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Business Doctors: Management Consulting Gone Wild

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Ivy League educated management consultant, Michael Schneider, gets hired by an unlikely client – a desperate mafia boss who wants to give a makeover to his family business that spans across gambling, drugs and porn. But the client's seductive wife and bumbling goons weren't part of the deal Michael signed up for.

Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrbjf...

250 pages, Paperback

First published April 16, 2014

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About the author

Sameer Kamat

2 books56 followers
Sameer Kamat is the best-selling author of Beyond The MBA Hype and Business Doctors.

He is the founder of MBA Crystal Ball, Careerizma & Booksoarus. He completed his MBA from the University of Cambridge and currently lives in Mumbai (India).

Connect with Sameer on: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Email

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5 stars
59 (21%)
4 stars
102 (36%)
3 stars
79 (28%)
2 stars
24 (8%)
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12 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 79 reviews
Profile Image for Aditi.
920 reviews1,345 followers
November 13, 2014
While reading this book, I cannot help myself from quoting my favorite author, Sideny Sheldon's remarkable words:

“Business is a game, played for fantastic stakes, and you're in competition with experts. If you want to win, you have to learn to be a master of the game.”

But for every business to run smoothly, a business consultant is certainly required to keep the business running. Even those underworld businesses require a business consultant sometimes, to keep the money flowing! Yes Sameer Kamat has shown us the first-hand images to the underworld businesses, how they run, what are the wild cards to run such a business and all those nitty-gritty details about the business, in his new book called, Business Doctors. Yeah the name might sound little confusing and out-of-the-box, but this book promises to be quite scary, dark and wild and simultaneously quite hilarious at some times. All-in-all, he gives us to take peek into the world that we dare to think about!

A huge thanks to the author, Sameer Kamat, for giving me an opportunity to read his book, and in exchange write an honest review for the same.

Stephen Woody is an underworld don, whose organization WFB is going down the drain very soon. His organization, WFB, has a number of businesses under its name, mainly casinos at Vegas, adult movie industry, drug-smuggling, kidnapping, etc. But due to the recession and too many competitors around-the-block, Woody's business was drying up at a very fast rate. Listening to his trophy wife, Angie's advice, he had to hire a "Business Doctor", meaning a business consultant, to hold up his business running in California. Enter Michael Schneider, a first-rate Ivy League guy, who runs his own firm of business consultants, Schneider Associates, along with his partner, Martin. They had no idea about WFB, when they were hired, but being professionals and since their business too was going down the line, so they decide to take up this project. They analyze and chalk out plan for Mr. Woody to how to run his business and also Schneider hire new recruits, escaped convicts, to raise 6million dollars in 5 days. But in the end, Schneider's life take huge turn, and finds himself as the new man permanently working for this WFB.

The author has tried to make this underworld business sound so real to us, but it was very fictitious since there were so many loops. And some characters were pretty much useless, like Martin, we never get to know what happens of him or his involvement in an adult movie or about his girlfriend and also those casino heads and adult movie business head! The characterization of Woody was not strong and up to the mark, I don't think underworld dons are so weak and shy and not being so deadly. Instead the author made each of the characters pretty funny, except Angie, she was a dark and deadly character and even the mastermind! According to me, the book is very hilarious at some times, funny dialogues, witty comments, LOL moments, which makes the book pretty easy and thrilling to read. All-in-all, the book is very smooth and written quite flawlessly, seems like the author has a natural flair to pen down his stories, and what kept me on the loop was that, I wanted to see how Schneider completes his challenges thrown on his path every time. Also not-to-worry, there is a bit a forbidden love-making going on around the pages, between Angie and Schneider, which is quite hot and rocking.

So this book is certainly very funny and hilarious and you'd definitely, fall in love with the character of Schneider and if want to experience the turmoil faced even in the underworld, then do grab this book for sure.
Profile Image for Merril Anil.
807 reviews73 followers
June 15, 2015
Bravo ! Bravo ! Bravo !

First of all thanks to my book soul sister and G.R. Buddy (a named coined by her only ;) )Aditi Saha for recommending my name to the author and a huge hug and thanks to the author itself for actually going out of his way to get me a physical copy of his book. Truly touched by this gesture. Fortunately I do not have to sugar coat and can honestly say that I loved the book.

Anybody who knows me are well aware as to how big of a prejudice I am against Indian authors and normally this comes from the fact that every time I sit down to read an Indian author, what hits me first is their language which either would be a condescending show off of their mastery in vocabulary and command over language or plain idiocy act with colloquial and hinglish passing as a new language. The other thing is the plot which usually would be set in an engineering or a MBA college background with a depressing and poorly shaped up love story.

Business Doctor was amazingly a breath of fresh air and there has been only one another Indian author who had actually impressed me and now I will be adding another name to it for sure.
Let’s dissect and talk about the book

Plot is fantastic and intelligent but at the same time is also wicked, goofy and funny all through. I don’t know how many would agree but to me reading this book was like watching a Seth Rogen movie, where every incident turns wickedly hilarious in spite of being seriously messed up. I have seen a rare trait in the book especially coming from an Indian author, which is step by step development of the plot, the flow of the plot is smooth, gradual and without loose ends. Nothing hangs in the air except for the mystery part. There is actually efficiency to the plot development which is rare.

Now Language. At least it is not Hinglish. The language is easy, funny and without shoving vocabulary boulders and hard to bite sentences on my face. the book narrates a well weaved story with innocent humors and wits. Simple yet interesting. Jargons and colloquialism is spot on

I am proud to admit that I ended up reading this book in a stretch and was done with it before the day was over. That partly came from the fact that book runs fast and that it keeps the interest intact without going into complications or unnecessary details I feel that the author has a talent at storytelling and doing so without messing up your brain.

There is one particular line that has stayed back in my head from the book
if you fail to plan, you plan to fail

The book is fast paced and funny with a plot that will make you laugh, think and entertain. The biggest asset of the book is definitely the well structured story narration which as the book itself mentions like any good story has a proper start, middle and end. Language is simple and a complete narration enhancer. This is a book that does not want you to apply your logistics and nuisances but enjoy a goofed up situation and enjoy the ride as it goes. Brilliant piece of work. For once I m proud that it came from an Indian author

how was it ?

