The Daily Sabbatical/The Thinkers 50 | Oct 14, 2009 | 71248 views

The Top Management Gurus of Today

The full map of those who made it to the elite group of The Thinkers 50 global listing


The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid transformed the Indian-born Prahalad from bestselling academic to global opinion former. His ideas are taken seriously, tackle the big issues of our times and make a difference.

2: Malcolm GLADWELL (18)
The rise of the journalist turned guru has been inexorable. His latest bestseller, Outliers, is required reading for all with ambition. The Gladwell formula is deceptively simple but well written and built around powerful story telling.

CK Prahlad, current Thinkers 50 Rank- 1
CK Prahlad, current Thinkers 50 Rank- 1
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3: Paul KRUGMAN (-)
The Nobel prize winning economist has taken the dry science to the masses as never before. He has written more than 25 books and has made the leap from serious academic work to accessible commentary with liberal and liberating ease.

4: Steve JOBS (29)

Health issues aside, it is impossible to argue with the man who has brought the world a series of mold breaking products. But, what can we learn about leadership from Jobs?

5: W. Chan KIM & Renée MAUBORGNE (6)

The creators of Blue Ocean Strategy practiced what they preach and swept the world with their ideas and models. Now, with a fresh article in the Harvard Business Review, they are set on cementing their place in the history of strategy. Next up, the difficult second book.

6: Muhammad YUNUS (-)

Champion of microcredit, founder of Grameen Bank and Nobel prize winner, the Bangladeshi is author of Banker to the Poor. Proof that bold visions can become powerful reality.

7: Bill GATES (2)

Once desperately uncool, Gates is now the epitome of caring capitalism – something he calls “creative capitalism.” Not everyone wants to be Bill Gates, but many admire the way he goes about being one of the richest men on the planet.

8: Richard BRANSON (9)

The oldest Virgin retains his insatiable appetite for PR stunts and entrepreneurial endeavour. Backed by a team of great people, he is instantly likeable. QED.

9: Philip KOTLER (11)

One of Kotler’s favourite ties bears the title of his magnum opus, Marketing Management. Kotler has dominated marketing over the last three decades. Along the way he has pushed the frontiers of where marketing can make a difference. His latest book, Chaotics, reflects his willingness to go out on a limb and express an opinion. Required reading.

10: Gary HAMEL (5)

Hamel’s last book, The Future of Management, lacked the sexy allure of Competing for the Future. It felt like a bid to put a stake in the ground and to call an area of study his own. It is working. With MLab, Hamel is championing the renaissance of management, what he labels Management 2.0.

Ratan Tata, Current Thinkers 50 Rank- 12
Image: Punit Paranjpe / Reuters
Ratan Tata, Current Thinkers 50 Rank- 12

11: Michael PORTER (4)
The long reigning King of Strategy is now on the wane. His mantle is now worn by Kim and Mauborgne. Porter’s consolation is that his model is taught in every business school in the world and retains huge influence and popularity.

12: Ratan TATA (-)
Tata Sons has emerged as one of the great archetypal corporations of our times. Its culture is fundamentally Indian, its ambitions truly global. There is Tata Tea, Tata Steel, Tata Motors with its eye-catching Nano car and more making an empire with sales of some $70 billion. Cornell-educated, Ratan Tata has been chairman since 1991.

13: Ram CHARAN (22)

Spectacularly itinerant, Charan is the coach of choice to some of the world’s top CEOs. His message is a worldly combo of tough exec and Indian philosophising.

14: Marshall GOLDSMITH (34)
When the world’s top CEOs need a coach Goldmsith is usually top of the list. His wisdom can appear homespun – saying please and thank you – but he has the happy knack of making the complex world of business feel straightforward. An invite to his client dinner parties is a mark that you have made it.

15: S. (Kris) Gopalakrishnan (-)
In 1981 the Indian company Infosys began life. Its seven founders had $250. Now, it has revenues of over $4 billion and one of the seven founders is its CEO, Kris Gopalakrishnan. He has helped Infosys conquer the world and lead what it calls the “next generation” of IT and consulting.

The brackets indicate 2007 list's ranking and the (-) is a new entrant.

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Comments (5)
Suresh Kumar Jun 25, 2014
thank you so much for this helpful info..
Deepak Valecha Feb 28, 2013
great job its really helpful
Jaideep Chatterjee Oct 30, 2012
The topics selected by your esteemed journal are extremly informative and relevant. Please keep it up and be informative to the readers like us.
Atik Khan Aug 7, 2011
This site is very helpful.
Lucyl Ramayla Jun 29, 2010
Thank you so much. Through this page i can immediately see all of the Top 50 Gurus. They are an encouragement.
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