Book Review: The Last Ten Percent
I picked up T. G. C. Prasad‘s The Last Ten Percent skeptically – unsure of whether an Indian author could actually write a good business book. But the foreword was a pleasant surprise. Prasad went from anecdote to anecdote and he finally had me intrigued. I had to read on.
The concept of The Last Ten Percent is that companies invest and build these awesome service delivery mechanisms or human resources or technology systems, etc. yet somehow leave a gap when it comes to the last ten percent – customer satisfaction right at the point of delivery. Think of the times you have had to call Airtel/ Vodafone only to find an ill-trained linguistically challenged graduate mistreat you. Or had the Uber/ Meru driver turn up late/ be rude with you. It is no good to have a telecom network across India or an app valued at billions of dollars if your company’s front-line delivery leaves something to be desired.
The book thereafter starts off slow, but as the business stories come in, gets interesting. There are parts of the book that are far too repetitive and wordy – Prasad could have easily made a point with 50 less pages in the book, but Prasad’s business stories are so interesting that you are willing to forgive him. One of the other pitfalls of the book is that Prasad tends to meander towards frame-working everything. Every example that he discusses in the book tends to be followed by a pedantic table talking about between three and ten things that one could learn from the example. Beyond a point, this gets repetitive, boring and jarring – and one’s eyes tend to skip over these framework tables.
The best part of the book was the section towards the end where Prasad talked of how business leaders need to behave. It reminded me of my own good and bad bosses and their particular peculiar characteristics. Among Prasad’s case studies, I loved the Southwest Airlines example the best.
All in all, the book could have been a great read for the lay-man had Prasad kept it less verbose and kept out those jarring framework tables. As it is, however, the book is a great read for management students and CXO‘s. People in senior leadership roles in the service industry absolutely need to read this book.
My sincere advice to Mr. Prasad would be to model his book(s) on Seth Godin‘s. Godin somehow, manages to keep his books a fun read even while delivering a message. Nevertheless, Prasad’s book is good enough. Will look forward to his next.
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