Profile Image for Srividya Vijapure.
216 reviews306 followers
October 2, 2014
Before I go onto reviewing the book, let me explain my rating. It is 3 stars for the overall book as I liked it and that single extra star is for an amazing concept that has been captured and presented beautifully by the author.
What happens when management consultancy is forced to enter the world of crime and mafia? Well, very simple, this book and its story. Right from the first page, the book is a page turner where you definitely want to know what happens next. Exceedingly funny in parts, especially when management consultancy meets mafia world for the first time and equally informative as a whole; this book made a wonderful read, with no breaks or pauses in between.
The plot is very simple yet unique. Woody is a gangsta who owns several illegitimate businesses and has reached a stage in which his businesses are failing to produce income. Enter his wife Angie, who advises him to reach out to a business doctor, aka, management consultant, to overcome his problems. This leads to the entry of Michael Schneider, a management consultant, heading his own small firm. The story brings to light the idiosyncrasies of both the management world as well as the mafia world, while blending the two into a wonderful cocktail.
Characters in the book have been wonderfully portrayed, whether it is Woody or Angie, his seductive wife or Michael or the other characters, each have been incorporated seamlessly and beautifully into the plot. I usually do not have any favourites in terms of characters; however, in this case, I simply loved Joe, who is one of the sidekicks employed by Woody.
Scenes in the book have been built with ease and a certain amount of humour, which I felt added to the pleasure of reading. Usually, after reading the title, one expects a treatise of sorts on management consultancy but this book is anything but that. In fact, it is a veritable treat of funny dialogues, wonderful scenes, a few twists, good plot and overall great writing. I could say more on this but I am afraid that I would give away spoilers unnecessarily.
However, I have one small grouse in this department
All I can say in the end is that this book was long pending in my TBR and I am glad that I finally got around to reading it. Do read this as it is one good read, especially the concept, which gets an extra star from me at least.
Profile Image for Ahtims.
1,488 reviews125 followers
May 25, 2016
3 to 4 star
Macho book
Review follows

it was quite different from my usually preferred genres. I am somewhat hesitant to read thrillers involving mafia and nefarious activities, but am quite comfortable with Sophie Hannah/Elizabeth George/ Gillian Flynn/Barbara Vine sort of dark psychological mysteries.
But contrary to my expectations I did enjoy it as the writing was crisp, scathing and grammatically accurate, for once. I learnt a lot about the way businesses, prisons, gangs and casinos function. I am confident enough to run a casino/ den if I ever get bored with my current occupation.
I would recommend this to those who love action thrillers .
Profile Image for Aarati.
340 reviews70 followers
October 13, 2014
I got a copy of this book from the author in exchange of an honest review

When I first read the title of the book, Business Doctors, I never thought I would read the book. I mean it sounds so technical. I thought it would a book talking about business management or something equally boring. But it's tagline; Management Consulting Gone Wild did make me curious. So after reading the synopsis, I decided this book was worth a try. And I'm happier for that. This book took me on one hell of a ride . The story was strong, the characters were noteworthy and the very fact that the author used the Underworld setting with mobs and mafia, makes is damn good and enjoyable.

I stopped reading books by Indian authors, because, lets be frank, it's pretty much the same fricking thing again and again and again. The setting is either in IIT/IIM or some place such place, the basic story is pretty much the same. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, parents oppose and the couple tries to convince their parents that true love knows no boundaries. It's all about the masala(spice) , like a Bollywood movie. I'm happy to say that Sameer Kamat strays from the obvious. The setting is different, the characters are different and story is different too.

Stephen Woody, head of Woody's Family Business (WFB), is on the way to his doom. His business is sinking and there is nothing much he is able to do. Coming from a family of mobsters, Woody inherits his position as the head of WFB, even though he doesn't have the brains to run the business. His business is run by his minions and all he gets is the daily updates. He is all brawn and no brains.

"But in sheer animal ferocity Woody beat them all and that's why they respected him. Not because he had brains-he had never shown any signs of better brainpower than any of them. Not because he held the reins of the business. But because he was a brutal animal and they feared crossing him."

Woody is the perfect example of the saying. "Jack of all trades, king of none". He is involved in drugs, prostitution, gambling, porn industry and what not. He was losing all his money to his competitor and he needed a way to stay afloat. Enter Michael Schneider. Michael is a business consultant, but he is a victim of the economy too. He too is steadily losing business and he needs every job he can get to keep his head above water. Woody is an unconventional client, and though Michael initially doesn't want to work for Woody, he later agrees.

This book is humorous, it's serious, it's well fleshed out with great characters. I loved the away how Angie, Woody's wife explained the concept of "business doctors".

"What do you do when you have a toothache?", she queried.

"What?" Angie's question seemed totally disconnected from the serious topic that they had initiated.

..."Well, I go to a dentist."

"And what do you do when one of your key men get held up in jail?"

"I get my lawyer to bail him out." Woody shrugged.

..."All I'm saying is, when you have a problem that you don't fully understand, you approach an expert for help, don't you?"

"Yes, I do. So?"

... "So if I'm facing problems in my business now, do you mean to say there are, er, business doctors who can help?"

"Yeas, there are. They are called management consultants. Sounds a little more sophisticated than business doctor"

One other particular line I liked was when one of Woody's minions, Jacob, tells him about the situation with their pornography business. It is ripe with innuendos and very smartly done.

"The industry has gone flaccid too boss. It needs some intense simulation to stroke it back to like. Stiff competition has been erecting hurdles in our path. Our client's aren't coming..."

I loved the detailing that went into the book, from the prison break, to the running of the mafia. Everything. And some of the twists the author threw at us, especially the role played by Angie and the involvement of Stevie McMohan took the book to a different tangent altogether. It just confirmed my theory as to how Angie is much more than she looks. She is a master manipulator, pulling all the strings with the expertise of a seasoned puppet-master with the rest of them being the puppets. From the very first she was pulling the string. With an intricate plot like this one, Sameer Kamat sure is a winner.

As good as the book was, there were also a few problems I found. For one there were quite a few typos in the book. Usually a bit of typos here and there is not a big deal, but for some reason it stood out here(probably because I was also beta-reading another book and was paying a lot of attention to it). I also thought that the first half of the book was a bit technical and could have been written in a more layman terms. Also I found the points of view jumping from one person to another and got confused. This changed after the first couple of chapters, but every time I left the book for a couple of hours and came back to it, I had no idea who was talking.

The characters were expatiated and I especially like the intricacies of Angie's character the best. Woody was dumb at best and I did not know if I should be irritated with him or find him endearing. That said, the book is arresting, with crazy situations and humorous writing. A definite recommend.
Profile Image for Jaideep Khanduja.
Author 3 books162 followers
July 12, 2014

Book Review: Business Doctors by Sameer Kamat: Management Consulting Goes Wild To Revive Mafia
Business Doctors: Management Consulting Gone Wild written by Sameer Kamat and published by Booksoarus is an interesting, comic and fun carrying story to engage with. The story is about economic downtrend worldwide that imposes lot of pressure on corporate and consulting firms. One of the consulting firm belongs to Michael Schneider, losing its existing clientele in a faster pace in comparison to acquiring of new clients thereby impacting on his business and sustenance of team.

