Volume 14, Number 2 (October 2014 - March 2015)

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Grant R.M., Contemporary Strategy Analysis (7th ed.) Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 2010. Authorised reprint New Delhi: Wiley India Pvt. Ltd., 2014. xvi +500pp. Rs.579/- paperback.


Contemporary Strategy Analysis by Robert M. Grant is a comprehensive text that synthesises the knowledge of numerous books and research papers on strategy along with their practical implications. The strategy formulation and implementation are brilliantly explained through the assimilation of scholarly ideas with real world case examples from various industries. The core concepts of strategy and theoretical frameworks are integrated with the practicalities of the real world and demonstrate the dynamism of the complex environment and how it impacts strategy. The foundations of strategic thinking have been linked with happenings in the business world to add clarity to the text. The updated and revised seventh edition of the book contains additional content with greater focus on strategy implementation and new case studies. The book is written in a coherent manner explaining clearly the core concepts, frameworks and techniques of strategic management. As this edition has been written after the turbulence in the world's business environment in 2008-2009, the author re-emphasizes the role and importance of strategy in an unpredictable business environment.
The book equips the reader with the skills to analyse the structural features that drive the competition and profitability in the industry. The tools and frameworks to accomplish industry analysis and business level strategy analysis have been explained with relevant figures and charts. The survival and prosperity of the business is dependent upon its long-run profitability. Every business strives to create value through the primary building blocks of its resources and capabilities. The author emphasises that continued focus should be maintained on development and deployment of resources and capabilities to be successful. The identification, analysis and development of resources and capabilities have been dealt with in detail. The reconfiguration of resources and capabilities to be more responsive and flexible to develop and sustain competitive advantage has been stressed upon. The codependence of strategy formulation and implementation has been recognized. The business strategy in different industry contexts has been analysed to give the reader a thorough understanding of the concept. The rigorous approach to business strategy analysis has been made clear by illustrations of current practices from many business organizations.
The corporate strategy section comprises of various chapters on vertical integration, diversification, global strategies and their implementation along with exploring the recent trends in strategic management. It would have been better had there been a separate chapter on mergers and acquisitions rather than it being a sub-part of implementation chapter. The recent and relevant case studies keep the reader interested. The strategy capsules, figures and tables in each chapter augment the viewpoint presented and enhance the value of the book. The self study questions at the end of the chapters prod the reader to think further. To sum it up, the book is an analytical and practical guide to identify sources of superior business performance and to formulate and implement strategies to exploit these sources in order to be successful in the market place. The bright cover of the book and the new design at the beginning of each chapter gives the seventh edition a fresh look.
The book is an excellent resource for both academicians and practitioners of strategy. It serves the purpose of a useful core text for master's level students in business management and students of advanced module on strategy at undergraduate level. The web support and resources make it a useful tool for instructors and students.

Navdeep Kaur Kular, Visiting Faculty, Institute for International Management and Technology, Gurgaon, Haryana, India.


The luxury Market in India: Maharajas to Masses Edited by Glyn Atwal and Soumya Jain Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. pg.217. GBP 60.


The Luxury Market in India: Maharajas to Masses, besides being an exhaustive guide is a window into highly complex luxury markets of India. Based on consumer research and experience in addition to expert interviews and personal interactions, this volume suggests strategies to brands that wish to enter the high potential consumer luxury market that is India.
An interesting aspect of this volume, besides communicating philosophy of luxury brands, is that it covers all aspects of the luxury journey in India, starting with its history of luxury, understanding consumption patterns and codes of consumption, so that a prospective luxury brand could leverage opportunities and avoid market failure.
Various authors in this edited volumes have taken great pains to point that successful branding in high end luxury branding involves positioning the product by doing away from one- size- fits- all concept. Luxury branding is all about customer centric segmentation both in India and elsewhere in the world.
As the economy of India leaps forward with each new market stimulus, India offers luxury brands unrivalled growth opportunities. The growing significance of a consuming class suggests that India is well-positioned to become the next great market of luxury brands.
This book, edited by Mr Glyn Atwal, Associate Professor at Burgundy School of Business in France and Ms Soumya Jain, Chief Editor & CEO of Luxury Facts (India's first online luxury magazine), sets out to address issues that are critical to unlocking the potential of India's luxury market. This volume represents a breakthrough in luxury business intelligence, besides being a fascinating and well researched reading.
It is a journey into the key challenges viz. consumer segmentation, retailing and communication, posed by the Indian Luxury markets Additionally, it is full of unique insight and extensive source material for anyone interested in truly understanding contemporary India, its high-end consumers and their relation to luxury. The editors have crafted a book that goes beyond the traditional business problems.
Original contributions from various experts offer fresh insight and diverse perspectives that challenge previously held assumptions. The book is one of the very few that takes a strategic and practical approach in getting to grips with luxury strategies in India. It will surely enable luxury players to acquire the necessary skills and competencies to seize the real India.

Dr. Parul Goyal Wasan, Consultant, Gurgaon.


Mondy R.W, Human Resource Management, 10th ed. New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2010. 436pp. Rs. 660.

Human Resource Management (HRM) is arguably one of the most significant areas within the field of business. An organization cannot build a good team of working professionals without good Human Resources. Human resource management ensures the effective utilization of resources in the organization. This book focuses on the shift of HR from its administrative image to strategic and mission oriented function. The book reveals the latest information, including the impact of global competition and rapid technological advances. A wealth of actual company examples demonstrates how concepts are being used in today's leading-edge organizations.
There are 12 chapters in the book, which are present in a logical structure under six different parts. The chapter begins with one or two lead cases that focus on and are integrated into the chapter material. The highlight is a brief exercise called ethical dilemma which is included in the body of each chapter and allow readers to make ethical decisions regarding real world situations. The chapter includes trends, innovations, global perspectives and HRM incidents that emphasize the material covered in the chapter. Actual company examples and materials are used throughout the book to illustrate how a concept is implemented in the organizations.
The book takes the readers forward with a focus on the strategic role of human resource management. Further in the book work force diversity and staffing are introduced. It also explores the need of Human resource development and various performance standards that can be established. The significance of compensation, health, safety and employee relations are highlighted. The book is intended primarily for the students who are being exposed to Human Resource Management for the first time. The book provides helpful insights to those students who aspire to management positions, with the help of numerous examples, situations and relevant cases.

