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Hema Hattangady

Lift Off: The Story of Conzerv

Lift Off: The Story of Conzerv

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This fascinating story of an exemplary family enterprise, successful because of both technology and values, holds lessons for every entrepreneur and manager.

-T.N. Ninan, Former Editor and current Chairman, Business Standard

In 1996, Hema Hattangady took over as the CEO of Conzerv, an embattled family-owned firm based in Bangalore that manufactured digital energy meters. Over the next twelve years, she grew it to a Rs 100 crore market leader, which was also by then India’s largest energy-management company.

Right from the get-go, Hattangady’s vision for the company was global in its scope: from her vision for it to the product quality, from people practices to systems and processes. Conzerv also carved a unique niche for itself through its insistence on ethical business practices, a rare initiative in a sector marred by corruption.

In 2009, the company was acquired by Schneider Electric, and Hema Hattangady turned her attention to impact investing and community service. The firm’s organisational practices and business model were the subject of a Harvard Business School case study, a rare honour for an Indian firm.

An inspirational story of grit and determination, Lift Off is also an uncommon lesson in best business practices—and proof that they are sound strategy.

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P
PRABHA SRINIVASAN
Truly Inspiring

Liftoff is a great book for any entrepreneur - be it a product or a services company, that you are looking to build. Hema's account of her experience of starting her Corporate journey and taking it to international heights is truly inspiring. It is hard to fathom how she did all of this almost 14-15 years ago! it is down-to-earth, soulful account of a Woman's journey powered by the innovation of her husband and Father-in-law. The books is particularly poignant for those in a family business having to deal with the dynamics of balancing accountability at work with relationships at home!