In such a scenario where corporate are struggling to survive and sustain their growth in terms of financials and customers (though both are interconnected), there is a mafia group headed by Stephen Woody having his headquarters in downtown L.A., that intends to hire Schneider Associates, a management consulting firm situated in Santa Monica in Business Doctors: Management Consulting Gone Wild written by Sameer Kamat. In this interesting comical story full of fun and run, Stephen Woody runs a Real Estate business to dodge government agencies because behind this business, Woody's real business is running gambling, porno and various kind of gangs. Woody is married to a beautiful model Angie who is almost half his age and one fourth of his fatty body.

Woody being not educated, and getting all these running business inherited from his father, is able to understand Schneider and team as business doctors as told to him by his wife Angie and since the health of his business is deteriorating, he definitely needs to talk to a good business doctor to revive it back to its healthy state in Business Doctors: Management Consulting Gone Wild written by Sameer Kamat.

After initial resistance to get associated with a mafia, Michael Schneider finally decides to provide consultation to Woody's businesses in wake of getting a good hefty amount in return from Woody and thus dreaming of getting his consulting firm reviving back to a sustained state where further growth can be thought of instead of seeing it dying in wake of having no business/ customers. Schneider agrees to train Woody's team on how to revive their dying business back provided his or firm's name is not officially tagged with the mafia corporate openly.

And once Schneider gets into the businesses of Woody to understand its current state of health and revenue, he points out quite a useful indicators to Woody to act upon so as to get Woody's mafia business back on track by getting their clients back from the competitors. While getting all this revival process of grumpy Woody's business, the tall, smart and handsome Schneider lands up into the bedroom of Angie, the beautiful wife of Woody.

Overall an interesting story to go for in Business Doctors: Management Consulting Gone Wild written by Sameer Kamat.

Sameer Kamat is the founder of MBA Crystal Ball and Booksoarus.
Profile Image for Momzi.
6 reviews53 followers
August 24, 2014
"In the business world, there is no gray. Either you are black, or you are white-washed".

A huge thanks to the author, Sameer Kamat, for giving me an opportunity to read his book, and in exchange write an honest review for the same.

BUSINESS DOCTORS by Sameer Kamat, an entertaining read, I end up finish reading it one go.

The book provides a good idea about the management consultants' job in a witty and thrilling way.

Very Bollywood style.Can be made into a movie.it has everything ( humor, kidnapping,bribery,sex,casinos ......
It's a good book , do give it a try. :)
Profile Image for Abhishek.
50 reviews2 followers
January 9, 2015
Business Doctors by Sameer Kamat has quite an unusual theme, marrying two different areas of management consulting and mafia. The result is an interesting and entertaining read that keeps the reader excited to find out what would happen next.

First of all I would like to thank the author for providing me a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Moving on to the book, it can be divided in two parts:
The first part deals with the Forming, Storming and Norming phases of the group of management consultants led by Micheal Schneider and the mafia led by Stephen Woody, where the consultants meet the mafia, understand their various businesses which were in a state of decline and then suggest solutions to revive the floundering Woody Family Business.
The second part of the book deals with the Performing phase of the consultants and the mafia, where they implement the suggestions given in the previous phase.

First talking about the strong points of the book:
The first USP of the book is its theme, of combining two different and diverse areas of mafia and consulting.
Secondly the author has done full justice to various areas like the prison escapades, the boot camp and the final task given to the new recruits. They are detailed beautifully and enhance the reading experience by supporting the superb storyline. The start of the book is amazing and sets the tone for the rest of the story (especially the second half).
The best part about the book is the plot twist in the end, which is entirely unexpected. The role played by Angie and the involvement of Stevie McMohan completely changed the course of the story and took it the next level. It also confirmed my hunch that a character like Angie was not just a superficial one, but was controlling the strings from behind the scenes.

Now talking about the not so strong (not exactly weak) parts of the book:
I personally felt that the first half was a comparatively boring as it got a bit technical in terms of various things and the terms that consultants do and use. Also the first half was a bit one dimensional as it focused completely on consulting process (which though was very informative) and there were various subplots which could have been utilized but were ignored. But the second half beginning with the escape of the prisoners was fantastic and made up for the first half.
Also the Mafia is shown to be a little too dumb, who have not embraced technology and even show a lack of financial understanding. Stephen Woody comes out as a typical Kim Jong un like character, one who has no understanding of what he does and has just inherited everything that makes him famous. And such an organization surviving in a country like America appears a bit too far fetched.
Some situations in the book have no emotional backing, like Micheal continuing to work with Woody. The Skaros angle could have been utilized to intimidate him into continuing working with Woody. Also the parts involving the escaped convicts could have been developed better in order to provide understanding as to how everything fell into place so easily as it did during the boot camp.

I would give 3 stars for the first half and 4.5 stars for the second half.
Overall the book is surely worth a read.
Profile Image for Pooja Anand.
95 reviews10 followers
June 24, 2014
My overall rating for the book is *½ but as system doesn't allow, I am giving it 2. Somebody suggested this book to me as a crime thriller. And after checking few reviews I was all excited to read it. But, 7% of the book and I was thanking myself for purchasing the e-book version instead of hardcover.

Written by Sameer Kamat, Business Doctors is a fiction where a corporate consultant was pulled into a consulting assignment with an Underworld gang, which was involved in all the business that are illegal. The Don’s empire is fast crumbling and in his desperate need to revive it, accepts his wife’s suggestion to employ consulting services of a failing corporate consulting firm. For Michael Schneider, who is running his own consulting firm, economic slowdown has brought his revenues to near standstill. The Don’s consulting assignment is a way to keep cash registers ringing. He gets started with an intention of keeping his part of the work legal and brief, but as the story progresses, things get bigger and his involvement deeper. I would say a good attempt by the author but every other page of the book screams of sleazy humor. The book's concept seemed interesting, but its execution has gone ‘Wild’.

The plot is completely focused on management consulting and a reader can strongly feel absence of several other sub-plots. Hence, it comes out more as a strategic concept than a crime thriller. It seems to be a spoof on Mafia-plot books or tales. Never for once I felt I am reading a serious crime thriller. The plot appears to be very confusing where attempt to mix humor with Underworld failed big-time. It couldn't bring humor for me when so called ruthless Underworld group and its members are made to appear as jokers. I wanted to ask really? What do you want your reader to think? Laugh at the stupidity of the Gang or consider them as tough and ruthless. The only thing worked nicely is the Business consultancy, the strategies. So it means even the hardened criminals are stupid, brainless in front of the Mighty Business Consultants (read as MBAs).

