The luminaries of Bengaluru braved the rains to congratulate TT Jagannathan and Sandhya Mendonca at the launch of their book Disrupt and Conquer: How TTK Prestige became a billion-dollar company at The Park Hotel on June 1. Published by Penguin Random House, the book chronicles the extraordinary journey of TTK Prestige and how, like the proverbial phoenix, it rose from the burning embers of bankruptcy to become an immensely successful business.
Speaking about the book, TT Jagannathan said, “This book is truly a labor of love and I am pleased to have had the opportunity to share my experiences in the business world and showcase the phenomenal journey of TTK Prestige. I hope this book serves as inspiration for aspiring business leaders, entrepreneurs, and executives.’’
Sandhya Mendonca said: ‘’Putting together the fascinating story of the TTK Group and Prestige has been very enjoyable for me as a writer and an eye opener for me as an entrepreneur.’’
Radhika Marwah, the Commissioning Editor of Penguin Random House, introduced the book. Thespian Ashish Sen read out carefully chosen excerpts, each ending in a tantalising cliffhanger. “If you want to know what happens next, you have the read the book,” he cajoled the intrigued audience.
At a panel discussion moderated by Sandhya Mendonca on ‘How to build a successful company’, Krishnakumar Natarajan, Cofounder and Executive Chairman of Mindtree, spoke about the difficulties in the transition from being an employee to an entrepreneur. “Entrepreneurship grounds you and makes you practical”, he says as he talked about Mindtree’s early days. When asked about his experience in building the company with so many co-founders, he said, “It was important to have an operating ethos within the group. We understood each other’s strengths and weaknesses”. On a lighter note, he also spoke about how cheap thrills and food brought all of them together. He spoke about many near death experiences that his company faced and how being brutally honest about their mistakes helped them bring the company back on track.
“There is no family business that doesn’t have lots of emotion involved. The most important thing is what are the priorities of the business. If you prioritise you will be able to take a decision in difficult times”, said Sandeep Maini, the Chairman of Maini Group. Talking specifically about the Reva EV, he said, “There is a tremendous amount of passion on one side. On the other side is the fact that you have to make money and make profit that can build this passion into what you want. In Reva it was pure passion. We had to prioritise and pool resources to make it walk, before we gave it to Mahindra to make it run”.
“There is a celebration of the animate and very little glorification of the inanimate in Indian businesses”, said Harish Bijoor, skilled communicator and brand consultant, on what differentiates Indian businesses from businesses in the rest of the world. Emphasising on the human resource value that Indian companies have, he talks about how with 20, 000 employees, Prestige has done well even through difficult times without laying off any of its employees. He also spoke about the importance of positioning, advertising and distribution that every company must work onto build its brand.
The event ended with people buying the book and getting a signed copy from the authors. Picture sessions were in motion as everyone took a picture with the book and the authors. By 8:30 pm people left with the book in their hands and a smile on their faces. (For more pictures, check out the Raintree Media page on Facebook)
By Minnal Paranan
Disrupt & Conquer: How TTK Prestige Became A Billion Dollar Company
Authors: TT Jaggannathan & Sandhya Mendonca
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Available at bookstores and online at Sapna Online, Amazon & Flipkart
About the book
TT Jagannathan, the chairman of the TTK Group, came into the profession without any preparation—with no MBA or experience in the field—and was entrusted with the very survival of the family business. But it was under his leadership that the company, which had suffered a series of catastrophic disasters, set about turning its fortunes around with stunning comebacks, time and again.
Disrupt and Conquer is the story of how this group—founded in 1928 in Chennai (then Madras) by T.T. Krishnamachari—fought bankruptcy and became a highly profitable, successful entity. With invaluable business lessons, decades of experience and innovation distilled into these pages, this account is a must-read for aspiring entrepreneurs, executives and business leaders.
About the authors
TT Jagannathan is the chairman of the TTK Group. He is a gold medallist from IIT Madras and holds a master’s degree in operations research from Cornell University, USA. He is a gourmet cook, avid golfer and bridge player.
Sandhya Mendonca is a journalist-turned-media-entrepreneur. She has co-authored Reva EV: India’s Green Gift to the World and Marvels of Mysore and More, and her stories have been published in the bestselling Chicken Soup series. Sandhya is the founder, managing director and editor-in-chief of Raintree Media Private Limited and the festival director of India’s first multi-arts women’s cultural festival, Under the Raintree.
Praise for the book
‘An excellent narrative of an accidental businessman building a diverse conglomerate amidst adversities. TT Jagannathan’s story resonated well with me as it captures the trials and tribulations that every entrepreneur has to undergo while building a differentiated business with the potential to touch millions of lives across the globe.’ - Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, CMD, Biocon
‘While several companies have keeled over when faced with adversities, TTK has reinvented itself and marched ahead to greater heights. The turnaround story of the TTK Group is one of India’s great success stories!’ - N. Vaghul, Former Chairman, ICICI Bank
‘A richly nuanced life story that exemplifies the indefatigable human spirit and the resultant triumph of labour, most worthy of accolades and, undoubtedly, of emulation’ - Venu Srinivasan, Chairman, TVS Motor Company
‘An inspiring and instructive story . . . well told’ - R. Gopalakrishnan, Author & Corporate adviser