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Business Leaders Who Changed The World

Monday, June 07, 2010

We all aim for success and good fortune, and aspire to have the kind of wherewithal like ‘those guys who make the headlines.’

Well, to roll in money, one has to first lay it on, after making it. Our efforts in that direction have normally been restricted to putting some money into shares, fixed deposits of banks and companies, and into the various tax saving instruments and investment options made available by the government, or private institutions.

Tata, Birla, Modi, Ambani are much more than mere surnames of business heads. They signify and carry with them the legacy of great enterprise and wealth, power and influence, created by sheer dint of hard work and financial and business acumen.

This book is about 11 such people who have enhanced their own lives even as they continue to bring prosperity and opportunity to millions of those associated with them.

Jeff Bezos, born January 12, 1964, is the founder and current president, CEO and chairman of the board of Amazon.com, probably the best-known online brand in the world. A large percentage of the $2.5 billion worth of books retailed on the Internet are sold by Amazon.com. It is the main search engine for those seeking books, music, household tools, drugs, consumer electronics, toys, furniture and even automobiles.

LEADERSHIP LESSONS: Find the capital, Grow quickly, Be an optimist, Ensure strict Time Management, Work quickly, Hire the right people and delegate, Create barriers to entry by patenting innovations, Use PR, Adaptive branding (creating a business that adapts to different sectors), Partner with others, Relationship with customers.

Richard Branson, born July 18, 1950, is a self-made billionaire, who has made the Virgin Group one of the strongest brand images in the world. Branson himself is admired all over the world for his adventurism and his daredevil feats. Virgin has spread its brand throughout diverse industries, from airlines, rail, retail, banking and civilian space travel. Starting at age 21 with Virgin Records, Branson later sold it off for close to a billion dollars to bolster Virgin Airlines, which today is one of the healthiest airlines in the world.

LEADERSHIP LESSONS: Concentrate on employees, Create and then gamble with the brand, Negotiate well, Keep it entrepreneurial, Compete based on personal service, Promote thyself, Partner with experts, Use intuition, Control, Have fun.

Read on then about the world’s best and what they have to say to those hoping to emulate them: Investment genius Warren Buffet, ranked by Forbes as the second-richest man on the Earth, with a net worth of $53 billion. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield who started an ice-cream company in a small renovated petrol station, now notching annual sales of $1.5 billion. Computer giant, Michael Dell whose Dell, Inc is the number-two computer firm in term of global sales to 170 countries. Cara Carly Fiorina, listed as the most powerful woman in business, and the first female to lead a Dow 30 or Fortune 50 company as CEO. Bill Gates, the world’s richest, with a net worth $60 billion, producing more than ten thousand millionaires. The others who feature in this interesting book are Alan Greenspan, five-time chairman of US Federal Reserve, Andrew Grove, one of the founders of Intel, Carlos Gutierrez of Kellogg, who became US secretary of commerce, Lee Iacocca of Ford and Chrysler.

Business Leaders Who Changed the World
by Kateri Drexler
Jaico Publishing House
Price Rs.295

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