Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Book Review: The Polyester Prince by Hamish McDonald

The Polyester Prince is a banned book. I am not sure why it is banned and after reading it I can guess. McDonald's narrative points fingers at the Congress government and some very senior ministers and leaders of colluding to help Dhirubhai in his endeavours. It is a fascinating read and goes over the life and time of Dhirubhai Ambani. It details the famous Dhirubhai versus Nusli Wadia battles, Indian Express' taking up the cudgel against him and focusses mainly on the dark side of the man.

The primary feeling that I had while reading was the author started with a negative bias against the man. In my opinion, no supremely successful business in a controlled economic regime can be either just black or white in character shade. He has to be some shade of grey. So, the book should have explored the various shades instead of focussing just on the darker side.

Another major issue with the book is that it tells very little of Dhirubhai Ambani the man and more of Reliance and its operations. For a biography the focus should be the man and not the company, although in some cases they are inseparable.

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