The Maruti Story – a book most people interested in Indian economy should read

Came across this amazing book – The Maruti Story by R. C. Bhargava and  Seetha. RC Bhargava obviously headed Maruti in its initial years and even does now. I had heard about the book but could only read it now.

This book has most (if not all) things to make it a classic. It gives you this really interesting political economy case of setting this really successful car company in India. It was a case of a really successful Public Private Partnership with the private player being a Japanese company. The success of this car company exceeded all expectations even the most optimistic ones. But it is both surprising and disappointing that there are not many reviews etc of the book. The book should have generated the kind of road shows which happens in the West selling their books (a la Piketty currently).

The best part about this book is that it covers a huge ground. It does not just talk about issues that came while setting the company but how it managed change across the value-chain (sorry for the jargon). The book touches on all aspects of business in India -Politics, economics, consumer satisfaction and psychology, using latest technology etc etc.  The way Maruti shaped industry standards in distribution, customer management, employees relations is an eye opener. All this came from a public company is admirable. I mean most of us have seen the revolution Maruti created but the process via which it created the revolution was largely  unknown. And why these lessons did not rub off to other public sector organisations is a bit of a puzzle.

The book shows public/ private does not matter as long as there is will to create a useful product/service for the people. The public sector can deliver the goods too if there is right team and defined goal and proper support from the government (which does not mean interference). Usually public sector learns from the private sector but in India’s car industry, the learnings happened from public to private.

The book might have been missed by many thinking it to be another story of a company. But this one is different given the unique setting of the car company and the revolution it created.

Highly recommended!

Update: A nice detailed review here

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