R. GOPALAKRISHNAN (Gopal) is an author, speaker and corporate adviser, with three parts to his career of over fifty years: first, thirty-one years in Hindustan Unilever, ending as vice chairman; second, seventeen years as director, Tata Sons; and third, since 2016, as author and corporate adviser. Currently, he is the non-executive chairman of Castrol India, and independent director of Hemas Holdings PLC, Sri Lanka. He is also distinguished professor at IIT Kharagpur, and executive-in-residence at Mumbai's prestigious SP Jain Institute of Management and Research. He has so far authored fifteen books, notably, The Case of the Bonsai Manager, When the Penny Drops, A Biography of Innovations and Crash: Lessons from the Entry and Exit of CEOs. Gopal greatly welcomes feedback and comments on this book at firstname.lastname@example.org.
R. NARAYANAN began his career in Coca-Cola and Nestlé, followed by extensive experience in advertising. Since the 1980s, Narayanan has been deeply involved with start-ups. He founded and ran a company to make and market Big Fun, a chewing gum product. His next venture was to create a machine or business system to dispense dosa, just like hamburgers, an offering that he branded as Dosa King. He then became a passionate participant in angel investing and mentoring.
What makes some companies survive the test of time while others struggle and perish?
Corporations do not exist in isolation; they are always part of something else, something bigger-an ecosystem. Inspired by the secrets of shinise (Japanese companies dating back to the time of samurais), R. Gopalakrishnan and
R. Narayanan take a deep dive into the art of growing and sustaining a business. Over the forty-eight years of his close association with Unilever and Tata, Gopalakrishnan has gathered experiences and know-how about what makes companies tick, while Narayanan, having worked with Coca-Cola, Nestlé and then two start-ups of his own, has developed keen insights about angel investing and mentoring.
Wisdom for Start-ups from Grown-ups is the culmination of their collaborative effort to bring the best of what grown-ups have to offer to start-ups, presented in the form of all-important lessons.