The book presents a very detailed description and execution of different methodologies of business consultancy. The focus seemed to be more on how to prepare a presentation, what all slides to be included, or how to be dressed-up for a client presentation, all-in-all how a business consultant should work. The story presents a business strategic Case Study on how management consultants can work with a not-normal-scenarios like Mafia gang. The Case Study teaches lot of lessons that are not taught at the B-Schools normally. It proves that business analysis principles could be used to fix / grow illegal businesses as well.

Thus, I would say, this book is a big ‘NO’ for crime thriller lovers but yes it would serve as an excellent Case Study for MBA-undergrad or graduates, an excellent application of business consultancy in weird scenarios.
Profile Image for MconsultingPrep com.
1 review1 follower
September 29, 2014
As a former McKinsey consultant, I found it difficult to write even an email about work to my family, as the industry is too specialized and fast paced. Yet, Mr. Sameer Kamat managed to cook up a whole 700 page fiction book about consultant’s life: “Business doctors ”. One of his greatest successes here, I must say, is to make consulting seem like a promising adventure.

The one thing I love most about this book is the simple yet bizarre storyline. The incredibly indulging plot of this book can keep you amazed and eager to know more from the very beginning. An Ivy League educated management consultant, Michael Schneider, stumble upon a great professional challenge even after what he has been through in his 10 year consulting career: business advices for an underworld organization. His client, WFB, is run by a typical gangsta Mr Woody, who seems clueless yet willingly to cooperate. As our heroic main character Michael goes through with WFB business, the story reveals many twists and turns keeping the readers hooked till the last pages.

Humor and intended puns in this fiction is pretty enjoyable too. The author never let you go through too many informative pages without some slight touches of little inside jokes here and there. They would incredibly call out what the funniest friends of you would say in a situation like that. In particular, there are many characters built seemingly just for the sake of humor.
Personally I find the set of character is very standardized to a heroic story: there is always 1 young brilliant hero (Michael Schneider), his funny sidekick (Martin), the hero’s mysterious forbidden love (Angie Woody), the dark side powerful boss who overwhelms everyone else but forfeits to our hero’s wit (Mr.Woody), etc.
If you are an MBA who is seeking for a career in consulting, I would highly recommend this fiction as an entertaining read to understand more about the industry. The book well covered some very common consulting concepts, project process, work disciplines and attitudes, etc that you may adopt to familiar yourself with what consultants actually think and do. There are many articles out there about consulting jargons; yet I believe you would learn less reading them in 3 hours than spending 30 minutes on Business Doctors.

And if you ever worked as a consultant, I bet you would find this book as a very uniquely intriguing business case, and attempt to solve it along as Michael Schneider proceeds with his work, like what I actually did. Don’t want to spoil anything folks, but you would end up admitting you know very little about the underworld as an industry!
Check out the “Business Doctors ” story!

Kim Tran
Profile Image for Misha.
25 reviews
June 7, 2019
This book was a quick thriller read, with a lethal combination of corporate management consulting & the underworld at the fore, which is something I have never read so far. The protagonist Schneider heads a business consultants firm and is coping to sustain his firm & team during this period of economic recession. He's extending his ongoing projects with the existing clientele, & also on the lookout for new ones. It is at this point the firm gets a new client in Stephen Woody, an underworld don. He consults Schneider for pulling out his business from debt, a business which spans across horizons which Schneider & team have never explored, or would rather not explore. What pulls Schneider into signing the deal & how he treads along the path forms the rest of the story…

Overall, quite an interesting read. recommended to all crime/thriller lovers.

P.S. A special thanks to the author for sending me a copy of the book.
1 review9 followers
May 27, 2014
Interesting Ride and keeps the readers stick to the pages.
You gain insight about the world of Management Consulting, Underworld businesses, Drugs, Casinos , Adult Industry. Talks a lot about Jargons and Business terms coined by Management Consultants to impress the Clients.
Profile Image for Maniparna Sengupta majumder.
46 reviews4 followers
May 14, 2014
" What do you do when you have toothache ? "
" Well , I go to a dentist ."
" And what do you do when one of your key men get held up in jail ? "
" I get my lawyer to bail him out "

The crux of the above conversation between Woody and his wife Angie is , that we turn to professionals when we fail to understand or find it difficult to handle problems on our own . And this conversation is the very base of Sameer Kamat's latest publication , Business Doctors , where Ivy League educated management consultant Michael Schneider gets hired by an unlikely client , a mafia boss , Stephen Woody, who wants to make a final desperate bid to revivify his family business that sprawls across the underworld ......drugs , gambling and porn .

Yes , it's a book written by an Indian author where the backdrop is Los Angeles or to be precise , the dark alleys of its mafias and the underworld . A different flavour after a long time as far as the language and style is concerned ( devoid of any Hinglish lingo which , nowadays , sometimes becomes quite painful ) .

Stephen Woody has succeeded his father to become the Boss of Woody's Family Business or WFB . His clout in the territory of extortion, kidnapping , contract-killing ,gambling , weapons is satisfying enough but internal bleeding has started as new gangs appear making the field highly competitive . Woody , though tries to gild the wound in gold but knows for sure that in this way a shutdown is imminent . His wife Angie , a former model , pokes her pretty nose in the business as she prescribes to hire ' business doctors ' to heal the wound . Schneider topped among the short-listed candidates and thus the foundation is laid for the next series of events .

Schneider's consulting company , Schneider Associates , firstly finds this assignment unholy but later reluctantly succumbs to the pressure as their very own business is on the verge of a financial crisis and WFB's offer could save their ship as well . Schneider cheers up his right hand man Martin to take the challenge and says " We are doing what we normally do ---business analysis ---except in an unusual field this time . And that is not a crime . "

Thus they venture into another world ...the world with darker shades with their Project Lean And Mean and learn the lessons which no management school in the world would ever be able to deliver . The story spans over a time limit of six months and these six months become a table-turner to the lives of most of the characters giving the reader a roller-coaster experience as well .

The plot is intricate but every part of the puzzle falls in place at the end . Even the way Angie acts while suggesting the names of business consultants to Woody , has been reasonably justified later and the reader gets the hint how Schneider topped the list .The narrative has a near perfect " cause and effect " pattern and is successful enough to maintain the excitement till the end .