Dr. Shweta Tiwari, Programme Director (SOME), Institute for International Management and Technology, Gurgaon, Haryana, India.


Singh, H. and Srinivasan, S.R., Mall Management: Operating in Indian Retail Space. Tata McGraw Hill, 2012. 673pp. Price not available.

Mall Management: Operating in Indian Retail Space is a well organized book where the authors have tried to give a better understanding to the reader in regards to the shopping mall, its significance as well as a need in our country. They have highlighted the factors which has stimulated the growth of malls in India because of the rising aspirations of young population as well as its growth in population as well as income as well as disposable income all around the country. In the first chapter where the author has talked about the introduction, they have highlighted the emergence of organized retail in India as well as led a discussion about the significance of FDI in retail as well as the spread of modern retail in developing countries and the evolution of shopping malls around the world as well as in our country. The authors have also highlighted the significance of mall management in the success of malls and have pointed that mall must not be treated as a realty product but since it is a service and its success depends on better mall management and the promoter therefore must think before starting a mall and do its positioning based on the target market of the trade area. The book also highlights the significance of better zoning, marketing and promotions, as well as facilities management, infrastructure management, ambience management, traffic management, finance management and have highlighted the role of all these factors in making the mall a success by generating footfalls as well as more business to all its shopkeepers.
The authors have also discussed of the challenges of mall development in India because of the lack in the quality of real estate as well as the price, spiraling construction costs as well as poor infrastructure, financing as well as high rental charges, non availability of professional mall managers and existence of multiple laws as well as regulatory framework. All these factors have been responsible for its plight and today shopping malls need to deliver in terms of all its important functions, such as positioning, zoning, marketing, facilities management and financing in order to meet the challenges posed by the environment.
The author has divided the book into eleven chapters, first is the introduction, second explains the concept as well as the significance of a mall defining it as well as giving a clear differentiation of a shopping center as well as a mall, its types, emerging trends as well as a comparison of Indian as well as Western shopping malls. A reader therefore gets a clear understanding and gets provoked with the concept as how it is catching and what are its success or debacle factors. The third chapter elaborates the mall development process by highlighting the planning and design aspects of a mall and what a promoter should plan before selecting the site as well as the design most suitable based on the target population their income, consumer behavior, as well as the accessible trade area. The fourth chapter talks of the financing and the various prevalent revenue models for shopping malls in regards to capital sources for setting a mall, sources of revenue as well as the strategic decisions to be taken to succeed in diverse situations. The fifth chapter talks of the concept of tenant mix, its benefits, types, as well as various tenant mixes decisions, modifications as well as improvement, anchor tenants, temporary tenants, ancillary uses of mall space as well as future directions of tenant mix management. The sixth chapter explains the important terms of lease administration, types of lease, major provisions of a lease agreement, and its significant clauses and exigencies concerning the lease agreement, rent changes, leasing process as well as its documentation, lease preparation, leasing preparation as well as its administration as well as best leasing practices. The seventh chapter highlights the marketing as well as promotion activities for shopping malls starting from planning and construction phase, targeting retail tenants, customers, marketing during launch and operations phase, creation of mall promotion calendar, and enhancing its marketing activities by building better relationship with its customers. The eighth chapter talks about the importance of facilities management based on the facilities offered in the mall. The ninth chapter mentions the importance of regulatory framework based on the Shops and Establishments Act, Environmental Regulations, insurance for shopping malls, labor laws to give more information to the mall managers and operators to be well versed for its better functioning. The tenth chapter elaborates the handling of anchor tenants which in true sense are the crowd puller as well as an attraction for the malls and enhance its footfalls and profits as the crowd which comes to buy from these stores also shops for other products as well as its requirements in the malls. The eleventh chapter explains the future of shopping malls and has made a comparison of the mall development in U.S and India, challenges faced by them and the stages of life cycle in which they are today and what should be the strategies to do better life cycle management and succeed further in this competitive Indian scenario.
In a nutshell, we can say that this book elucidates the factors that are essential to ensuring that retail, with particular regard to shopping malls, is a key engine of economic growth. Special emphasis has been made on issues relating to tenantmix planning, zoning, leasing and marketing/ promotion as these decisions are taken time and again during the operating life of the mall. Apart from the mall managers, this book is a good reference of the subject and also a very informatory not only for retail practitioners as well as students studying this topic, but to a wider audience. This book also has the potential to become a valuable guide to all who are interested to know the intricacies involved in managing the mall business from basics to more complex. It also has a clear learning outcomes as well has assessment tasks which demonstrates an understanding of the pedagogical methodology in teaching the subject. It also has some well chosen visuals with photographs as well as store layout plans which give the reader to have a look at various service offerings in various shopping malls all around the country which are being done to enhance its footfalls. It rightly emphasizes the vast Indian market and also appreciates the significance of the existing regional as well as local conditions of the market which also is a big influencer in this shopping mall business. It also highlights the factors why some malls fail and some succeed and the reader will find it very interesting to read and sense the same based on the prevalent market situations where in their eyes they could visualize the success and failures of various renowned malls of the country.

Dr. N.H. Mullick, Professor & Principal, Institute for International Management and Technology, Gurgaon, Haryana, India.




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