Society tends to glorify the get-rich-quick entrepreneur--who builds a company, takes it public and then (maybe) contributes to charity. In Leadership to Last, Geoffrey Jones and Tarun Khanna interview iconic leaders in India who have demonstrated leadership to last. There are leaders from South Asia and other emerging markets as well to illustrate that the ideas Indian entrepreneurs speak about are echoed by their counterparts in the Global South. All these magnates--Ratan Tata, Anu Aga, Adi Godrej, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Devi Shetty and Rahul Bajaj, to name a few--have built, to general acclaim and acknowledgement, organizations that are seen as forward-looking and innovative. They subscribe to a code of ethics and contribute to the betterment of society. The authors demonstrate that this is a lot harder to achieve than unicorn status. The authors corroborate how these stories are less about building a get-rich-quick organization and much more about triggering foundational and institutional change in society. These interviews, encapsulating the history of recent decades, eloquently lay out the opportunities and challenges of today and the future. The profiled leaders inspire awe by displaying audacity of intent, humility of demeanour and steadfastness of purpose.
Geoffrey Jones is the Isidor Straus Professor of Business History at the Harvard Business School. He obtained a PhD from the University of Cambridge in Britain. Since then, he has taught widely in Europe and the United States. He specializes in the history of global business and emerging markets, especially the ecological and social responsibility of business. His recent books include Beauty Imagined: A History of the Global Beauty Industry (2010) and Profits and Sustainability: A History of Green Entrepreneurship (2017). He is a fellow of the Academy of International Business and a corresponding fellow of the British Academy. Tarun Khanna is the Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at the Harvard Business School, and the first director of Harvard's Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, a university-wide endeavour straddling sciences, the arts and professions. His latest book, Trust, and his earlier book, Billions of Entrepreneurs, chronicle creative ventures in China, India and beyond. His co-authored book, Winning in Emerging Markets, distils lessons for building world-class enterprises in emerging markets. He is a co-founder and investor in several ventures across emerging markets. He has been appointed to several commissions related to higher education and entrepreneurship by the Government of India.