Monday, October 4, 2010

Poor sequel

Ambani & Sons
Hamish McDonald
Roli; Rs 395; Pp 408
The Ambanis might have ensured The Polyester Prince, a biography of Dhirubhai Ambani, never saw the light of day in India. The sequel, Ambani & Sons, has had no such problem. Why? The first, and most obvious, when Dhirubhai was alive, no Indian industrialist even came near him, in either ambition or money (Gita Piramal suggests Ambani stands for ambition and money!). Today, the 27-storey Antilla notwithstanding, the Ambanis are a lot more approachable—among the big losers in the last burst of the Sensex, Ambani companies RIL and RCom were among the worst affected. During the 32 months it took for the Sensex to reach 20,000 points, RIL fell 34.7% and RCom 77.7% (Infosys rose 103.7%, TCS 103% and Tata Motors 44.62%). The Brothers Ambani are colossally huge, but they’re no longer the only game in town.

Second, sadly for the former New Delhi bureau chief of the Far Eastern Economic Review, the other reason why the new book has sailed through is that it isn’t a patch on the old one. It’s not just that three-fourths of the book is the same as the one written way back in 1998, though that’s a major minus, there’s no earth-shattering new nugget of information that’s not already known. So why even bother to try to ban the book?

Full report here Financial Express

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