We all know that together with China, India is on a meteoric ascent. And there is a plethora of books that attempt to explain the reason why the world’s two biggest countries are giants on the move, and it’s merely a question of when and not how they both become formidable forces on the global stage.
There are, however, very few business books that provide the human insight on the players behind the scenes of India’s business world, that explains their personal journeys of getting to where they are today, successful entrepreneurs that are the movers and shakers of the business world. Enter Rashmi Bansal. Her two books shed some light on the names and faces that run India Inc., or let’s just call it “Brand India”!
The title of both business books seem random at first, and upon closer inspection, both owe credit to Steve Jobs. Turns out the author, Rashmi Bansal, was so moved by Steve Jobs’ Commencement Speech at Stanford University, that she decided to incorporate them into her books.
In her first book, “Stay Hungry Stay Foolish“, Bansal explores 25 success stories of entrepreneurs from the venerable Indian Institute of Management Ahemdabad (or IIMA), India’s premier Business School.
The book is divided into 3 sections:
1. The Believers: IIM-A graduates who took the plunge straight out of IIM-A
2. The Opportunists: Who saw an opportunity and capitalized on it
3. The Alternate Vision: Social Entrepreneurs who were driven by a passion beyond mere monetary rewards.
And in he follow up book, “Connect the Dots“, Bansal, stays true to the theme of analyzing entrepreneurs success stories, and this time she focuses on 25 people who made it big without an MBA Degree or IIM-A degree.
This book is similar in vein to her previous “Stay Hungry Stay Foolish”, featuring a collection of mini bios of successful Indian entrepreneurs who have made it big. The difference is that this book looks at entrepreneurs who have struck gold via the “School of Hard Knocks”, those street-smart entrepreneurs with the tenacity and luck to make it. And none of these entrepreneurs have MBA degrees or degrees from the prestigious IIM-A.
The stories/interviews are long enough to quench your curiosity and inspire you and short enough to make sure you don’t get bored. Each story ends with a section on “Advice to Young Entrepreneurs” which by itself makes a good handbook for people who want to get their hands dirty, starting on their own.
It is very surprising to read about the variety of backgrounds the featured personalities have come from, and more so the events or ‘dots’ that have led them to where they are today. True to its title, every story unravels the dots which none of them could have connected looking forward but makes a lot of sense when retrospected.