Cutting the Gordian Knot India’s Quest for Prosperity

By A Staff Writer

In Cutting the Gordian Knot India’s Quest for Prosperity (Bloomsbury India, Price Rs 499)  authors T N Hari & Hari Menon give a  lucid account of India’s multilayered and deeply intertwined challenges, this book questions dominant narratives, provokes fresh thinking and suggests new approaches. A must read for anyone interested in the India Story!

Cutting the Gordian Knot discusses India’s quest for prosperity through job creation. The underlying pieces of this quest are complex and intertwined—an education system that has outlived its shelf life with misplaced aspiration for white-collared jobs. India got educated before it got skilled. Skilling along with micro-entrepreneurship needs to be rejuvenated. Rapid developments in technology are changing the nature of jobs and employment itself. We are living in truly interesting times. The country’s youth bulge makes it one of the youngest nations in the world. A youthful demographic profile is necessary but not a sufficient condition for economic growth. It needs to be harnessed well. Some miscalculations and wrong moves could very easily transform a demographic dividend to a recipe for mass discontent.

The country has a long way to go, and global disruptions due to rapidly changing technologies are creating hazards on the way. New ways will have to be found, and dominant narratives will have to be challenged. The book presents these views, data and insights with an intent to spark dialogue, awareness and, eventually, change.

This is the first book that addresses India’s quest for prosperity holistically. Cuts to the chase without jargon and without beating around the bush. A serious topic has been made insightful and exciting. Everyone from a college student to a corporate executive and a serious academic will find it interesting and stirring. Written by people who have been working in the trenches and edited by authors who are passionate about simplifying ideas and telling compelling stories.

TN Hari heads HR at Bigbasket and is an advisor and mentor to numerous young entrepreneurs and start-ups. He is also a Strategic Advisor at Fundamentum, which is a home-grown growth phase VC fund set up by Nandan Nilekani and Sanjeev Aggarwal. Graduating from the prestigious IIT and IIM, Hari has worked at an executive level with multiple start-ups/scale-ups and has been through four successful exits in different industries (Daksh, Virtusa, Amba Research and TaxiForSure). His passion lies in scaling organisations through clear thinking and relentless execution.

The author of two books (his last title Cut the Crap and Jargon — Lessons from the Start-up Trenches, Penguin India), Hari is also a prolific writer on LinkedIn with a substantial following. LinkedIn identified him as one of the Top 10 voices in India in 2016 and 2017.

Hari Menon is the Co­founder and CEO of Bigbasket, India’s largest online supermarket. Starting his career with ORG Systems, Hari subsequently moving on to work with TVS Electronics, Wipro Infotech, Planetasia and Integrated Data Systems. He was also the CEO of Indiaskills — the vocational education joint venture between Manipal Group and City & Guilds (UK). Hari’s entrepreneurial journey began in 1999 when he co-founded Fabmart, one of the pioneers in e-commerce in India and its physical extension, Fabmall, a chain of grocery stores in South India, which was later acquired by Aditya Birla Group in 2006 and renamed More.

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