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Book Review: The CEO Factory

The Book ‘The CEO Factory-Management Lessons from Hindustan Unilever’ is written by Sudhir Sitapati who is the Executive Director, Foods & Refreshment at Hindustan Unilever.

The title is a bit of a misnomer as I thought the Book will be about the illustrious alumni of HUL, the folks who became CEOs at different cos such as Neville Noronha (Dmart), Gopal Vittal (Bharti Airtel) etc. It is estimated that a record 400 HUL alumni are CEOs/CXOs across corporate India.

Instead, the Book is about a bit of history of the co and then a deep dive into the various business functions which make HUL so iconic.The Book covers functions like marketing, advertising, sales,product, cost management, R&D, HR etc

Sudhir is considered to be one of the best FMCG brains in the country and is the amongst the youngest persons ever to become the ED of HUL.

The Book makes it clear why it is so. Its an absolute master class in a how a FMCG business operates. In fact, I would go as far as to say that you don’t need a MBA in Marketing if you read this book.

The book contains terrific insights and some amusing anecdotes. I loved the author’s definition of an insight – “An insight is a contradiction that is obvious in hindsight’

The Book also contains the rationale of HUL buying Glaxo Health Care’s brands in India which I found interesting.

Another aspect of the Book is that the author helpfully summarises the Chapter in a few points after each Chapter.

I would strongly recommend this Book to all businessmen and investors.

1 reply on “Book Review: The CEO Factory”

Dear raoji,
I am reading this book during the lockdown on your recommendation and is indeed very good. If I were not following your blog I would have not come to know about it.keep up the good work.

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