Breaking away from the shackles of family-run Bombay Oils Industries Ltd, Harsh Mariwala founded Marico in 1987. Today, the homegrown Marico is a leading international FMCG giant which recorded an annual turnover of over Rs 8000 crore last year. Their products, like Parachute, Nihar Naturals, Saffola, Set Wet, Livon and Mediker, are market leaders in their categories. This is the story of grit, gumption and growth, and of the core values of trust, transparency and innovation which have brought the company to its current stature. Co-authored by leading management thinker and guru Ram Charan, Harsh Realities is a much-awaited business book by an innovative and clear-headed leader who built a highly professional, competitive business from the ground up.
'The story of Harsh Mariwala is a fascinating tale of a man born in a traditional joint family, finding place and meaning in the family journey, using his instincts and natural intelligence to grasp opportunity, in passionate pursuit to understand the customer, and navigating his way to create a unique and ethical consumer company, Marico. I have known Harsh since his Kanji Morarji days, seen him carve out his consumer business from the traditional trading business and transition to a fully professional company. Marico is an outstanding example of an Indian multinational comparable to the best-in-class global consumer companies' -- Uday Kotak, managing director and CEO, Kotak Mahindra Bank
'Harsh Mariwala's love for innovation, process orientation and building organizational culture is absolutely inspiring, and Marico is a glowing testimony of this. As revealed in this finely penned memoir, Harsh is a combination of spice and calm, as the two major products in his business, pepper and coconut oil. There is a mystical balance in him-traditional yet cutting-edge, searching yet grateful, restless yet transcendent, observing yet couldn't-care-less, loving yet impatient, and it is this potent mix that has helped nurture an outstanding organization and a fine human being. This book is the real "What they don't teach you at Harvard"' -- Harsh Goenka, chairman, RPG Enterprises
'I have known Harsh for several years, and the inspiring story of how he discovered his purpose of "making a difference", of scaling up, failing, learning and striving to succeed-as he puts it-makes for a very insightful read. I enjoyed how he weaves in many other stories too, including the genesis of Marico, the evolution of a family business and the changing industrial landscapes, all of it underscored by the importance of grounded, values-based leadership. Prof. Ram Charan's reflections on Harsh's personal growth journey are a wonderful addition' -- Adi Godrej, chairman, the Godrej Group
'Running a family-run business is no easy feat. And to take that to heights is a success story beyond one's imaginations. Harsh makes each of his struggles so relatable in this memoir. Superbly inspiring' -- Rajiv Bajaj, managing director, Bajaj Auto
'This memoir is like reading three books in one. Firstly, there is the incredible story of Marico, its birth and how Harsh grew it to today's success. Second, Harsh's own thoughtful reflections on the journey he has been through. And finally, there are insights from the legendary Dr Ram Charan himself. An enriching read!' -- Nandan Nilekani, chairman and co-founder, Infosys, and founding chairman, UIDAI (Aadhaar)
'Before reading the book, please remember that "Harsh" in Hindi means joy. Read it, and read the joys of a journey. A journey of grit and determination. Of living and learning by personal experience and from those of your predecessors. Look for new destinations, but don't forget where you came from. Before reading this book, I thought I knew a lot, but now I have more food for thought. Thanks, Harsh. I'm sure your journey will lead to thousands of new journeys by young women and men' -- Piyush Pandey, chief creative officer, worldwide, and executive chairman, India, Ogilvy
'Harsh Realities: The Making of Marico is a very personal and captivating journey of how Harsh Mariwala built a world-class company highly admired by others. It is also a heart-warming story of the making of Harsh as a human being, who, through sheer determination and learning from failures, transformed himself from an ordinary to an extraordinary person. The book is a pure joy to read!' -- Professor Jagdish N. Sheth, Charles Kellsatdt Professor of Business, Goizueta Business School, Emory University, USA
'Harsh has many exceptional abilities. The one that I have found almost unique-having known him for a long time-is his capacity to learn and absorb from everyone and everything, and then to convert this learning into something useful-small to big to huge. We can all learn this from him. And what better way than to read this book, which is in your hands' -- Azim Premji, chairman, Azim Premji Foundation, founder chairman, Wipro Ltd, and chairman, Wipro Enterprises Ltd
'There are many youngsters who inherit their family-run business and manage it through their lives. It's one thing to sit in fancy air-conditioned offices and oversee the business. It's yet another to actually go on the ground, travel the lengths and breadths of the country, understand your consumer, understand your distributors, and then take all your stakeholders on the ride of their lives. Harsh's journey is a story that created history. And it has been a real learning and joy to read about it. Lots to emulate here for youngsters' -- Rajiv Kumar, vice chairman, NITI Aayog
'Harsh Mariwala's inspiring entrepreneurial journey is an interwoven story of how he created a world-class company from a small part of the family business that was entrusted to him. His business philosophy of innovation and differentiation on a strong foundation of values and professionalism has made him one of the most admired and respected business leaders in twenty-first-century India' -- Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, founder, Biocon
About the Author
Harsh Mariwala, an Indian entrepreneur, is the founder and chairman of Marico, a Fortune India 500 company. Over the past three decades, Harsh has transformed a traditional commodities-driven business into a leading consumer products and services company. He was recently bestowed with the (India) EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 award, the world's most prestigious award for entrepreneurs.
Prof. Ram Charan has authored and co-authored more than 30 books that have sold over 4 million copies in more than a dozen languages. He was among Business Week's top ten resources for in-house executive development programs. Four of his books were Wall Street Journal bestsellers, including Execution, which figured more than 150 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.