The characters are well developed . The readers can easily imagine Woody when he is described as carrying an excess weight of twenty pounds and looks like a cross between a bouncer and a businessman . The way he acts and speaks reveals his character that he is in constant endeavour to fancy that aura of being a mafia Boss . Angie , a ravishing beauty with not-much-a-model-like height , never appears to be a damsel in distress but proves in every act that her ambition is not blind but methodical . Michael Schneider , our protagonist , has all those qualities that is required to become a successful business consultant , a spiffy appearance , a near perfect physique , a calculative and innovative mind , chutzpah and courage . But everyone has his Achilles's heel and Schneider is no exception. ( you have to read the book to find out more ) .
Apart from major characters , other characters have also been portrayed diligently , like Martin , Schneider's assistant who idolizes Schneider and has the ability to review a 450 page document pinpointing every error . Joe who is Woody's Man Friday , Blizzard , Jamal , Bullet , Kenny, Chang , Phil , all have been given sufficient space to breathe in .

Sameer Kamat has uniquely translated the management jargon into understandable lingo ( and has made the things simple for us too ) . Thus , instead of billing WFB in a time and material basis , Schneider assures Woody that he would bill him on an hourly basis . Value stream mapping , organization structure assessment are simplified as recruitment , pay outs and promotions . Last but not the least , the four step process of group dynamics development is delivered as Forming , Storming , Norming , Performing . The management explanations , never look like a boring preaching and teaching , so to say .

What I like most in the book is the regular glint of wit which has increased the reading pleasure . As Woody tries the same dialogues with his goons in the Dungeon which Angie had improvised to make him aware of the need of business doctors , the conversation becomes real innovative and interesting !

" Ray , what do you do when your tooth hurts real bad ? "
" I use a spanner , and yank it out real hard ..... "
"What do you do when one of your guys gets thrown into the real slammer ? " Woody looked at Alfredo optimistically .
" I make sure we kill him before the cops have had a chance to interrogate him and get all our secrets out of him "

Numerous other example can be cited which would surely lighten up the mood .

Finally some things which I think could have been improved or avoided .

The L.A. goons look real dumb . That's something curious as it seems impossible to survive in the hardcore underworld with such minimal I.Q. The way they speak or act , may look hilarious but somewhat lack that credibility .
Woody , with such a powerful network , remains oblivious of Angie's whereabouts or her activities .
The 'parking place ' for the new recruits , their stay over there and their activities are described vividly and at times look a bit dragged .
The book has been divided into 20 chapters . There is no paragraph break as such in individual chapters , but when there is a shifting of backdrop , the author uses *** to mark the difference. It is quite experimental and once the reader gets used to it , it looks quite interesting .
Business Doctors is a book which is a fusion of two apparently odd things , management and malfeasance , it's the ingenuity of the author that the fusion looks perfect and flawless. A great read and is absolutely recommended .

From my side it's 4.5/5

68 reviews1 follower
September 4, 2014
I would actually rate this book 2.5 out of 5. However as goodreads doesn't has a decimal rating system I went by the description of their stars which says "it was ok" for 2.

Honestly my feelings for this book are so complicated that it is for the first time that I will have to rate and review a book in parts. The first quarter of the book is pretty okay. It feels a little tedious in the beginning but gradually evens out. The middle part of the book meaning the second and third quarters are excellent. Especially the third quarter which is really fast paced and exciting and I was totally loving the book till here. However the fourth quarter or rather I would say the last 30 odd pages are a total let down! Infact while I was reading I could see that the pages were thinning fast but I couldn't imagine how it would end because there was so much of the story left! I swear at some point I thought that the book would end on a cliffhanger and the author is setting up for a sequel. But all of a sudden it was as if the author simply got bored and just ended the story hurriedly. Really the end was so abrupt and so dissatisfying that I was almost screaming for more. The end just doesn't feels write. Everything is so quickly and so neatly wrapped up that it feels a little awkward.

The basic premise of the book is really interesting. It is what drove me to buy the book in the first place. I was absolutely sold by the synopsis.

It was very brave of the author Sameer to set the story in America. It doesn't even have an awkward NRI crossover hero or something. All the characters are Americans and they speak and behave just like that. I really applaud this as I know it isn't an easy thing to do. Even the locations and other minute details such as the brand names of pens and what not is spot on!

Regarding the language I have a very funny and ironical problem. The vocabulary of the author is so good that he inadvertently comes across as a show-off when he unnecessarily uses big and fancy words when they aren't needed. I really mean that as a compliment to him but he must realize that sometimes the readers such as me aren't that good with words and I had to refer to my phone dictionary quite a few times while reading this!

Another problem that I had with this book was that it is too technical and jargon-y at times! It has too many management fundas and mantras and at times you feel as if you are reading an MBA reference book. I know it was the basic idea of the book and the story was set in the world of management consulting but I felt that it could tone the management part a little bit and focus more on the plot. Seriously there were a few paragraphs which felt so tedious to read that I was almost rolling my eyes.

The book also needs a few spell-checks and proof reading in some places.

I would totally recommend this book for a one time read as you will enjoy it for most of the part. However the climax totally let me down and perhaps that is why I am being a little harsh with the rating. I would definitely read whichever next book the author writes next and I am sure he would only get better and better! My one advice to him is that please don't worry about creating a perfect feel good happy happy ending! Take a few chances and challenge your reader!
Profile Image for Swati.
53 reviews8 followers
October 3, 2014
One of a kind

First and foremost, I would like to thank the author for providing me a copy of his novel. And here is my honest review of the same.

When I got my hands on this book, my ‘bibliophile’ antenna wasn't exactly catching strong signals and I did not know what to expect. True, the title isn't exactly one that invokes the ‘reader spirit’ but, as we know, looks/ titles can be deceptive (Hell a reader buddy of mine learned this the hard way when she picked up a BDSM, a genre she hates to the core *Merril dear* my sympathies*).

Once I started reading, the title made more sense. Rather I found the title to be accurate and self-explanatory in terms of the story. Moving on to the story, it is quite unique. With a language that is simple and a fast paced narrative, I did not get bored at any point.

I had never imagines that something as complex as business consulting could be readable, let alone mixed with the ‘Mafia’. But the author managed to mix business with reading pleasure. This, for me, was one fine cocktail.

The world of business has been explained a bit, all interspersed with the story, in a simplistic manner that doesn't leave your brain cells scrambled. When the smooth and confident protagonist, Michael Schneider unwittingly gets Woody, a Mafia boss as his client, I was as stumped as Michael himself.

The events that unfold after that were totally unpredictable. Even though two serious domains have been mixed, the tone of the book was light. Rather than going all dark and broody like Mario Puzo’s ‘Godfather’, the lighthearted tone of the book made for a pleasant read and the humor-laced story did raise a few laughs. Sample this:

“For some strange reason, the first three letters from ‘Associates’ were looking brighter and bolder than the others. Schneider wasn’t feeling too flattered with the unintended special effects”

I found the characters to have adequate depth that is, the book doesn't delve into their psyche too much (because that would have been distracting and would have made the story drag) or too little (because that would have made the characters as interesting as a door knob). I think the fine balance between the two makes the characters easy to understand and the story readable.

