Autobiographical notes written by powerful men are usually interesting and thought provoking. One looked forward to this book by yet another notable in the circle, Prakash Tandon. However, one nibble at the book produces the feel of a well designed soap, launched into the market with the correct advertising line at just the right pitch. The message—free enterprises, free markets, no controls—is put across beautifully by Tandon, the star salesman behind the entry of ‘modern’ dalda into a market dominated by the traditional desi ghee. If the ordinary consumer buys toothpaste on misleading slogans of ‘cleaner, fresher breath and whiter teeth’, the target audience of the book—the administrator/manager, academic and politician—is bound to lap up Tandon’s line, as the truth itself. It has all the features of a good soft sell line: source credibility—(it is Tandon himself), carefully selected facts to build up the message and humour for taste— a must if the line has to be swallowed hook, line and sinker. The last of the Tandon trilogy, Return to Punjab (J961-75), deals with the periods when he was chairman of Hindustan Lever, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA), State Trading Corporation (STC) and Punjab National Bank (PNB).
May-June 1981, volume 5, No 5/6