Takshashila hosts book launch of ‘Liftoff: The Story of Conzerv’

The Takshashila Institution hosted a virtual book launch of ‘Liftoff: The Story of Conzerv’ on Saturday, 2 May, 2020. The event featured a conversation between authors Hema Hattangady and Ashish Sen and Nitin Pai, Director of Takshashila.

The book captures Hattangady’s journey as the CEO of Conzerv from 1996 to 2008. In that time, it grew from a family-owned firm that manufactured digital energy meters to a market leader. Conzerv was eventually acquired by Schneider Electric in 2009.

During the event, Hattangady spoke about the desire to share what is an Indian business success story with the wider public as her motivation to write the book. “I really owed it to all the Conzervians that were with us on that incredible journey, to tell the world our story. It was a story that belonged to all of us,” she said. She also underscored the importance of her collaboration with Sen, which permitted honest, unbiased reflection.

‘Liftoff: The Story of Conzerv’ offers a glimpse into the challenges of running a business in India. The book sheds fresh light on innovative organisational practices and business processes, providing valuable insights for entrepreneurs and managers.

When asked about their views on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses today, Hattangady and Sen emphasized the need for empathy, dialogue and transparency to ease the impact on supply chains, startups and CSR activities. They also talked about the importance of increasing the presence of women in the workforce, which is critical to India’s broader growth story.

“Whether we are employers or philanthropists, it’s no longer just about figuring out where you can do some good and give some money, more than ever, it’s going to be about giving our time, about getting into the skin of people and figuring out how we can help them to enhance the quality of their lives and retain their livelihoods,” said Hattangady.

Grab a copy of ‘Liftoff: The Story of Conzerv’ at your nearest bookstore or order one online for a fascinating look into the story of an Indian family business that grew into a global phenomenon and is the subject of a Harvard Business School case study.

The Takshashila Institution is an independent and non-partisan think tank and school of public policy. Takshashila offers 12-week certificate courses in Public Policy, Technology and Policy, and Defence and Foreign Affairs and a 48-week postgraduate program in Public Policy.