As I neared the end, I was very curious as to how all this would play out and what would be Michael’s fate. So yes, this is also what keeps the reader going.

However, I did find two/three printing mistakes in the book, though they were forgivable. While reading, sometimes I did find the business terms irritating, especially unnecessary ones like the Monte Carlo simulation that was not integral to the story. It was just too specific. Plus I would have liked to know Angie, the Mafia boss’s sensuous wife a bit more. She was one interesting character.

In short,
“Business Doctors is different, thanks to its unique story line. So yes try it and mix business with reading pleasure.”

Profile Image for Akhil Mehta.
20 reviews30 followers
August 20, 2014
The premise of a novel about management consulting in crime syndicates is an interesting one. Although there are many stories of brilliant strategists as the ever dependent and loyal consigliari, the practice of seeking advice about the business is from someone within the syndicate.

But Woody (The Mob Boss in the book) dares to think outside the box. He engages Micheal Schnyder's firm as advisers as a last ditch attempt to save his failing conglomerate, which has a cannabis retailing division, a porno production division, and a run down casino in vegas. (Although all these businesses are perfectly legal where the story is set, the mob also has supposed heavy duty illegal businesses. An Extortion and Kidnapping practice is mentioned in passing)

What's next? Jail Breakouts, PPT(now pptx) presentations, Oral Sex, Reality TV Challanges, Granny Hackers, Decision Trees, Loan Sharks, bad porn puns, doubt, and deception.

The plot works overall and the book starts from and ends pretty much where it should start from and end at. There are some question marks now and then, such as how an unknown number of high tech prison breaks happen within a small region with people known for being too incompetent to run the business with point precision and nothing happens afterwards about it, or how multi-million dollar loans are forgiven after the lender kills the borrower, and I think there might be answers for it.

The Management Consulting part of the book is reasonable for a crime novel, don't expect this to be like "The Goal" set in the mafia. Even though some insights are drawn by Schindler & Associates, only one branch of the issue tree is followed up on. Moreover, recommendations are made without looking at their financing implications. Maybe Woody should've looked at some more letters of proposals.

There are a lot of characters in the book, and this is a pretty short book, so not many characters get enough footage to leave a mark. Among those who do, Mrs. Woody stands out as both the most developed and interesting. With her, nothing seems to make sense until it does.

2.5/5 (Bumped to 3, first book bonus - God knows it's hard work)
Profile Image for Sakshi Agarwal.
51 reviews22 followers
September 22, 2014
An Engaging read!!!!
First of all, I would thank the author "Sameer Kamat" for a free copy of the book in exchange of an HONEST review.
And thats what we are here for!!
Review...An Honest one....

As I said on the top, its an engaging read.
I finished the book in One and a half day.
An unusual plot of a Management Consultant who gets hired to save a business and not just any business...An Underworld Business...
But Why?
Why would he do that?
to make his ends meet?
to pay the next salaries of his employees?
or because he loves the challenge?

Michael Schneider stole the show.....its his Story....his Consulting...his "Wild" side
but would we have loved it if "Woody"'s character was a bit more defined? Definitely.

the first half of the book is connected, hooks you up amazingly.
As soon as you reach to the second half, it starts jumping.
I guess to make the book short, or crisp....

Even Martin's character seems confused, there is no edge to him.
One time he is this important person with a point of view whose approval is important to Schneider and then he is completely lost from the scene.

Loved the way the scenes have been carved out, the thinking that went behind each action and reaction.
Portraying the goon, Joe was superb. The Dungeon.....is almost as important as any other living character.
Angie fits her character perfectly.

Also loved some hilarious crests which arrive in tense/serious situations..."get myself a crocodile and feed this....", "allergic to the asshole sitting next to me...."
Although there are proofreading mistakes which steal your focus for some seconds, but that is okay if they get fixed in next print.

The writing style is superb, would congratulate the author for that. He doesn't use jargons which usually Indian authors tend to use in their books (for showing off the impeccable vocabulary they hold or some other reason but that's a put off for most of the readers).

I would say the book moved half a star ahead of 3.5 I was thinking just because of the plot.

Great book, one should definitely read this if looking for something fresh!!!
Profile Image for Vinit Jayarajan.
42 reviews8 followers
September 13, 2014
First of all, let me thank the author, Sameer Kamat for giving me a personal copy of the book. The Business Doctors is a quick interesting read. The plot of the book is unique, since the use of management consultancy for operating underworld activities is unheard of. The protagonist of the book, Michael Schneider runs a consultancy firm which is affected by recession and the underworld kingpin Woody is facing serious financial crisis in his ‘business’ empire. When Angie, Woody’s trophy wife recommends a ‘business doctor’ to him for rectifying this crisis, Schneider gets pulled into the underworld business.

How Schneider manages to work out this new task forms the rest of the plot..

As I have said earlier, it is a very interesting read. It gives very detailed information on how the management skills are inducted in an entirely new ‘business’ phase by phase. The methods/planning by which the convicts are busted out of prison, the missions given to them to test their capabilities are simply awesome (Management consultancy part rated 5/5). But such technicalities are not reflected in the way they carried out each crimes.. the way mcMohan was captured, looting the money truck, the granny internet heist etc was … too simple. Almost all the goons are portrayed as humorous and Woody incompetent (Distrust and wariness are the common lethal weapons of almost all great don’s which this one lacks) took out some of the cream from the cake. The way mafia runs in US is shown in an unrealistic manner and the relative lack of violence rates the Crime part to 2/5. However, Angie who was the actual dark mastermind behind the entire plot is an interesting character. The climax was quite predictable half way through the book and so the thriller part is rated 2.5/5.

The simple language in which the book is written, the humorous wits through-out the book, and the curiosity of how Schneider tackles the various problems makes this book a page-turner.

Overall, I give this book a rating of 3/5 and recommend it to everyone..
Profile Image for Bookish Indulgenges with b00k r3vi3ws.
1,610 reviews244 followers
February 17, 2017

Michael Schneider owns a management consulting firm that is just another company that is undergoing the pressure of the downtime of the economy. Keeping his business afloat in the current market situation is becoming tough and tougher. Just then Michael is approached by Stephen Woody, a mafia boss who has inherited various family businesses, needing Michael’s expertise in the matter of business. Initially averse to the idea, Michael soon takes on Stephen as a client and sets on to work to earn the high returns promised by Stephen. This book captures the journey of Michael working for Stephen.

