Book Review: Kranti Nation: India and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

  • Author: Anirudh Damani
  • Category: Books
  • Posted: January 11, 2018

While attending the Web Summit in Lisbon I met Pranjal Sharma, the author of Kranti Nation: India and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, for breakfast. As passionate students of economics, innovation & start-ups we immediately got engaged in deep conversation about Indian consumer’s behavioural shift and how that was significantly changing the start-up ecosystem in India. As we were getting ready to leave for the summit, he handed me a personally signed copy of his book. Interestingly enough (at the time), I was reading The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab. Prof Schwab has also written the preface for Kranti Nation.  

 What I like about this book: 

Indians tend to underestimate the tenacity of the Indian entrepreneur – new and old. Kranti Nation provides ample examples of Indian entrepreneurs who have not only kept pace, but also led evolution during the fourth industrial revolution. The stories about age-old businesses, like the Kirloskar Brothers, Mahindra, Marico, Reliance, Honeywell, etc which I would imagine as having outdated, out of sync management systems pleasantly surprised me. The stories of Kirloskar Brothers implementing 3D printing, Marico’s utilisation of IOT and especially the one about Renault Kwid were exciting to read.  

Some of these stories completely negate the story line that the industrial IOT or 3D printing start-ups put out in their pitchbooks.   

What I didn’t like about this book:

The book is written as a collection of essays of 10 different sectors, and in many places, there are overlaps of the same technology influencing different industries. I felt that it would have been a tighter read if the author had focused on how each new technology was changing the dynamics of multiple different sectors and structured the longer essays around the technology instead of the industries.  

 The chapters towards the end reflected the fatigue of trying to cover too many points in too little space. There are outdated facts with companies like Educomp being profiled as leaders of the education sector tryst with revolution, even though Educomp has been in a downward spiral for the past 7 years. Some company profiles read like sales brochures with too many unnecessary details & histories that are not relevant to the objective of the book. In some ways I think the second half of the book disappointed the promise that the first half held.  

 Who should read it? 

 This book is relevant for all readers especially those investors or entrepreneurs who are seeking to enter the B2B space. India is changing, and this book provides an ample number of examples of it.