Alum Author: The New Rules of Business: Get Ahead or Get Left Behind. – Rajesh Srivastava, PGP 1985

It wouldnt be wrong to say that the times we are living in are truly transformational. From how we function as a society, to changing business norms or even how we go about our day-to-day lives. Mr. Srivastava’s book – The New Rules of Business: Get Ahead or Get Left Behind. talks about how new strategies in business can take your company and product to great heights. The book also talks about what small triggers and changes can really help in a company. It is truly inspirational and one that motivates.

Something he said truly struck a chord with me, ” The real challenge isn’t in answering the questions, it is in fact in asking the right questions.”

In an exclusive interview with the author of the best seller book on business, Mr. Rajesh Srivastava, PGP 1985 about his book and much more…

Please tell us something about yourself.

I graduated from IIT (Kanpur) and then joined IIM (Bangalore).

Upon graduation from IIM B, I worked at United Spirits (now Diageo India) where I played a significant role in creating some of India’s most recognized, beloved, and enduring alcohol brands, including McDowell Signature, Royal Challenge, Bagpiper and Blue Riband Duet.

In 2002, I became the President of J.K. Helene Curtis, where I reenergized the company & the deodorant category by relaunching Park Avenue deodorant as a ‘perfume’. Today, ‘perfume’ has become a generic benefit for the deodorant category.

Since 2008, have directed my focus toward teaching and conducting corporate workshops. As an educator, I have taught at IIM Indore and S P Jain School of Global Management. As a corporate trainer, I have worked with prestigious companies like Siemens India, Mercedes Benz Research Centre, and Reliance Industries amongst others.

Throughout my career, my columns and writings have appeared in various publications, including Outlook, The Telegraph, Mid-Day, Business Standard and Mint.

In January 2020, my first book, ‘The New Rules of Business’ published by Penguin Random House, was released in Mumbai. In November 2021, it has earned the tag of a National Bestseller.

What persuaded you to write this book: The New Rules of Business: Get Ahead or Get Left Behind.?

New age companies, Uber and Ola, Netflix, Amazon Prime and HotStar, Amazon and Flipkart are dismantling the old rules of business & installing new rules in their place.

If people continue to operate their business using ‘old’ rules, then it would be equivalent to using rotatory phones in an era of smartphones. You run the risk of becoming irrelevant.

This book unfolds the mysteries of these new ways of doing business which most companies try to keep under wraps. Armed with them, readers can feel inspired & confident to take on business challenges and come up with trumps! 

What according to you are The New Rules of Business, and how do they differ from the old ones?

Treating your customers well is no longer enough. The new rule is: Employees, too, have to be treated, as well, if not better than customers. Happy employees make customers happy; happy customers tend to be loyal.

Do you spend money in advertising to create awareness about your product? No longer. The new rule is: Invest in making your product so good that it does its own marketing. This will have a cascading effect. It will delight customers, who will willingly become ‘unpaid’ salespeople of your company.

Finally, competition. What triggered the collapse of Nokia? Not a competitor from the handset industry. It was iPhone introduced by Apple, which was from a different industry. New age competitors are indirect, invisible & from cross industry.

In almost every facet of business ‘old’ rule are being challenged and dismantled and ‘new’ ones are being installed. If readers are not familiar with them, then a Nokia-like fate awaits them.

What kind of style is this book written in?

The content is narrated in the form of powerful stories which are easy to read but have the power to inspire, educate & motivate readers. These stories are drawn from lives of business icons we admire & adore; from brands who have enriched our lives & empowered us to ‘do more’ & from businesses who have become an integral part of our lives.

Who is this book for, what kind of readership will benefit most from it?

This book is for readers with interest in business and who are ‘curious’ to understand & make sense of the tsunamic changes sweeping the world of business.

Also, this book is useful for trend spotters & forecasters who desire to get a preview into the contours of the new business world which is still ‘under construction’.

What aspect of writing do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy sharing stories from my life. writing about my personal experiences of success and failures from my life. The story of failures resonates with the readers.

Is there another book in the pipeline? What will be that about?

My next book is inspired from predictions made by World Economic Forum (WEF). They have predicted the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) will transform the way we live and work. Therefore, some jobs will disappear; others will grow and jobs that don’t even exist will be commonplace.

McKinsey & Company also endorsed this prognosis. In an article titled, ‘Future of Work’ it says that some jobs will be lost, and many others will be created, almost all will change.

The 4IR is upon us. People need to proactively up-skill to remain relevant in the job market. My next books will introduce readers to skills which help them remain relevant.

A hobby that you like to follow in your spare time.

Watching Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Asking Alexa to play old Bollywood songs from an era when I was young and happening.

Watching news for entertainment.

A book you are currently reading.

None. Writing is a fulltime activity.