Book Review: Intelligent Fanatics-Standing on the shoulders of Giants

I feel a bit obliged to write a Book Review on this book as it was gifted to me by the co-author Ian Cassel, who is well known for his insightful tweets and work at the MicroCap Club.

The Book takes off from an earlier book-The Intelligent Fanatics Project– and covers the profiles of nine intelligent fanatics, including our very own Dr.Devi Shetty of Narayana Hrudayalaya.

Who or what are Intelligent Fanatics?

As per the Book, “Intelligent Fanatics are CEOs/management teams with unconventional ideas and a fanatical drive to build a high performance organisation”

As one reads the business stories of the various CEOs, some takeaways I personally imbibed:

  • Culture is very very important…this is the key difference between companies that survive and that don’t.Indian Private Banks Vs PSUs illustrate this starkly
  • Culture of the organization is set by the people at the top…So if the CEO steps down or there is a management change, the culture of the place can change.Good examples in the Indian context-RBL Bank, Safari Industries etc
  • Great leaders focus on the customer….try to make things cheaper for them/easier for them.The more the customer satisfaction, greater the customer loyalty and more the growth of the business. DMart comes to mind here.
  • Great leaders have great teams.Many times it is easy to make out which investments will look at great, by not looking at the #1 guy, but the middle managements. TCS,eClerx are great examples here.

Do buy this book if interested in identifying intelligent fanatics.

One reply on “Book Review: Intelligent Fanatics-Standing on the shoulders of Giants”

Hi Mr. Nitin,

I don’t know if you’ve read “Tempered Radicals”, a similar themed book though not about the leaders but employees (personality) who seem to be unconventional or rather un-fit to the co’s culture but gel well and be top contributors.

I’ve not read this book yet but somewhere it struck the chord.


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