14 Must-Read Books of 2014 that Every Indian A&M Professional Must Read

By | January 4, 2015

Books must add up a new thinking, explain an event/ incident/ episode in a life of a company or a person to qualify for the list. Here are the 14 books I recommend to Management, Advertising and Marketing professionals. Some of you are bound to find books on your list that are missing here. That’s fine. All lists are right if they remain honest and true to the objective. I hope that this collection will help you focus and pick a few to check out unless you have already done that.

So here’s my booklist, restricted to books published in 2014. Books are listed in no definite order:


  1. PLAYING TO WIN: How Strategy Really Works by A G Lafley and Roger L Martin.  Read the strategies used to double P&G’s sales, quadruple its profits, and increase its market value. Know the five main strategic choices that P&G applied for Olay, Bounty, Gillette, Swiffer, and Febreze
  2. THE END OF COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business by Rita Gunther McGrath. Learn how organisations move in the new path of winning in absence of sustainable competitive advantage.  How and why organisations should  capturing opportunities fast, exploiting them decisively, and moving on even before they are exhausted can move on the new path to winning.
  3. BRAND BREAKOUT: How Emerging Market Brands Will Go Global. By leading thinkers;  Nirmalaya Kumar, Jan-Benedict and F.M Steenkamm. Know what Asian and emerging market brands need to do to succeed in international markets and the challenges they face when competing with western brands
  4. THE INNOVATORS: How a group of Hackers, geniuses and geeks created the digital revolution by Walter Isaacson (author of Steve Jobs’s biography)
  5. THINK LIKE A FREAK by Steven D Levitt, Stephen J Dubner, from the authors of FREAKONOMICS. Learn to think like a child and have the courage to accept and say  ‘I Don’t know’. L how to think more productively, more creatively, more rationally  and see the blue print of entirely new ways to approach and solve problems.


  1. 13 STEPS TO BLOODY GOOD LUCK – Ashwin Sanghi. Why not add the insight to being lucky to the strategy and will to implement. .
  2. SUPERMARKETWALA by Damodar Mall.  Understand why consumers behave the way they do.
  3.  ROKDA: How Baniyas Do Business by Nikhil Inamdar Rokda. Get closer to understand the indomitable spirit of the Baniya.


  1.  FLASH BOYS by Michael Lewis.  When data travel faster and the market is rigged by people fronting the investors, how a team comes together to counter this disadvantage. Making the playing field that much fairer.
  2. HACK ATTACK: How the Truth Caught up with Rupert Murdoch By Nick Davies. A griping example of investigative journalism, exposing what gave Murdoch access to government and who stood up to him. Understand the degree of  bullying, lobbying, law-breaking in journalism & newsrooms. How News international tried protecting itself and how the Truth caught up with the power destroying it.
  3. I AM MALALA– by Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb. in 2011, Read the real life story of the youngest ever Nobel Peace prize nominee and winner. Understand her belief and strength of conviction in championing the cause of women education in a society where women are not even allowed to ask for their due respect. Bestselling autobiography of Malala Yousafzai, the champion of every girl’s right to education.
  4. LESSONS FROM THE PLAYGROUND by Vinay R Kanchan. No longer, you will consume sports news or watch sports causally. This will make you look at sports in a different way and see what you can take on to your work environment.
  5. THE ELECTION THAT CHANGED INDIA 2014 by Rajdeep Sardesai A media insider’s view into why and how IBJP won and Congress wiped out  to give the country a decicive majorty government since 1977. How the tradition, rituals and existing political framework and rules were broken and re-written


  1. THE ORGANIZED MIND: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J Levitin. Maybe it will help to understand and create that work-life balance by understanding from a neuro-scientific perspective how to navigate overload of information and be a lot more organised.

The article was first published on 29th December 2014 in Mumbai edition of DNA