and they leave squishy social issues for other people. That’s not just myopic, Rajan argues; it’s dangerous. All economics is actually socioeconomics – all markets are embedded in a web of human relations, values and norms. Rajan presents a way to rethink the relationship between the market and civil society and argues for a return to strengthening and empowering local communities as an antidote to growing despair and unrest. The Third Pillar is a masterpiece of explication, a book that will be a classic for its offering of a wise, authoritative and humane explanation of the forces that have wrought such a sea change in our lives.

10. How to Survive the Boss by Kanika Singal

Working with a bad boss is stressful. Instead of focusing on performance and getting the job done, the focus often shifts to managing the employee-boss equation. A relationship that is supposed to be symbiotic and supportive often turns hostile, interlaced with personality issues. In such situations, both the work and the individual suffer resulting in low quality outputs and unhappy employees. How to Survive The Boss is a helpful guide to enable to you manage this relationship effectively as you navigate your career in a big corporate environment.

11. From Command to Empathy By Avik Chanda | Suman Ghose

Can an empathetic approach to our relationships at the workplace help us achieve more? Does the onus of creating and sustaining a supportive culture lie only with the top management? There is an urgent need to move away from traditional command-centred style of management towards an organizational culture that is inclusive, fosters trust and focuses on employee empowerment. From Command to Empathy addresses the tussle between the management and the employees, and investigates the reasons behind them through anecdotes, case studies, questionnaires and self-scoring exercises. Avik Chanda and Suman Ghose draw from real-life examples and their deep industry experience, and research on organizational behaviour and neuroscience, to arrive at practical tips on how to inculcate and use emotional maturity in workplace situations to help readers achieve both professional and personal goals.

12. Start-up Compass By Ujwal Kalra | Shobhit Shubhankar

Startup Compass offers advice on starting and growing a company, shared in a lecture series at IIM Ahmedabad and over extensive interviews by ?fteen iconic Indian entrepreneurs. These include Sanjeev Bikhchandani (Naukri), Deep Kalra (MakeMyTrip), Sachin Bansal (Flipkart), Falguni Nayar (Nykaa), Kunal Shah (CRED), Sahil Barua (Delhivery) and Raghunandan G (TaxiForSure), among others. The advice they give is invaluable, and covers all the stages in the life of a startup, from idea, team and product, to eventual exit.

If you are looking to begin your own startup journey, are interested in the Indian startup ecosystem or are simply a student of business, this book is for you.

13. The Resilient Society by Markus Brunnermeier

The author applies his macroeconomic insights to public health, innovation, public debt overhang, innovation, inequality, climate change and challenges to the global order, offering ground-breaking blueprints for the reconstruction of societies and economies in a post-Covid world.

Written for business leaders, economists, policymakers and politically interested citizens, the book argues that the concept of resilience can be a compass for developing a social contract that benefi­ts all people.

14. The Joys Of Compounding by Gautam Baid

In The Joys of Compounding, the value investor Gautam Baid builds a holistic approach to value investing and philosophy from his wide-ranging reading, combining practical approaches, self-cultivation, and business wisdom. Distilling investment and life lessons into a comprehensive guide, Baid integrates the strategies and wisdom of preeminent figures whose teachings have stood the test of time. Drawing on the work of investing greats like Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, and Ben Graham, as well as philosophers and scholars, he artfully interweaves the lessons learned from his many teachers. Baid demonstrates their practical applications in the areas of business, investing, and decision making and also shows that these ideas can be applied to one’s own life with just as much reward.

15. Don’t Hire The Best by Abhijit Bhaduri

There’s no organizational process more important than recruitment. However, traditional resume- and interview-based hiring often does not account for the most important factor: personality. But what individual traits must one measure, and how? Skilled interviewers know that the trick lies in not just asking questions that challenge the candidate, but in figuring out whether his or her answer reveals a fit between the company’s expectations and the personality of the interviewee. In Don’t Hire the Best, Abhijit Bhaduri brings his vast experience in leading HR teams at Wipro, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Colgate and Tata Steel to answer these and related questions on hiring judiciously. Bhaduri particularly underlines here the difference between hiring the right fit vis-a-vis hiring the “best”.

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