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The Indian Boss at Work

The Indian Boss at Work
Thinking Global Acting Indian

September 2020 | 344 pages | SAGE Response
Journey into the kaleidoscope of Indian business and explore the ‘context and forces’ and worldview of Indian leaders. Unravel secrets to building successful companies based on generational learnings, attitudes and capabilities.

Read through the narratives of top Indian bosses where they reflect on their ‘Indian-ness’ that helped them transform into global leaders. From Harsh Mariwala to Som Mittal to women leaders such as Naina Lal Kidwai and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, there are many distinguished names in this book that add to the Indian leadership fold.  

The book responds to oft asked questions such as: What are the winning traits of Indian bosses? What cultural influences have shaped their mindsets? What makes them adaptable in any business situation? What can the West learn from India on leadership?

Discover and leverage: 

• The pluralistic notion of Indianness

• Forces of desh (place) and kaal (time)

• The praxis of collectivism and hierarchy 

• Context sensitivity and co-holding paradoxes and dilemmas

• Multifacets of the Indian leader

• Insights from ancient inheritance and modern legacy

• Awareness of what impedes women leaders

• The opportunity for Indian youth
The wisdom of Indian-ness—‘the World is One’—belongs to all humans. It invites the corporate Rishi within us, to act with ecological balance, inclusion and harmony.   
Foreword by Krish Shankar
What Is Indian-ness?
How Time (Kaal) and Place (Desh) Influence (includes Spotlight - Harsh Mariwala)
Facets of the Indian Leader (includes Spotlight - Som Mittal)
Origins of the Indian Leader (includes Spotlight - Naina Kidwai)
Impact of Indian Family (includes Spotlight - Manu Saale)
Ancient Inheritance to Modern Day Legacy (includes Spotlight - Rajiv Memani)
The Indian Psychology of Leadership (includes Spotlight - Ashok Malhotra)
The Indian Boss (Karta) at Work (includes Spotlight - Ravi Uppal)
When Cultures Collide (includes Spotlight - Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw)
Women Power (Shakti) (includes Spotlight - Renana Jhabvala)
What the Future Holds for Young Leaders (includes Spotlight - Jawed Habib)

I have known and worked with Steve for over two decades. Ever willing to learn outside his comfort zone, he takes risks in embracing new paradigms and in applying them.

This book balances what Steve has gained from his lived experience and his extensive reading and research. He surprises you with ‘newer ways’ of looking at Indian bosses. He is never complacent, always curious and brutally honest about himself. Recognizing the reader will finally want to know ‘How can I use all this to be effective?’, he builds it in with relevant examples and suggestions.

Zahid H. Gangjee
CEO, Zahid Gangjee & Associates, Kolkata; Former Chief of Manpower Development Group, ITC Ltd

Steve has attempted to describe Indian-ness (not an easy task) while drawing extensively on psychologists’ work on India. The book’s strength lies in emphasizing the role of context in understanding individuals and societies. His rich MNC and Indian company experience allows him to nuance the context. A good read on how Indian leaders struggle with dilemmas and paradoxes that makes us distinctive. 

Vasanthi Srinivasan,
Professor OB & HRM, IIM Bangalore

Steve, not quite the quintessential chief human resources officer, is impishly curious and an indefatigable provocateur, belying an astute student of executive behaviour. This well-researched, articulate and seminal body of work is littered with lucid anecdotes and deep insights, underlining his rich and varied global experience across blue-chip MNCs and Indian business houses. His grasp of the nuanced styles and cultural influences that define contemporary Indian leadership is truly absorbing!

Sandip Das
Independent Board Director and Former MD, Jio

India will be the third largest economy by 2030 and Indian managers will work across the world. This book will give you a deep view of the Indian manager and how he thinks, how he works and what makes him who he is. Steve has written on a relevant topic for India and the world.

D. Shivakumar
Group Executive President, Corporate Strategy and Business, Aditya Birla Group

I know Steve since his days in Vodafone. With his wide exposure to multiple companies, association with multiple leaders and operating styles, his observations are invaluable—a truly remarkable book on leadership. The choice of spotlight leaders is appropriate and insightful. His observations on desh and kaal strike a personal chord and I can easily relate to success stories of Sundar Pichai, Indra Nooyi and others. 

D. Sivanandhan (IPS Retd)
Founder Roti Bank, Mumbai

Among the plethora of books on Indian leaders and their management style, Steve Correa’s book stands out as a refreshing analysis based on extensive research yet presented candidly in a free-flowing conversational style narration. The width of research, carefully acknowledged, lends credence to his assessment of Indian psyche. This book will be of immense significance to experienced professionals as well as emerging leaders.

Dr Aquil Busrai
Former Executive Director HR, IBM, Shell Malaysia and Motorola Solutions Asia Pacific

Steve offers a compelling narrative combining stories from workplace and mythology, research and voices of diverse industry stalwarts to shine the light on Indian-ness and the Indian leader. Just when you know where you are headed, he does the unexpected and opens up a new vista of thought and self-reflection. Brilliantly written, it is a must read for all practitioners, prospective leaders and those curious about the Indian emergence.

Indranil Chakraborty
author of Stories at Work

Steve has surpassed himself in his maiden book. This masterful and honest narrative captures the core of an Indian leader. Steve has treated the subject with a unique blend of research, spotlights, his own reflective experience and has skilfully used reflexivity to present a compelling drama of how Indian leaders think, feel and act. Highly recommended.

Dr Santrupt B. Misra
CEO, Carbon Black Business; Director, Chemicals; Director, Group HR Aditya Birla Group

“Deeply reflective, probing and questioning… It is packed with anecdotes and interviews and case studies so that you can co-relate the concepts and opinions put forth.” 

The Hindu Business Line, 22 November 2020

“A deeply researched book with ample data, the book is a fountainhead of business wisdom…The Indian Boss At Work is a must-read for leaders of all categories — industries, private and public sector.”, 28 February 2021

Steve Correa

Steve Correa is a commerce and law graduate from XLRI and a Chevening scholar. He currently works as an Independent Executive Coach and OD Consultant and is a Fellow of Sumedhas, Academy for Human Context. He has over three decades of corporate experience. Of this, 18+ years have been as CHRO, with overall responsibility for the HR function. He has worked across a wide spectrum of enterprises, ranging from major global corporates (MNCs) to family-led professional businesses. He has diverse industry exposure that includes pharmaceuticals, office automation, FMCG, telecommunications, IT/ITES and alcohol beverage. His exposure spans across... More About Author

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