Adapt – To Thrive, Not Just Survive

Imagine reading a book that could turn into a cool Netflix series on managing businesses! Well, this one can. The author, Harit Nagpal, currently the MD & CEO at Tata Play, a veteran in the marketing field with over four decades of experience takes you to new and exciting places, some of which even he hasn’t been to. What makes it all possible is the author’s awesome research skills – he digs deep into a place, its culture, then analyses and puts it all into action (making it seem so real).

‘Adapt’ isn’t just about business; it’s a fun storybook to carry with you while you travel, keep by your bed, or enjoy during a coffee break. You can pick any chapter and have a good time.

What does the book cover?

The book covers Ten stories set across Ten geographies covering the basics of business across diverse cultures and languages.

Every chapter of the book will teach you a new management lesson with some questions that you need to ponder on. Answer those questions and see where you or your company stands in terms of adapting to team management, business management or your leadership style.

Interesting aspects from the book (chosen randomly)

  1. Sticky products and repeat customers – In this chapter, you’ll travel to Jamaica to meet James and Geeta. The story is about making products more than just raw materials. It emphasises how creating products that customers want to buy and keep buying is challenging. However, the key is to keep trying new things and be ready to adjust, even when facing failures.
  2. Touching customers’ hearts – The Kobby, Addae and Ekow’s tale brings you to Ghana. This story takes you to the journey on building a brand. Ekow dreams of having a store in the city center, despite having limited knowledge. Kobby learns from listening to Addae’s conversations with his senior management – the key to build a brand is to first build a strong emotional connection with customers. Communication shouldn’t just rely on TV or ads; you should also use other aspects you have, like your brand name, website, and the experience you provide to customers.
  3. In search of the most reliable product – This story takes you to Malaysia. It talks about Nur and how she emphasised putting customers at the centre. As a CEO, she made sure that any complaints she found, whether tagged or discovered through Google alerts, were promptly sent to the technical team for resolution. This practice gained attention from both the media and consumers, turning it into a story of delight for the customers.

What’s in it for me?

It was delight to read this masterpiece. I give it 10 on 10 for the style of presentation and articulation. One would think coming from a business leader it definitely will be a boring text bookish read but I was wrong. It’s perfect from start to finish.

My recommendation

This book is for all. Students can use it and enact the script, dissect it or have their own versions. Teams can use it learn and debate over the approach. CEOs and CXOs can read it as well as gift it their teams for learning. Like the author says the book covers the basics. But basics are so well explained one would want to go through over it again and again.

Harit Nagpal was at Quorum 2024 in Bangalore in conversation with Ira Pradhan, Director Communications, Freshworks. To watch the conversation click here.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Sarika Chavan
Sarika Chavan is a public relations professional with over 15 years of work experience.

Sarika has previously had stints with with Weber Shandwick as Vice President - Client Experience, Adfactors PR, Text100 (now Archetype) and Perfect Relations. With keen observation and analytical skills, Sarika has successfully led PR campaigns for key brands across multiple sectors by leveraging her strength and expertise in the communications arena.

She is a post graduate in communications from Xavier Institute of Communications. She is based in Mumbai and in her free time loves to spend time with her daughters, play with her dogs, read and travel.

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