What the Customer Wants You to Know by Ram Charan

What the Customer Wants You to Know
Ram Charan

The heart of the new approach to selling, which Ram Charan propounds in What the Customer Wants You to Know ( www.penguinbooksindia.com), is an intense focus on the prosperity of custo mers.

“The entire psychological orientation is shifted 180 degrees. No longer do you measure your own success first. Instead, you measure success by how well your customers are doing with your help.”

This is possible only if you ask questions such as: ‘What are your customers’ goals? Which financial measures are they most keen about? How do they create market value and what are the key factors that differentiate their product or service from those of their competitors?’

Charan sees the greatest opportunities in the medium- and long-term, ‘where you and your customer can work together to change the nature of the game in your customer’s industry based on value you can help provide.’

Source: BusinessLine

In Search of the Obvious by Jack Trout


Branding has become a subject in marketing that has been turned from a molehill into a mountain, rues Jack Trout in In Search of the Obvious (Westland). The subject of branding has spread from products to rock groups, movie stars, and even symphonies, he notes. “Maybe it’s time to cut through all the silliness and clarify things.”

Baffled by over ‘2,000 books covering some topic related to brands or branding,’ Trout finds that what used to be just the logo and the name of a product or a company has now become ‘this almost mystic creation that encompasses unique identities and qualities separate from the product names… In the old days, a brand name was nothing more than a word in the mind. A proper noun that is spelled with a capital letter.’

He is aghast that new managements, goaded by Wall Street, and driven by greed, can unwisely push the brand. An example cited in the book is of Volvo’s marketing initiative, in which agencies were asked to take the advertising beyond safety. Oft-ignored lessons of great importance

Source: BusinessLine

Organisational Behaviour: An interactive learning approach by Sarma V. S. Veluri

In recent years, most organisations have replaced the concept of groups with the concept of teams, finds Sarma V. S. Veluri in Organisational Behaviour: An interactive learning approach ( www.jaicobooks.com). He says that while teams offer a number of benefits that groups also offer — such as, increased productivity, rapid decision-making, diversity in thinking, enhanced employee motivation and morale, satisfaction of social, esteem and actualisation needs, training ground for members, loyalty and commitment towards goals — teams have a cutting edge over groups.

For instance, a team’s members may each have unique skills, in contrast to a group, where every member tries to acquire all the skills necessary to undertake a task, the author explains. “In a sales group, every member uses skills of attracting customers, explaining the product, making visits, attending customer queries, and finalising the deal. Thus, if a member does not possess a particular skill, such as analysing information, he may not achieve the goal, even though he possesses other skills.”

Another edge of teams is synergy, says Veluri. “Synergy means that the outcome of a combined activity is greater than the sum of individual sub-activities. In the case of a group, the outcome of group activity is simply the sum of the performance of the individual members.” Why are teams able to reap the advantages of synergy? Because of positive motivation and coordinated efforts of the team members, he reasons.

Useful addition to the managers’ shelf.

Source: Businessline

Financial Management by William W. Sihler, et al.


Financial Management is designed to help the chief executive ensure that the company’s financial management is in harmony with the company’s strategy. The book will also help in ensuring the reverse, that the company’s strategy is feasible, given the company’s financial environment and situation. The authors bring together the essentials of financial management and the basics of the legal framework within which the company’s finances are to be arranged.

Key Features
— Provides a framework for thinking about a company’s financial condition and policy.
— Provides a similar framework for considering company’s legal structure.
— Separate chapters on ratio analysis, forecasting and cash management, conceptual approach to the debt-equity decision have been included.
— Summarizes the principles presented throughout the book.

The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson

The Ascent of Money Publisher: Penguin Press
Pub. Date: 2008
ISBN: 9781594201929
No. pages: 432

In this  book you will learn

  • How banking began
  • Why bubbles happen
  • What financial history tells about the present

Why you should read The Ascent of Money

Niall Ferguson offers a comprehensive collection of anecdotes and observations about the development of finance. He begins with a brief discussion of pre-money societies. Then, he carries you through the birth of banking in Renaissance Italy, the 18th-century Mississippi and South Sea bubbles, the role of Nathan Mayer Rothschild in the Napoleonic Wars, and the 20th-century transition from the gold standard to free-market derivatives and currency trading. getAbstract finds Ferguson’s book eminently readable, entertaining and informative. One caveat: the author’s approach is more that of a journalist than a historian, so he does not advance much of a comprehensive theory to explain the events he discusses, even the ones that are still occurring, notably, the financial crisis that began in 2008. This tasty financial history thoroughly covers who, what, when, where and how, a feast of facts with not quite enough “why” for dessert.

About the Author

Niall Ferguson is Laurence A. Tisch professor of history at Harvard University, senior research fellow of Jesus College, Oxford University, and a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His books include Paper and Iron, The House of Rothschild, The Pity of War, The Cash Nexus, Empire, Colossus and The War of the World.