Shapers of Business Institutions

SHAPERS OF BUSINESS INSTITUTIONS is a book series of six volumes that explores the shaping of long-standing Indian business organizations, that have withstood the test of time and grown exponentially since the economic liberalization in 1991 to become institutions in their own right.

What makes some organizations long-lasting? How come some chart a new course which others like to follow? Does this characterize them as ‘business institutions’ rather than merely ‘good companies’?

How do two business leaders with radically different management styles embed values and practices into the sinews of a corporation through their thoughts and actions? Each book in the series focuses on one such institution that shot into exemplary growth in the last half a century.


What makes some organizations long-lasting? How come some chart a new course which others like to follow?

Does this characterize them as ‘business institutions’ rather than merely ‘good companies’? How do two business leaders with radically different management styles embed values and practices into the sinews of a corporation through their thoughts and actions?

These are some vital questions for India’s economic growth that find resonance in the incredible journey of India’s largest software exporter, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). The narrative relives the highs and lows in the life of this multibillion-dollar enterprise, as seen through the eyes of its architects—Faqir Chand Kohli (96), the founder, and his successor, S. Ramadorai (75). Between them, they spent 40 years making TCS an admirable industry leader and a corporation with agility, innovation and scale.

Based on interviews with Kohli and Ramadorai, the authors provide an insider’s account of their grand vision of igniting India’s IT revolution. From the evolution of the offshoring model to harnessing the enormous opportunity offered by the Y2K problem, they offer rare insights into a company that they built, brick by brick.

How TCS Built an Industry for India is the first book in the series, Shapers of Business Institutions, and is a unique blend of a must-read business biography and a management classic.

Authors : R. Gopalakrishnan, Tulsi Jayakumar      Click to Buy Book


How is a ‘Shaper’ different from a manager and a business leader? A Shaper operates with a long-term vision and successfully changes the trajectory of the company to make it future ready, in the way Anil Naik shaped the future of Larsen & Toubro (L&T).

The narrative traces the spectacular five-decade-long journey of Anil Naik as a junior engineer from the shop floor to the position of MD, CEO and chairman. The story traverses through the parallel life journeys of L&T and Naik and witnesses their trials and tribulations.

Naik built the growth trajectory of L&T on the foundation of ‘value creation’ and transformed the company into an agile and competitive business conglomerate. Based on a series of personal interviews with Naik and his team, the book explores Naik’s mindset and actions that transformed L&T into a leading Indian MNC with a global footprint in fields as diverse as defence, nuclear power and aerospace to financial services, IT and engineering services.

How Anil Naik Built L&T’s Remarkable Growth Trajectory is the second book in the series, Shapers of Business Institutions. The book reveals ‘The Naik Way’—new theories of leadership and management as a catalyst to growth.

Authors : R. Gopalakrishnan, Pallavi Mody      Click to Buy Book


Companies and businesses can be built into great institutions, which are more than engineered processes and ingredients; they are live organisms with emergent conditions. It is these emergent conditions that bring an institution alive. However, sometimes, few entrepreneurial leaders are charged with motivation and drive that is dramatically different. These business folk break the mould of prevalent thinking, setting an organization onto a new trajectory. They appear to operate with the rainforest rules, which are quite different from the model of cultivated agriculture in which you attempt to control and guide environmental factors to maximize efficiency and replicability. In the rainforest, you accept the environment and within that, you seek effectiveness and novelty.

The narrative of Biocon, India’s first and only modern bio-technology institution that has produced significant research and commercial value, and its founder, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, resemble the application of these rainforest rules. 

How Shaw cultivated Biocon’s DNA is a first-hand, inspiring account of the company, which was founded in India and led by an accidental, yet immensely successful woman entrepreneur, and has evolved to become an exemplary institution valued at $6 billion, with around 11,000 knowledge workers. In a series of personal interviews with Kiran and several associates of Biocon, the authors—seasoned business leader, R. Gopalakrishnan and management academic, Sushmita Srivastava—for the first time ever, trace the options that opened up during Kiran’s journey, understand how she made her choices and the outcomes, and then trace the trajectory taken by the institution.

The third book in the series, Shapers of Business Institutions, How Kiran Mazumdar Shaw Fermented Biocon, offers both instructional and inspirational perspectives for aspirants in the fields of management and entrepreneurship.

Authors : R. Gopalakrishnan, Sushmita Srivastava      Click to Buy Book


Parekh identified the one defining value of the Indian middle class – their honour – as an intangible asset, which would never let his business down.

The 1970s in India were dark times of high tax slabs, land sharks and black money. When loans were a last resort meant for emergencies and buying a house was beyond aspiration, possible only at retirement, nobody was willing to bet on the repayment capacity of the ignored middle class, except one man. This invisible class went on to become the primary potential customer base for Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC). The rest as they say is history.

While HDFC was Hasmukh Thakordas Parekh’s brainchild, it was his nephew Deepak Parekh who shaped it. Parekh left a comfortable overseas job with a plum salary and exclusive perks to join his uncle’s mortgage company at a 50 per cent pay cut. He nurtured HDFC to become India’s largest and cleanest financial conglomerate—not just in housing finance, but later in banking, asset management and insurance too. What were Parekh’s mindset

What were Parekh’s mindset, behaviour and actions in transforming HDFC Group into a leading financial powerhouse in India? What makes Parekh a game changer in the financial world? How Deepak Parekh Grew HDFC Group Exponentially is the fourth book in the series, Shapers of Business Institutions, and is a must-read for its rare yet untold insights into the story of a shaper who breathed his own values of integrity and accountability into the DNA of an institution that still remains true to its middle-class values. Based on personal interviews with Deepak Parekh, his family, friends and peers, the narrative is a unique blend of a must-read business biography and a management classic.

Authors:  R. Gopalakrishnan, Vidyut Lata Dhir