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Crafting Strategy to Beat Competition
Second Edition

Are you battle-ready? 

Can you stay battle-ready?

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Sample Chapter


Battle-ready is a well-articulated account of how managers and companies should think about their businesses. It provides both the tools and critical thinking which is crucial to survive in today’s hyper-competitive, complex and disruptive marketplace. It urges you to be paranoid, rigorous and watchful about the competition. This is a classic book for ‘all’ managers, line and otherwise.

Ajit Sivadasan

President and Global Head of eCommerce, Lenovo, USA

For people in high-velocity industries such as mine (aviation), Battle-ready is an instructive read. It’s a compelling text for strategy executives to seek a humbling reflection, and then question and revisit their plans, especially with an eye on the external world. There are lessons for both the Davids and the Goliaths here. Replete with real-world strategy examples, Battle-ready is a breezy affair!

Dr Anurag Jain

Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, Flynas, Saudi Arabia

The book is ambitious in scope, insightful and well researched. Competitive strategy is a fascinating topic, and adopting a lens of ‘battle’ is a very apt view but not emphasized enough, especially in industries with high intensity or rapidly evolving dynamics. Just like how a general must consider numerous factors, Sai has developed a comprehensive framework for CEOs to assess their competitive landscape. It is a must-read for competitive strategy and response!

Chris Yeo

Managing Director, Head of GrabPay and Grab Ventures, Singapore

Battle-ready has deftly navigated an intricate balance between theory and business practicality. It is an enjoyable read, where fierce business competitors square off in the game to appropriate higher business values. Business practitioners must pay heed to the writer’s thesis, to focus systematically and consistently on the external drivers of performance as a critical lever to secure a long-term win in the business arena.

Eugene Teh

Chief Business Officer, Digi Telecommunications, Malaysia

This book focuses on building immunity in businesses through superior resources and relevant capabilities so that they can be battleready to face competition in all its avatars. It uniquely shows how business competitors can measure their battle-readiness and transform themselves to higher levels of battle-readiness. It is an essential reading for business students and managers seeking to be battle-ready at the highest level for a challenging career in leading businesses.

Professor Ganesh Prabhu

Professor of Strategy, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, India

It is a well-written book by an author who understands business. It acknowledges the diversity of competitive situations and invites the reader to define their own relevant arena, players and moves. It stresses the importance of using know-how and innovation in a smart and strategic way and provides a lot of examples which make the reader think. Last but not least, it highlights the effective habits of several famous leaders and companies. If you are a business leader, you will get some good ideas out of this book!

Dr Jaap Kalkman

Chief Transformation Officer, ADQ, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Simply great! When I read Dr Iyer’s masterpiece, I discovered a passionate storyteller that I consider an amalgamation of Jim Collins and Malcolm Gladwell. I loved the creative metaphors and anecdotes from different times, countries and professions—from Hindustan Machine Tools to Intel to Archilochus to Mike Tyson to Hans Rosling. Are you a David or a Goliath, a Level 0, 1 or 2, a fox or a hedgehog? Get your external trigger, read it and get battleready!

Petter Kilefors

Managing Partner, Arthur D. Little, Sweden

Battle-ready is perhaps the most focused and comprehensive work on competitive strategy. Starting with defining the competitive arena and all the way to a battle-ready mindset, Sai has hit at the heart of critical gaps in strategic thinking facing most organizations. A must read for Board members and C×Os.

Piyush Jain

Head of Strategy, Minda Industries Limited, Gurgaon, India

Battle-ready encapsulates Sai’s deep insights into business strategy, market and competition analysis and business history. He has brought all these together in a very readable and useful book. It effortlessly takes the reader through difficult aspects and provides them with case studies and concepts which are easy to comprehend and use.

Rajesh Duneja

Partner, Arthur D. Little, Dubai, UAE

Sai has nailed it! Battle-ready is the ‘boot camp’ managers and practitioners have been looking for to stay ahead and on course to win wars, not just battles! The narrative provides tremendous insights to practising managers on how to systematically minimize the blind spots while they go about their daily grind to achieve targets!

Rajiv Sivaraman

Vice President—Global Alliances, Siemens Digital Industry Software, USA

Battle-ready is a must-read for anyone looking to keep their business nimble, agile and competitive—which is all of us business leaders, really. Oftentimes, in our quest to keep our businesses competitive and ahead of the curve, we tend to look inwards. We pay little or no attention to what the author calls ‘the competitive arena’. This book is a comprehensive toolkit on how to take cognizance of the competitive arena and the players therein in order to stay ‘battle-ready’.

S. V. Ramanan

CEO—India and South Asia, Intellect Design Arena, India

This is an eye-opener which gives us a comprehensive need to know how in a fast changing disruptive business era an outside approach can outsmart competition, leading to sustainable growth of businesses while defining strategy in both creating value and capturing value.

Battle-ready—a must-read book—aptly captures the fine prints of strategizing, executing and creating value in businesses. It captures the fine prints of where to play, what to adapt and how to win in an easy, enjoyable way.

Ravichandran Purushothaman

President, Danfoss India, and President, Madras Management Association India

It came as no surprise to see Sai’s most structured, rigorous and analytical framework to address the subject with very pragmatic approaches and solutions. This book is a must-read for business managers across all levels to systematically develop, validate and implement a sound strategy based on a comprehensive understanding and prediction of the overall ecosystem, ensuring the best value captured from the ‘job to be done’ for potential customers.

Thomas Kuruvilla

Managing Partner and Member of Global Board, Arthur D. Little, Dubai, UAE

Ready to Assess Battle-readiness of Your Business?

Take the assessment yourself to get a sense of how battle-ready your business is


Get your team members to take the assessment to understand how much you all agree (or differ) in understanding battle-readiness of your business - can trigger useful discussions

Sit with your team and assess battle-readiness of your business as a group - see how far you and your team agree or differ on beliefs and action preferences about your business - how battle-ready are you as a team?


Get a colleague or even a customer to take the assessment like a rival - if you thought you knew your rival, you are likely in for a surprise!

The Battle-readiness tool can be completed in 10-15 minutes

and you don't share any data

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