Conquering the Chaos: Win in India, Win Everywhere

Conquering the Chaos: Win in India, Win Everywhere [Hardcover]

Ravi Venkatesan (Author)


Publication Date: June 18, 2013

India: A Defining Choice for Your Business

India is on the minds of business leaders everywhere. Within a few decades, India will be the world’s most populous nation and one of its largest economies. But it is also a complex and challenging market, with a reputation for corruption, uncertainty, and stultifying bureaucracy. The initial infatuation with India is over and reality has set in. But India is not a market that can be ignored. So why take a chance in this extraordinary and complex region? What does it take to win in India? How do you deal with the chaos—and even prosper from it? Ravi Venkatesan, the former Chairman of Microsoft India, offers inside advice on how your firm can overcome the unique challenges of the Indian market. He argues that chaotic India is in fact an archetype for most emerging markets, many of which present similar challenges but not the same potential. Succeeding in India therefore becomes a litmus test for your ability to succeed in other emerging markets. If you can win in India, you can win everywhere. Hard as these markets are, Venkatesan says, for most multinational firms the bigger challenge to success in emerging markets may well be the internal culture and mind-set at headquarters. The unwillingness to make a long-term commitment to the new market or to adequately trust local leadership, combined with the propensity to rigidly replicate the products, business models, and operating systems that have worked at home drives many companies to a “midway trap” that results in India remaining an irrelevantly small contributor to global growth and profits. Combining his personal experience with in-depth research and interviews with CEOs and senior leaders at dozens of companies—including Nokia, GE, JCB, Dell, Honeywell, Volvo, Bosch, Deere, Unilever, and Nestlé—Venkatesan shows you how to tackle slowing growth, policy uncertainty, and corruption and enable your firm to thrive in India. He proves that you can break through successfully, but it takes a very different type of leadership, both locally and at headquarters. If you want to succeed in the twenty-first century, you must succeed in emerging markets. This practical book, written by one of India’s most respected CEOs, will give you the keys to win in India, other emerging markets, and beyond.Editorial Reviews


“It would be hard to find a more passionate advocate for doing business in India than Ravi Venkatesan.”–Heather Timmons, The New York Times


“Having had the pleasure of working with Ravi Venkatesan during his Microsoft years, it’s inspiring to see the challenges he faced, his successes, and the lessons he learned codified into knowledge that is helpful to all. Conquering the Chaos is both a way of getting started in India and other emerging markets and a poignant reminder of what we must all continue to pursue as global leaders.” –Stephen Elop, Chairman and CEO, Nokia



“It (the book) is largely interesting, especially when real life examples are provided.” — Financial Express

ADVANCE PRAISE for Conquering the Chaos:

Bill Gates, Chairman and cofounder, Microsoft—
“Ravi Venkatesan’s clear and candid look at doing business in India should be on the reading list of any business leader who wants to better understand India and other emerging markets. Conquering the Chaos is insightful and thoroughly readable.”

Dominic Barton, Managing Director, McKinsey & Company—
“Ravi Venkatesan has written a compelling account of how to create value in India in ways that can also be transferred to many other markets. He provides a unique and practical perspective on how to execute on the promise of emerging markets—even in tough times—through deep research on several companies and rich insights from his own leadership of Microsoft and Cummins in India.”

N. R. Narayana Murthy, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Infosys—
Conquering the Chaos is a one-of-its-kind book on winning in emerging markets, especially India. Ravi Venkatesan deeply understands the pulse of the Indian consumer and the dynamics of the market. The author’s experiences make the book an extremely stimulating read. A must-read for all leaders of multinationals aspiring to capitalize on emerging markets.”

Louis Schweitzer, former Chairman of Renault and AstraZeneca; Director, BNP Paribas, Volvo, and L’Oréal—
“Ravi Venkatesan, in his easy-to-read, fact-filled book, based on his own unparalleled experience and knowledge of India, presents an unvarnished and balanced view of the country’s tremendous challenges and opportunities, both as a market and as a production base. India in this century will be the world’s most populous nation, perhaps the world’s largest economy, and certainly the most complex one. If you want to succeed in the twenty-first century, you must succeed in India, and Ravi Venkatesan will help you do just that.”

John L. Flannery, President and CEO, GE India—
“An outstanding, informative book that is much more than a manual for winning in India. It is a manual for winning in every emerging market. I wish I had had it at my disposal three years ago, when I started in my role.”

About the Author

Ravi Venkatesan is the former Chairman of Microsoft India and Cummins India.

Under Venkatesan’s leadership between 2004 and 2011, India became Microsoft’s second-largest geography and one of its fastest growing markets. Microsoft India was rated one of the country’s most respected companies, among its most admired brands, and one of its best employers.

Prior to joining Microsoft, as the Chairman of Cummins India Venkatesan led its transformation into the country’s leading provider of power solutions and engines.

Venkatesan is currently a director on the boards of AB Volvo and Infosys and a member of the advisory board of Bunge Limited. He also serves on Harvard Business School’s Global Alumni Board. Venkatesan is a founder and Chairman of Social Venture Partners India, a network of engaged leaders attempting to address complex social issues through venture philanthropy.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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