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Cut to the Chase

Cut to the Chase
A No-Nonsense Approach Towards Strategy and Problem Solving

February 2020 | 292 pages | SAGE Response
The book covers important aspects of Devising Successful Strategies and implementing Innovation through novel concepts and approaches. It stresses on a practical approach based on the author’s learnings from Heading Corporate Strategy at large Indian conglomerates such as the Vedanta and the Essel (Zee) Groups. It covers important new management concepts or a new ways of looking at existing concepts giving many actual examples and illustrations which both mid-and senior level professionals would associate with.

The emphasis throughout is on practical challenges and examples relevant to the Indian context, outlining approaches which executives in various companies can adopt to ensure they are more successful and effective in their work.
Foreword by Dr Annurag Batra
Oil Is Found between the Ears
The Man with the Cow
Going to Gemba
A Thousand Songs in Your Pocket: What Jobs Did Right
Perspective Shift: Solving Problems the Mahatma Way!
The Strategic Thinking and Problem-Solving Mindset
From Strategy to Implementation
Avoiding Assumptions and Biases
Influencing Others: the Birbal Way
What’s Your Purpose in the World?
The Threes Have It!
Arise, Awake and Start-up!
Being Bold
Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast

I have known Sidharth for many years now—first as his teacher at IIM Calcutta and second as a co-panellist on numerous interview panels. As a result, I have seen his career progress and his career graph rise, even as he has expanded his own horizons. He is that rare breed among managers—a reflective manager. Also, he has always had the ability to question his own assumptions. Both of these attributes are present in his new book where he draws upon the wealth of his own experience as well as that of others to provide an insightful analysis into strategy and strategic thinking from the standpoint of a practitioner. Along the way, he invites the reader to rethink what effective strategic thinking is all about.

Mritiunjoy Mohanty
Senior Professor of Economics, IIM Calcutta

Mr Sidharth Balakrishna has delivered management development programmes (MDPs) to several industry participants over the last few years including at New Delhi Institute of Management (NDIM) and always received stellar feedback. I am glad that he has now put down the approach and tools that he uses in this book to reach a wider audience who will benefit immensely from his emphasis on clarity of thought and structured approach in strategy and decision-making. The book is comprehensive in scope and has much for both seasoned industry executives and young professionals who seek to navigate through the corporate world. In particular, his approach towards strategy and innovation will help executives develop an ‘intrapreneurial mindset’ that can make a big difference to individuals and organizations.

Dr V. M. Bansal,
Chairman, NDIM

I have known Sidharth Balakrishna for several years now while he has been leading strategy for major Indian corporate houses. His approach and willingness to pursue new avenues of thinking, as exemplified in his book, have helped him and the companies he has worked for immensely, and will surely likewise benefit the readers of this book.

Rooma Kumar Bussi,
Managing Director, Trade and Invest, British Columbia

Mr Sidharth Balakrishna has been an adjunct faculty member at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, where he has received top-class feedback from students in terms of content, delivery and bison building. Students really enjoy his practical aspects that he brings to the sessions. In this book, he continues with his straightforward approach, stressing on simple yet highly effective ways towards strategy formulation and innovation. I know him as a voracious reader, thinker and practitioner. I am glad that he has shared his learnings from working with some of the major corporate houses in the country with a wider audience.

Dr Vikas Prakash Singh,
Director, PGDM Programme, Great Lakes Institute of Management

Sidharth has emerged as a mentor and inspiration to many graduate and postgraduate students of Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC). His book and techniques will now inspire many to be more effective in their professions due to their lucidity and potential impact.

Dr Anil Kumar,
Head of Department and Course Coordinator, SRCC (GBO)

Sidharth Balakrishna, with his unique multi-industry senior leadership experience and multidisciplinary approach, has written a very simple and de-jargonized book on how one can create a strategy that creates winners. The book focuses a lot on examples, solutions and ideas from the future. I would certainly say that it is a must-read for all MBA students and management practitioners, entrepreneurs, CEOs and anyone who runs a business. Reading this book will deliver ROI in more ways than one. The book, dare I say, could change your life and improve your business. It is a thought creator.

Dr Annurag Batra,
Chairman, BW Businessworld Group; Founder, Exchange4media

Sidharth Balakrishna is one of those senior executives who also have a strong passion for teaching. His classes have received excellent feedback from the executive batches at Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), University of Delhi. In this book, he stresses on a structured and analytical approach towards strategy and decision-making, which will surely benefit readers. His approach towards changing one’s mindset to achieve different results is indeed a very useful technique to drive innovation.

Sunita Singh Sengupta, PhD,
Head and Dean, FMS, University of Delhi

I have known Sidharth for a number of years and was impressed by his structured approach towards strategy and problem-solving. He helped develop innovative and practical approaches to many difficult issues on the projects that we worked on together, and led the team to deliver results in challenging circumstances. I am glad he has encapsulated some of these techniques in this book, which no doubt will benefit readers across the spectrum. Indeed, such a book that stresses on combining both true strategic thinking with rigour and analysis of implementation from a practical standpoint was long overdue. The examples used in the book are a testimony to the author’s ability to draw lessons from a wide variety of experiences and draw insightful inferences.

R. C. M. Reddy,
CEO, IL&FS Education and Technology Services

Sidharth Balakrishna brings insights and advice that can change the discourse for start-ups. His first-hand experience in the corporate corridors makes it more trustworthy for the newcomers in business. What’s needed is a simple and executable idea for start-ups and SB has loads of it.

Mehraj Dube,
Head of Marketing, ABP News

I have always been impressed with Sidharth’s analytical, problem-solving skills, and his approach towards strategy. I had an opportunity to work with him on several strategic projects at Essel Group to tackle complex business problems using innovation and build new efficient business models. It was an enriching experience to learn from his skills. The book is a great representation of his insights and best practices. It’s a great read for anyone looking to learn new-age, implementable methods of business strategy and innovation.

Rohan Tyagi,
Marketing Head India, M&E, TikTok

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ISBN: 9789353882709