Monday, August 29, 2011

Mind your business

An increase in the number of B-schools, rapid change in technology and the demand for management principles apt for Indian conditions have led to a rise in the number of business authors in India. Team Viva reports

A glance at the bookshelf of any management professional or a young MBA would reveal that it is not just the usual bestsellers — Getting Things Done by David Allen, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey and The Goal by Eliyahu M Goldratt and Jeff Cox that adorn the racks but an equal number of leadership and management books by Indian authors form the part of the collection there. While it is important to get your basics strong by reading writings by renowned foreign authors, practical knowledge only comes by reading books of Indian managers and experts who often compile their own experiences and come up with self-help books.

The scenario in the business book section has definitely changed over the last few years. Until 1990s, the business book market in India was ruled by the writings of foreign authors and most of them dealt with the basics of business and readership. Be it the management institutes across the country, the shelves at bookstores or personal collections of a management professional or businessman, they all read the similar content by the same authors. “It was then that the management gurus in India thought they needed something that talked about Indian situations and about the Indian business scenario. Some of them then thought of penning down themselves to set the trend rolling. After coming out of a business school, nobody wanted to pursue their professional life reading something about America. On the other hand, with the growth of the number of management institutions in the country, there was an increased demand for different kind of text books and academicians went up to publishers with the demand for Indian text. It was then that the publishers started looking at the collaboration of Indian and foreign authors and for management experts who were willing to write business books. Since then there has been no looking back. In fact, there has been a steady growth and demand of business books,” explains management cartoonist Prriya Raj who has been a part of many business books and has witnessed this changing trend. So it was after the 90s that we started having business books that spoke of India and Indian mindset.

Business books in India can be broadly divided in two categories — self-help kinds and text books for professionals. Where most of the self-help books are by young management professionals, text books are by management and leadership gurus who have been old players in the industry. Talking about how well business books by Indian authors are doing in India, Vivek Mehra, managing director and CEO of Sage Publishers, says, “Though the demand in both these segments has been consistent over the last few years, the requirement for books that can serve as study material for management students is still rising by leaps and bounds. Business as a term now has fragmented into segments like leadership, entrepreneurial and managerial skills with each of them having an increased demand related with it. Also, there has been an amplified focus on quality.”

Full report here Pioneer

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