The various characters in this book are well developed and characterized wonderfully. From the street smart Michael to formidable Stephen to the vivacious Angie, they all play their parts well to give this story a well rounded feeling. The plot is unique in the sense that I am yet to read a book that captures the management consulting and the workings of a mafia in such a complete manner. Both the aspects, while widely different from each other, are intriguing to a reader like me. I enjoyed how well the author has managed to capture both the worlds. The best part about the book however was the author’s fun filled narrative style, the crisp language and the brusque pace.

For a work from a debut author, it sure felt like a complete package. This is a full-fledged fun filled piece of fiction that would be a good investment of your time an interest.
Profile Image for Gaurav Gokhale.
1 review1 follower
May 29, 2014
The story of Michael Schneider and his consulting exploits, through the ugly mesh of drugs, deceit and sleeze is educational and thrilling at the same time. Modelled around the all-time classic, Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt, Sameer goes beyond the conventional good-boy hero story to come up with an all-grey star-cast.
Some of the scenes are worthy of mention, especially Chang's escape sequence at the very beginning, and the eventual twist of fate that awaits Michael as he concludes his assignment. The overlay of casino sequences, S-grade movie-making business and drug-mafia with the various consulting frameworks, makes it an edgy and refreshing educational material, that those with a management consulting background can easily identify with.
The principal characters are well-etched out, especially the Don, the Don's wife, and the all-conquering hero. The tertiary characters, especially the bunch of goons in the 'training centre', don't seem entirely convincing and the lingo seems contrived, with the long scenes dragging the pace somewhat, before it picks up again towards a riveting, unexpected and unpredictable climax.
Business Doctors is a must-read for all those aspirant consultants bored of reading consulting case-books, and for thriller aficionados looking for a brainy plot....
Profile Image for Shilpa.
95 reviews148 followers
November 30, 2014
Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

For someone who likes to explore different genres, the blurb did intrigue me. And the book did not disappoint.

The story begins when big time mafia gang WFB's business owned by Woody starts bleeding and are in need of some serious help. That's when he approaches Schneider Associates to fix them on his wife Angie's suggestion.
Oblivious of what they are stepping into they agree to have a look at the companies problems and get embroiled in the world of gambling, extortion & porn.These business doctors aka Schneider Associates headed by Michael then take up the assignment as consultants given their own consultancy was going through a rough patch. Michael also has to deal with a blast from the past as he happened to know Angie..but not as Woody's wife of course..
Things complicate further with Angie blackmailing Michael to stay and heal WFB with his innovative ideas even after his initial assignment is over and he wants out of the whole situation.

The author manages to keep up interest through the book with the analysis and 'treatment' of the ailing business AND I DID NOT SEE THAT ENDING COMING!!
All in all it was a good read. I'd recommend it to people who are tired of reading masala romances by Indian authors writing in english and would like to read something different.
Profile Image for Deepak Sharma.
185 reviews22 followers
June 24, 2014
A Unusual subject line for the book. I was caught into reading this book because of the plot.
A pretty interesting one , a Don ad his organization having ventures in all the aspects of underworld (casino, bribery, kidnapping, drugs , extortion and so on ..)
An in adequate boss gets the business into negative (losses , cant get the management bug out now :)).
A plotting and HOT wife (who will sleep with anyone to get her work done and keep the money flowing)
The ever so dumb members of the gang WFB..
AND then enters the management consultants to bring the business back into shape.

This is the pl0t and sounds interesting enuf.
The book flows nicely from the requirement to the analysis to the solution and analysis phase.
How the consultants fond the problem and what are the remedies given , thrown with Twist from the HOT wife .

I liked the book as it was short and easy read. The story was pretty crisp and there was no try to dragging the book into more pages.
the twists in the book towards the end was something which caught me unawares

The language is very simple and will not force people to use dictionaries.

Overall a cool 4/5 from me
Profile Image for Nalini.
69 reviews40 followers
September 5, 2014
When this book was recommended, I saw the word "Business" and cringed (I have a healthy dislike for anything business-related). But I don't regret reading it. If you're a Grisham fan, then you'll like this.

When a business consultant was asked to assist an underworld kingpin (yes! You read that right) to change the image and assist them in saving their dying business, he agrees. Little did he know this project would catapult him into the midst of dangerous criminals, a heated affair with the Kingpin's wife (yep, you read that right, too) and a world so utterly grey, that the term "never to see daylight again" is applicable.

I really liked the concept of the book. I've never read Underworld themed books before so this was the reason for my hesitancy. I loved the twists, especially when Stevie McMohan was featured, i mean can it get any worse than that?! However, my only dislike was the way it ended, it was hinted at earlier in the book and so, I sort of expected it. Endings for me make or break a book. I am curious though as to the research put into this book, the realness factor was there for sure, at points.

Good book!
Profile Image for Sakshi Nanda.
55 reviews38 followers
May 12, 2014
The premise on which the book is created is novel – an age-old system of unorganised business married to one of presentations and flow-charts, recruitment and induction, value-stream mapping and out-of-the-box thinking. Sameer has to have studied well (within the confines of his own cabin at work I’m guessing) both kinds to manage this smooth and interesting fusion – The Storming – Forming – Norming - Performing of it all.
To read the full review, please click here:
Profile Image for Manpreet Kaur.
147 reviews682 followers
June 2, 2014
The book is quite interesting and impressive due its well planned and awesome narrative style. The plot is good and really does a good job to build anticipation in the readers and make them flip pages again and again.
The author has also put in some humor in the book at places and overall, book gives you a lovely reading experience.
The complete review is obviously on my blog, but if you want to hear just yes or no about this book, it's a big YES.
It's a good book and do give it a try. :)
Profile Image for Gordon.
11 reviews1 follower
November 15, 2014
This was an unexpected surprise and a very pleasant one at that. It's been one of the most fun reads I've had all year.
Don't be fooled by the title. It's not a boring business book. It is simply a great little story that is well written with good characters.
If you like James Patterson then you'll like this.
Profile Image for Alceste.
378 reviews
July 3, 2022
I received this book as Giveaway from Goodreads.com in exchange of an honest feedback and that does not affect or influence any part of this review.

BUSINESS DOCTORS by Sameer Kamat, an entertaining read, wraps reader’s attention towards itself by the concept of juxtaposing of management consulting and underworld mafia which also grabbed my attention from the moment I had it in my hands. Being curious about the mix and match of the administration world and the world of mafia, I end up finish reading it one go.

