One of the best books which I have come across is "Swam with the Sharks for an Ice CREAm "By Dhaval Bhatia. His sucsess principles are contained in the GATE principles.
Way back in 1966, all textile manufacturers in India were using outdated machinery. But Dhirubhai wanted the best and while setting up his first factory in Naroda, Gujrat he made sure that he had the most sophisticated machinery in the country. However there was a shortage of personnel who could operate such sophisticated machinery, in the country. Hence the need arose to send personnel to Germany for training. Prior to the departure, one of the managers asked him if there was anything specific he would like them to remember. Dhirubhai gently put his arm around the Manager and asked him if he had heard of the TATAS and BIRLAS. The manager said that he had heard of them and nodded his head in agreement. Dhirubhai replied those are the only two words , that he would like them to remember. He later explained to the Manager. ‘to remind himself whilst his team was there that one day they were going to be bigger than the TATAS & BIRLAS. For doing this they would have to know everything about the machines and ask them many questions and note all that they were doing. Thus, even before setting up his factory, he had dreamt of beating the TATAs & Birlas. It was for this reason that he chose the slogan “‘Growth is Life’ for Reliance. His belief: For me growth is life. AS I long as I live, I grow. There is no limit to ones’ growth.
Once,his Naroda factory needed some spares parts for the imported machines, he them bought on priority from Germany . But he soon realized that no transport trucks would be available to get the parts from Mumbai Airport to Ahemedabad, the transporters were on strike. So, he purchased two trucks in Mumbai one to carry the parts and one as back up. It was no wonder that he received the consignment.
These Trucks were later sold in Ahmedabad.
The only thing mattered was execution of plans speedily at the factory. This was aggression, which put reliance in adifferent orbit
When Dhirubhai had to decide a name for his company, he chose Reliance because he wanted to to know the whole world that he was reliable, he used to export products to the Gulf where Indian businessmen were generally perceived to be unethical and unreliable. Dhirubhai wanted to change this perception. Therefore, he insisted on 2 things World Class products and Speedy Delivery. Even though he incurred losses , he insisted on punctual delivery so that his clients deadlines were met. Soon, he created a strong reputation in the Gulf Markets. His clients began to trust on reliance and his expanded his markets in the GULF.
Efficiency: this has 4 elements
a) Highest quality standards and resources- Dhirubhai set up his first factory at Naroda with borrowed funds. He insisted on having the latest and best technology. He never compromised on quality. In 1975 When a World Bank Team visited India, they declared that out of 24 Millls in India only the Reliance factory was developed as per Global standards
b) Motivated Workforce: He always kept his workforce motivated.
c) Track the playground: All players want paisa, power, position and prestige. Let us look at these players
I ) Poiltician Always wants the above ( paisa, power, position, prestige)
4 . No permanent friends or enemy.
(II) the press. They can make u hero or zero. Rajiv Gandhi and Amitabh are examples.
(III) Public servant : bureaucrats, policemen, tax authorities, judiciary. Etc. They are powerful people and make laws and regulations which can make or destroy our destinies.
(IV) Power broker: all underworld dons,militant groups, local goons, and
(IV) Priest: Non entity but can indirectly influence the masses.
(V) Page 3 people: Socialites, superstars etc.
(VI) Proprietor: Owners of large business houses who control majority wealth in any economy.
In the ultimate game all these players want to bet each other but however need each other. The directions in which the game moves, is decided on the basis of the changing equation amongst these players.
A business man to be successful must read these changing equations and successfully lead his business.
Dhirubhai was a master at this. That he is how established the Reliance Empire, which is considered as one of the revered companies globally.