For once, I was glad to read a bureaucrat's memoir. All the more so because I had seen the man in action between 2005-2008, and never knew that he had so much to write about!
V. Krishnamurthy was the Chairman of the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) while CII were trying to get IITs and IIMs interested in Prof. Shoji Shiba's attempts to replicate the Visionary Leaders for Manufacturing (VLFM) program in India. I was with JICA, the Japanese funding agency that initially funded this program.
All I knew about VK, the towering, portly gentleman with a heavy voice, was that he was the driving force behind a JV that launched the automobile sector in India: Maruti-Suzuki.
Thanks to the memoir, now I know that there was a lot more to VK than the 'common-man's car'. He started his career at the Planning Commission, opted to get his hands dirty at BHEL-Tiruchirapalli and then - thanks to the patronage of the Gandhi family - went on to head the group, and make a mark for himself as the man who turns around Public Sector companies.
Indira Gandhi selected VK to turn her son's dream project into reality, and then Rajiv Gandhi got him to straighten out SAIL.
This is the sort of book that makes you wonder -- How many brilliant managers has India lost for the want of political patronage?
* Krishnamurthy V (2014): AT THE HELM, Harper Collins India, 2014
* Review - Business Line (25 May 14) - Krishnamurthy V (2014): http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/for-the-public-good/article6046546.ece