The book is about the colossus business of an American underworld Don who having troubles in maintain and earning profit from gambling, drugs, pornography are just some of his businesses. Taking his wife’s advice he hires business consultant led by the main protagonist who under the tolerance of recession and in awe of some business opts for the job to turn around the fortune for both the don and himself.
One factor that impresses me and surprises me as well, is by not including any Indian character which is the preference of most of the Indian writers. Previously read few of the Indian writers, I always had this doubt about how it will turn out if an Indian writer’s book go for all foreign characters. And I must say, after reading Sameer’s book my doubt is well cleared and I accept the fact that diversity in writing is essential and an author must experiment with his writing from time to time. You never know, it might turn out to be good or better.
The plot continuous with a good amount of characters that are quite maintained throughout the book and do fit the plot. The plot moves on with an average pace and a reader can clearly observe and appreciate author’s effort of immersing sub-plots into the main story such that all the pieces fit together at the end.

About the “mafia-ness”, I do feel it could have been more thrilling if the author had given some more research and attention on this part as the description of the events were a bit naïve. The amount of humor included in the book, helps in creating a steady place and does not let the story for a fall out. I think using humor visibly shows that it is different from a regular thriller and it sums up the naïvetés of the mafia part.

Altogether, it’s a light and interesting read. I will recommend it to you if you want to read something with a diverse plot, with a flavor of humor.

3 out of 5
55 reviews
January 20, 2023
Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy is a great way to grow your business like crazy. Hello, and welcome to my SuiteDash Review.

Do you think it's hard to grow a business and that you use too many platforms for business tasks? Are you having trouble keeping track of all your tasks, such as CRM, client portals, file exchange, project management, invoicing, and more, on one platform?

A few months ago, I ran into a big problem with my marketing and had to use HubSpot CRM, Tixio to manage my projects, and invoice crowd to send out bills. Because I had to switch platforms, this process wasted my time and made me less productive. I can now do everything in one spot.

How could it be if a tool helps you reduce your business work in an organized way and helps organizations do things like optimize workflow, manage subscriptions, collect feedback, store files, and more on a single platform?

Imagine having a platform that lets you post to your calendar, use CRM for marketing, manage client projects, transfer files, chat with team members, use LMS for online coaching, create flows, automate tasks, and more—all from a single dashboard.

Once, a friend of mine was so angry that he had to handle his business tasks on different platforms, which hurt his work and cost him money. His business kept going down because his customers stopped buying from him and started buying from his competitors.

He wasted a lot of time and money trying different kinds of software that didn't work. He finally gave up and thought about being quiet. Now, though, he runs a successful business and makes millions of dollars. SuiteDash was the only thing he had done.

SuiteDash is a business management solution that helps organizations do things like optimize workflow, manage subscriptions, get feedback, store files, and more on a single platform. In this SuiteDash review, you'll find out more.
17 reviews3 followers
May 20, 2014
Imagine being a business consultant for the Mafia. If that is not enough, imagine analyzing gambling, drugs and porn for the business processes they follow and providing an approach for re-engineering them. Sounds crazy right? It did to the Consultant in me when I first read the blurb on Sameer Kamat’s latest book “Business Doctors”. How could it be I wondered, stepping away from the regular corporate world and applying those very management fundas to the underworld? Wild. Exactly how the Author defines it to be.

Mafia Boss Stephen Woody, owner of WFB a 'family business' is grappling with the losses when his trophy wife Angie suggests he hire professional help to rectify his problem and correct his losses. With no other plausible solution at hand, Woody hires an Ivy League educated management consultant Michael Schneider to analyze his businesses that spread across gambling, killings, drug and porn to figure out what is causing their steady decline. High on muscle but relatively weak when it comes to managing businesses, Woody and his team think of Michael and Martin his associate as Business Doctors – folks who will set everything right for their ailing company.

I was looking forward to the ride, wondering how the Author would bring together the two worlds of Consulting and Mafia. Expecting a straight dive into the bellies of the underworld, I was quite taken aback when the book began with the escape of a convict Chang. The start caught me unaware and intrigued me on what was in store next. Keeping the suspense going with that string hanging in mid air, the story then moved on to Woody and Michael, from there began the tale of how management consulting goes on a wild, hair raising ride. As the ‘Business Doctors’ go about analyzing the trade and brain storming over ‘MECE’ principles and Issue Trees, the Author ties the prison escapes, the mafia and the consulting jargon all together to weave a meaningful story and flow.

While the book does not keep you glued to your couch, it sure is an entertaining experience. Especially for readers like me who hail from Consulting, the Author ensures we have our fair share of sniggers and guffaws as Michael puts together MECE principles and the 'discovery' and 'solutioning' phases for the mafia world. The way Michael goes about gathering background information of the ‘Industry’ WFB operates in and the ‘deck’ they put together on their logos and understanding of the business will esp. make readers from a consulting background break into smiles. Be it the industry research they start on as soon as they get the WFB lead or the shock that Martin gets when he realizes that their precious ‘decks’ are looked down upon in the ‘Dungeon’ (WFB’s ‘conference’ room), the Author has defined a delightful side to the way things are dealt with in Consulting.

The Management Consulting lingo is spread in generous doses across the book and reflects the experience the Author brings from his professional background. What he does show with this piece is that Management Consulting can work with just about any business using the same concepts, the same jargon and the same gyan. The extent of knowledge he brings in of the western underworld, the processes involved in video production, gambling and drugs suffices for the book and the lighter tone that the story line has throughout. His ability to show how power and money triumphs be it in consulting or mafia with implicit messages reflects clearly through the book.

While I found the play of consulting jargon fun and entertaining, I also realized that it could get a tad bit boring for those who do not come from the background. Also, on one hand the story develops at a quick pace but on the other it leaves behind a few grey areas which you feel could have been dealt better with. Here are a few examples-
The readiness with which Michael agrees to take on Woody’s assignment is not clearly explained. While the slow down in his business is apparent, the shift from the shock on knowing what Woody’s business truly is to taking up the project is extremely quick without any room given for reasoning out the long term implications of working on such an assignment.
The sudden absence of Martin once the initial study phase ends stands out like a sore thumb. Right from the start Martin works with Michael on the assignment and is also involved in the initial phase when Woody approaches them with follow on work. However without any rhyme or reason he suddenly disappears from the scene, leaving a small gaping hole in the characterization of the plot
While a good job is done of tying the prison escapes to the main story, the pace the Author had managed so well through the story, slows down drastically with the ‘boot camps’ that the escaped convicts go through.

From a publishing standpoint, the text formatting could have been more optimized with appropriate breaks and paragraphs being injected, this does put you off track but the font size and conversational tone of the book makes it easier on the eye.

Overall, humour that flows easily from the Author’s pen at the right places and an easy to read writing style is what works in this book and makes it worth a read. I would recommend this book for an enjoyable read on a lazy Sunday afternoon esp. for all those Consultants out there who mutter curses under their breath and roll their eyes each time they hear the words ‘deck’, ‘value stream mapping’, ‘value chain’ and the likes. This is a book that will make you appreciate your field in a lighter vein.
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